Where And How To Buy CBD Oil in the United Kingdom?
Your Short Guide to Buying CBD Oil in the UK
You may have first seen CBD products in a health food shop such as Holland & Barrett or online through retailers such as Amazon and must be wondering, what is all the buzz around CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, has taken the UK by storm and elsewhere globally, such as the USA and Canada, and it is most commonly sold as a health food supplement. In this short guide we will give you the information you need to buy the best CBD oils in the United Kingdom.
Is CBD (Cannabidiol) Legal and Does it Come From Cannabis (the Law)?
The cannabinoid CBD is found in cannabis; however, for any product to be legally sold in the UK, it must be derived from a cannabis variety known as hemp. Hemp is a low THC plant and only specific varieties can be used in the UK that have less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol(1). Having said that, it is still currently illegal for any UK farmer to grow hemp for the purposes of extracting cannabinoids such as CBD.
This means that hemp biomass must be imported into the UK for the manufacture of CBD oils, or the finished products themselves are imported for sale to UK customers.
CBD and THCa in their pure form are not considered as controlled substances and therefore perfectly legal for sale and purchase in the UK (2). However, the law is not so clear on the status of products such as full spectrum CBD oil, since they contain controlled compounds such as THC and CBN, although a maximum of 1mg of allowed controlled substances per container has been suggested.
The Types of CBD Oils Available on the UK Market
CBD oil is available in many different varieties where the hemp extract has been dissolved into a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, sunflower oil or MCT oil.
Apart from the variety of available carrier oils to choose from, there are also CBD oils that differ in their cannabinoid profile:
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil - this type of product contains all the minor cannabinoids of hemp such as CBG, CBC, CBN, Delta 8 THC and THC in addition to CBD.
- Broad Spectrum CBD Oil - this CBD oil is identical to a full spectrum product except that it has had its THC content removed.
- Isolate CBD Oil - also sometimes known as pure CBD oil, contains just cannabidiol extract blended into a carrier oil. Some companies may sell this product as a flavourless product, or add flavouring such as mint or orange flavour.
What You Should Know About Buying Cheap CBD Oil in the UK
There is nothing wrong with looking for a great deal for your next CBD purchase; however, when a product has a low RRP (recommended retail price) then you should be wary of what you are buying.
One of the biggest red flags is a high advertised CBD content with a low selling price. Usually, this price is too good to be true for the CBD content on offer and should be avoided.
Of the three types of CBD oil, the isolate version is most commonly the cheaper option as it is usually void of terpenes and other minor cannabinoids. With this type of product, you should be aware that the overall product may be less strong than a full spectrum oil, due to a diminished entourage effect.
Some companies may be trying to cut corners and lower prices by not manufacturing their products to the expected high UK standards; this could include not thoroughly testing, or possibly not testing their products at all.
Another reason why you should be wary of cheap CBD oils is that the product may be near to expiry or already have expired and low prices are offered to shift dead stock. Although, if CBD oils are properly stored then a shelf-life of between one to two years can be expected. The longer the product has been on the shelf, the higher the chance of hemp compounds or additives such as flavouring degrading.
Again, another example of manufacturers cutting corners to offer low price products is to use a weak hemp extract, often marketed as full or broad spectrum CBD oil. Although the extract may well have come from a whole plant, on inspection of its lab results the only cannabinoid concentration showing is that of cannabidiol.
It has been previously uncovered that if buying from an unknown brand, or even sometimes a big brand, there is no CBD content and either the product is sold very cheaply or at a high price for an established brand. Quite often these products are backed up by lots of reviews either real due to the placebo effect, or artificially created for authenticity.
Premium products will always have a COA (Certificate of Analysis) for inspection and these include:
Cannabinoid Testing - this is one of the most important types of testing that will show you the amount of cannabinoids in a product. This will help you gauge the quality of the product against the advertised cannabidiol concentration and give you an idea of what the overall cannabinoid extract looks like.
Terpene Testing - this is especially important to view when companies claim that their products are 100% organic, as the terpene profile should be fully intact.
Heavy Metal Testing - hemp is a very efficient bio accumulator and depending on where the plants are grown could have high levels of heavy metals that have ended up in your product. These metals could potentially be toxic to your health and testing will ensure metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic are not present.
Pesticide Testing - when products are not made to organic standards, pesticides are routinely used, which can also find their way into the end product. This test is especially useful to view when a company claims to have manufactured the CBD oil to organic standards and also to ensure such substances are not found in your product. Pesticides over time can be harmful to your health as they are poisons used to keep pests away from crops.
What Strength CBD Oil is Best For Me?
Generally, the strength of a CBD oil is the concentration of cannabidiol found per drop, and if you are just starting, , it would be advisable to start on a low strength product such as 500mg CBD (5%).
Although many manufacturers indicate on their instructions how to use a CBD oil, there is no one dosing guideline that is applicable for all, due to age, weight, metabolism and other body conditions.
Therefore it will require consumers to experiment with a start low, go slow approach, increasing dose and frequency gradually. Also, by following the guidelines set by the FSA to take a maximum of 70mg of cannabidiol per day, you can potentially avoid unwanted side effects.
If you are using a CBD oil strength that is requiring you to consume large volumes of oil, then you may want to consider choosing a higher strength CBD oil, which will result in you having to consume smaller volume doses due to the larger CBD concentration per drop.
Where Can I Buy CBD Oil in the UK?
With the boom of CBD, you can find CBD products in the majority of retail outlets:
- Local shops (convenience stores, health food shops, CBD shops, coffee shops)
- Superstores (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s)
- Large retail outlets (e.g. Selfridges, John Lewis)
- Petrol pumps/service stations
- Buy cbd oil online
However, not all CBD oils are made to the highest standards like those adhered to when producing Bio Suisse organic RUDERALEX® CBD products.
Buying CBD oil online from RUDERALEX® is your best option if you are looking for a real CBD hemp oil; take a look at the top reasons to buy online today! In addition to great products, we also offer a great service and are able to get your CBD oil to you within the UK by next day delivery when orders are placed before 1pm.
Buying CBD is now widely more acceptable through better understanding of hemp products amongst potential consumers and the publication of educational content like that found here at RUDERALEX®. Additionally, celebrities, and especially sporting personalities, are also driving the growth of CBD products through athlete sponsorships and sharing their experiences of how CBD has been beneficial to their health regime.
The popularity of CBD oil has given rise to other CBD products such as gummies, capsules, water, vapes and edibles, with the possible legalisation of hemp flower to follow in the future.
The UK now has one of the highest standards when it comes to the sale, distribution and manufacturing of CBD products, due to the Novel Foods Act, which ensures only reputable suppliers operate in the UK.
There has also been a drive by the UK Government to ensure that CBD cannabinoid test labs are able to test samples with the highest accuracy to ensure customer confidence. This has been well demonstrated by the participation of test labs globally in the Government’s ring trial, which demonstrated testing companies are working to acceptable standards.
With the UK leading the way to set the highest criteria for companies to sell CBD products as a food supplement and as medication, this will also pave the way for other high quality cannabinoid products such as CBG, CBC and others that are still unknown.
For more about buying CBD in the UK, check out our guides for each area:
CBD Guide to Manchester
CBD Guide to Birmingham
CBD Guide to Leeds-Bradford
CBD Guide to Portsmouth-Southampton
CBD Guide to Bristol
CBD Guide to Newcastle-Sunderland
CBD Guide to Sheffield
CBD Guide to Leicester
CBD Guide to Brighton
CBD Guide to Northern Ireland (+Belfast)
CBD Guide to Liverpool
CBD Guide to Cheltenham
CBD Guide to Wales (+Cardiff & Newport)
CBD Guide to Nottingham-Derby
CBD Guide to Scotland (+ Edinburgh & Glasgow)
- Home Office, Drug Licensing Factsheet- Cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids, “There needs to be a defined commercial end use and the Home Office only issues licences for cultivation of plants from approved seed types with a THC content not exceeding 0.2%.” - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/825872/factsheet-cannabis-cbd-and-cannabinoids-2019.pdf
- Home Office, Drug Licensing Factsheet- Cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids, “CBD as an isolated substance, in its pure form, would not be controlled under the MDA 1971 / MDR 2001.”, “THC-A as an isolated substance, in its pure form, would not be controlled under the MDA 1971 / MDR 2001.” - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/825872/factsheet-cannabis-cbd-and-cannabinoids-2019.pdf
Please note that this article was written by a 3rd-party author who is a specialist on the topic of CBD, hemp and cannabis. Any information or recommendations contained within this article, are independent to the opinion of RUDERALEX CBD and our employees. We make no claims for any of our products, please read our disclaimer for additional information.