What Is MCT In CBD Oil? A Guide To CBD Ingredients – Part 1

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What Is MCT In CBD Oil?

You may well have noticed an increasing number of manufacturers making noises about how they are now including MCT in some of their CBD oils.

MCT, or “medium-chain triglycerides” as it’s less trendily known, is the new kid on the block when it comes to carrying agents for CBD.

In the past – in fact, for decades – olive and coconut oils were considered the best way of helping the body absorb the extract while also preventing it from decaying or losing strength.

While they remain the benchmark and still dominate the market of any oils worth buying, MCT is growing its share rapidly.

What Exactly Is MCT?

In the most simple terms possible, MCT is a synthetically produced combination of palm oil and coconut oil.

“Why bother”, you may very reasonably ask? After all, both of these are demonstrated to have too many long-chain triglycerides to be reliable agents for CBD (we’re sure you know that!).

Well, this is where the folks in white coats have been busy. Through combining palm and coconut oil in such a way they’ve managed to isolate and remove the long chain variety of triglycerides from the formula.

MCT has been proven to be far easier for the body to actually absorb and even digest supplementary ingredients. It’s been used in a vast array of beauty products too (e.g. skin lotions and balms).

Previously, LCT (the long chain version of palm or coconut oil) were not suitable for this purpose. They simply ended up being absorbed unhealthily into the body and stored as fats! In some countries, their use was/has been highly restricted due to the health risks potentially involved.

On the other hand, MCT works differently. Instead of being bulbous and lazy like LCT, it’s instead extremely supple and can be metabolised incredibly quickly and efficiently into the body.

The big debate is over how superior it may actually be to olive oil – which has been used historically as the finest way of sublingually dosing CBD. Is it really a game-changer or just a cunning marketing ploy?

Palm Oil & Coconut Oil

MCT is essentially a combination of palm oil and coconut oil.

Lack Of Standardisation Is A Problem

So far it may sound like MCT is indeed finally going to usurp olive oil – but there’s one big problem. It stems from the fact that “laboratory grade” MCT is a research chemical and not used in commercial products intended for retail.

Before writing angry emails to your CBD vendors, be aware that they haven’t necessarily done anything wrong… confused yet?

Chemicals that contain MCT can be found in rather upmarket dispensaries and health shops and may indeed be blended with CBD and a host of other supplements. The problem is that due to the notorious lack of regulation throughout the CBD industry, you never really know how much MCT is within this mysterious compound. Some companies may use a 99% base, others much, much lower.

If something seems fishy just remember that even if “pure” MCT were available for this kind of use, it’s incredibly expensive to manufacture on an industrial scale.

A £20 CBD oil claiming to be based on “pure MCT” is likely not quite the case – but there’s nothing to prevent them claiming it’s “MCT-based”. This will be a perfectly legal claim.

Labelling is also a common issue with all sorts of CBD product, and in this case, it really does matter how much you trust your favourite company.

Those with a decent track record producing quality, organic and genuinely natural oils and e-liquids will be unlikely to try and rip off their customers using badly produced MCT. But be aware of any bottom shelf product claiming to contain it!

What MCT Really Means In The CBD Industry

Moving on, you can be sure that any company offering a product containing MCT can get away with just including a fraction of palm oil and coconut oil.

Technically speaking, that’s accurate – they just won’t mention that it also contains LCT because the mixture has not been properly processed and extracted. It’s a real grey area and one that’s becoming problematic as more and more companies are hopping on the bandwagon.

It’s always sensible to veer towards using companies that offer a transparent and verifiable system of batch testing within their customer services. Sure, there may be no mention of LCT because they don’t technically need to – but companies that offer this service usually are going to be upfront about the contents of their products. If you’re in doubt, the most straightforward way to address any queries would be to contact them directly and to ask.

Companies who do offer legitimate CBD products based on quality MCT will be very proud of that fact. You, the customer, will be expected to pay a lot of money for a small bottle of their extract. In fact, if your bank balance doesn’t take a proper hit – there’s likely something very suspicious going on.

MCT In CBD Asylum Infuse Drops

CBD Asylum use MCT oil in their range of Infuse Drops for example.

So Should I Try MCT Out?

If you can find – and afford – a genuinely high MCT product, then it will perform superbly for helping the body to absorb CBD.

In fact, when combined with a full spectrum variety that already helps this process, it could indeed be a formidable pairing. That being said, there really isn’t anything particularly wrong with the oils that are already being used. If anything, they’re more reliable because you know what you’re buying (most of the time) and people have enjoyed success with quality versions of these products for years.

In purely scientific terms, there’s no reason why a pure MCT CBD oil shouldn’t be the best possible way of getting that compound fully into your system. It’s just a pity that those that come close to delivering this are very few and far between.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article will have served as a gentle warning to be very careful when it comes to the current buzz about MCT.

The reality is going to 99% of the time be very different to how the labelling suggests, and that’s the case even for the biggest and best reputations on the scene.

It’s never a bad idea to open a dialogue with your vendors anyway, so if this is something that interests you, make inquiries about how they specifically use it within their products.

You can get whatever you’re able to pay for in the CBD world, but it’s never nice being flogged a shoddy product!

Do You Really Need A High Strength Dose Of CBD? Our Facts & Findings

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Do I Need A High Strength CBD Oil?

One of the most interesting trends you may have noticed recently is the considerable increase in the availability of high strength CBD products.

Until the last couple of years, it was unusual to find many options when it came to 1000mg+ oils and e-liquids.

Now, pretty much all of the biggest names on the scene have at least one such specialist range – but is this level of strength really necessary?

We took a look at some of the most recent scientific studies that certainly seem to suggest people are finding these products useful.

But as with so many factors regarding CBD, there’s no categoric evidence that suggests everyone will find them beneficial. In fact, taking far more CBD than necessary may even be counterproductive.

How Important Is The Strength Of A CBD Dose?

This million-pound question always needs to be taken in context.

Some people are simply going to need to take more than others, and this can be influenced by everything from body size, age, internal chemistry and of course their state of physical health.

Most people tend to settle on a dose somewhere between 300-500mg in strength, but there’s a minority who find extremely potent oils necessary.

A common mistake that many people continue to make is to just immediately take up a high strength CBD routine. Not only is this often unnecessarily expensive, but saturating the body with more than is needed to support our own endocannabinoid system can be ineffective.

There’s plenty of studies that have been undertaken which show that people who are given a far greater dose of CBD are not automatically going to ‘feel’ any benefit. Often people who undertake a more moderate dosing routine actually find it more beneficial.

Ingestion Methods Really Do Matter

Another commonly overlooked factor when taking CBD is that some methods are far more effective than others. Capsules may be convenient but they can also lose a great deal of their advertised strength when processed through the digestive system.

Other methods such as oil-based tinctures applied underneath the tongue or vaping allow the compound to much more efficiently enter the bloodstream.

Quite how much CBD actually ends up in the body when taking capsules is again going to vary considerably by person, but it’s important to understand that taking a 1000mg strength capsule isn’t going to entirely enter the bloodstream.

It may actually be just a fraction that’s actually going to be absorbed. This is not the case with vaping or using oral drops, both of which have a far lower wastage percentage.

If you’re opting for a high strength CBD oil, it’s advisable to consider either of these methods ahead of capsules. Anyone needing a high strength dose will find that vaping offers the best way to ensure as total an absorption of the goodness and vitamins/minerals as possible.

Consider The Quality Of The CBD

There’s a growing body of research that suggests CBD absorbs into the body much better when it’s combined with additional cannabinoids and terpenes that are commonly filtered out when manufacturing isolate.

Typically labelled as either ‘broad’ or ‘full spectrum’ varieties, these dozens of additional components help to circulate the CBD throughout the body and attach to a greater number of receptors.

This can mean that a 1000mg isolate may not be as effective as a far lower strength but fuller spectrum oil.

Consider the quality and reputation of the company should you be looking to try stronger concentrates. Only use those who employ 100% natural, chemical-free and eco-friendly hemp and extraction methods.

So Should I Try Very High Strength CBD?

These varieties are only necessary for those who have already established that they require a high strength dose.

Jumping straight into these without trying more moderate options may not be effective, and will require spending an unnecessary amount of money.

There’s no doubt that for people who do need high strength supplements that the ever-growing variety of options out there can be a godsend.

Just take your time when considering varieties, ingestion methods and of course the quality of the core extract.

VSAVI CBD Vape Oil 1000mg

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VSAVI CBD Vape Oil 1000mgVSAVI have earned a fantastic reputation for the quality and purity of their CBD products.

Not many other UK-based companies come close to them when it comes to the quality of hemp used across their range.

Only 100% organically grown plants sourced from licensed EU farms is considered for use in their vape oils and e-liquids – and the difference really is amazing.

A recent addition to their range has been a very high strength 1000mg vape oil that will deliver a fast-acting powerful dose.

So what makes this particular e-liquid stand out from the crowd?

Delivering A Superb Quality Extract

The vast majority of CBD companies will claim to offer the best quality extracts going – but the truth is that only a handful really deliver.

VSAVI take the quality of their extract to a level that few come close to matching. Quality hemp is all well and good, but the actual extraction method is just as important. They only use CO2 techniques that result in a totally natural, unadulterated and chemical/ethanol free product.

This makes a considerable difference when it comes to the final quality of the oil. Considering that this is also a very high concentration, there are not many better ways of taking in seriously top quality CBD.

Is 1000mg Too High A Strength?

Best Place To Buy

Not everyone is going to need such a high strength CBD e-liquid, and the vast majority of CBD vape oils will tend to be between 200mg and 500mg.

Establishing a suitable dose is a very personal thing, and can vary wildly between people.

Most who decide to use this level of strength will already have established that they need 1000mg to enjoy the benefit – just opting to start a routine at this level will likely be more than most actually need.

There’s no harm whatsoever in taking more than required as it will just benignly pass through the body anyway, but from a purely economic perspective, it can become quite expensive very quickly.

For those who do need a 1000mg strength, this is a fantastic option. It’s one of the highest quality examples of its kind on the market.

Why Vape 1000mg CBD E-Liquid?

An increasing trend recently has been people choosing to vape their CBD to complement a standard oil/capsule dose.

Vaping is without question the fastest and most efficient way to ‘top-up’ CBD levels as it hits the bloodstream right away and bypasses the digestive system. There’s simply far less wastage, with the only downside being that it will pass through the system a little bit quicker.

This e-liquid is entirely TPD compliant and contains only CBD and natural ingredients. So when you need to rapidly absorb a serious dose of CBD then there really are not many better options out there.

As should be expected, there’s no nicotine within this product or any artificial flavourings.

The aroma is pure hemp although it’s considerably easier going than most rival extracts.

If you really can’t get along with the taste, you can add some of your favourite juice to the tank – just do so sparingly to avoid crystallisation.


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Hempura Reviews – A Product Line-Up Analysis For 2019

The UK CBD scene may still be in its infancy, but already we’re seeing the emergence of some really great companies.

Hempura ReviewsHempura may have only launched in 2017 but they’ve already carved out a reputation for delivering quality across the board.

Not only are their products of the highest quality, but they’ve also established a name for genuinely outstanding customer service.

Their website contains a great variety of resources and tutorials to help their customers (or anybody for that matter) to get started with CBD.

Even better, they also publish lab reports for their products – meaning you’ll always get what you ordered.

So let’s take a look into the reasons why Hempura’s customers have already accredited it a prized five-star status on the review site TrustPilot.

Excellent Quality Hemp

Before checking out their complete range of products, let’s first address why this CBD ranks as one of the finest on the market.

When it comes to choosing an oil or e-liquid it can be tempting to save a few pennies and take a chance of a ‘B or C Grade’ option.

More often than not these extracts have been sourced by mass-produced hemp, pumped full of pesticides and artificial fertilisers. Just to cap off this unpleasant chemical cocktail, they use solvent-based processing for a quick but very low-quality end product.

Fortunately, Hempura has set themselves far higher standards. Sourcing all of their hemp exclusively from organic hemp farms in Eastern Europe, this is imported and extracted on UK soil.

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Not only does this process involve the use of no chemicals during the growing stage, but the end oil is the result of a CO2 freeze-based extraction that leaves no unwanted residuals. This means that you receive as close to perfect an end product as possible.

As may be expected, this adds a premium to the product that can make high strength options quite pricey. But, speaking from experience, most people will find that a little extra can stretch a very long way indeed.

We cannot speculate on how much any CBD product may help meet your needs, but we have seen far more positive experiences when using top grade oil. This is despite being the same concentration as cheaper/inferior products.

So if you’re looking to get started with a CBD routine, Hempura are presently a very appealing and enticing option.

They Only Use Full-Spectrum Extracts

Another big fat tick in Hempura’s plus points has to be that they stress only to use full-spectrum extracts.

Keep an eye out for companies who over-rely on using the term ‘pure’. Sure, any CBD product sold in the UK is permitted to only contain a trace of psychoactive THC left over. Some people prefer it that way, but increasingly it’s thought that full-spectrum varieties – those which retain dozens of other cannabinoids usually lost during processing – helps make CBD more effective.

While their products will certainly not get anyone high or at risk of failing a drugs test, they retain all the healthy extras which most of their competitors just eliminate.

For those wishing to have zero THC, they also offer ‘broad spectrum’ varieties which contain fewer cannabinoids than ‘full spectrum’ but may offer some people additional peace of mind.

A Straightforward Variety Of Sensible Strength Oils

Moving on, let’s take a look at their oral drops to begin with.

Hempura CBD OilsWhether opting for full or broad spectrum, these come in 250mg, 500mg, or 1000mg concentrations at the same price point (an unusual feature).

Each 10ml bottle ought to be good for around 200 applications. For those dosing three times a day, you’ll find that a bottle should last around 10 weeks.

We don’t usually tend to promote price points when it comes to company reviews (simply because they fluctuate). Yet the 500mg option for £36.99 represents comparatively excellent value considering the quality of the actual extract.

We’ll not stick our necks out and make speculative assertions, but that strength tends to commonly ‘work’ for a good proportion of people.

Some people dislike the taste of CBD oil – especially more ‘earthy’ full and broad spectrum options, so consider the option of instead taking your dose via a capsule.

While this does completely remove the taste, in practical terms we would still suggest drops if you can handle it.

CBD tends to get broken down when ingested through the gastric system, whereas with drops under the tongue it absorbs much more effectively. Just bear that in mind if you’re considering taking the capsule route.

Good Quality Natural Tasting E-liquids

For people who like to vape their doses, we can thoroughly recommend checking out the Hempura options.

Sure, there’s only two listed at the time of writing and both are broad spectrum packing either 250mg or 500mg strength.

Hempura E-Liquids

True to form, they don’t contain any artificial flavours or obviously contain any nicotine. Instead, citrus terpenes deliver a ‘hempy’ taste that will be great for people who like that kind of style.

We’d really like to see them extend their range of e-liquids to incorporate full-spectrum options and maybe even one higher strength option. But, while currently offering only a couple of options, you can be assured that they’re great quality.

CBD Chocolates!

We always like to see companies branching out to edibles – and these white chocolates are a handy way to take a dose.

Available in 200mg, 500mg or 1000mg varieties they are dangerously delicious so be warned in advance!

Hempura CBD Chocolates

Whether or not many people will take their CBD with a daily chocolate – honestly we don’t know – but for a novelty or gift, it’s a nice addition to their product line-up.

Make Use Of The Hempura Knowledge Base

Seriously, if you’re completely new to CBD and you want to learn the ropes, take the time to check out the Hempura website.

Even if you end up shopping elsewhere, they set the standard when it comes to providing great quality tutorials and instructions. Plenty of rival companies are a little lax when it comes to this part of their operation so it’s nice to see some real effort here.

They’ve even put this short 5 minute video together to help those who are new to the scene. If you’re a complete beginner, it’s well worth watching:

We mentioned above that they publish batch testing results. Just type in the product code from any of their range and it’ll show what levels of CBD and other components are present. This is a very neat feature.

As simple as it sounds, plenty of other companies just overlook providing this truly essential aspect of their customer service. So credit where due – and it’s very clear to see why they proudly have one of the best customer feedback scores of any UK CBD operation.


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Does The Criminalisation Of Cannabis Impact The UK Economy?

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Cannabis & The UK Economy

When it comes to assessing the UK’s black market economy it’s obviously quite tricky to avoid sheer speculation.

Depending on which public or unofficial body of ‘experts’ you listen to, it’s estimated that the potential value of legalising cannabis is between £750m – £10bn.

Such a differential is not due to the value of the approximately 255 tonnes of marijuana taken in the UK last year. Anyone who smokes knows that if anything, black market prices change at most once a decade, and the actual figure consumed is likely way higher.

Either way, the cost of criminalising cannabis is now broadly regarded as being counterproductive to the UK economy.

The Institute of Economic Affairs – perhaps one of the most Thatcherite ‘think tanks’ going – has suggested quite simply that if performed correctly, decriminalising is a win-win-win scenario.

The economy would receive around a £2.6bn boost, taxable jobs created, and public health will improve long-term compared to being an island of just drinkers and tobacco users.

So What Is A Realistic Figure Of The UK Cannabis Trade?

The aforementioned IEA study is likely in a sensible ballpark. If anything, they tend to undervalue products and commodities in order to provide a cushion to sudden shifts in the global market.

Many pro-cannabis campaigns will treble or more that valuation, but you need to consider the impact that it will have on spending.

Let’s think hypothetically. For example, instead of going out for a few drinks at maybe £20 or so – people may chill out at home and instead settle into some recreational marijuana use.

Doing so will take the money from the alcohol industry and instead place it into the marijuana one.

Ambiguous as those figures may well be, the fact remains that the same amount of money is still circulating. Just in different ways.

An alternative scenario may be people who still drink just start to use cannabis as well.

The money still has to come from somewhere, so while they may be more buzzed or whatever the cash that could have been spent on a new TV is instead being splashed on drugs.

The knock-on effect for that on the economy is impossible to gauge – but let’s hold fire before declaring doom and gloom.

Let’s Look At The Evidence

Plenty of countries very similar to the UK in regards to spending habits have recently experienced a relaxation of marijuana laws. Canada being a prime example recently.

Initial changes are barely perceivable. Society has not collapsed, and if anything it has provided a means for more entrepreneurial thinking.

The west coast of the USA saw an explosion in the number of outlets the moment those states made access to marijuana far easier. A good number have folded, and those that thrive have tended to diversify. So instead of a ‘weed store’ you instead find a busy cafe that may sell marijuana as well.

In an ideal world, that’s exactly the model that proponents of decriminalising cannabis in the UK are wishing for.

It will boost economies by providing jobs across a wide range of sectors, while also providing a means to access better quality and cheaper strains.

Early indications suggest that the use of other – and rightly highly illegal and dangerous drugs – is falling, as well as related pressures on legal and healthcare services.

So for the overall economy, it’s very difficult to see much of a downside at all.

So What’s Stopping Us?

The UK doesn’t quite fit the USA or – very soon – the Canadian model.

Our legislature has been ferocious (on paper) against marijuana for decades.

Despite around 3m people regularly taking it for personal enjoyment, and untold others for medicinal use, it can still land you in prison for possessing what is considered above ‘personal use’.

So, you could have a personal grow to harvest once a year, and still be sharing a cell with a major drug trafficker – if busted at the wrong time.

The criminal element also plays a major role. It costs over £50m a year to incarcerate the small proportion of people (around 1200) held for cannabis related crimes. Seizure of untaxable assets and income is staggeringly low. To put it bluntly, there’s no reason why career criminals cannot make hay and hide it away at risk of a short spell in lockup.

Instead of seizing those assets, why not just make them taxable? Sure, there’s a good proportion of growers/dealers who wouldn’t fancy being propelled into a 50% tax bracket.

Examples from overseas have demonstrated that going ‘legit’ can be done successfully, boosting revenue from income tax and national insurance by a huge amount.

Quite how to manage that is a headache – but no worse than when prohibition laws were lifted in the States 80 years ago.

The IEA estimates that decriminalisation would lead to just a 5% residual of cannabis being sold on the black market. Most of that will be personal home grows.

At just a 20% tax – way below what alcohol and tobacco are set at – that would bring in £690m a year. While also saving approximately half that amount due to less pressure on public services.

So, all in all, it would potentially save the country a billion pounds per year, and also add an untold amount of additional income through taxation.

What Is The Difference Between Cannabis Oil & CBD Oil?

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Cannabis Oil vs CBD Oil

Oils derived from hemp are often confused. There’s an underlying assumption that because they are taken from the same plant, they will/can make you high. Quite simply, that’s not the case!

CBD oils are those that have been extracted from the plant to reduce to absolute minimum quantities of THC (the psychoactive component that makes one ‘high’). Once made benign, a good quality CBD oil will be packed full of all the good cannabinoids that serve as a health supplement. They just won’t make you feel wonky!

Before we look into the full story behind this very important distinction, we ought to make a quick disclaimer.

While CBD is increasingly thought to help with many health issues, it’s not our place to claim it as being a wonder cure.

The very public recent case of Billy Caldwell being granted a special license to help him with epileptic seizures is an example of how it may help. Special measures were granted by the UK Home Secretary, no less, to allow it. Read into that what you will, but for now, let’s take a look into what distinguishes CBD oil from Cannabis oil.

Terminology Is Key

The root of all confusion regarding cannabis extracts stems from a confusing terminology.

As much as we’d wish there were a clearer sense of definition, for now, there isn’t one!

Over in the USA, ‘cannabis oil’ can relate to either a health supplement without any active compounds or as a recreational drug packed with THC.

Always beware any product that claims to be cannabis oil. Plenty of less scrupulous manufacturers market their product extremely casually and without much care.

If you’re looking for CBD – check not just the source and extraction process, but also for batch testing. That ought to present a very low THC content – and certainly nothing close to failing a drugs test level. For reference purposes, only CBD oils containing under 0.2% THC content are currently legal in the UK. Oils sourced from overseas are often considerably higher – and illegal.

Why Hemp Is Important

Plenty of people assume that just because oils are produced from the marijuana family that they must share active ingredients. This is far from the case.

Good quality CBD based oils will originate from organically sourced hemp. Taken alone, hemp naturally contains barely a fraction of the THC found in a ‘traditional’ cannabis plant.

When it comes to making a distinction between oils, this is a key factor – and once again, all quality producers will verify and account for the provenance of their batches.

Terminology makes things awkward to establish. The sativa plant is the most commonly used in any oil extract – but there’s an increasing number of strains on the market. Sativa is used because it is the easiest to measure THC levels with. Over 95% of CBD oils for sale in the UK will be based on this variety.

Quality Extraction Is Essential

As most people would be aware of by now, the process of making CBD oil packed full of non-active cannabinoids can be counteracted.

Cannabis oils – the ones that get you high – are produced in a way that maximises THC levels. This can make them extremely potent.

Very similar methods are used in both processes. Generally (but not exclusively) speaking, high strength cannabis oil is extracted using artificial methods such as ethanol. This makes for a cheaper and easier process.

Top quality CBD is manufactured using cold filtering CO2 methods. This method extracts additional non-psychoactive terpenes and cannabinoids. Sometimes they’re supplemented back into the compound and deliver a superior product. This is referred to as ‘full spectrum’ CBD.

So while it may seem like the two are very closely related, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Both cannabis and CBD oils have their own specific purpose.

Always check the quality of any manufacturer – the good ones will be happy to provide complete documentation regarding the sourcing, composition and extraction of their oils.

What’s The UK Government’s Current Position On Cannabis? – October 2018

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Current UK Position On Cannabis

The UK government has maintained a hard line on the use of cannabis for several decades and under varying political parties.

Even though there are countless advisory bodies who make a strong case for decriminalisation, cannabis remains a Class B drug. In theory, even possessing a small amount clearly for just personal use can land anyone with up to 14 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

In reality, of course, such legislation is only used against those caught with enormous operations, and typically a considerable amount of assets that cannot be accounted for by conventional paper trails.

More often than not, someone caught with a few joints worth of marijuana will face a statutory fine (usually less than £100) unless they are a ‘repeat offender’. It’s not unheard of for more “open-minded” police officers to just issue a warning while they throw a stash down a drainpipe.

So this leaves the current UK governmental view on cannabis very tricky to ascertain.

There’s never been a wider body of people calling for a much more relaxed take, especially given the thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens who take marijuana for therapeutic reasons.

Taxation Is Key

Cannabis Tax UK

Is the UK Treasury potentially missing out on billions?

A common argument made against tobacco and alcohol manufacturers is that they are overwhelmingly more dangerous drugs than marijuana. This is a documented fact, and one of the reasons why they are so heavily taxed.

Even the cost of a bottle of wine is accounted for by around a 57% tax excise – with tobacco being not far shy of 85%. All of that contributes a staggering amount of tax revenue, with booze raking in well over £10bn a year (2016-17 figures). In layperson’s terms, that’s just one year to pay for the nuclear deterrent outright!

If marijuana were taxed on similar levels, conservative estimates suggest it’d be worth between £1bn to £3.2bn per year in tax revenues. That needs a little adjusting because obviously, people would use less booze and cigarettes for recreational purposes.

Yet it would represent a huge boost to the public coffers on sales that are currently untaxed due to being restricted to the black market.

This has been the case for decades – so why hasn’t it been legalised?

Organised Crime

As much as we’d like to think how wonderful it would be if your local allotment had a friendly old fella cultivating beautiful organic marijuana, that’s simply not the case.

Cannabis Farm UK

Cannabis farms such as this one are being uncovered by British police on a weekly basis.

Organised crime plays a very large role in the underground marijuana market, and if there’s one absolute fact about drug dealers it’s that they are always looking to diversify.

A good proportion will also trade/import far more harmful drugs, as well as be expert money launderers.

Combine this with the shadier aspects of dealing in an illegal commodity, and this presents a very tricky problem.

Back in the early 2000’s, there was serious optimism that cannabis could be rescheduled or even decriminalised.

This led to a flurry of massive alcohol companies buying hundreds of defunct community cafes on the belief that it would happen, and the UK would have a Dutch-style approach to cannabis culture. One that they could invest in right away.

It never happened because while there are legal cannabis farms operating across Europe for medicinal purposes, there simply would be issues with supply and demand.

So who has enormous UK grow operations that could flood the UK market instantly? Organised crime, and there’s no chance that even the most progressive government could allow that to happen.

It would legitimise their wealth and basically say that it’s fine to break the laws of the land and profit.

Combine that with assuming existing growers/dealers would be happy to forgo a huge amount of taxation on their current income, and that’s why decriminalisation simply has not yet happened.

Are There Signs Of Progress?

Billy Caldwell

The Billy Caldwell case instigated a review into the medical use of cannabis.

Yes, there are!

Just this year (2018) the Home Office allocated funding to the biggest evaluation of the medical use of marijuana the UK has ever seen.

Supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform, their initial findings have already started to bear some fruit.

In a recent landmark case, an epileptic boy was finally allowed to be prescribed medicinal cannabis oil to help reduce his proneness to seizures.

Despite being initially refused by the medical authorities, it took the influence of the Home Secretary to over-rule the decision.

Whilst this does not set a formal legal precedent, it will most certainly be referred to for potentially tens of thousands of similar cases in the very near future. Recreational users may still be waiting a fair while though.

Besides there being some motions regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes, don’t expect to see it stocked at Sainsbury’s any time soon.

On 11 October 2018, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that doctors in England, Wales and Scotland will be able to prescribe cannabis-derived medicine from 1 November 2018. This announcement has been widely welcomed.

Endoca Reviews – A Full Product Guide For 2019

Endoca may be an unfamiliar CBD brand for many UK-based readers. Whilst they’re one of the biggest and longest established names in the industry, for some reason they’ve only recently caught on over here.

Founded by the Danish therapeutic medicine expert Henry Vincenty, he initially took an interest into the potential hemp extracts may hold for helping people suffering from AIDS.

After setting up a non-profit clinic it became clear that there was a huge untapped interest in CBD products – leading eventually to Endoca as it is today.

What Makes Endoca Stand Out?

Endoca Reviews - Full Guide For 2019Pretty much every CBD company claims to offer the absolute purest extracts going. But when you take a closer look, this is not only difficult to measure but also to compare!

We always recommend that you do plenty of research into the providence of the hemp used in every product.

Happily, we can also report that these guys really do deliver some of the best oils and supplementary products currently available.

As you’d likely expect from one of the biggest names out there, they farm plenty of hemp. 2,000 acres of it to be precise, all grown totally organically and without any exposure to unpleasant chemicals or artificial growth agents.

This is then processed into extracts within a pharmaceutical grade laboratory, resulting in as close as you can get to genuinely ‘pure’ supplements.

As the company is continuing to grow, they’re maintaining a fully eco-friendly approach instead of greedily chasing quick profits.

For those searching for a properly ‘right on’ and sustainable CBD company, it really is pretty much the gold standard (even the fuel used for their harvesters is recycled from food waste!).

What Makes Their Products So Good?

All this is very well and thoroughly wholesome, but what is it that makes so many people convinced that they’ve found better personal successes using Endoca ahead of others?

The key is, of course, the quality of the hemp as described above, but they also use and combine multiple strains.

Many CBD companies tend to stick to either indica or sativa strains, while these folks combine the benefits of both in most of their various ranges. Consequently, they carry truly full-spectrum qualities – which means their extracts are also jam-packed full of additional cannabinoids and terpenes.

A growing body of people (and we incline to agree) that these style of extracts can be considerably better as a dietary supplement.

A Sensible Range Of Strengths

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One thing that grates our gears when it comes to many CBD suppliers is that they offer a wonky set of strengths to their oils.

Everyone should be aware that finding a ‘working dose’ can be frustrating, and that the most common way to achieve this is by gradually increasing the strength – a time consuming and in some cases an unnecessarily expensive process.

This is why we were happy to see that their range of oils is either a sensible 3% (300mg) or a considerably stronger 15% (1500mg).

Instead of offering a wide range of strengths, Endoca offer different styles of CBD oil drops. You can choose between hemp oil, raw hemp oil (which contains even more cannabinoids) or another raw oil fortified with additional CBDA (an increasingly popular choice).

Whichever strength you choose, you can be rest assured that it’s going to be considerably more potent than what many other companies claim to offer.

While this is all well and good, it should be mentioned that a limited variety of strengths may put some people off, especially given that the higher concentrates are somewhat expensive.

Speaking anecdotally – and of course, making no promises – we gather that satisfied customers who are experienced in the CBD scene swear that this range is much more efficient than you may initially assume.

In our opinion, it would be nice to see perhaps a 500/1000mg option as well, but frankly, the quality of these full-spectrum oils is enough to make us satisfied with a relatively moderate 300mg.

A Wide Range Of Additional Products

While oils are rapidly becoming the most popular method for taking CBD, some people can struggle with the taste, especially in more ‘complex’ extracts such as these.

One of the great reasons to consider using Endoca is that they also offer a comprehensive range of other products that incorporate the same quality extracts. We’ll run through these in turn:

Capsules

The ideal solution for those who really don’t enjoy the taste, we’re happy to say that the same variety of strength and hemp composition used in their oil drops are also available in capsule form.

They’re easy to take alongside any other supplements and are 100% vegan and kosher friendly. These are a super choice for long-term users or for regular dosing (there are 30 capsules in each jar).

Endoca Capsules - New Packaging

Chewing Gum

Here’s something you don’t see every day!

Packing an impressive 15mg CBD per capsule, and made from natural chicle gum taken from the sapodilla tree, this is an organic way to take your dose and flavoured with organic spearmint.

We were very excited to try these, and were far from disappointed – they really do taste great!

Rumour has it that they are planning on extending their range of edibles soon, so just in case they are reading we’d like some boiled sweets, please!

Endoca CBD Chewing Gum

Skin Care Products

We’re seeing more and more skin-based creams and lotions hit the market, and make no mistake these can get very expensive indeed!

But what do you get for the beauty conscious CBD aficionado? A hemp salve (750mg) or body butter (300mg or 1500mg) are available alongside a more moderately priced lip balm (20mg).

All of these are totally natural, made from organic ingredients and haven’t been tested on animals at any stage.

CBD Skincare Products From Endoca

Suppositories

We’ve saved the strangest for last, and yes you read that correctly – Endoca manufacture CBD suppositories!

It isn’t just a gimmick either. The advantage of using these is that it allows the CBD to bypass the gastric process and fully hit the bloodstream.

Delivering 500mg of CBD is an impressive figure – just be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Hemp Suppositories


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We’ve Individually Reviewed These Products

Endoca RAW Hemp Oil Paste 2000mg
Endoca RAW Hemp Oil Paste 3000mg
Endoca Hemp Oil Paste 2000mg
Endoca Hemp Oil Capsules 300mg
Endoca Hemp Whipped Body Butter
Endoca RAW Hemp Oil Drops 300mg
Endoca Hemp Salve
Endoca Hemp Oil Drops 300mg
Endoca Hemp Oil Drops 1500mg
Endoca RAW Hemp Oil Capsules 1500mg
Endoca RAW Hemp Oil Drops 1500mg

VSAVI Flavoured CBD E-Liquid

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VSAVI Flavoured CBD Vape OilsVSAVI have a superb reputation when it comes to delivering truly top quality CBD extracts.

By our estimation, they’re comfortably one of the best names on the UK scene in regards to purity and consistency. You can read our full company review for them here.

That being said, before now, they haven’t been an automatic go-to for CBD e-liquids. The ones they’ve released in the past have been top class, but simply lacked flavoured options.

For a company that produces outstanding high VG e-liquids with some of the best flavours going, this struck us as a little odd.

Needless to say, when we heard that they’ve recently released a far broader range we had to take a try.

Not only are VSAVI offering a good quality range in terms of strength and concentration, but they’re now offering flavoured options alongside their “Original” flavour.

The presence of full spectrum vape oils, including all those lovely terpenes and cannabinoids that tend to be rather neglected in the CBD e-liquid scene added further to our excitement.

So how did they do when put to the test? Let’s take a closer look.

A Great Range Of Strengths

Something many people who vape their CBD find frustrating is figuring out a dose that works for them.

With the latest VSAVI range, you’ll find that they offer a 50mg (0.5%) option ranging all the way up to a cool 1,000mg.

There are also 100mg, 300mg and 500mg options, which speaking from personal experience, are around the level most people get on with. 50mg is a bargain at their current price point – and makes casual, around the clock CBD vaping far more affordable than it has been before. But the 1000mg option will, as expected, leave a hearty hole in anyone’s bank balance.

Quality Makes A Huge Difference

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While vaping CBD continues to become an ever more popular way of dosing, quality really does count.

Whether taken alone or as a supplementary method to capsules or oil drops, the important factor is to never neglect quality. You can have the best quality hemp on the market, yet if extracted using nasty chemicals (ethanol being the worst) you’ll end up with a distinctly second-rate extract.

VSAVI only source their hemp from the best – licensed – cannabis plantations in the EU. All of these plants are organically grown and cultivated.

When it comes to extracting the CBD, they use a 100% CO2 process that is the absolute benchmark of any good product. Alongside the key extract, they also include “full spectrum” cannabinoids and terpenes that tend to be wiped out by less benign methods.

Flavour Options

There’s a mounting body of research that suggests full spectrum ranges are simply a more effective way of carrying the key extract through the body. Sure, it may not be to everyone’s immediate taste, but if it comes to the crunch we’d always recommend these ahead of anything calling itself ‘pure’ extract. The VSAVI range includes options which are specifically produced to reinforce these essential elements.

So What About The Flavours?

Available FlavoursNow the science is out of the way, here’s an appraisal on what to expect from the latest VSAVI line of CBD e-liquids.

These guys really do know how to produce delicious juices – in fact, it amazes us they haven’t expanded their traditional e-juices recently.

For those who (like us) prefer a totally natural taste jam-packed with terpene richness, look no further than the “OG Kush With Terpenes”. It’s a genuinely delicious e-liquid, packed full of natural goodness and vapes very easily on the body and throat.

For anyone vaping CBD as a supplement to a standard dose (oil or capsule) then it’s difficult to see anything as good on the market right now.

In terms of their flavoured CBD vape oils, they currently offer the following flavours:

  • Lemon Haze with terpenes
  • OG Kush with terpenes
  • Strawberry
  • Apple
  • Mango
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Peach
  • Blueberry
  • Orange
  • Vanilla

They’re excellent examples of what you’d expect from premium e-liquids – and the fact that they’re also inclusive of CBD just makes them even better.

At a push, we’d lean towards Strawberry being the highlight – but it’s a personal choice. The Apple is zesty, and the Lemon Haze even more so – possibly leaning on being a little overpowering for first-time vapers. Yet the Strawberry is sweet without being sickly, and a great choice for a daily go-to.


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What Are Terpenes & Their Roles In CBD Oils

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What Are Terpenes?

A regular question many newcomers to the CBD scene ask is what makes ‘full spectrum CBD’ so bloody fantastic?

We make no qualms in saying that based on personal experience and second-hand anecdotes, these tend to be considerably more ‘effective’.

Quite why is still a topic for the boffins to research, but the indications are that it’s thanks to full spectrum varients being rich in all the cannabinoids that may otherwise be filtered out when producing CBD.

These include masses of terpenes (and no they aren’t a fancy kind of tadpole).

Just like any other plant or fruit, they add flavour and variety. Ever chopped an onion and cried a little? That’s actually a terpene at work!

In better news, it’s also what makes berries taste so good. They interact with our senses to just make things feel better or more interesting. Given that proper CBD extracts are non-psychoactive, why should that make a difference?

Hemp Is Packed Full Of Terpenes

Top quality organic hemp contains over 200 different variants of terpenes. Quite what they all actually do is still a matter of conjecture, but for our purposes, they are thought to help with making CBD extracts more effective.

At the moment, less than a third are being actively researched, but there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that these terpenes make CBD much more effective.

Why is this the case? Everyone has their own endocannabinoid system. Sometimes it’s great, and other times not so much. Just like any other aspect of our body, it’s about finding a suitable balance – something much easier to do with proper supplementation.

Terpenes are thought to be essential when it comes to helping CBD transit between the dozens of ‘receptors’ across the body. Think of them like a water carrier, an essential yet often overlooked part of any team.

Most scientific research has been focussed on CB1 receptors – those thought to have indigenous pain relieving properties. Terpenes are active there, but even more so in the neglected world of CB2 receptors.

Terpenes In CBD Oils

The Entourage Effect

Many people immediately find themselves looking for the purest CBD extract possible. Fair enough, and whether by oils, liquids, balms or capsules we will always agree that purity is essential. But what is purity?

There are plenty of top quality companies out there offering CBD with just trace elements of cannabinoids and terpenes. For some people, that’s great – but for others, they may prove ineffective regardless of strength.

The “entourage effect” is when your extract is also inclusive of the additional components. As mentioned above, this style of dosage is considered simply to be more efficient.

Think of it like eating a nice slice of cake. It’d be quite uninspiring, and possibly less tasty, without some berries, jam and a cherry on top. It’ll still fill you up, but for proper satisfaction, those extra ingredients make the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Terpenes In Cannabis Chart

Infographic: These are the most common terpenes found in the cannabis plant.

What Terpenes Should You Look Out For?

You’ll find it tricky to find a producer who lists specific terpenes included in their base product. That isn’t because they’re being tricky – it’s more to do with how they are actually labelled.

As a rule of thumb, full spectrum (terpene heavy) CBD tends to be more ‘hempy’. If you’re using it as an e-liquid or oil, it will look darker and taste a whole lot richer.

While it may not be to everyone’s taste (at times it can really be quite full on), capsules present a perfectly valid bypass. As does adding to a shake, smoothie or even your morning cereal.

The point is to always look for companies vending full spectrum CBD with terpenes who list their batch testing results. Ideally, these will include everything from natural extract – usually about 98% – and a whole list of others.

A recent trend has been adding those active terpenes back into the mix. It may not stem from the same batch of hemp, but if it improves the quality of the product then who are we to argue?

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a decent oil, we’d recommend steering very much towards those that are richer and jam-packed full of terpenes.

Ideally, they will be the most effective supplement going – and of course, they will not make you high.

So if you’re looking for a new CBD oil, consider this as a priority when choosing your next vendor. All the great ones will provide a total breakdown of the detected composition. It really can make a massive difference.