CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant known as a a phytocannabinoid. While there are over 100 phytocannabinoids, only one is psychoactive, that would be THC, aka tetrahydrocannabinol, aka the one that makes you high. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and has even been shown to be counteractive to THC’s psychological effects.
CBD has a wide range of therapeutic properties including anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective, pain management, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. Extensive scientific researches also show that CBD can benefit patients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and cancer.
There are three types of CBD:
- Full Spectrum CBD, which can contain a trace amount of THC (0.2 ~ 1% depending on its origin) since all other compounds extracted from the plant are included.
- Broad Spectrum CBD, which contains NO THC but does contain other compounds; and
- CBD Isolate, which contains only CBD, meaning just one single compound.
Ideally, this information should be provided on a product label, but the reality is that many CBD products today are marketed as dietary supplements, which means they are not regulated rigorously and the labelling requirements are still fairly opaque. As a consumer, it can be confusing when buying a product, which is why it is important to purchase CBD products from a store/brand you trust, preferably one where you can ask questions. A reputable seller will happily provide lab reports on demand which indicate the cannabinoid contents and percentages.
CBD is legal in Hong Kong. According to several official government press announcements, CBD (cannabidiol) is not classified as a dangerous drug and is therefore not controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
It’s important to note that THC and its derivatives are illegal in Hong Kong and anything containing these substances is prohibited. When purchasing CBD products, it is important to look at labels or ask the seller to make sure you are purchasing Broad Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate-based products to avoid unintentionally breaching the law.
For example, the US allow a THC level under 0.3%, the UK and most EU countries under 0.2%), Japan (like Hong Kong) is at 0%. However, some Asian countries, like Taiwan and Thailand, classify CBD as a regulated medication- only 1-2 months supply are tolerated. In Singapore, CBD is prohibited by law.
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