When it comes to other studies, there are lots that do support claims that CBD helps with sleep, anxiety and so on but they are almost all thwarted by not being rigorous enough. Most do not properly account for the placebo effect, whilst others seem to contradict each other. Moreover, because there is little regulation around quality and exactly what types of cannabinoids each product contains, assessing what dose is effective is almost impossible.
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is a chemical found in cannabis plants. There are many chemicals found in this family of plants and these are collectively known as cannabinoids, with current thought being that there are around 150 of note. The most well-known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive element that generates the high when ingested, but CBD is increasingly being studied by scientists and used by people in general in relation to all kinds of ailments or illnesses.
Whilst knowledge of the ECS has existed for some time and CBD has been known of for even longer, the ECS is an incredibly complex system and is part of an even more intricate piece of machinery known as the human body. Much more is not known than is known, and it is only in relatively recent years that a greater quantity of serious research has taken place with regards CBD. So, what does this science say?
What Research Shows
The precise ratios of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids varies in general between the key species but more specifically between the various strains and according to how the plants have been cultivated. In the UK, all CBD products must have lower than 0.02% THC, essentially meaning they do not contain any of the substance that cannabis is usually associated with and that generates the high.
CBD has been around a long time, having been discovered in 1940 and further adding to the weight of evidence that it is safe is the fact that it works in much the same way as many endocannabinoids. An endocannabinoid is a compound naturally produced by the human body that is essentially the same as the cannabinoids found in cannabis, including CBD.
This means that endocannabinoids affect the immune system in general, the vascular system, the skin, bones, marrow, spleen, pancreas, lungs, liver, muscles, gastrointestinal tract, brain and reproductive organs. Research has shown that they play a part in exercise, sleep, pain relief, temperature regulation, energy use and metabolism, memory and other key areas. So, CBD is not only vegan but also a panacea and we should all be using it, right?
As well as being legal in the UK, many studies have shown CBD to be safe, including a very in-depth report from the World Health Organization. Among many broadly positive statements it also said, “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
This Humboldt County, Calif.-based company makes small batch CBD products ranging from skincare to intimacy oils to flower rolls, which can help ease anxiety and depression. “I use the Kiskanu facial oil religiously!” raves Willis.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, may be the hottest new supplement to hit the natural healthcare market in years, but many people want to know if their supplements are 100% vegan or contain hidden animal products. Everyone from Rob Gronkowski to Kim Kardashian to Kristen Bell (who defines herself as vegan) has touted the cannabis derivative as a magical elixir to treat pain, anxiety and stress. So it's no wonder that the trendy new compound is making a big splash in the health and wellness world, among plant-based eaters and everyone else.
Potli is a purveyor of anything and everything you could ever want for your kitchen pantry. This California-based company peddles sources raw ingredients to make CBD olive oil and chili sauce for aspiring chefs who want a side of CBD with their healthy fare. “These products make CBD supplementation incredibly easy to achieve,” says Willis.
Instead, Willis suggests seeking out well-established brands and boutiques to help determine the right type of supplements for your individual needs. “These are all products I have come to know and love and I use some of these daily,” she says. “I personally know the creators and owners behind each brand and can contest the integrity of these products.”
Here, Willis shares five of her all-time favorite recommendations for vegans.
Find everything from easy-to-swallow capsules to tinctures to CBD-infused body balms at this bountiful online boutique. “They take on the most holistic approach to hemp CBD medicine and they’re one hundred percent vegan,” says Willis. “Starting with the seed to how the hemp is grown to the extraction process, this hemp medicine is full of vitality and richness. Go ahead and use code MOTHER20 for twenty percent off.”
Although the jury is still out on whether CBD actually lives up to the hype, preliminary scientific research does suggest that the trendy alternative medicine could very well be the real deal. According to a 2015 study conducted at the University of Kentucky College in Lexington, Kentucky, regular use of CBD oil can significantly decrease chronic pain from arthritis. After four consecutive months of topical use on lab rats, researchers concluded that the subjects had far less inflammation and pain at the end of the trial than they did when it first started.
CBD Capsules – These are made with an edible shell and hold a precise amount of CBD oil; they are ideal if you want a discreet way to take CBD or want to carry it without fearing spills or leaks. With some capsules, the shell or soft-gel is made using gelatine. The vegan versions are made using plant-based gelatin alternatives.
In the last few years, CBD has soared into the public consciousness and gained immense popularity. CBD products and brands of all varieties are now available, both online and in high street shops. While the choice this gives us is incredible, it can make it harder to find a high-quality, vegan CBD oil.
CBD Gummies – These are chewy, flavoured treats that deliver a measured amount of CBD. Because of their jelly-like structure, they may contain bovine gelatine. Look out for gummies clearly labelled as vegan; these are made using vegan gelatine alternatives such as pectin, seaweed extract or agar agar.
Products to Avoid
While the extract itself is plant-based, the versatility of CBD allows manufacturers to make it into hundreds of other products. Some of these may not be suitable for vegans, to prevent you from making an accidental non-vegan purchase, here are some things to look out for:
CBD Oils – CBD extract is entirely vegan, but different companies combine it with their preferred blend of oils, colours and flavourings. Most trustworthy brands will only include a high-quality carrier oil like olive oil, hemp seed oil or MCT oil. Still, you should always carefully check the label to ensure there are no hidden animal products.
CBD Edibles – CBD can be added to most foods and many shops, coffee-shops and online stores carry a range of sweets, chocolates, drinks and even pastries. What is included in these items is entirely down to the manufacturer, so they should be treated just like any other food; look carefully through the ingredients and check for labels or certificates that indicate it is suitable for vegans.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants and is extracted to provide a beneficial, non-intoxicating food-supplement. It is obtained directly from cannabis varieties that have less than 0.2% THC and won’t get you high.