What do Mike Tyson, Morgan Freeman and Whoopi Goldberg all have in common? Aside from the fact that they are all famous Black celebrities, they also happen to be fans of using cannabidiol aka CBD products to manage painful conditions.

Former boxer Mike Tyson has reportedly made a second career from the CBD market, having developed a marijuana farm called “Cannabis Resort” on his property as well as launching his CBD brand named CopperGel a range of roll-on pain relief. Whoopi Goldberg has also created CBD brand called Whoopi & Maya that relieves women-related pain issues like period pains and menopausal discomfort, while Morgan Freeman is a fan after discovering it helps to alleviate severe muscle pain from injuries that he sustained in a car crash years ago.

Mike Tyson, founder of CopperGel

They’re not alone in seeing the benefits of CBD. According to surveys, between eight to 11 per cent of UK adults have tried CBD in some form and it appears consumer interest will only continue to rise. Most likely, the remaining 90 per cent of those who are yet to try Cannabidiol, have a number of questions they need answering before they take the plunge.

So, what is CBD, and should you be using it too?  We spoke to Nutritional Expert and Product Developer at award-winning natural health brand BetterYou, Keeley Berry to help dispel some of the myths that surround CBD.

What is CBD? 

CBD is one of at least 113 known cannabinoids derived from the hemp plant. These plant-based cannabinoids are similar in structure to the body’s own cannabinoid system, called the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system in the body is responsible for regulating sleep, appetite, anxiety and pain – CBD binds to part of the body’s endocannabinoid receptors to boost the body’s production of its own cannabinoids.


Is CBD oil safe? 

As long as you buy from a reputable supplier who can produce certification of the products’ safety and ingredients, and you opt for the hemp-derived variety as opposed to the marijuana-based option, it should be safe.

A World Health Organisation report confirmed that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug interactions between the product and patients’ existing medications.”

Controlled human studies have not found any potential for physical dependence, withdrawal or tolerance and it is not associated with abuse potential.

What is the evidence that it works? 

CBD oil has a world of A-list celebrities vouching for its effectiveness, as we listed above. But celebrity endorsement aside, what kind of research exists?

According to the US National Library of Medicine, which compiles peer-reviewed medical journals, there are over 2,1000 published studies relating to CBD with over 900 of them relating to human studies.

Still, some researchers argue that most of the studies on CBD are small-scale and more research is needed to show that it works on larger numbers of people.

Can you get ‘high’ from CBD? 

The specific cannabinoid substance found in marijuana that makes you high is called THC, and that is the psychoactive part of the drug. The industrial hemp production that is the basis for CBD oil’s manufacture is grown to have significantly lower THC levels and higher Cannabidiol yields.

In the UK, THC is highly-regulated to ensure there is no more than 1mg of THC per bottle of product and therefore it will not induce psychoactive effects.

This underlines the importance of buying from a reputable company that can produce certification on exactly what is in the product.

Is CBD addictive? 

Due to the extremely low levels of THC, there’s no reason why CBD oil should be addictive when used responsibly.

What makes taking CBD oil different from smoking cannabis? 

Industrial hemp used to make CBD products is different from marijuana that is used to produce cannabis. Marijuana growth and use results in products that are illegal in the UK due to its high THC content, making it addictive. Whereas, CBD contains very low THC levels and does not induce psychoactive effects.

Whilst there are a multitude of cannabinoids that smoking marijuana provides, smoking cannabis also has its own health risks and is illegal in the UK.

“…if used responsibly, it is safe for consumption and should not result in toxicity.”

Can you overdose on CBD? 

There has been a lot of research into the efficacy and safety of CBD, and if used responsibly, it is safe for consumption and should not result in toxicity.

It’s always best to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions on the product purchased and consult a GP and discontinue use if you’re noticing any adverse effects. This can include; dry mouth, low blood pressure and drowsiness.

Are CBD oil and hemp seed oil the same thing? 

There’s hemp seed oil at supermarkets and health food stores, and then there are CBD oil supplements that come in dropper, capsule and oral spray form. There’s a BIG difference between the two.

Hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant that are rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids – they tend to be used in cooking and cosmetics.

Hemp seeds are a food, but when you start growing the plant and extracting CBD oil from its leaves and stalks, then you’re talking about a CBD oil supplement and the manufacture of these is strictly regulated in the UK.

CBD oil can also be known as ‘hemp extract’ and is derived from the industrial hemp process that results in high CBD and lower THC containing crops – this is what you find in CBD oil supplements.

Whoopi Goldberg, co-founder of Whoop & Maya

How and where is it grown and harvested?

Most Cannabidiol products that are available in the UK come from industrial hemp grown within the European Union, adhering to strict guidelines.

There are three ways to extract the oil from the hemp plant. Firstly, and most commonly, ethanol is used to extract the Cannabidiol from hemp. Alternatively, carbon dioxide is used to heat up the hemp and the resulting oil is then extracted – this is called ‘supercritical Co2 extraction’.

Not all CBD products are the same quality so it’s important to look out for trusted brands who can provide analytical results for their products. Any company who makes a CBD product should be able to supply a consumer with a certificate confirming its safety.

What dosage do I need and how long does it take to feel the benefit? 

The effects will vary from person to person. With an oral spray or dropper, the effects are usually noticed within 30 minutes to an hour and can last up to six hours, depending on the dose administered. It’s important to start with a lower dose and build up to a comfortable level that is right for you. Delivery via an oral spray is thought to be much more effective as it delivers nutrients directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system where absorption can be lost, or may vary from person to person.

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