What Is CBD Oil?

A natural canvas background with a cannabis leaf to the right. Overlaid is the title to answer the question of what is CBD oil : What you need to know & where to buy it.

CBD oil has been getting a lot of press recently. Many people have found great benefit from it, and it seems to be a growing trend and area of interest. As I didn’t know much about the stuff, I thought I’d research a little more and share with you what I found.

What Is CBD Oil?

A photo of the cannabis plant.

CBD oil – cannabidiol oil – is also referred to as medical or medicinal cannabis. But it’s rather different to the psychoactive drug itself. Marijuana contains two key active compounds: THC ( delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD, the latter of which is found predominantly in hemp, which is the least processed bit of the plant. The THC gives users the high, whereas the CBD does affect change in the body but without having psychoactive effects.

The human body actually produces its own types of cannabinoids, which I only recently discovered. CBD as a compound (as with the oil you can buy) works by attaching itself to two receptors for cannabinoids in the body, CB1 and CB2. Each type of receptor deals with different functions. So, CB1 receptors are involved in the likes of memories, thinking, co-ordination, pain, movement and mood. CB2 are involved with the immune system. The original line of thought was that CBD affects the receptors, but now science suggests CBD indirectly triggers the receptors to encourage the body to make more of its own special brew of cannabinoids. Funky, huh?

CBD oil can be bought in different amounts and strengths. Oil from the leaf is illegal in the UK, but oil from the hemp part of the plant is legal.

The Potential Benefits (And Side-Effects)

There are numerous possible benefits with CBD oil. There are also potential side-effects, so it’s important to be aware of them and what you’re getting with the product in terms of quality. If you’re taking other medications or supplements, always speak to your GP before trying it.

In terms of benefits, these can include:

  • Pain relief – Many chronic pain sufferers find cannabidiol oil eases various types pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory – It’s thought to ease inflammation, alleviating the likes of joint and muscle aches and stiffness. MS sufferers often report benefits, too. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also being studied for the use of cannabidiol in patients with acne and type 1 diabetes.
  • Cancer – Various reports have been made by people who have been diagnosed with cancer and have found cannabidiol oil to help in their treatment. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology has suggested by CBD can help stop the spread of cancer cells, with research ongoing.
  • Mental health, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, anxiety & addiction – Studies are ongoing, but it’s thought that cannabidiol can ease and improve symptoms in these areas.

Popularity of CBD

CBD is legal in some areas / countries / states, but not others. In the UK, there’s ongoing support for its use on the NHS for certain conditions.

The Cannabis Trades Association UK has reported that over the space of the last year, users of CBD have doubled from 125,000 to 250,000.

Those looking to try CBD oil may find themselves facing a bit of a challenge. When I’ve looked myself and did the research for this article, I found it to be a bit of a minefield and prices are high for small quantities (needless to say, I would imagine many are inflating the prices due to limited availability and increasing popularity!) I would be concerned over the legitimacy of oil and the safety of making payment to a lot of the sites, so it’s best to make sure to do your research first.

Have You / Would You?

Have you already tried CBD oil, from the hemp part of the plant or otherwise? Did it help you? If you haven’t, is it something you would consider for health purposes? As with everything, some people find it wonderful, and some don’t notice much benefit.

Where Can You Buy CBD Oil?

Holland & Barrett stock this online, with the brand name Jacob Hooy, I personally think the 5% is rather low and the product to be overpriced, and I wouldn’t fully trust the quality, partly due to lack of information on its cultivation and production.

Read up, research and shop around before making any decisions.

There are other producers that offer top quality and far greater information on their products and methods of manufacture. You can learn about them in my other posts here :




  1. February 20, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    Hey Caz, yes, I have tried it with little to no success and the cost is prohibitive. So, I know there are dispensaries and I will be heading to ‘one’ of those states to see if I can find the ‘right’ alternative for me. Twenty years of medications have made my choices somewhat limited as I am at top dosage with most of my meds. I have a friend who started with CBD oil and nailed it the first time. It works wonders for her and she has opted to remain using CDB oil.

    I think at this point, whatever works for you… use it! I am long past saying what one should or shouldn’t use because we all are so unique.

    • February 22, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      I’m glad CBD oil has helped your friend so much, that’s really positive to hear! It’s a shame our choices are limited by the ‘powers that be’ and further limited by price and the meds we’re already on. Definitely agree with “whatever works for you”, we’re all so individual and we have to do whatever we can to best help ourselves. Thanks for the comment Kim! 🙂

  2. February 20, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    I use CBD oil twice daily, as well as topical CBD products for help with back spasms related to the tumor in my hip. They are all hemp derived and legal in every state. These products have helped me tremendously. The residual joint pain and stiffness I had from oral chemo has gone away and I haven’t had a back spasm once since using these products. The only downside I’ve experienced is the cost. It’s not cheap, but so far hasn’t been completely out of reach for me.

    • February 22, 2018 / 12:59 pm

      Wow, that is fantastic to hear Christine! Can I ask what strength of CBD oil you use, and whether it’s from hemp (ie. not the leaf, which is illegal in the UK)?

      The cost is certainly prohibitive and really quite sad when it can be so helpful for those who really need it, like yourself, who are struggling enough without the added pressure of price. It shouldn’t be a choice between health and money. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

  3. February 20, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    I’ve not tried it either but I’ve heard lots of good things from many MSers. I’d never say never, especially if my pain levels increased! I think it’s great that this option is becoming more readily available for anyone who needs it. Those of us with chronic pain/illness need all the help we can get. Xx

    • February 24, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      I would totally agree with that last sentence – it’s worth trying (with medical guidance for those unsure about taking this with their health conditions and current medication, of course) to see whether it can help in even the smallest of ways. I’ve ordered it to try myself, so I’ll let you know how I get on Nat! x

  4. February 20, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    I have been taking it everyday since the New Year and it definitely has been helping me with sleep and anxiety. I also find pain I sometimes got in my legs I don’t anymore. 🙂 Apparently the H&B one is a really low dose, but it is cheaper, so I’ll be interested to know how people get on with it. 🙂 xxx

    • February 22, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      It does seem to be quite a low dose, but it says you can increase the drops you take so perhaps that will help. I’m so glad it’s been so helpful to you in terms of some pain and also sleep & anxiety, that’s brilliant! I think I’ll have to try the H&B stuff for myself and report back on here how I find it. x

  5. February 21, 2018 / 2:33 am

    I tried it for two weeks with no changes. Then I got an infection and had to quit bc of antibiotics. Going to try again, at least to finish the bottle.

    • February 22, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      It’s a shame you didn’t notice any improvement in any area, and also that you had to quit using it for a while. I wonder whether the strength is rather low with the H&B stuff, whether the increase to three drops they suggest would be better than the odd one each day? Would be interesting to hear whether, after you’re fully restored from the infection, the oil makes some difference to how you feel. Thanks for sharing Lauva 🙂

  6. February 21, 2018 / 5:40 am

    I have tried a couple different forms of CBD – CBD oil in an oral spray, CBD cream (with a little THC – I have a medical marijuana card), and marijuana strains that are high in CBD. Some are more helpful than others, but in general I find CBD helpful for pain and adrenaline dumps.

    • February 22, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      I guess these products must all be very different in terms of how they’re used, what they’re made from, the strength etc. It’s positive to hear that you’ve had some benefit from CBD oil in general though! Thanks for the comment 🙂

    • Monique
      March 5, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      I have also tried a wide variety, and have found that THC is necessary for migraines, but high CBD strains are good for fibro and lower back pain. Honestly I’ve yet to find ANYTHING that FULLY works, but prefer CBD to the mind-clouding effects of migraine and fibro meds.
      I’m a firm believer in searching until you find something that works for you.
      Good luck to everyone searching! 🙂

      • March 6, 2018 / 4:47 pm

        That’s interesting, with THC and THC-free affecting pain quite differently. I think that if it can help you in any way then that’s better than nothing, and it’s better than some of the awful side-effects with regular meds (I find pretty yucky ones with migraine meds too, Sumatriptan in particular even though it’s probably the most effective). Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  7. February 21, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    I have been wanting to try some CBD oil for a while, but I have not done so yet. I am trying to find the best one to try. I have heard great things about this and feel it will do a lot of good. Thank you for sharing this information!!

    • February 24, 2018 / 5:04 pm

      I think this Holland & Barrett one is a good one to try, at least to start with given the price, reliability and slightly lower strength, that way you can see whether it does anything without breaking the bank & you can increase the drops gradually. I’ve ordered it to try as curiosity got the better of me! If you do try it, I hope it helps you, even if in some small way because something is better than nothing 🙂

  8. February 21, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    This is very interesting. I hadn’t heard of this, and had no idea that there was anything that didn’t produce the hallucinogens that was used medically. Interesting thoughts here. Thanks for this educational post!

    • February 24, 2018 / 5:06 pm

      It’s quite a new one to me, too, this whole ‘cannabis-that’s-not-typical-cannabis’ thing! It’s certainly an interesting product to learn more about so I’m glad I read up on it and glad I was able to share what I found 🙂

  9. February 22, 2018 / 4:36 am

    I’ve tried 2 brands of CBD, and I didn’t really feel anything. I really wanted it to help, I believed it would help, but it didn’t.
    Canibus with THC is illegal in my stated, but after 2 of my doctors told me they would prescribe it for me if they could, I decided I’d try it.; and it did wonders. It helps the pain, it eases anxiety, and the best thing of all for me…it stops vomiting immediately. i don’t find that it eases my nausea, but it stops me from throwing up.
    Unfortunately it’s illegal, so I can’t be doing that.

    • February 24, 2018 / 5:12 pm

      So the THC stuff (without hallucinogens) didn’t help you, but the ‘regular’ stuff (is that smoked, as normal cannabis?) did… that’s interesting as I’ve seen a few other people say that too. I’ve also read news stories where there are people literally with a death sentence over their heads who want to try it, because it could possibly save their / their children’s life, and yet it’s illegal. Red tape above health… x

      • Jane
        May 13, 2018 / 8:38 am

        Methinks it’s Pharma/Government profits above health.

  10. February 22, 2018 / 11:17 am

    This was an interesting article! I wasn’t aware it was available in the UK. I might look into whether or not I can get it to try.

    Thanks ☺️

    • February 24, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      The CBD without THC (the hallucinogenic side of cannabis) from help is legal in the UK, but from everything I’m reading and the comments here it works so differently for everyone. Some people are loving the Holland & Barrett stuff, while others find only the illegal, ‘proper’ cannabis helps their pain or ill health. I think it’s just a case of trying it to see; I’ve ordered one to try myself from H&B so I’ll let you know what I think – I hope it helps you if you try it too! 🙂 x

  11. February 22, 2018 / 10:30 pm

    I have not tried it but have read a lot about its benefits!

    • February 24, 2018 / 5:16 pm

      Yes, curiosity has got the better of me so I’ve ordered the legal H&B THC-free stuff to try. I think there’s quite a difference between this and the illegal, ‘proper’ type of cannabis, but it works so differently for everyone that it’s just a case of seeing what it does for you personally. It was certainly an eye-opener for me learning more about it all! x

  12. February 28, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    Great post and good to learn more about this. I didn’t realise it was now stocked in Holland & Barrett. I’ve not tried it myself but it may be something I’d consider. Anything that helps hey! xx

    • March 1, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      I’d say that it’s worth a try, especially while it’s on offer as it doesn’t seem like such a loss at under £10 if it doesn’t help (as long as it’s suitable/safe given individual medications and health issues etc). But of course if it does help, which is does for many people, that would be incredible! I ordered this because curiosity got the better of me; I received it a couple of days ago so I’ll make some notes of how I find it and report back soon! x

  13. March 2, 2018 / 7:13 am

    Hi! Love this topic! I’ve been taking 90 mg of CBD throughout the day and it has helped to reduce the pain and has taken away most of my shallow breathing and palpitations.
    I’ve been taking it for a month now.
    I’ve tried Elixinol and Blue Bird Botanicals (Colorado companies). I haven’t used them both enough to recommend one over the other. And I know people experience so many different results or lack of, but still wanted to share!
    It’s definitely difficult to get the right stuff (quality) and ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for! (It’s definitely pricey). But I’ve heard that it’s not a quick fix, but a healing agent. One naturopath said something like, “If you’re struggling with something, you’ll feel the difference. But it’s what it’ll do overtime in terms of healing that is the big thing.”
    I didn’t know it can get the body to produce more of its own cannabinoids! That is super cool!! I want to learn more about that. The hemp oil overall has a lot of healing properties not counting CBD!
    I’m no expert, just a fellow fibro+CFS sufferer. But I guess what I want to say is, it’s worth looking into!

    • March 2, 2018 / 6:16 pm

      It’s so interesting to read your experience, and the difficulty with quality & strength seems quite common among other posts I’ve read. A ‘healing agent’, that’s a good way of looking at it. Definitely worth looking in to – thank you so much for sharing and commenting, it’s very much appreciated! 🙂

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