We've collated our most commonly asked questions here. Click the question to be taken to the answer lower down the page.


What is cannabidiol (CBD)?
What is hemp oil?
Does hemp oil contain CBD?
What is the difference between THC and CBD?
Is CBD addictive?
Will I build a tolerance to CBD?
Do I get ‘high’ with CBD?
Is CBD legal?
What are cannabinoids?
How does CBD work?
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
What is ‘The Entourage Effect’?
How much CBD should I use?
What is bioavailability?
Which method of administration should I use?
What can CBD help with?
Will I feel effects immediately?
Are there any side effects from CBD oil?
What about drug interactions?
What is CO2 Extraction?
How should I store my CBD products?

What is cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the primary cannabinoid in industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Heather Jackson, CEO of Realm of Caring, a nonprofit, cannabinoid research organisation explains it well:

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a “smart” molecule, an adaptogen, a regulator, and a modulator. CBD acts in a comprehensive and dynamic fashion, depending on the situation and location in the brain or body. Colloquially, some researchers refer to CBD as the “boy scout molecule” meaning it always does the right thing in any given situation. Research has revealed upward of 50 mechanisms of action; CBD is a “multi-target” therapy that can do many things, as opposed to an analgesic pain medication, which reduces pain and nothing else. CBD can do many things in many different situations.”  

At The CBD Farmacy we like to think of CBD as a girl-scout molecule too as it is used and loved by so many women for gender-specific purposes as well as more general use.

 CBD is not psychoactive (i.e. does not get you “high”) and even in high doses there have been no recordings of any serious side effects.

What is hemp oil?

Hemp oil is just another name for CBD oil. Both terms are used when referring to cannabis extracts. However, there can be misunderstanding about the difference between hemp seed oil and hemp oil, with both often being viewed as the same. Hemp seed oil is used in food preparation and cosmetics, and is derived purely from hemp seeds. While it has its own benefits, it does not contain the vast array of CBD and other cannabinoids of CBD oil.

Does hemp oil contain CBD?

Our hemp oils contain contain CO2 critically extracted, high quality CBD. Our hemp oils are made from the hemp plant which is naturally abundant in CBD (one of over 100 compounds found in cannabis plants).

The term ‘hemp’ is typically used for cannabis strains that are high in CBD and low in THC strains (the natural compound that makes you high). Our hemp oils have plenty of CBD and very small levels of THC (less than 0.2 percent). Our CBD hemp oils is 100% legal and 100% non-psychoactive.

What is the difference between THC and CBD?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main cannabinoids that occur naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant, most commonly known as cannabis.

Both THC and CBD interact with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body and brain, but their effects are different.

CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that it will not get the user high, and because of this, CBD appears more frequently than THC in dietary and natural supplements.

Is CBD addictive?

In a word, 'NO'. CBD is safe and non-addictive. 

To understand why we need to know how brain addictions work.

Addictive substances trigger a release of dopamine in the brain’s reward circuit. Over time, the brain needs more of the addictive substance to feel its desired effects or to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The brain and body becomes dependent on addiction forming drugs, including many prescribed medications. CBD does not produce excessive dopamine release. CBD users will not feel the ‘euphoria’ or ‘dysphoria’ associated with taking addictive medicines and recreational drugs including opoid painkillers or even nicotine. CBD does give what users sometime describe as a gentle lift like the feeling after a good work-out, so although its not chemically addictive, many users consider it a new and healthy habit like brushing your teeth.

Will I build a tolerance to CBD?

With many pharmaceutical drugs, user’s build a tolerance to them over time. In others words they feel less therapeutic benefits with a previously effective dose. Interestingly early research indicates that in CBD, the opposite may be true for some people. This is known as reverse tolerance or drug sensitisation. First time CBD users will typically adjust and increase dosages overtime to a level that suits their needs. At the start of an individual’s CBD journey user’s may be taking increasingly larger dosages but realistically this is just finding your optimum dosage. Once users reach a level that is right for them the research suggests that some people may over time require a smaller dose to reach the same end goal. There is one hypothesis that may go some way to explaining this. Researchers believe some people may be deficient in endocannabinoids, the cannabinoids naturally produced by the body. Supplementing with dietary CBD fights the deficiency. Over time, once the body has been replenished or its ability to produce endocannabinoids has improved, it may no longer needs external CBD in as large doses. Under this assumption, taking CBD is similar to taking other fat-soluble vitamins or nutrients. Eventually a lower maintenance dose of CBD supplements in combination with other measures that support the endocannabinoid system may be your optimal choice. Eating a well balanced diet including Omega 3 rich foods, taking moderate exercise and stress management are all methods of supporting the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Do I get ‘high’ with CBD?

In short, no, you do not get high with CBD.

THC and CBD affect the body differently. CBD is not psychoactive, so you will not experience altered perceptions or euphoria, as would be experienced from THC.

Is CBD legal?

CBD products from hemp are currently legal in the UK,  if they are sold as food supplements and do not make medicinal claims. What the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) have to say about products containing CBD can be found here.  If the CBD product is derived from one of the industrial hemp strains that have been approved by the EU, it is 100% legal. Currently, CBD oil in the UK can  have a maximum THC content of 0.2%. In Ireland, if the CBD oil has less than 0.2% THC, it is allowable under EU law. 

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that naturally occur in cannabis plants - both in hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) and Cannabis Indica strains. Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally in plants, including the cannabis plant, but the body produces its own. These are referred to as endocannabinoids.

How does CBD work?

CBD helps to support the body  maintain homeostasis. It interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system which helps control functions such as your mood, appetite, sleep and immune response, bringing about balance in the body.

 All cannabinoids, including CBD, exert their effects by interacting with specific cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells. While there are naturally occurring cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) in plants, the body produces certain cannabinoids on its own (endocannabinoids), and these support the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS, which helps regulate various biological processes, including homeostatic functions, has receptors for cannabinoids located throughout the body (CB1  and CB2 receptors). As phytocannabinoids are similar to endocannabinoids in that they also interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is acknowledged that phytocannabinoids are an all-natural way to support the ECS. It is believed that a recently discovered third receptor named the GPR55 receptor may play an important role in how cannabinoids affect the body.

 CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, but mainly in the brain and central nervous system. In the brain, the CB1 receptors deal with things like thinking, memories, coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, appetite, and other functions. THC attaches to these receptors.

 CB2 receptors are more common in the peripheral organs, and especially in cells in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.

CBD interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Researchers once believed that CBD attached to the CB2 receptors, but it would now appear that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor, instead directing the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.

What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally in plants, including the cannabis plant, but the body produces its own. These are referred to as endocannabinoids, and are produced when we need them, usually in response to changes in the body. Simply put, the endocannabinoid system is a communications system, a network of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors that span the whole body; the brain, immune cells, connective tissues etc. The endocannabinoids, which are made from fat-like molecules within cell membranes, attach to the cannabinoid receptors upon stimulus. The purpose of cannabinoid receptors, which exist on the surface of the cells, is to maintain homeostasis (equilibrium and stability) in the body. They monitor what is going on in the body, then communicate the information to the inside of the cell. This then allows for appropriate measures to be taken.

To date, scientists have identified two major endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), that interact with two primary cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. Both types of receptor are found  throughout the body. CB1 receptors are primarily located on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. They are also found in some peripheral organs and tissues such as the spleen, white blood cells, endocrine gland and parts of the reproductive, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.The CB2 receptors are mainly located in the immune system and associated structures, on white blood cells, in the tonsils and in the spleen. The immune cells also express CB1, but fewer than CB2. CB1 binds to the endocannabinoid anandamide, and the well known ‘imitator’, THC (a phytocannabinoid), while the CB2 receptor is primarily activated by 2-AG. The phytocannabinoid ‘imitator’ for 2-AG is cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoids are known to initiate effects via the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. However, THC and CBD have been shown to interact with a possible third cannabinoid receptor, known as GPR55.

As you might imagine, cannabinoids have a significant impact on health. It is well known that both 2-AG and CBD are involved in the regulation of several bodily functions, for example, appetite, immune function and pain management.

What is ‘The Entourage Effect’?

The term “entourage” means a group of people surrounding and supporting a central person. Likewise, with the term “entourage effect”, there is one central component that is supported by other parts of the plant. The entourage effect results when the many components within the cannabis plant interact with the human body to produce a stronger influence than any one component alone i.e. a synergistic effect. 

How much CBD should I use? What are recommended servings?

The CBD Farmacy provides CBD in a wide variety of concentrations and product types .Strength and bioavailability will vary from product to product and brand to brand. Similar to prescription medicines, it is difficult to provide a specific dosage of CBD as a food supplement for each individual case. There is no one size fits all solution, but there are some general guidelines. In general, a person’s body
weight, age ,medical history will indicate the best starting dose of CBD and the best way for it to be administered. Two recommendations to keep in mind when determining the correct CBD oil dosage for your specific body type are:
1) always start off with a small dose, and secondly, in order to confirm results, maintain the same dose for at least a few days before increasing. Starting off gradually, and slowly increasing the amount of CBD over time, will ensure you are not taking too much and wasting valuable CBD.

This method also makes it easier to find the exact dose that works for your situation rather than simply relying on someone else’s experience.


As a general recommendation for any adult CBD treatment begin at 40 mg per day. Reported scientific studies tend to use quite high doses, but these are often on carried out using CBD isolates rather than full-spectrum CBD ( see section below on entourage effect). With our CBD products, less is more and it is important to start low and build slowly. Often people don’t need to reach the levels
tested in studies to feel the benefits.

Each of our CBD products will have a recommended dose on them. We recommend starting with that dose or lower, and adjust if needed, working your way up until the desired result is achieved. Although some products will provide a recommended maximum dose, CBD and other cannabinoids are known
to be non-toxic, with no known fatal overdose levels ever reported.

What is bioavailability?

CBD is available in lots of different forms including: tinctures, oils, e-liquids, capsules, creams, lotions, balms and many more. Each form will have a different usage method and can come in multiple concentrations of CBD. With so many options, choosing which product and method can be confusing, let alone, how much to use. Understanding what the bioavailability of each of the methods is can help with these decisions.

 Bioavailability is the degree and rate that a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream, after any other processing by the body. Along with the amount and strength, the bioavailability of a substance determines how much of what you take or use is actually available to provide the level of effect you desire. The bioavailability of CBD is different, depending on both the consumption method and the concentration of CBD in individual products.

The only way to ensure 100% bioavailability is through intravenous administration and any studies done on the bioavailability of CBD of other methods will use this to compare and to calculate a bioavailability percentage. While the bioavailability percentages can vary between studies, there is a commonality between many. Oral, sublingual, and inhalation are three of the most popular methods of CBD consumption, so we’ll look at those.

Although convenient, consuming CBD orally, e.g., in edibles, capsules, drinks or just swallowing oils, means that a lot can be lost when passing through the metabolic and digestive systems. These systems will filter out quite a bit of the CBD, reducing the amount present in the bloodstream, with the most optimistic bioavailability rate being stated as 20%. Using this estimate, consuming 200mg of CBD orally will mean that 40mg will be absorbed into the bloodstream. The bioavailability of CBD is reduced during what is known as ‘first-pass effect’ or ‘first-pass metabolism’ Oral consumption does have a lower bioavailability than some other methods but it has been shown to have longer lasting effects.  

There is sufficient data to support that sublingual (under the tongue) administration has a higher bioavailability than oral consumption but specific percentages are hard to come by. Consuming sublingually, using oils, concentrates or sprays, means that the CBD is absorbed through the mucous membranes under the tongue. The CBD is diffused by the capillaries in the connective tissue, and it then enters the bloodstream. This method enables the CBD to bypass the first-pass elimination, which accounts for a higher bioavailability than oral consumption.

CBD can also be inhaled safely in the form of a vape oil, using a vapouriser pen or tank. This method allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream through the lungs. The CBD enters the lungs and passes through tiny air sacs called alveoli. Alveoli exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen between the bloodstream and the lungs. The CBD then moves through the walls of the alveoli and directly into the bloodstream. Inhaling CBD also bypasses the first-pass effect and so can have a higher bioavailability than oral consumption. Inhalation of CBD can also have a higher bioavailability than sublingual administration, although this will depend on a number of factors, e.g., the size, volume, spacing and holding time of inhalation. As the oxygen is entering the bloodstream directly, the effects of vaping CBD can be experienced quickly.  

CBD oils can also be applied to your skin. CBD topicals such as balms, lotions  and creams will not reach the bloodstream.Transdermal CBD patches are said to be the the only topical CBD products able to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream.

Using a topical CBD in this way, you can get targeted relief to a specific area. The skin absorbs CBD so that it can interact with nearby cannabinoid receptors. In general, the skin is not very permeable, blocking the majority of substances to prevent them from entering the body. The skin does not absorb cannabinoids easily, and absorption rates can be low. Topical CBD products should therefore be applied generously, as in thick enough to break the skin’s barrier. Being liberal in your application, means that your skin pores will absorb CBD to affect targeted healing. This method works particularly well when creams, lotions, salves and balms containing high levels of CBD.

Which method of administration should I use?

This is very much up to the individual and their desired purpose. If you’re after a quick, effective and convenient way to take CBD oil, then taking CBD oil under the tongue could suit  you.

If you don’t particularly like the taste of CBD concentrates or oils, or are looking for an easy way of dosing your CBD, swallowing CBD capsules could be best for you.

If you are wanting  to avoid digestion completely, you could try suppositories. If you want to target a specific area,  you might consider using CBD topicals.

For CBD to work, it must first be absorbed by the body. It needs to find a way to the bloodstream from its entry point, travelling around the body and interacting with the cannabinoid receptors. How it does this will depend how the CBD is administered or consumed. Your chosen method can affect the distribution, elimination and uptake of the CBD in the body, and can determine how effective CBD is for you. This is referred to as bioavailability.

CBD can be administered in a range of ways. It can be held under the tongue, swallowed, added to food and drinks, applied topically to the skin and inhaled. The method of administration is important, as the body absorbs CBD in different ways, and each method will influence both the effect of the CBD and how long it takes it to work, but it is very much a personal choice.  

Oral

For many, this a common and preferred way to administer CBD, as it is convenient and easy to dose. Consuming CBD orally, for example, ingesting it in food or drink, or swallowing it in capsule form or drops, means that it firstly needs to go through the digestive system. It then travels to the hepatic portal system, through the portal vein and into the liver. The liver then metabolises the CBD compounds. In what is called the ‘first- pass effect’ or ‘first-pass metabolism’, the cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver break down the CBD, reducing the CBD concentration, before sending what is left over into the bloodstream. This may not seem like the most efficient way to consume CBD, but it is suggested that swallowing CBD with fatty acids may help bypass the ‘first-pass effect’, increasing the absorption of the CBD ingested.

Sublingual

 Taking CBD sublingually, i.e., holding it under the tongue for a minute or two before swallowing, allows the mucus membranes of the mouth to absorb CBD. It bypasses the digestive system and metabolism in the liver. By passing the liver, there is no break down of the CBD molecules by the cytochrome P450 enzymes, and it does not travel through the stomach. This means that the CBD is able to reach the bloodstream faster. There is also the added bonus, that whatever CBD is left in the mouth is swallowed, meaning more may be absorbed through ingestion.  

Inhale

Inhaling CBD oil allows for the effects of CBD to be felt almost immediately. CBD oil and concentrates can be inhaled safely using a vapouriser pen or tank and allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream through the lungs. This is an effective and preferred method of administration by many, as the CBD is absorbed quickly by the body. The lungs offer a large surface area for absorption, and the CBD is absorbed quickly by the alveoli (tiny air sacs of the lungs). Having passed through the alveoli, the CBD enters the bloodstream, and then through the body.  Effects can be felt immediately, making it a good option for anyone wanting relief now, rather than later.

Topicals

There are endocannabinoid receptors on skin cells, meaning that applied topically, CBD can go straight to the source,  and provide an easing and calming effect to a specific area. As well as using CBD infused creams, balms and lotions, CBD oil can be applied directly to the skin. Using CBD topically can be easy, quick and effective, and great for those who want to avoid ingestion. They are ideal for using alongside other CBD products, if and when they are needed.

What can CBD help with?

In line with MHRA guidelines, we are not able to make any claims regarding our products’ ability to help with specific conditions, ailments or diseases, as our products are considered a food supplement.

That said, CBD is regarded as a  powerful nutrient that can help the body do what it does best - heal itself. Our CBD products therefore can help the body regain balance.

There have been many studies on using CBD with various conditions. To learn more, visit here, and simply enter whichever condition you are interested in, along with CBD.

Will I feel effects immediately?

CBD is a nutrient, a supplement.

Some people can feel the effects of CBD dramatically and immediately. For many, it can take time, and for others, it can be subtle. Factors such as genetics, lifestyle, dietary, physical and sleeping habits, nutritional deficiencies, emotions (stress levels) and environmental stressors come into play when any compound is introduced into the body.

All these factors play a role in achieving optimal health. CBD, as well as all other wonderful components in the Hemp plant, are available to assist the process of achieving optimal health. This can take time and patience. As the CBD works on balancing your body, you should listen to your body and vary your dosage accordingly. 

Are there any side effects from CBD oil?

CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe but some people may experience minor adverse reactions, for example, changes in appetite,drowsiness, nausea and diarrhea.

What about drug interactions?

CBD may interact with some medications, although serious drug interactions have not been seen with cannabidiol (CBD) in combination with any other drug. That said, CBD and other plant cannabinoids can potentially interact with some pharmaceuticals by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of liver enzymes. Cytochrome P450 is important in how our body utilises certain compounds (including some pharmaceuticals). By inhibiting this enzyme, the metabolism of the drug is reduced, in turn increasing the effects of the prescription drug being taken. Because the body can't metabolise the drug at a normal rate, the drug will accumulate in the body over time. CBD can allow the intake of pharmaceutical drugs that are metabolized by P450 to be reduced.

If you are on medication, we recommend, before starting with CBD, and to avoid interactions, that you discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist.

What is CO2 Extraction?

There are several extraction methods commonly used for harvesting CBD. The best method is extraction by carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 extraction is commonly used to make various food and other products, and is increasingly used in extracting top quality cannabis oil high in cannabidiol (CBD).This method does not use heat, and allows the integrity of product to remain intact. You can see how it works here. CO2 based extraction is considered to be more environmentally friendly, safer, cleaner, cheaper and less toxic than other methods of extraction. It also results in a more a consistent palatable product. Subcritical and supercritical CO2 extraction is rapidly becoming the preferred method of extraction. CBD oils can be extracted using a solvent but the solvent may end up in the final product, and high levels of heat destroy many of the nutrients and medicinal properties found in CBD. 

How should I store my CBD products?

Storing CBD products properly helps preserve their potency, as well as the vital cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other elements that make CBD such a great resource. It will ensure you are getting the best from your CBD oil and other CBD products.

  1. Store CBD upright and keep out of direct light. It will be at its best and last longer if stored in a place that is dark, dry and cool.
  2. Keep CBD away from heat exposure. Keep it out of both the heat and light of the sun, and don’t store in cupboards next to appliances that give off heat.
  3. Limit you CBD’s exposure to air. Just as with light and heat, air can degrade your CBD. After using your CBD product, make sure that you tightly seal it again so as to limit the air getting in.