While cannabis politics are taking off in North America, what is everyone saying across the pond? They have made no announcements that medical, or recreational cannabis is any closer to happening for them. With one huge exception. They have reclassified cannabidiol, CBD, as an actual medicine. For those who don’t know, CBD is the non-psychotropic chemical compound in cannabis that has many therapeutic benefits. In the UK, US and elsewhere, CBD has been shown to be an effective treatment for epileptic seizures, pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other ailments. Often taken as an extract in oil or tincture form, people from all over are crazy for its medicinal benefits.

Experts on medicine have finally come around to the point of view that CBD is a serious medicine with the ability to treat serious conditions. People who use CBD do so with the backed up belief that it is actually treating their illnesses.

But in the UK, most people have been getting their CBD products from unregulated sources, which could be selling unhealthy products with additives and other ingredients that could, in fact, make people sick.

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For instance, CBD derived from industrial hemp, as opposed to whole plant cannabis, may lack critical terpenes that work in harmony with the cannabinoids, while containing a great number of contaminants since hemp is a bio-accumulator that drains toxins from soil. The regulatory agencies in the UK have begun enforcing regulations that have manufacturers demonstrating their products meet safety, quality, and efficacy standards, and they’ll be completely legal if they are.

But the UK is not trying to send any mixed messages, cannabis use is still illegal. However, cannabis advocates in the UK see this as an open door for a discussion on the medicinal properties of cannabis.

But it seems as though the public is onboard in the UK. Sales of cannabis oil (CBD), have doubled in just under a year. Regulatory body data shows there are now 250,000 users across the UK. Cannabis Trades Association UK also states there are now around 1,000 new users each month, despite the controversy that surrounds this product. Around 65 percent of these individuals are women seeking relief for their back pain, anxiety and epilepsy.

Individuals who have sought out this treatment, credit it for saving their lives, in certain circumstances. This is because CBD, which has no side effects, influences the release and uptake of ‘feel good’ chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.

CBD comes in many forms, the most popular being an oil, which users spray under their tongue or gel tablets which melt slowly in the mouth.

UK legislators made it legal to buy CBD oil last October after they admitted that it has a restoring or correcting or modifying effect on humans. Suppliers now have to obtain a license to sell it as a medicine. However, manufacturers are able to weave the rules by selling it as a food supplement, dodging the lengthy process of gaining a medicinal license.

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The first man to be prescribed CBD in the UK had this to say, “Products like CBD, because of where it comes from, are stigmatized despite the fact that every mammal has an endocannabinoid system and is designed to use cannabinoids naturally.”

People are slowly beginning to understand how it can be used to help common ailments. Advocates hope that by selling this product through a registered pharmacy, they can add to the legitimacy of this product.

As earlier mentioned, the market has really responded to the change in the law. Brits are now able to buy CBD and its availability has really helped many sooth their ailments. Perhaps this is just the beginning of a change in terms of politics and cannabis for the UK. Maybe a larger medical cannabis market is next and from there a recreational one. Only time will tell, but as of yet, there hasn’t been much change in drug policy throughout the UK.