cbd instead of alcohol

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s it really still only January? Hasn’t it been 31 days yet? Nothing feels quite so long as a month in which you’ve taken the decision to have no fun whatsoever. No high calorie food. No skipping the gym. No alcohol. January is still by far the most popular month to give up drinking. If you’ve made it this far without a single sneaky G&T, then congratulations. You are a legend. If, on the other hand, you’re more like me and you gave up on Dry January on day two, then perhaps what you need isn’t the drink but the ritual. That’s where cannabis can help.

Don’t reach for the rolling papers. That’s not where this is going at all. Smoking weed is still very much illegal and growing it could land you with 14 years inside. But CBD, short for cannabidiol, is legal in the United Kingdom and the past year has seen a huge increase in the number of ways you can access its benefits, including as an alternative to alcohol.

CBD is one of the many chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. The most famous of those compounds is THC, the one which makes you high. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. Neither is it addictive. However, it does have a number of positive effects on the body, where it acts upon the “endocannabinoid system” (the ECS). The ECS has receptors all over the nervous system helping to maintain homeostasis (the chemical balance of the body). The body creates its own cannabinoids, which lock into those receptors to regulate appetite, metabolism and inflammation among other things so it’s perhaps no surprise that a malfunctioning ECS has been linked to fibromyalgia, IBS, migraine and increased levels of anxiety. CBD can help by stepping in where our natural cannabinoids are lacking.

It can give you the healing and relaxing benefits of cannabis without the high – or jail time. Christine Manby adds a dash of cannabidiol bitters to her tonic