CBD research in the UK

People’s interest in CBD is rising rapidly. Currently, CBD-related products are popular across users of different gender, age, classes, for a number of reasons. Individuals are claiming that CBD can even help with severe conditions or diseases including epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, anxiety, menstrual cramps, insomnia, skin problems, Alzheimer’s, depression, PTSD, the pain of any kind, and others.

Some companies and individuals are projecting it as a panacea, cure for all the conditions. This has led to the flooding of the market with numerous CBD products. Today on the market we can find pure CBD oil, pills, and. Drops.

Additionally, some manufacturers are adding CBD to everyday products like water (CBD water), cooking and massage oils, chewing gum, cream, facial mask, shampoo, chocolate, and beer. Some manufacturers sell CBD-infused pillowcases; other companies offer yoga classes to teach CBD-assisted asanas and guided meditation1.

This necessitates new studies to explore CBD’s therapeutic potential. According to 2019 Executive Summary “CBD in the UK” there has been a steep rise in the number of studies globally into CBD and 1 in 10 are underway in the UK2.

The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis

In November 2018 the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) was created. It is the UK’s first and the only industry membership body for businesses and investors operating in cannabis-based medicinal products and cannabidiol wellness market.

The Centre is supported and funded by the National Health System. Its mission is to combine the strengths of the top research universities, to develop the most innovative and best regulated medicinal cannabis market. Also, to contribute to scientific progress, to create the products that can improve patients’ health and reduce their suffering3.

CBD Research 2019

In 2019 the CMC organised the comprehensive studies to reveal the data on CBD in the UK.

The Report2 demonstrates the following results:

The majority of consumers take CBD for health and wellness. The lack of legal access likely makes CBD more appealing and relevant to customers.

CBD is proven to be a non-addictive product. And it is the main reason why people decide on taking the compound. Many reputable studies have shown that CBD will not create compulsive use or withdrawals.

CBD is the compound that is often used as self-treatment of insomnia, mood imbalance, inflammation, and psychical tension.

Also, the report found that current regulations do not provide the legal clarity for CBD, so sellers find a way to offer CBD-related products to their clients. Besides, the paper admits that detailed classification of CBD products is needed as today they are sold as medicinal, cosmetic or food but current legal CBD status does not include food or medicine.


In 2019 the CMC conducted the first major third-party testing exercise2. In total, 30 CBD products available in the UK were selected for the testing. The exercise aimed to verify the range of quality of CBD products being sold.

According to the results, the best products are very high quality and are good options for consumers. But at the same time, a larger group of products have some issues. Most common problems found were;

  • accuracy (or rather lack of it) of labelling;
  • the presence of controlled substances and some contaminants;
  • and even the complete absence of any cannabinoids.

The Report is to make the manufacturers understand the areas of weakness in producing high-quality products, that consumers can trust.

Clinicians’ attitudes

Clinicians across the UK hold negative attitudes towards CBD because of academic, institutional and cultural factors. It is explained by a lack of randomised control trials in the country. Most existing findings are animal-based, preclinical, poorly structured or conducted abroad and they do not apply to the UK. It is one more reason why more CBD research is needed.

Today there are large numbers of CBD users in the UK. The compound has entered the market with confidence, and the predictions show the popularity will grow more in the nearest future. High-level studies will protect the users and help them obtain more benefits.


  1. Power M. Cannabis has great medical potential. But don’t fall for the CBD scam. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/01/cannabis-medical-cannabidiol-cbd-uk-consumers. Published July 1, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2020.
  2. Report CBD in the UK – Exec Summary.pdf. https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/51b75a3b/files/uploaded/Report%20%7C%20CBD%20in%20the%20UK%20-%20Exec%20Summary.pdf. Accessed February 15, 2020.
  3. Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. /about. Accessed February 15, 2020.



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