Reporter Kameron Virk writes about incorporating CBD into his daily routine.
By now youâ€™ve probably heard of cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient in cannabis that, unlike the rest of the plant, is legal in the UK.
Some people who have suffered strokes, cancer, depression, anxiety and general aches and pains have reported positive effects after using CBD, and the NHS is reportedly doing research into the compound with plans to officially class it as a medicine.
Until that happens UK citizens are free to buy CBD in its various forms online, something I first did a few months back and have been grateful for ever since.
Here are some observations from taking CBD orally every day for three months to help combat anxiety and sleep issues.
Issues with sleep is one of the main reasons I first looked into using CBD and it immediately seemed to have the desired effect.
Falling asleep was easier, while waking up in the middle of the night became a rarity.
On top of that, my dreams would often feel more lucid, and remembering them in the morning was less of a problem.
My process for using CBD was less than scientific â€“ a small dose of CBD Brothersâ€™ White Edition before or after breakfast, meaning Iâ€™d usually â€śfeelâ€ť the effects until mid-afternoon.
I generally felt calmer, with possibly a slight body high (despite CBD not being psychoactive), and the noise of the office felt like it was turned down.
A task that might normally cause stress no longer felt like a big deal, while the process of doing the task felt more enjoyable and seemed to come to an end much quicker.
Another reason for researching and eventually buying CBD was a general feeling of anxiety I had been carrying around.
I never visited a GP or spoke to anyone about how I was feeling on a day-to-day basis, but eventually felt like I needed to do something. I canâ€™t say that anyone whoâ€™s been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder will feel the same effects from using CBD as I did, although studies suggest it can be a help.
But while using CBD other peopleâ€™s opinions of me began to matter so little to the point where it was no longer something I thought about when walking into a crowded room â€“ a task which had become nerve-wracking.
On a similar note negative thought patterns were no longer something I had to focus on stopping â€“ my mood was lifted without having to try.
The Beckley Foundation is working on a study investigating whether CBD could help with quitting smoking, after some preliminary data from animal studies suggested that CBD may be beneficial.
As someone who has tried to give up smoking at various points with various methods, to no effect, this was appealing to me.
And after taking CBD in the morning it became normal for me to not crave a cigarette until the afternoon, as opposed to lighting up soon after leaving the house.
CBD isnâ€™t just available as an oil but also as creams and capsules.
My mum had been complaining of severe pains down one side of her body after undergoing surgery and, after buying her some, the CBD was so effective that itâ€™s now become part of her routine too â€“ replacing traditional pain medication.
Like anything you use regularly, your body will soon get used to CBD. The first time I used it I sat on a train wondering if Iâ€™d used too much â€“ there were no negative effects, but I just felt way more giddy than had been expected. There was a pleasant warmth all over my body, and since that first day Iâ€™ve not felt the same effects to that extent.
Iâ€™ve upped the amount I take each morning to accommodate for my body adapting, but will eventually have to move up to the higher percentage oils, or whole plant extracts. It goes without saying that the price increases as the percentage does.
Three people I know â€“ my mum, a neighbour and a friend â€“ started using CBD in the time that I did, after hearing me talk positively about it.
Alongside the effects listed above, researchers also claim that CBD acts in many of the opposite ways to THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and can reduce many of the negative effects THC can cause.
In countries where cannabis is fully or partly legal this means that itâ€™s easy to buy high CBD strains of cannabis, while in England, where weed is still illegal, 80% of cannabis sold is high THC, according to the Beckley Foundation.