What is CBD oil and what is it used for?

Nancy Carter has secretly ordered CBD oil (Picture: BBC)

CBD oil has found its way into Albert Square, following a scene in EastEnders this week in which Nancy Carter (Maddy Hill) orders some online – and is seen opening it in secret.

Although it’s not yet been made clear why Nancy might have ordered the oil, it’s possible that it’s linked to her epilepsy – with CBD proving wildly popular as a complementary aid to all manner of health issues.

But just what is CBD oil – and what can it be used for?

Here’s what you need to know…

What is CBD oil?

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is one of over 110 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant.

These act on cannabinoid receptors, which are located throughout the body as part of its endocannabinoid system.

Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids – which are the equivalent of those found in the cannabis plant – but these can sometimes need a boost, which can be provided by CBD oil or other supplements.

CBD oil has many health benefits (Picture: Getty)

Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of cannabis which gets you high, isolated CBD does not have any psychoactive properties – and is legally available in the UK, as it is not considered to be a controlled substance.

Although the oil is one of the most popular CBD products – and is among the most easily absorbed, as it goes directly into the bloodstream – a whole range of other CBD-infused products can also be bought, including vape liquids, sweets and also balms to be used on the skin.

How is CBD oil used?

CBD can help balance a whole host of bodily functions, including pain sensation, memory, mood and appetite.

It can help with pain relief, and has also been cited as helping those with anxiety, depression and insomnia, as well as Parkinson’s and arthritis – although research into the effect it may have on those conditions is limited.

CBD oil should be held under the tongue before swallowing (Picture: Getty Images)

There have also been some suggestions it could also help in the treatment of acne.

Interest in CBD for medicinal purposes is growing – with a pure CBD treatment, Epidiolex, which is used for treating some severe forms of epilepsy, available on prescription in the UK.

How should you take CBD oil?

CBD oil should be administered in drops, which should be held under the tongue for around a minute or two before being swallowed.

The fastest-working CBD products are generally oils and vape liquid, which are quickly absorbed into the system.

It can take half an hour or more for other products – such as CBD gummies or chocolate – to work their magic.

Always read the instructions carefully before taking any CBD products.

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