CBD Oil UK – The Ultimate Guide

CBD oil has arrived in the UK, it’s finally entered the mainstream. The entry of CBD products means that UK citizens can now enjoy the same benefits as their American friends. To help you better understand everything you need to know about CBD oil in the UK, we’ve created this handy guide!

CBD Oil UK – Table of Contents
  • Chapter One: What is CBD?

    • Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK?

    • What is the difference between CBD and THC?

    • Differences between Hemp and Marijuana

    • Different types of CBD oil available in the UK

    • CBD Oil UK – Glossary

    • CBD Oil UK – FAQs

  • Chapter Two: How does CBD oil effect you?

    • What are endocannabinoids?

    • What is the endocannabinoid system?

    • What does the research on CBD oil say?

  • Chapter Three: How do I take CBD oil?

    • How much CBD oil should I take?

    • How long does it take for CBD to take effect?

    • CBD serving suggestions. 

    • How do I buy CBD in the UK?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, CBD is found in the hemp and cannabis plants. Even though it comes from the cannabis and hemp plants, CBD will not get you high as it is a non-psychotropic. 

The compound associated with getting users high is consumed through marijauana. Tetrahydrocannabinol – or THC for short. If you’re buying your CBD from us, then you won’t be getting high as all of our products on sale in the UK do not contain any THC. 

Instead, the CBD in product will interact with the endocannabinoid system in your body. It’s the benefit of this interaction that makes CBD so popular!

Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK?

For CBD oil to be legal in the UK it must meet certain regulations. 

  • CBD must be extracted from industrial-grade hemp that has been approved by the EU. 

Hemp plants differ from cannabis plants because Hemp plants are rich in CBD, and low in THC. This means that they are more likely to pass the next requirement. 

  • CBD Oil must contain less than 0.2% THC. 

For CBD to be legal in the UK it’s THC content must be below 0.2%. THC is compound that can get you high, cause hallucinations, paranoia and even addiction. In the UK, THC in a higher concentration than 0.2% is illegal. So if you’re ordering CBD from the US, China, Russia or anywhere else in the world, you are most likely breaking the law. 

When you buy CBD oil in the UK from us, you are adhering to the law, and the Home Office’s regulations. Balance CBD oils are made in Scotland, extracted from the very best industrial grade hemp and they contain zero THC! Balance CBD oil is 100% legal in the UK. 

If you want to read more about the legality of CBD oil in the UK, then you can read more on our article dedicated to the laws of CBD in the UK! 

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

CBD and THC do not have the same effects. 

  • CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, That means that it does not produce the high associated with marijuana or cannabis consumption. Instead CBD binds to the endocannabinoid receptors in your body for you to feel the benefits that people talk so much about.
  • THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain and it produces a high or sense or euphoria. 

The main takeaway is the CBD will not get you high, instead it has many uses that can potentially help you on your journey to achieving wellness. 

The differences between Hemp and Marijuana

Marijuana is high in the psychoactive compound THC which causes a person to feel high. Marijuana comes in three strains, indica, sativa and a hybrid. All three strains are used to produce marijuana. Marijuana use can fall under two categories, recreational and medical: 

  1. For recreational use,  marijuana in the UK is considered to be a Class B drug, and it falls under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs act.
  2. Medical use of marijuana was legalized in the UK on 1st November 2018 after the cases of two epileptic children brought the topic of cannabis to national attention.

The children Billy Caldwell (12), and Alfie Dingley (6) both saw significant improvements in their conditions after they began using cannabis but under UK law, were not allowed. This led to a public outcry and Billy Caldwell had his medical cannabis seized. 

Following the public fallout, on 26th July 2018 the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that cannabis products would be made legal for patients with an exceptional medical need. 

The marijuana products used recreationally and medically in these two situations contain a high concentration of THC and these are different to Hemp.

So what is hemp?

Hemp is not marijuana. Hemp is rich in CBD but it contains negligible amounts of THC. Remember, in the UK only CBD products from industrial hemp are legal, and this means that they contain less than 0.2% THC. 

Here at Balance CBD, we only use the very best British Hemp that complies with European Laws – all of our products are manufactured in Scotland. 

In all of our CBD products that you can buy in the UK, even the small amount of THC that is found in the hemp plant is removed. Taking CBD oil in the UK bought from Balance CBD means that you will not get high. 

CBD Gummies & CBD Edibles | Balance CBD

CBD Oil UK – The different types of CBD oils you can buy right now. 

Let’s now take a look at some of the types of CBD oil products and compare their qualities. Across the UK, you could just walk into stores such as Holland and Barrat, Boots, Superdrug or your local pharmacy and buy CBD oil. However, do you know what you’re getting? 

You can buy three types of CBD oil. 

  • Full-spectrum CBD oil
  • Broad spectrum CBD oil
  • CBD isolate CBD oil 

What is full-spectrum CBD oil?

If you buy CBD oil that is labelled as full spectrum, then this CBD oil has had no cannabinoids removed, including the psychoactive compounds. 

If you see full spectrum on the label, be sure to check out the company’s lab reports. Remember, in the UK for CBD to be legal it must contain less than 0.2% THC. 

If you are buying CBD from another country, you are risking breaking the law because they have higher thresholds. For example, in the US the limit is 0.3%. CBD is also unregulated, and those companies that don’t test their CBD sometimes have limits much higher.

If you’re buying full spectrum CBD from another country, then you risk having your shipment seized. 

Always buy CBD oil that has been lab-tested.

What is broad spectrum CBD oil?

The refining process of CBD oil means that you can remove the compounds that you don’t need from the formula.

Some companies opt to remove certain compounds from their formula – and this is called broad spectrum CBD.

When buying broad spectrum CBD oil products, always be sure to check the label, and the test results to see what cannabinoids you are taking. Some companies choose to remove THC, others do not, so again you want to make sure that the CBD oil you are taking contains less than 0.2% THC.

What is a CBD isolate? 

CBD oil that is made with CBD isolate is the most refined version of CBD. This is the safest version of CBD that you can buy in the UK as it conforms to all legal requirements. 

CBD isolate has the THC and other unwanted cannabinoids removed, and taking CBD oil made from a CBD isolate means that you can enjoy all the benefits of CBD. 

Here at Balance CBD, all of CBD oils for sale in the UK are crafted from an isolate. You can be sure that they contain zero THC. Again, if you choose to buy from another company, always be sure to check the lab results to ensure that the CBD you are taking is legal, and contains no unwanted compounds.

CBD Oil Glossary

We’ve tried to be as clear as possible in this guide, but understand if you’re confused about certain words. So, we’ve created a handy guide!

  • Hemp Seed Oil – Oil produced from hemp seeds. This does not contain CBD (many people go to Holland & Barrats and end up buying hemp seed oil, which is essentially cooking oil). Hemp seed oil is different to the CBD produced from Hemp Extract.
  • Hemp Extract – In the UK, only CBD from industrial hemp is legal.
  • Hemp derived CBD – Remember, in the UK only hemp derived CBD. This is just another term for legal CBD in the UK.
  • CBD isolate – CBD oil that has had all other unwanted compounds such as THC removed.
  • Broad spectrum CBD oil – CBD oil that has had some terpenes removed. Check the label to see if THC is present or not.
  • Full-spectrum CBD oil – CBD oil that contains all the terpenes. Does contain THC, check the label and lab results to make sure CBD content is less than 0.3%.
  • CBD Infused – If you see the term CBD infused, then it’s just another term for saying that CBD is in these products. For example, you might come across the term “CBD infused topicals, or CBD infused gummies. This is just another way of saying CBD topicals or CBD gummies. 

Now that we’ve cleared up these terms, let’s answer some of the most common questions asked by first time CBD users.


CBD Oil UK – Frequently Asked Questions

As you can see, CBD oil can be complicated to understand. The current CBD market in the UK is crazy, there’s a lot of disinformation and misinformation which causes a great deal of confusion. 

One of the biggest reasons for this confusion are the terms hemp, marijuana and CBD. Remember in the UK, you cannot buy marijuana legally. If you buy hemp oil – make sure that it contains CBD. There are many companies out there that call CBD oil hemp oil, and actually their hemp oil is hemp seed oil. 

To experience the benefits of CBD, you must make sure that whatever product you are buying contains hemp derived CBD. This means that the CBD comes from the hemp plant. So, with that, here are some common FAQs. 

Does CBD Oil Get You High? 

If buy CBD oil from Balance CBD in the UK you will not get high. Our CBD oil is made from a CBD isolate, this means that it contains zero THC. 

However, if you buy CBD oil in the UK from other brands that use full-spectrum CBD then there is a chance that you may feel high.. Remember, that in the UK CBD Oil contains less than 0.2% THC, however, when taken in large quantities you may feel a slight high.

To avoid getting high, you must buy CBD oil that is made from CBD isolate. 

What Are Side Effects of CBD Oil?

Pharmaceutical drugs are often developed to target particular systems in your body, and for certain effects. This is different to organic compounds, and the effects can vary from person to person. 

Herbal compounds can be both desired effects and unwanted effects, these unwanted effects are called side effects. 

In order to determine if an effect is an adverse side effect, we need to know what the desired effect is. Effects which are desired by one CBD oil user in the UK, might not be desired by another user in the UK. For example, CBD works differently with different people. Some people use CBD to support a good night’s rest, but may also feel drowsy during the day. 

In order to better understand the side effects of CBD, you need to understand what you want CBD to achieve for you. 

Will CBD Make Me Drowsy?

CBD has something called a biphasic property. This just means that CBD oil may have different effects depending on the serving. Taken in nominal servings, CBD is unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, if you take CBD in a higher dosage them there is a potential that the CBD could drowsiness. 

A good example of another product with biphasic properties is alcohol. Below a certain level in the bloodstream, alcohol provides a stimulating effect and makes users more active and social. However, if you take too much alcohol you can begin to feel drowsy.

CBD Oil UK – How Does CBD Affect You? 

CBD Oil UK – (A Detailed Explanation) 

Remember, CBD is short for cannabidiol. CBD is just one of the many different molecules called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. 

CBD is not an acronym. Cannabidiol has been shortened to CBD because all cannabinoids have a three-letter designation. For example, below is a list of common cannabinoids.

Full Cannabinoid Form Description What is it?
Cannabidiol CBD One of the most common produced by cannabis and hemp plants that is non-psychotropic. It does not get you high.
Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol THC The primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives users a feeling of euphoria
Cannabichromene CBC This third most common cannabinoid, also non-psychoactive.
Cannabinol CBN A common cannabinoid.
Cannabigerol CBG Non-psychoactive
Tetrahydrocannabivarin THCv Less psychoactive than THC
Cannabidivarin CBDv Similar to CBD in its effects
Delta(8)- THC THC8 Similar to THC but less psychoactive

Cannabinoids are active compounds produced by all cannabis and plants. They account for most of the benefits that you associate with this plant. 

Technically speaking, cannabinoids found in plants are called phytocannabinoids. Photocannabinoids mimic compounds that we call endocannabinoids that are produced naturally by all mammals. 

  • Phytocannabinoids – Cannabinoids produced by plants.
  • Endocannabinoids – Cannabinoids that are produced by human or other mammal bodies. 

What are Endocannabinoids?

Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by our bodies. They are signaling molecules. Technically, endocannabinoids are called neurotransmitters, another familiar type of neurotransmitters are hormones.

The human nervous system products lots of neurotransmitters in response to different states of your health, and also environmental factors. Neurotransmitters interact with receptors located on the surface of cells in our bodies. These transmitters instruct a cell to adjust its activities, for example, this can include changing how a cell reacts to other neurotransmitters.

This analogy will better help you understand how neurotransmitters work. The brain doesn’t connect with every cell in your body, the same way traffic officers can’t connect directly with every car on the road to be able to instruct individual drivers how to behave in every traffic situation. In order to manage traffic, we implement traffic signals. These include street signs, traffic lights, the lines on the road and so on. Traffic signals give drivers an idea for where they can and cannot travel, when they should stop and when they should go and how fast they are allowed to move.

Some of these signals can sense what’s going on in the environment, such as when a car pulls up to a traffic light. The sensor triggers a controller, causing the light to change, thereby changing the behavior of the drivers approaching that intersection.

In a similar manner, the nervous system in your body connects to a wide variety of sensors to keep track of every system in your body. These signals from the sensors are decoded by the brain and the nervous system. If your brain determines that the system has gone out of balance, the nervous system produces neurotransmitters that travel through the bloodstream and interact with receptors on cells, instructing them to adjust their behavior.

The Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Now that you have an understanding of how neurotransmitters work, let’s take a look at how cannabinoids support homeostasis (a state of balance) within the body. 


The ECS has two components. One component involves the endocannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells throughout the body, the second is the endocannabinoids themselves that interact with those receptors. 

The endocannabinoid system is vast and far-reaching. It regulates many bodily functions! 

CBD Oil UK – What does the research say? 

Here at Balance CBD, we like to keep our users informed, so we’ve created a list of some cutting edge research on what scientists have to say about CBD. 

1980 – Pharmacology Study 

Fifteen patients with epilepsy and eight volunteers of good health were observed for a study in Pharmacology. This study’s aim was to evaluate the daily consumption of CBD and to see if it has any side effects on these particular subjects. On January 3, 1980, reports were published stating that all the participants were able to tolerate CBD, and upon examination, no signs of toxicity were detected in their systems.

1986 – International Journal of Neuroscience 

This study was conducted on five patients, all of whom were orally given cannabidiol in doses of 100mg to 600mg every day. These patients were suffering from dystonic movement disorders. While administering the cannabidiol showed specific benefits, it did also uncover a bunch of side effects of CBD. The patients reported dry mouth, lightheadedness, hypotension, sedation, and psychomotor slowing. 

2006 – Investigational Medicine and Biology

Prior to 2006, no one knew that there are cannabinoid receptors in our salivary glands. Until a group of scientists from Argentina hypothesized that that may be the case. Their theory proved to be true when they tested CBD users and their experience with the substance. CBD users report dryness in the mouth or what’s commonly known as “cotton mouth.” They discovered that the secretion of saliva lessens when CBD works with the endocannabinoid system, hence leaving people with a parched feeling.

2011 – A study on Cannabidiol 

One of the more recent studies conducted back in 2011 shows that CBD is linked to the alteration in vitro cell viability and decline in fertilization capacity because of reduced p-glycoprotein production. It also relates to hepatic drug metabolism. To explain this, ask yourself if you’ve ever been advised not to consume grapefruit by your pharmacist or doctor. CBD has the same effect on the P450 the way grapefruit does. The P450 is an enzyme that your liver produces. When you take CBD supplements or eat grapefruit, this disables the P450, making the body incapable of metabolizing medication. This also goes into why the effects of THC can be counteracted by CBD.

How Do I Take CBD Oil?

This is the shortest section of them all! To take CBD oil, all you need to do is use the dropper provided, fill it with oil, and drop it underneath your tongue, and then swallow!

You can also add CBD oil to food and drink using the dropper. If CBD oil isn’t your thing, then in the UK can you also take CBD edibles in the form of CBD gummies.

CBD gummies take a bit longer to kick-in than oil, but they’re convenient and easy to consume! We’ve also included this handy table that will give you a good idea about dosage. 

Weight Group Optimal Dose for Mild Effects Optimal Dose for Moderate Effects Optimal Dose for Strong Effects
Les than 60 kg 11mg or less 12mg to 14mg 15mg to 17mg
60 to 105 kg 18mg or less 19mg to 23mg 24mg to 27mg
More than 105 kg 23mg or less 24mg to 30mg 31mg to 45mg

CBD Oil UK – How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

The effectiveness of CBD depends on the method of consumption, the ingredients in the product, and the bioavailability of CBD afforded by each method.
Bioavailability of an active compound is the percentage of a given serving that is available for your body to use.

Different methods of CBD consumption mean that a certain percentage of CBD is unavailable for the body to use due to it not being able to be broken down and enter the bloodstream.

Taking CBD oil, i.e through a tincture such as the ones we offer has one of the highest levels of bioavailability, going up to 40%.

Taking CBD edibles, i.e through the form of a gummy has a bioavailability of up to 20%. This less than a CBD oil because your body has to break down the edible product in your digestive system first.

Here at Balance CBD, we feel that taking a CBD oil or an edible are some of the best methods of CBD consumption available for you in the UK!

How long does it take for CBD to take effect?

Multiple factors come into play when determining how long it takes for the effects of CBD to kick in.

Some of these factors are related to CBD itself, the others are related with how your body reacts to CBD. Due to everyone having their own, unique genetics no two people react to CBD in the same way. Additionally, the following factors come into play:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Weight
  • Circulation
  • Metabolism
  • Diet

The number of cannabinoid receptors in your body, and the ability of those to produce endocannabinoids is a factor that is influenced by all of the above. Someone who expresses more receptors, or produces fewer endocannabinoids might be more sensitive to CBD than someone with lots of endocannabinoids or less receptors.

The amount of CBD being taken is also another factor that is involved. Higher doses have stronger effects than lower doses.

CBD edibles typically take longer than tinctures to kick in. CBD edibles and gummies can take between 20 minutes to an hour to kick in. CBD oils taken via a tincture can kick in within 20 minutes.

Remember, these figures are general guidelines and vary from person to person. 

CBD Serving Suggestions

When taking CBD products, the most important factors to be considered are the serving size, and the reason an individual is taking CBD.

One person might just be taking CBD to support general wellness, whilst another user might take CBD to try and help with a good night’s rest.

Taking too little CBD might mean that you don’t feel the desired effect, and it will be a waste of time and money. If you take more than you need, then you may not see any additional benefits. So with this in light, we recommend using the following guidelines:

Use one product – it’s a good idea to put some thought into what product you’re going to use, and stick with it for a while. This will enable you to understand the effects of that product. If you switch back and forth between different products, then trying to work out a serving amount will be much more difficult.
Start with a low serving size – we recommend starting low and going slow. This lets you better understand your body’s reaction to CBD oil and CBD oil products.
Start before bedtime – when first using CBD oil, it’s a good idea to take your oil or gummy an hour before bedtime.
Increase your serving size slowly – as you better understand the effects of CBD is having on your body you can increase your serving size.

So now you know know all the ins and outs of taking CBD oil and CBD edibles – lets get to the buying stage!

How Do I Buy CBD Oil in the UK?

You can buy CBD oil in the UK right here from Balance CBD! We ship to part of the United Kingdom – so you can buy CBD Oil in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We have every corner of the UK covered. Check out our great range of CBD products below, and begin your journey to finding wellness today!

All of our products are organic, vegan, all-natural, free from pesticides and harmful ingredients, and independently lab tested. We are confident that if you buy from Balance CBD, you are getting the very best CBD products available in the United Kingdom.

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