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Health & wellbeing.

Amy Fleming
Amy Fleming is a freelance writer and former Guardian staff journalist. Follow her on Twitter @amy_fleming

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Cannabidiol oil and marijuana leaf
The doses of CBD in some products are so small that they’re ‘not going to do anything at all,’ according to an expert.

Photograph: Anatoliy Sizov/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is now available in the UK in everything from skin creams to beers. But don’t set your hopes too high.
This has been the year medical cannabis hit the mainstream.

The government has announced that it is relaxing laws on when cannabis medicines can be prescribed by doctors, following high-profile cases such as that of Billy Caldwell, the 13-year-old boy hospitalised by his epileptic seizures after he was denied legal access to the cannabis oil that helps control them.

Meanwhile a new generation of cannabis medicines has shown great promise (both anecdotally and in early clinical trials) in treating a range of ills from anxiety, psychosis and epilepsy to pain, inflammation and acne.

And you don’t have to get stoned to reap the health benefits.

Caldwell’s medicine was illegal because it contained THC, the psychoactive compound that smoking weed socks you with. However, the new treatments under development use a less mind-bending cannabinoid known as CBD (or cannabidiol).

Hemp-based health products are launching left, right and centre, cashing in while the research is in its first flush of hazy potential. As well as ingestible CBD (also sold as hemp or cannabis oils or capsules) the compound has become a buzzword among upmarket skincare brands such as CBD of London. 

 

As well as ingestible CBD (also sold as hemp or cannabis oils or capsules) the compound has become a buzzword among upmarket skincare brands such as CBD of London.t

Predictably, Gwyneth Paltrow is a proponent of the trend, and has said that taking CBD oil helps her through hard times: “It doesn’t make you stoned or anything, just a little relaxed,” she told one beauty website.

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