What is CBD?

Dr Elisabeth Philipps
Dr Elisabeth Philipps

If someone were to ask you what CBD was, what would you say? Something that might help your mood or get a better night of sleep? Something that can help your lifestyle but you’re not exactly sure how? Chances are you’re not going to say ‘CBD is one of many compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant’. Who could blame you? We’ve all heard about CBD but it doesn’t necessarily get us any closer to defining what it actually is and what it can do.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the hemp plant. Not to be confused with the marijuana that some people smoke. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with the human body via the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. The ECS is responsible for regulating bodily functions like sleep, our immune systems, as well as mood.  However, where THC produces a tell-tale ‘high’, CBD is entirely non-euphoric. This has made it a very attractive, very legal option for many looking to incorporate it into their lifestyle to balance their health and wellbeing.

Why You Should Start Taking CBD

Scientists are only just beginning to discover the benefits of CBD oil and it’s only in the last 30 years that the widespread importance of the ECS to health has been revealed. What we do know is that our bodies make unique endo-cannabinoids from the fats found in cell membranes. These cannabinoids interact with receptors located around your body and help to regulate a wide range of functions. Like anything else, poor lifestyle choices, diet, ageing, stress and injury can all take their toll and hinder the body’s ability to regulate endocannabinoid levels. It’s is a natural, plant-based supplement that may help “top-up” the endocannabinoid levels and balance your ECS. 

What Product Should I use?

Now you know a bit about what it is what the potential benefits are you might be wondering how to take it. 

At fourfive we have a range of products that makes taking CBD easy:

CBD Oils

CBD Capsules 


We’ve got a blog with more information if you are interested in finding out more about how to take it take a look: ‘What’s the Best Way to Use CBD’.

How Does the Body Absorb CBD?

The membrane under our tongue is a bit like a gateway to the bloodstream for oils. When you put a few drops of CBD oil in your mouth, it will head straight to your bloodstream without having to pass through the digestive system or liver first. This means that the CBD compounds don’t get broken down by enzymes the way they would if they were ingested.

This rapid absorption means that oils take effect almost immediately after administration. However, this rapid absorption rate means that the effects from entering into the body more quickly don’t last as long. As such, different strengths of CBD oil (e.g. 500mg, 1000mg or 2000mg) can have varying effects. 

Unlike CBD oil, capsules are swallowed and as such, they are absorbed into the body differently. Where oil sprays or droppers bypass the digestive system, capsules run headlong into it. First, the CBD compounds enter the stomach and then travels to the liver where it is metabolised. This process reduces the concentration of CBD compounds but there is still enough CBD at an effective concentration that then passes into the bloodstream. The rate of absorption of capsules can be increased by taking them alongside natural fatty foods such as dairy, avocado, nuts and seeds.

What are the consequences of this kind of absorption? Taking a capsule will not show the same level of immediate effects as taking CBD oil, and the overall benefits may be less acute but they may be longer-lasting. It’s a slow and steady method of using CBD and is easily incorporated into a wellness routine with other supplements.

How does CBD make you feel?

Many individuals who have used CBD feel it is a great natural alternative when maintaining an active lifestyle. Read more about how our customers have found taking it here. The result you feel depends on different factors like the dosage, the strength, the size and body mass of the person, and the type of product. This means that people may have different experiences, too.

Hemp derived CBD has a naturally lower amount of THC and using advanced extraction methods we are able to reduce that amount to below the legally required limit of 0.2%. This low level of THC does not affect the body or mind.

Is CBD in the UK Safe?

Not all CBD products are made equal. Some contain contaminants, which are most likely unintentional but exist nonetheless. These can include mould, heavy metals, or pesticides. Some companies have been known to add synthetic cannabinoids to increase the weight or strength of a product.

Thankfully, in today’s market, you can test the credibility of a brand by their third party lab tests. If a company doesn’t have one, then we recommend looking elsewhere. We provide a third-party lab report with all of our products for complete transparency. This same practice should be present for each CBD company that wishes to sell to a consumer. If they don’t, you could be rolling the dice on your health.

When a company doesn’t provide a visible report, it’s up to the consumer to ask them if they have a third party lab test to make sure. While we have nothing to hide, other companies may not share this information so openly.

Take a look at our lab reports for our products here.