As said, it is a naturally occurring chemical that is found in cannabis plants. The word cannabis may conjure up a lot of images but really covers a wide family of related plants. This is split into Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, although botanists now also believe Cannabis ruderalis to be a distinct third species of plant.
Hemp covers plants that are higher in CBD and lower in THC, whilst marijuana can be thought of as being higher in THC (the psychoactive substance that makes one stoned) and lower in CBD. Hemp comes from sativa plants, whilst marijuana, cannabis used for recreational purposes, can come from either that or indica.
What CBD Products Might Not Be Vegan?
When it comes to other CBD-based products, in general they tend to be vegan, partly due to the target demographic. Whilst some products, such as jelly-type sweets and capsules, may require a little more caution, with so many explicitly vegan CBD oils, items and brands out there, obtaining vegan CBD should be simple enough.
In fact, the issue where the evidence in support of CBD is strongest is one we have not even mentioned and concerns epilepsy. US authorities, the FDA, approved the use of Epidyolex and the NHS has now also approved this CBD-based medicine.
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is a chemical found in cannabis plants. There are many chemicals found in this family of plants and these are collectively known as cannabinoids, with current thought being that there are around 150 of note. The most well-known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive element that generates the high when ingested, but CBD is increasingly being studied by scientists and used by people in general in relation to all kinds of ailments or illnesses.
While the extract itself is plant-based, the versatility of CBD allows manufacturers to make it into hundreds of other products. Some of these may not be suitable for vegans, to prevent you from making an accidental non-vegan purchase, here are some things to look out for:
CBD Oils – CBD extract is entirely vegan, but different companies combine it with their preferred blend of oils, colours and flavourings. Most trustworthy brands will only include a high-quality carrier oil like olive oil, hemp seed oil or MCT oil. Still, you should always carefully check the label to ensure there are no hidden animal products.
Products to Avoid
CBD Edibles – CBD can be added to most foods and many shops, coffee-shops and online stores carry a range of sweets, chocolates, drinks and even pastries. What is included in these items is entirely down to the manufacturer, so they should be treated just like any other food; look carefully through the ingredients and check for labels or certificates that indicate it is suitable for vegans.
CBD Capsules – These are made with an edible shell and hold a precise amount of CBD oil; they are ideal if you want a discreet way to take CBD or want to carry it without fearing spills or leaks. With some capsules, the shell or soft-gel is made using gelatine. The vegan versions are made using plant-based gelatin alternatives.
In the last few years, CBD has soared into the public consciousness and gained immense popularity. CBD products and brands of all varieties are now available, both online and in high street shops. While the choice this gives us is incredible, it can make it harder to find a high-quality, vegan CBD oil.
That said, not all CBD supplements are created equally. Willis suggests seeking out high-quality products by doing your due diligence and avoiding the temptation to buy dietary supplements or oils from big-name retailers online. “CBD is not regulated, so there are lots of questionable products on the market,” she warns. “I do not recommend finding your products through Google or Amazon.”
Instead, Willis suggests seeking out well-established brands and boutiques to help determine the right type of supplements for your individual needs. “These are all products I have come to know and love and I use some of these daily,” she says. “I personally know the creators and owners behind each brand and can contest the integrity of these products.”
Bloom Farms has earned plenty of accolades from magazines including Vogue, Rolling Stone and Allure for its organic, environmentally-friendly wares. The organic company makes a wide array of whole-plant tinctures and also sells CBD paraphernalia. “The Sequoia Mint vape pen is my go-to,” says Willis. “It's so refreshing and discreet and clean!”
Potli is a purveyor of anything and everything you could ever want for your kitchen pantry. This California-based company peddles sources raw ingredients to make CBD olive oil and chili sauce for aspiring chefs who want a side of CBD with their healthy fare. “These products make CBD supplementation incredibly easy to achieve,” says Willis.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, may be the hottest new supplement to hit the natural healthcare market in years, but many people want to know if their supplements are 100% vegan or contain hidden animal products. Everyone from Rob Gronkowski to Kim Kardashian to Kristen Bell (who defines herself as vegan) has touted the cannabis derivative as a magical elixir to treat pain, anxiety and stress. So it's no wonder that the trendy new compound is making a big splash in the health and wellness world, among plant-based eaters and everyone else.