CBD – Overcoming the Cannabis Stigma

21st July 2020

Cannabidiol (CBD) has seen immense growth in popularity over the last few years, appearing in everything from fizzy drinks and face masks to chocolate and pillows! Yet, despite this popularity, CBD’s unshakable association with ‘marijuana’ or ‘cannabis’ continues to put some people off.

Although society is becoming more educated and open to the potential of CBD (and other cannabinoids), there remains a stigma around cannabis derivatives. So, we are aiming to debunk some of the myths and clarify the grey areas in the hope of getting rid of this stigma, once and for all.

CBD Does Not Get You High

A common misconception that people may have when they learn that CBD is derived from cannabis is that it will get you ‘high’. The most common cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant is THC, which is also the main psychoactive compound found within the plant. However, CBD – the second most prevalent cannabinoid – does not have the same psychoactive effects.

Although it would be wrong to claim that CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects – as it has been found to affect some brain activities, such as relieving feelings of anxiety – it does not cause the ‘high’ often associated with the consumption of cannabis. Instead, many users report feelings of subtle calm and relaxation without impairment to cognitive function.

CBD is  legal in the UK

Another concern some people may have when discovering that CBD is derived from cannabis is the issue of legality. Cannabis has been illegal in the UK for decades, causing some confusion over its derivatives. However, CBD is 100% legal in the UK.

CBD can be – and usually is – extracted from low-THC cannabis plants, also known as hemp. Although everyone has probably heard of hemp, there are still some who don’t really know what it is. In the UK, it is legal to grow industrial hemp that contains less than 0.2% THC. These plants still contain significant amounts of CBD.

However, although it is legal to grow these plants and to use and sell CBD, it is not yet legal in the UK to extract CBD from hemp. Confused? You’re not the only one. You can find more information on this legal contradiction in our article about UK hemp laws. The important thing, though, is that CBD products are legal.

CBD oil is available to everyone

CBD oil and products can be bought from both online stores and in health shops throughout the UK. However, the strength and effectiveness of some of the CBD products on the market may be questionable.

CBD stigma
CBD oil ‘tincture’

This is down to a lack of regulations on the relatively new industry. Last year, The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis announced the launch of their venture, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI). This new cannabinoid association will work with its members to ensure they reach the high standards required to create an effective and trustworthy industry.

The difference between Cannabis oil and CBD oil

One of the main factors guiding the stigma around CBD products is its confusion with Cannabis Oil. But what is the difference?

The answer can be complicated, but as a rule, CBD oils contain only trace levels of THC. The official law relating to the production of CBD oil states that any product must not contain more than a maximum of 1mg of THC (no matter how big the container is). This rule has drawn criticism for being unclear and ineffective.

In comparison, products known as Cannabis oils may contain higher levels of THC, making them illegal in the UK and many other European countries. Cannabis oils or products containing more than trace levels of THC can only be attained in the UK with a medical cannabis prescription.

Cannabis was moved to schedule 2 of the Controlled Substances Act in November 2018, allowing for the medical use of the drug. However, there are yet to be any NHS prescriptions granted for medical cannabis prodict.

You do not have to smoke CBD

CBD and the products containing them can come in many forms. From oil and creams to lozenges, tablets, and teas. A lot of health-conscious people do not like the idea of smoking anything – so this is good news.

CBD oil is an extremely versatile product, as it can be taken in many forms, including those listed above. CBD ‘smokables’ are actually illegal in the UK, even if they contain 0% THC. Again, this is down to controversial laws that do not permit the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant to be utilised in any capacity. However, a new campaign to change this policy – Pleasant Lands – has been recently launched by Voletface.


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