What is CBD? The ultimate guide

To finding your natural rhythm

Are you confused, yet curious about CBD? Are you asking: What is it? How will it make me feel? Will it make me high?

In this guide, we’ve collected all the hard questions you’re asking around CBD and answered them so that you have everything you need to know about CBD in one place.

The goal? To help you choose the high-quality CBD that best suits your needs with absolute confidence (Pssst! This article is about CBD in general, but we happen to offer all the good things referred to in this guide).  From dosage guidelines to health benefits, we’ve explored it all. 

Interested? Let’s get started.

At a glance

Let's start with the basics. What exactly is CBD? 

In short, CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound found in the Cannabis sativa L. plant, otherwise known as hemp. CBD is found in larger amounts in the Cannabis sativa L. species and unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is non-psychoactive.

CBD as a plant medicine has been around for thousands of years (ancient cultures mixed it with other medicines to relieve pain and various ailments like rheumatism and nausea), but it’s resurged recently as we’ve rediscovered its uses for health and wellness in the modern day.

Now, classified as a Novel Food by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), it’s the subtle key to a well-balanced wellness routine, harmonising the body from morning through night.

So, CBD won’t get me high?

That’s right. Both CBD and THC are active cannabinoids in the cannabis or hemp plant, however, the way they interact with the body is different.

THC produces the euphoric or “high” effects associated with marijuana consumption, whereas CBD does not have any psychoactive properties.

In the UK, CBD products should contain less than 0.2% THC for it to be legal produce; anything more than that and it is classified as an illegal drug.

CBII CBD products contain less than 0.2% THC – guaranteed by our third party tested Certificate of Analysis - so you can enjoy them with ease.

Talking of hemp, how is CBD made? 

CBD is extracted from the flowering head of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, the part of the hemp plant that contains the richest source of CBD. 

This can be done using several extraction techniques, two of the most common are ethanol and CO² , the former considered to be cleaner, more gentle and sustainable than other methods.

The oil is then combined with a carrier oil, such as olive oil (or, in our case a higher quality medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil to increase the bioavailability and quality of the CBD oil) before it is bottled for your use.

The CBII Example

CBII CBD oil specifically is full spectrum. Our oil is made with ethically and legally grown plants in Europe and extracted in Switzerland.

We collaborate exclusively with Bod Australia and their Swiss CBD producers Linnea SA to extract our CBD using a trademarked ethanol extraction method without damaging the plant’s natural compounds. It then goes through rigorous testing to ensure consistent quality.

Linnea then recycles over 90% of the ethanol used during the process as well as recycles any unused plant matter into renewable energy at their biogas facility in Switzerland so nothing goes to waste.

What does full spectrum CBD mean? 

Full spectrum CBD oil is one that contains all the natural compounds found in the plant, in addition to cannabidiol (CBD), such as the terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids that result in a high-quality oil that’s closer to nature.

High-quality full spectrum oils tend to be very high in CBD and low in THC (usually less than 0.3%).

Full spectrum oils tend to be a different quality, colour and taste than other CBD oils, with the added benefit of the additional natural compounds of the plant. The alternative to full spectrum CBD is isolate CBD which contains only the CBD and none of the additional plant matter.

How does CBD work?

Think of your mind and body as an orchestra with instruments playing at different tunings and tempos. Individually they sound great, but the magic happens when they all work together in harmony.

CBD plays a key role in maintaining the natural balance in our bodies when we’re feeling out of sync. With its anti-inflammatory properties and working as an immunomodulator, it maintains the body’s equilibrium that can be poorly impacted by stress, anxiety and lack of sleep to generally increase our quality of life. 

The endocannabinoid system

The way the body strikes this perfect balance is through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a hugely complex part of our bodies that was only really discovered in the 1990s and to this day, is still not fully understood.

Preliminary research indicates that the ECS plays an important role in our central nervous systems. It contains a network of tiny receptors that help regulate vital functions in the body, such as sleep, mood, appetite, inflammation, and memory – all the things we need working properly to feel our best.

Science writer Mary Biles describes the endocannabinoid system as “a conductor of the orchestra of our body, keeping everything in balance. It acts like a dimmer switch, so if there is too much activity it brings it back into equilibrium again by producing its own endocannabinoids.”

Why should I take CBD?

Taking a CBD supplement every day is a great way to optimise our overall wellbeing. According to Doctor Julie Moltke, a medical doctor specialising in sleep and stress management, CBD “helps to keep the haemostasis - the balance in the body.”

Here at CBII, we’re committed to helping you tune in to your natural rhythm to live happier, healthier and more balanced lives – day in, day out.

What are the health benefits of CBD? 

CBD is a fantastic health supplement that can make all facets of our lives more manageable. 

We’re still learning more and more about the positive impact that CBD can have on both the body and mind. Personal experience and early research indicate it may assist with stress, anxiety, sleep, short-term pain relief, inflammation, muscle recovery, epilepsy, seizures and much more but studies are still preliminary.

We recommend incorporating it into your morning or evening rituals to see the difference it can make to your life.

Everyday wellness

One thing many CBD users, or would-be CBD users don’t realise is that CBD is not just a reactionary tool, only to be used when you feel you need it.

It’s also a great herbal supplement to incorporate into your daily self-care ritual to optimise your overall wellbeing so you can feel at your best - more positive, happy and healthy – every day.

CBD and Mental health

The pressures of modern society have brought about a mental health crisis, with waiting lists for therapy longer than ever.

Poppy Jamie, co-founder of mindfulness and wellbeing app Happy not Perfect, found that less than 15% of the people she interviewed in her own market research could stick to the demands of meditation, a common recommendation for mental wellbeing. She believes that CBD, along with a good self-care ritual is important for mental health.

 “The great thing with CBD is that it is tactile. You can touch it and feel it, whereas mental health is quite in the head. It does aid relaxation, it’s that ritual element and I think rituals are really important to support mental health.”

Mary Biles, author and cannabis writer, says: “Right now, everyone should be taking CBD to support their wellness so they don’t actually make themselves ill as a result. It’s a great tool for wellness, as long as it’s accompanied by other things.”

Can CBD help with anxiety and sleep? 

Preliminary research as well as overwhelming anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD’s soothing properties can help us manage our anxiety and sleep. In a study of 72 adults that battled with anxiety and poor sleep, 57 (79.2%) saw decreased anxiety while 48 (66.7%) had improved sleep after taking CBD.

A study by Julie Moltke, a medical doctor who works with stress reduction found that over 40% of people use CBD for stress or anxiety.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chandni Hindocha, internationally award-winning research fellow in clinical psychopharmacology at UCL, says “In terms of psychopharmacology, we do know that CBD definitely, at high doses, affects sleep and anxiety.” At lower doses CBD will not sedate you, but it might help you relax in a more holistic way, she explains.

Does CBD really do anything? 

While clinical research is still fairly limited, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD does work. However, it’s not a medical cure-all and should be incorporated alongside a healthy lifestyle for best results.

How does CBD make you feel?

Mary Biles, holistic practitioner and author of ‘The CBD Book: Essential Guide to CBD Oil’, says: “It’s feeling in a balanced mood. It’s your body doing what you want it to do. You don’t ache when you get up in the morning, you’ve got energy. All these things are about balance, and that’s what CBD is about.”

Okay sounds good. But is CBD legal?

CBD oil is legal in the UK to those above the age of 18 as long as it:

  • Contains less than 0.2% THC, a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
  • Comes from a strain of industrial hemp that is EU approved

Looking for a safe, trusted and reliable brand? All CBII products contain less than 0.2% THC guaranteed and are independently tested to verify THC and CBD content.

Our CBD is also sourced from legally and ethically grown plants in the EU adhering to strict Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) and accredited European GMP manufacturing standards.

From CBD edibles and oils, to capsules and vapes... What is the best way to take CBD? 

In the UK, a report by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis found that six million people have used the cannabis compound in some form, while in the United States, consumer sales are expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2022. 

But with CBD-infused teas, oils, supplements and gummies (not to mention tampons and mattresses) springing up all over the place, it can get confusing to know which one to choose – where do you even start?

CBD is personal and the way you take it comes down to your own personal preference – whether you prefer it in drop, vape, topical or capsule form is up to you,

That’s why we’ve created a range of CBD oils and capsules for you to choose from (with a skincare range launching soon!). To help you decide which format is best, we’ve listed the main differences of our most popular products – we’ll leave the choice down to you.

 

CBD oil

CBD capsules

Herbal taste

Neutral taste

Premium, full spectrum CBD

Same CBD with added nutrients

Quick and easy to take under the tongue

Quick and easy to take on the go

Vegan, gluten-free and GMO-free CBD

Gluten-free and GMO-free CBD

Higher daily dose of CBD

Exact amount of CBD per capsule

Ability to tailor your strengths - 100 mg, 200 mg and 500 mg

Choice of five capsules with pure CBD or added vitamins and nutrients

 

Try both with our self-care pack.

How do I make sure I’m getting quality CBD? What to look for

Lack of comprehensive industry regulations makes it hard to know what you’re getting, so that’s why it’s so important to do your research so you can ensure that you’re choosing a high-quality CBD brand you can trust.

Check the label on the bottle

A reputable brand should have an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) disclaimer. It will also outline the type of CBD extract – whether it is full spectrum or isolate.

Has the CBD been third-party tested?

A high-quality brand will be one that focuses on quality control. These quality control results should be available on their website, ideally third party verified or independently tested.

Dr Julie Moltke recommends that you “check the amount of cannabinoids and traces of other minor cannabinoids such as terpenes that go into the product. Having these available is a good indicator that it’s a serious company.”

The CBII Example

At CBII, we source legally grown hemp in the EU. Every batch receives a Certificate of Analysis and is independently tested by Interlabor Belp AG in Switzerland to verify its CBD content, so you know you’re in good hands.

Product

Verified Lab Results

100mg

VIew lab report

200mg

View lab report

500mg

View lab report

Total capsules

View lab report

Balance capsules

View lab report

Nourish capsules

VIew lab report

Move capsules

View lab report

Immune capsules

View lab report

 

Does it claim to cure any diseases?

CBD is not akin to snake oil so avoid any brand that claims to cure illnesses. As research is still preliminary, CBD companies are not allowed to make medical claims that aren’t backed up by science.

While this stops brands from being able to make unproven claims, it also makes it hard for companies to explain how CBD can help their customers which can add to the confusion.

Many brands have been taking advantage of this regulation grey area with endless claims that can’t be backed up with studies. However, brands that self-regulate and pay for independent testing will be more likely to gain consumer trust now and maintain that relationship for the long term.

Is there a batch number?

As with any ecommerce businesses, it’s important for CBD companies to have batch numbers. This ensure that were there to be any defective products, they could recall them.  You should be able to find the batch number on the third party test results.

Does it contain any additional ingredients?

Some CBD companies will add additional ingredients to their products to increase bioavailability and support overall wellbeing.

The CBII Example:

CBII CBD oil is combined with a high-quality medium-chain triglycerides  (MCT) carrier oil which supports absorption into the body. Unlike most other long chain molecules that can take a while to be digested, MCT oils are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract, traveling straight from the gut to the liver without requiring bile to break them down like longer-chain fats do.

Other products such as CBII CBD capsules contain added vitamins, nutrients and herbal ingredients with additional health benefits to support the immune system, joint health, brain health or beauty benefits such as healthy hair, skin and nails.

What does CBD oil taste like? 

Unflavoured CBD oil like CBII has an earthy, herbal taste that comes from the natural plant matter.

If you prefer to hide the taste, you can take neutral tasting capsules instead or mix a few drops of your CBD oil with food such as peanut butter or a high-protein smoothie.

However, for best results we recommend applying it directly under your tongue and not diluting it or cooking it.

CBD Dosage: what you need to know 

Taking CBD is simple, but it depends on the format and type of CBD product you’re using. We’ll discuss how and when to take CBD below.

If you're looking for dosage guidelines on exactly how much CBD to take per strength of oil and capsule, take a look at our dosage recommendations in the tables below. 

How to take CBD oil 

Place a few drops under the tongue several times a day followed by a glass of water. The number of drops you take varies from strength to strength so look at our dosage guidelines per CBD strength in the table below.

How to take CBD Capsules 

Swallow the CBD capsules daily with a glass of water. Dosage varies from capsule to capsule, so look at our specific recommendations per capsule in the table below.

What time of day should I take CBD? 

There is no ‘right’ time or best time of day for taking CBD – it depends on what works best for you and when you’re more likely to remember to take it. You can take CBD oil throughout the day – morning, afternoon or night.

Consistency

When it comes to CBD, it’s really consistency that’s key more than when you take it. Studies show that CBD metabolism is cumulative so be sure to take it several times every day for best results.

How much CBD should I take? 

CBD is personal and the way the body reacts to CBD varies from person to person, so finding the right dosage may take some trial and error. We recommend starting low and going slow, gradually increasing your intake until you find your sweet spot.

How much is too much? While there is no evidence to suggest that you can overdose on CBD, the Food Standards Agency recommends not exceeding 70 mg of CBD per day, unless recommended to do so by a medical practitioner.  

CBD oil strengths

Everyone is different so it’s important to experiment a bit to find the strength that works best for you. That’s why we offer a choice of three different oil strengths that you can choose from (500mg, 200mg and 100mg) as well as high-strength bundles

If you’re new to CBD, our Discovery Duo 7-day starter kit is a great way to compare our top two strengths with a week’s supply of our 2% (200 mg) and 5% (500 mg) oils.

Can I take CBD oils and capsules together?

Absolutely, you can take both CBD oils and capsules at the same time as long as you don’t exceed the Food Standards Agency’s recommendation of 70 mg a day.

We recommend starting with the lower intake suggestion for both products and monitoring how you feel.

How to store CBD oil

You should store CBD oil below 25°C. Do not use it if the tamper evidence seal is broken or missing. For the best before date, see base of carton.

CBII products are packaged in the UK with full spectrum CBD extracted in Switzerland.

Dosage recommendations 

The below table will help you understand the dosage you should take of our CBII CBD oils as well as how much CBD both in mg and percentages are in each drop of CBD oil and capsule.

CBD oils

Product

Daily Recommended Intake

CBD Per Drop

Max. Daily Dose

100 mg oil (1%)

3 – 6 drops

0.5 mg

3 mg

200 mg oil (2%)

2 – 4 drops

1 mg

4 mg

500 mg oil (5%)

1 – 3 drops

2.5 mg

7.5 mg

CBD capsules

Product

Daily Recommended Intake

CBD per Capsule

Maximum Dose of CBD Per Day

Total Capsules

1 – 3 capsules

5 mg

15 mg

Move capsules

1 – 3 capsules

1.5 mg

4.5 mg

Nourish capsules

1 – 2 capsules

1.5 mg

3 mg

Balance capsules

1 – 2 capsules

1.5 mg

3 mg

Immune capsules

1 – 2 capsules

3 mg

6 mg

How can I tell if CBD is working?

CBD affects everyone differently and sometimes you may feel the difference overnight, while for others it can take a little longer.

Take a moment of mindfulness… The key is to tune in to how you feel, and most importantly what you don’t feel.

It may be a subtle sense of overall wellbeing, more energy to tackle the day, or a fading away of overwhelming worries. We recommend keeping a diary to monitor what’s working for you.

Need a little help finding your natural rhythm? Download our free 7-day CBD diary.

Find your favourite formula

As CBD is such a personal journey, we’ve put together a premium range of products to suit you and help you find your natural rhythm – whether you prefer easy-to-take liquid drops or the convenience of capsules.

CBD oils

Product

Who/What For

CBD Per Drop

Discovery Duo: 2% and 5%

Great for those new to CBD and looking to find their preferred strength

1 mg and 2.5 mg

100 mg oil (1%)

Great for those beginning their CBD journey and looking for a light addition to their wellness routine

0.5 mg

200 mg oil (2%)

Medium strength for those looking for a little extra support

1 mg

500 mg oil (5)

Highest strength for those looking for something stronger

2.5 mg

High strength bundles

Our high-strength bundles are ideal for experienced CBD users those looking to increase their dosage

2.5 mg

 

CBD capsules

Product

Ingredients

Benefits of added nutrients

Total Capsules

Full spectrum CBD

Highest dose of CBD in capsule form

Move capsules

CBD + vitamin C, turmeric & black pepper oil

For a normal energy-yielding metabolism and collagen formation for cartilage and bones

Nourish capsules

CBD + zinc, milk thistle & juniper berry oil

For healthy hair, skin and nails and micronutrient metabolism

Balance capsules

CBD + vitamin B3, passionflower & coriander oil

For a reduction in tiredness and fatigue, support for a normal functioning nervous system and psychological function

Immune capsules

CBD + vitamin D, C, zinc & ginseng

Supports the immune system, a normal energy-yielding metabolism and boosts energy

Can I travel with CBD? 

The laws around CBD differs from country to country and the only constant is that they are constantly changing. If you’re traveling outside of the UK, it’s best that you check the specific laws of your destination before packing CBD in your suitcase to be safe.

Can I travel within the UK with CBD?

Yes, you can travel within the UK with CBD, provided it meets the regulations and it contains less than 0.2% THC.

Is it safe to travel on an airplane with CBD in the UK?

We would recommend checking the destination of the country you are traveling to. Within the UK, CBD is safe and legal if it contains less than 0.2%. You should also ensure that, if in liquid form, the bottle is under 100 ml.  

If you’re looking for something quick and easy to travel with, the CBII Discovery Duo offers two travel-size 2ml bottles while our full-size CBII CBD oils have less than 0.2% THC in 10 ml bottles – well within the legal limit.

Can I drive after taking CBD?

As CBD itself contains no psychoactive properties, it is safe to drive after taking CBD oil, provided it is under the legal limit of 0.2% THC.  

Is CBD oil safe?

CBD products are classified as food supplements that are safe for human usage in those over the age of 18 years. According to the Food Standards Agency, CBD is not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Can I give my pet CBD?

There are many CBD brands that make products particularly for animals. However, it’s recommended that you consult your vet before giving your fury friend CBD.

What are the side effects of CBD oil?

CBD is usually well tolerated by most people when taken directly under the tongue, however CBD oil can affect everyone differently. Some reported side effects include a dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, and diarrhoea but these are not common.

Can I take CBD with other medication?

If you are taking any medication, we recommend discussing the suitability of CBD with your healthcare professional prior to starting your CBD journey.

Will CBD show up on a drug test? 

CBD is not a drug so most drug tests will not screen for CBD. However, some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC that, while legal in the UK if under 0.2%, may show up on a drug test.

If you are concerned and have to take regular drug screen tests for work (for example, you’re in the military, police service, or an athlete), then hemp seed oil, which is 100% THC free is a safe alternative.

Choose CBD with confidence with CBII 

Here at CBII, we’re committed to helping you tune in to your natural rhythm to live happier, healthier and more balanced lives – day in, day out.

Whether you’re completely new to CBD or looking for new ways to streamline a well-oiled routine, we’re here to help. Our range of high-quality full spectrum CBD oils and convenient capsules with added vitamins and nutrients are carefully crafted to help you achieve the epitome of wellness in the everyday.

We pride ourselves on working with only the best partners in CBD extraction and research. Every drop of CBII full spectrum CBD oil is developed using a trademarked extraction method in exclusive partnership with Swiss CBD specialist, Linnea SA to ensure quality and reliability. We then go a step further by having our products independently tested so you can choose CBII with confidence.

Now you know everything there is to know about CBD, we hope you feel more at ease choosing CBD with confidence.

Still curious? Ask our experts

We know CBD can be confusing, especially if you’re just starting out. Still have a question or need some advice around CBD? Our experts are here to help. Give us a call on 01793 374130, email us or get in touch via social with any questions.

And don’t just take our word for it. See what other CBII users are saying about their experience on Trust Pilot.

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Our Credentials

Legally Sourced Hemp
GMO Free
Third Party Tested For CBD Content
Vegan CBD Oil
Full Spectrum CBD (<0.2% THC)
Recyclable Packaging
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