As the wellness industry grows, CBD has become more and more popular. As CBD becomes a trend in the UK, many Muslims have wondered if the substance is halal (permitted) or haram (forbidden). As there are controversies about the status of cannabis itself, and different substances that CBD can be mixed with when being sold, the answer is not completely straightforward.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of over 150 chemical compounds found in the natural cannabis plant. Through processes of extraction, the CBD is removed and isolated from the cannabis plant. The plants used can either be cannabis plants or hemp plants – hemp is an industrial form of the cannabis plant often used for its fibre.
CBD is a non-psychoactive substance, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD can be extracted from hemp, whereas THC cannot. In the UK, it is illegal to cell CBD that contains THC, and all oral forms of CBD must now be isolate, with no other cannabinoid compounds.
CBD is not sold on its own, but in a carrier oil (frequently vegetable oil, MCT oil or hemp oil). It can also be sold in a variety of non-oil formats, such as creams, balms, patches and vapes.
There are three main types of CBD that you should be aware of. These are as follows:
- Full Spectrum CBD – Full spectrum CBD contains a wide range of flavonoids, cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as trace amounts of THC.
- Broad Spectrum CBD – Broad spectrum CBD is the same as full spectrum CBD, except for the absence of THC.
- CBD Isolate – This is pretty much as it sounds – pure CBD. This is often sold in crystal or powder form and is the purest form of CBD available.
Does CBD get you high?
As it does not contain any THC. Therefore, it has no potential to make you feel ‘high’. Rather, CBD contains substances which can help to work with the internal system known as the endocannabinoid system. This is a system composed of lipids that our body creates. It also consists of receptors we have for these lipids. Our body uses these substances to regulate sleep, mood, memory and appetite, as well as possible links to the nervous systems and pain receptors.
CBD works with this system, as opposed to with the brain chemistry. For that reason, CBD that is pure and does not contain any THC does not get you high.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
The fact that CBD only provides benign side effects and at a very low prevalence, combined with the myriad health benefits on offer, as outlined below, meant that legalisation was a matter of when, not if.
In 2018 the UK finally changed its legislation to recognise CBD as a legal medicine. CBD is now legally recognised as a medicine, rather than a nutritional supplement, as was the case previously.
Provided the CBD product in question is derived from one of the 63 EU approved hemp strains, then it is 100% legal.
While THC is still regarded as an illegal substance, as it has been since the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, trace amounts are acceptable in full spectrum CBD products. The legal limit for this in the UK is 0.2% which is not enough to intoxicate the user. Put simply, CBD is legal in the UK.
What are the Benefits of Using CBD?
Due to the endocannabinoid system’s regulatory properties in the body, CBD has a wide range of health benefits. The benefits of CBD, therefore, are varied and can help provide relief from a range of symptoms.
Many people find CBD useful in relieving chronic pain, as it interacts with neurotransmitters and pain receptors. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, therefore lessening the inflammation around an area and reducing the experience of pain. It is also thought to help reduce static pain or pain after an event, and so can be used to help relieve a wide variety of pain symptoms.
CBD has also shown to have positive effects on mental health. It has been shown to help calm nerves and provide a reduction in anxiety amongst those who take it. It is also believed to help those who suffer with insomnia, aiding a good night’s sleep. It may also have longer-term antidepressant effects.
There are further studies which demonstrate CBD may be useful in fighting malignant tumours and cancer, reduce acne, and benefit heart health. Further research continues to be conducted, but there are clearly and demonstrably many health benefits of incorporating CBD into your life.
Is Cannabis Halal or Haram?
As CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, many people believe that if cannabis is haram, then CBD will be too. It is understood that using cannabis for recreational purposes is haram, as the use of narcotics is haram due to the interference with lifestyle and personal health.
That said, there is growing debate about whether or not all cannabis is haram, as the use of medical marijuana has grown. When using cannabis for medical purposes, if the condition is warranted and justified under Islamic law, cannabis may be a perfectly acceptable drug to use.
In Shia Islam, many scholars view cannabis as haram. This may be due to the long history of Islamic scholars in Persia smoking hashish and using cannabis as a therapy. It is possible, therefore, that Iran may be one of the first Muslim countries to legalise, or at least decriminalise, cannabis. There is also a great historical evidence of scholarly acceptance of cannabis, across different schools of thought within Islam.
This being said, for many the narcotic effects of cannabis leave the drug in dangerous territory, and the uncertainty about its status leave many practicing Muslims to choose to avoid the drug all together.
If Cannabis could be Haram, how is CBD Halal?
As the status of cannabis remains debated amongst Islamic scholars, it may seem that CBD too, exists in this territory. However, this is not the case. The element of cannabis that causes the substance to be debated (as it contains the narcotic properties that the scholars are unsure of) is THC. As CBD contains no THC, and thus has no psychoactive elements, is considered halal.
Moreover, Islamic law permits the consumption of narcotics if they are in such small doses that they are absorbed by the body, and are taken in conjunction with something halal that exists as a cure for a symptom, or is taken to benefit your health. For this reason, even CBD that contains trace amounts of THC is considered halal.
There are, however, certain factors that may cause your CBD to be haram. For example, CBD that is extracted with CO2 is always Halal, but some CBD is extracted with alcohol. CBD that is extracted with alcohol tinctures is haram, and should not be used.
How do I know my CBD is Halal?
As stated, although CBD is halal, there may be some forms of CBD which are not. It is important, therefore, to know plenty of information about the CBD which you are purchasing to make sure it is halal.
- Extraction: when buying CBD tinctures and oils, make sure the CBD was extracted using CO2 extraction, and not alcohol-based extraction. Cannacares CBD oil is extracted using CO2 extraction, and therefore is halal.
- Make sure full lab reports are available for the CBD products that you purchase, and check that there is a below-therapeutic level of THC.
- Be careful the CBD doesn’t contain haram products, such as capsules containing pork gelatine, or vape devices containing nicotine. Cannacares CBD capsules are vegan and do not contain any animal or pork products, and Cannacares CBD vape oils are nicotine free. Rest assured, we take this very seriously as a company and want to make sure our products are suitable for everyone.
Despite scholarly debate regarding the status of cannabis, it is clear from Islamic law that CBD is legal. As CBD does not contain any narcotic properties and is only used for specific health benefits, there are no reasons to believe that it is haram. That said, it is important to check the CBD products purchased to ensure that they do not contain any haram ingredients, such as gelatine or nicotine. When in doubt, just request a lab report!