CBD oil is rapidly becoming a popular self-care alternative to traditional pills and doctor visits. But despite its numerous health advantages and benefits, CBD oils are still ill-understood by many of the public in the United Kingdom, making it difficult to determine which CBD oils provide the best benefits and which you should spend your time and money on.
To that end, we’ve reviewed the 7 best CBD oils in the UK to provide you with a plethora of options for your needs. Whether you enjoy CBD as a general relaxant or take it for a specific health purpose, we’re confident that there’s a great oil for you waiting just below. But first, let’s go over what CBD is and why it’s become so popular.
What Exactly Is CBD Oil?
Although it’s just one of over 100 compounds (also known as cannabinoids) found in the hemp plant, CBD oil is one of the most important. The name “CBD” is short for cannabidiol, and it’s derived mainly from the flowers, leaves, stem and stalks of the hemp plant. CBD’s raw, concentrated form is extracted from the plant, then diluted sharply with a carrier oil, like hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
Though CBD does contain a very small amount (0.2%) of the primary psychoactive compound THC, it’s not enough to grant CBD the mind-altering or psychoactive effects that regular cannabis or marijuana does. Instead, CBD oil is primarily used as a therapeutic pain or stress reliever.
The UK’s 7 Best CBD Oil Brands
Updated for 2020, here are the best CBD oils to try in the UK market for pain management, anxiety, sleep, and general wellness.
1. Blessed CBD
Blessed CBD’s most popular tincture contains 10 ml of oil. It’s full-spectrum and offers concentrations from 500 mg to 1000 mg of CBD. From 2 mg to 4 mg CBD per drop, this tincture is great for beginners or experienced CBD enthusiasts. Blessed CBD’s higher-concentration, 1800 mg variant is also popular among those who want a more powerful dose.
Their hemp oil is full-spectrum and comes packed with additional terpenes and flavonoids, improving your chances of the entourage effect. To prove they only produce high-quality products, they share all of their third-party lab results on their website, allowing anyone to view detailed reports on the amount of CBD in their oils.
Everything is sourced from non-GMO organic hemp. Just look through the hundreds of customer reviews to see the general appreciation for the product. As an added bonus, there’s free next-day delivery in the UK, so it’s a great choice if you want to refresh your supply after surprisingly running dry.
Blessed CBD’s complete range of products (CBD oil and CBD cream) are exclusively available to the UK market.
2. Select CBD
Across the pond in Oregon, you can find Select CBD. Its blends of CBD oil have no THC (broad-spectrum), making them very legal in the UK and a viable CBD oil alternative if you react poorly to any THC at all. Each bottle is available in several flavors to make consuming the oil a little easier if you’re a beginner or just don’t like how hemp tastes.
To make things easier for those who do their due diligence, the lab results of their products are placed right on each box.
3. The Original Alternative
The Original Alternative has been around for several years and grows hemp across the Channel in mainland Europe. They use the CO2-based extraction process, though it’s not quite supercritical. Instead, they rely on a special, low heat and low-pressure process to get all the good stuff from the plant.
Perhaps as a result, their oils are darker and thicker than many others. It’s also highly concentrated, with <5% CBD and 2000 mg of CBD in the 10 ml bottle. It’s definitely a good choice for those who want a more powerful CBD boost.
4. Bud & Tender
Bud & Tender is based right here and uses a combination of both CO2 and ethanol-based processes to extract their oil. Despite this, the resulting oil is very pure and mixed with a floral and fruity taste, which offsets without obliterating the natural hemp flavor.
It’s been made for vegans and vegetarians and features a childproof cap, so it’s likely a great pick for any parents out there who need to unwind at the end of the day. Of course, everything has been certified, and you can find the lab results on their website.
Hempura is a solid alternative, produced by a smaller CBD producer. Despite their smaller company size, they use the supercritical CO2 extraction method we mentioned earlier, resulting in a product of excellent purity. They offer tinctures with 250 mg of CBD, making them an acceptable choice for those who want a smaller dose and gentler effects. It comes in a 10 ml bottle, making it ideally suited for mixing into creams or lotions.
They are also part of the Cannabis Trades Association, a cannabinoid centric trade association based in the UK.
6. Love Hemp
Love CBD oil is also made in the U.S. without any additives, pesticides or herbicides. It’s a totally GMO-free product that’s vegan-friendly, as well, and it’s CO2-extracted. Suitably, their oil tastes fairly rich and full-bodied, like you can tell that the ground it came from was well-treated. Their CBD tincture bottle holds 800 mg of CBD, making it effective but gentle enough for many beginners. They also offer CBD vape e-liquid and gummies.
Provacan provides a 10 ml tincture or 1200 mg-strong CBD oil. This full-spectrum formula has a slightly tweaked composition to increase the “entourage” effect, where all the elements and helpful ingredients in CBD oil combine for maximum results. Essentially, this oil tastes and feels “full,” and anecdotal reviews suggest that it provides whole-body benefits. All the lab results are published, so feel free to check out the details yourself and give it a try.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
CBD’s major benefits are only now being fully researched as it becomes a more popular therapeutic option. However, it’s already known that CBD oil can:
- Alleviate pain, primarily by affecting endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous system;
- Reduce psychological disorders like depression or anxiety—it’s thought that this happens because of CBD’s effects on serotonin receptors;
- Alleviate cancer symptoms (i.e., vomiting, nausea, pain);
- Reduce acne, since CBD oil is naturally slightly anti-inflammatory—it’s also thought to reduce sebum, an oily compound naturally produced by the skin, which can clog your pores;
- Prevent neurological disorder effects (i.e., multiple sclerosis, epilepsy) because of how it interacts with the brain;
- Boost heart health by reducing high blood pressure and generally lowering anxiety or stress, both of which contribute to bad heart health;
- Other benefits, as CBD oil is known to have antioxidant properties and be able to modify neural pathways in the brain, particularly those that form around substance dependency.
CBD oil is not meant to be used as a cure for any of the above conditions or diseases. Its therapeutic benefits are meant to alleviate discomfort or pain and increase life enjoyment of the user. The above benefits have been repeatedly claimed by many users, but thorough scientific testing is still inconclusive, largely because it’s not fully known how CBD does all of its helpful things.
Is CBD Legal in the UK?
CBD oil is legal in the UK, as long as it falls under the legal limit of 0.2% or less THC.
The majority of CBD oil products go right up to this limit at 0.2% THC in each tincture. But a few companies make CBD oils with less or no THC. It must also only be sold as a food supplement.
How Can CBD Oil Be Taken?
CBD oil is typically taken in one of five ways: tinctures, vaping, edibles, mixing with lotions and creams or capsules. Each method has its benefits or advantages.
- Tinctures are the most common method of ingesting CBD oil. They’re small bottles with droppers included in the caps, often pre-sized to allow for certain dosages. The oil is administered under the tongue and provides effects within 20 to 40 minutes.
- Vaping is another popular method, though there are plenty of warnings about the long-term health effects of vaping no matter what substance is being inhaled. Vaping incorporates a vaping tool (a “vape”) that heats CBD oil for inhalation. It provides benefits almost immediately, but it’s also effective for the shortest amount of time.
- Edibles are added to your food and/or drink or can be infused in meals or beverages that you buy pre-made. Edible CBD oil is ingested in the stomach and absorbed like any other consumed good. You’ll usually feel results within an hour or two, and effects will be experienced over several hours.
- You can either infuse your lotions or creams with CBD or buy pre-infused products instead. These creams are helpful since they have anti-inflammatory properties and can interact with endocannabinoid receptors beneath the skin. This has made them popular with people experiencing muscle or skin soreness or irritation.
- Capsules are helpful for those who don’t want to measure their CBD oil each time they take it, providing the same level of benefits in an easy-to-swallow capsule that is digested like normal pills. Effects are felt within an hour, much like with edible CBD oil.
What’s the Right CBD Dosage?
This ultimately depends on your tolerance for CBD oil and your experience taking the substance. Beginners are normally recommended to take smaller amounts to avoid overwhelming themselves or becoming used to a super-high dose right off the bat. Although it’s not physically addictive, you can experience some side effects by taking too much or become psychologically addicted if you enjoy feeling high concentrations of CBD all the time.
CBD oil doesn’t typically require very high doses to provide measurable benefits. Starting with 4 mg or so is a good idea, then working your way up as you feel how CBD reacts with your body. You can also always go with CBD capsules, which provide pre-set amounts that are already measured to provide good effects without going overboard.
What to Look for When Buying CBD Oil in the UK
So how do you find the best CBD oils on the market, especially now that it’s a rapidly booming business with plenty of scammers trying to make quick money? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you browse.
Remember, only CBD oils with 0.2% THC or less are legal in the UK. Anything higher than this may be a different substance entirely (such as cannabis oil) and could get you into trouble.
You should also pay attention to how much cannabidiol is in a tincture before buying. Higher concentrations will provide more complete or rapid effects. We’d recommend going for 4% or higher when starting out.
Third-Party Lab Tests
All pure, quality CBD oil products will have a certificate or marker of authenticity from a lab, which verifies that the manufacturer actually did its due diligence and made a good product. Such a CBD provider should have a link to the lab reports, detailing what’s inside each CBD product. This is important; after all, you should know what you’re putting into your body, right?
Organic or Non-GMO Sourced
Hemp plants that have been sprayed with pesticides or other poisons will produce a less pure CBD and might carry health risks. Stick with organic or Non-GMO companies ,and you’ll be safer and support better growing practices.
CBD Type and Extraction Method
CBD oils can come in several types, but full-spectrum is the way to go. This means that the CBD oil holds several additional compounds that can be healthy or helpful, including vitamins, proteins, fatty acids and more. Full-spectrum CBD oil brings all the health benefits it can, whereas non-full spectrum stuff might only have THC.
You should also try to find CBD oil retrieved by way of supercritical CO2 extraction. This uses CO2 in a fluid form to get hemp extracts without solvents or chemicals, providing a final product that is superior in terms of purity. This does result in a slightly pricier product, but it’s worthwhile if you want the best of the best.
Overall, any of the above CBD oils will provide you with some great benefits and a good experience.
Just remember to decide on the strength of CBD you prefer before finalizing a purchase, and you’ll have a great experience.
For the highest quality CBD oil brand in the UK, go with Blessed CBD.