By Guest Author
CBD seems to be all the buzz these days. It’s endorsed by athletes, discussed on the news, debated by politicians, and more importantly, used by an ever-growing number of people around the world in the hopes of improving their health.
What is CBD? How does it work? Here’s what you need to know about CBD, the leading trend in natural health and wellness.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many naturally occurring compounds called phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. These substances are largely responsible for the health effects of cannabis.
In almost all cases, CBD is derived from hemp, a variety of cannabis with very low (0.2% or less) THC levels. Since this small amount is not large enough to cause mind-altering effects, hemp is legal in Portugal and the EU.
Is CBD legal in Portugal?
The legal status of CBD in Portugal is currently in a grey area.
The country legalised medical cannabis in 2018, which means cannabis products meant to help with medical conditions are only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Although CBD is technically a compound from cannabis, it’s not clear whether it falls under this ruling or not.
Besides, this ruling does not cover the use of CBD as a food supplement, which by definition, are not meant to help with any disease or symptom.
Portugal also decriminalised the use and possession of all drugs in 2001, which means that by extent, possessing and using CBD is not against the law. Another factor to consider is that hemp (which CBD is extracted from) is legal to cultivate in the country.
The laws of the European Union (EU) complicate things even further.
For example, although CBD products remain legal in the EU, CBD was recently reclassified as a Novel Food. This means companies have to complete a novel food application before they can market their CBD products.
Furthermore, the EU’s European Commission is currently deciding whether to consider CBD a narcotic, which will also affect its legal status.
The bottom line is that it’s legal to possess and use CBD as a food supplement in Portugal, even if the country doesn’t have clear laws surrounding CBD’s legality. This means you can readily buy CBD oil, capsules, and other hemp-derived CBD products.
Where to buy CBD in Portugal?
If you are looking to buy CBD products in Portugal, the most important factors to take into consideration are:
- Third-Party Testing: Look for products that are accompanied by lab reports from an independent lab, this is to verify the potency of cannabinoids ensuring you are buying a safe and legal product.
- Organic Hemp: Look for CBD companies which extract CBD from EU-approved hemp varieties grown with organic farming practices to ensure a clean, effective, pesticide-free product.
- Advanced Extraction: Ensure your CBD manufacturer is using an efficient and environmentally friendly extraction method to extract and isolate the CBD from hemp plants.
- Strict Quality Standards: It’s always best to opt for brands who manufacture their products to international stands in ISO-certified facilities which follow strict Good Manufacturing Standards (GMP) practices.
- Customer Satisfaction: Research third-party reviews websites, forums and social media to see what customers are saying about the CBD brand you are interested in purchasing.
How does CBD work?
We all have what’s called an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids made by your body, and special enzymes. Its main role is to maintain homeostasis, a healthy state of balance within the body.
To achieve that, the ECS regulates vital processes such as sleep, metabolism, immunity, brain function, pain, and stress, which means it has a major impact on your overall health.
CBD can interact with the ECS by blocking the effects of an enzyme that breaks down your endocannabinoids and by influencing the function of your cannabinoid receptors.
But that’s not all; CBD can also influence other systems in your body, such as serotonin, GABA, and adenosine receptors, which explains why it seems to have so many different effects.
What is CBD used for?
The CBD products you find for sale online are sold and marketed as food supplements which people use to support their general health and well-being, these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Although there are many anecdotal reports of its potential health benefits, medical studies are ongoing and more rigorous, high-quality research is needed before we have conclusive evidence for its beneficial effects.
Many of these studies are published online so you can see their findings for yourself.
At this time, the only medically approved use of CBD — in the form of a special drug called Epidiolex — is the treatment of rare, severe types of childhood epilepsy.
CBD is a natural substance used by millions of people in Portugal, the rest of Europe, the United States, Canada, and other countries.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CBD is considered a generally safe compound.
Still, you should always consult your doctor or another qualified medical professional before taking CBD or any other supplement.
This is especially true if you are:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have an underlying medical condition
- Use prescription or over-the-counter medication