Here at VAAY, we think nature is awesome! Naturally providing us with wholesome herbal solutions and botanical boosts helps us achieve an inner sense of well-being. That's why we are committed to creating a more sustainable future, to look after the planet and our customers by getting back to basics through the use of natural ingredients and vegan-friendly products.
With a list of potential therapeutic benefits longer than your arm, it's unsurprising that CBD is the rising star of food supplements in the health and wellness community. There are now so many CBD products available on the market there seems to be a solution to every question, but yet one remains: is CBD vegan?
What is CBD?
Firstly, for all our welcome newbies, let's dive into what CBD is! Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant, also known as the hemp plant. Exploding in popularity over the last few years, fans of the supplement have vouched for some pretty amazing anecdotal evidence when it comes to its reported benefits for wellbeing. Highly regarded for its potential therapeutic properties, CBD is commonly used amongst health enthusiasts to possibly supplement the treatment of symptoms of pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders, among other things, helping to put CBD on the map!
In the cannabis Sativa plant, there are actually over 100 compounds (known as ‘cannabinoids’) present, one of which is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD's infamous counterpart. THC is the chemical compound which has psychotropic effects on the brain, and is the cause of the euphoric "high" sensation users of recreational cannabis experience. The impact of this is that the potential therapeutic benefits of the hemp plant, which had been used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies, holisticism, and herbalism, became taboo; and so the amazing possible botanical benefits the plant had to offer became off-limits in modern societies.
Since then, cannabis-based supplements have become regulated, and were first made available under prescription in the UK in 2015. CBD is now legal in the UK and most of Europe, with the requirement that it is to be extracted from hemp plants containing less than 0.2% THC, and for the CBD product itself to have a total THC level of less than 1 mg. So, whilst the effects of CBD for some may be mind-blowing, we can consume happily in the knowledge that they’re not psychotropic!
This means we are now free to experience CBD’s treasure chest of potential benefits without the stigma of taking cannabis to ‘get high’. With this, scientists now have some serious catching up to do on the research of CBD and its various applications, but whilst they do so, there’s already some pretty powerful anecdotal evidence for us to explore!
What Are The Different Forms of CBD?
Now, if you’ve already had a nosey around the CBD products available on our site, you may have noticed terms such as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum. To clear up any confusion, let’s quickly explore the main three types of CBD:
- Full-Spectrum CBD: Inclusive of all the compounds naturally found in the hemp plant, including CBD, terpenes, and low levels of THC.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD: Inclusive of many of the hemp plant’s compounds, such as CBD and terpenes, but excludes all THC.
- CBD Isolate: The purest form of CBD, containing 99.9% CBD, excludes all other compounds naturally found in the hemp plant including terpenes and THC.
We believe broad-spectrum is superior when it comes to CBD, as it delivers all the natural compounds of the hemp plant, including cannabinoids and terpenes, but without the THC - without the risk of getting you high! This means you get to enjoy your CBD just as nature intended, and why mess with mother nature, after all?
With so much talk about CBD's possible therapeutic benefits, it is important to give some credit to hard-working terpenes. Terpenes are found in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD, but we also encounter them daily without even realising it! So, what are they? Terpenes are the compounds found in all plants, including hemp, responsible for its flavours, smells, and colours. The true botanical gift here is that they are a vital component of essential oils, believed to encompass a variety of potential therapeutic properties, such as possibly helping to supplement the treatment of symptoms of pain, as well as complimenting the potentially antidepressant-like effect of CBD.
Another vegan-friendly component of full and broad-spectrum CBD oil is flavonoids. Producing natural antioxidant properties, flavonoids are phytonutrient compounds that help to protect cells against free radicals that may play a role in diseases. We value the inclusion of all these amazing components that are critical to receiving the full potential benefits CBD has to offer, which is why many of our products contain broad-spectrum CBD.
Is CBD Oil Vegan?
Now, the very fact that you clicked on this article probably means we're preaching to the choir - if that's the case, then you can just take the following as personal validation. However, for others who consider veganism to be a hippy-dippy food fad, we've put together some facts that might impact the way you look at a vegan lifestyle.
Firstly, you may be thinking; surely all CBD is vegan - it’s extracted from a plant, after all! In its pure form, sure, it’s about as vegan as it gets! However, although CBD oil is almost always vegan-friendly (always check with the manufacturer if it’s not clearly labelled), other CBD products often contain other ingredients which may not be, so stay vigilant.
Since the surge in popularity of CBD, it is now available in a multitude of products, including CBD oil, CBD bath bombs, CBD capsules, CBD vape, CBD chocolate - you name it, if it allows CBD to enter your body, then there’s probably a form of CBD for it! As you can imagine, many of these products contain ingredients that would not be suitable for vegans.
The main non-vegan culprit in CBD products is gelatin, a common ingredient to give body and texture to cosmetics and food products, which is derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. Gelatin is, therefore, not exclusive to CBD products; however, due to its common use, it will most likely be present in many of your favourite CBD products, such as CBD gummies, CBD capsules (as a coating), as well as CBD cosmetics and topicals.
Another common non-vegan ingredient in CBD products is beeswax, a natural wax produced by farmed honeybees. Beeswax is often found in many cosmetics and topical CBD products. It is used to homogenise oil and liquid components to deliver a creamy consistency, and is often cited for its use to seal moisture into the skin by creating a barrier against external pollutants and irritants.
This can be a lot to take in, but fear not - all our products are vegan-friendly! In fact, to deliver our customers with the greatest levels of trust and traceability, all our products are third-party lab-tested and have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to confirm all the ingredients used in our products are vegan, as well as confirming the exact amount of CBD contained in our products. As it is not a legal requirement for brands to include the amount of CBD contained in a product, our commitment to being completely traceable demonstrates our openness in what can be a wide-scoping industry in terms of quality.
Are CBD Products Tested On Animals?
Not on our watch! Whilst, unfortunately, there are still so many products out there that are tested on animals, thankfully CBD has often been tested in ways that don't involve our furry friends!
To explain further, as CBD is not a licensed medical product, it is not required to be tested on animals. Furthermore, its long-standing history in regard to non-medical human use has proven CBD is safe for consumption, albeit in a wider scope.
Although CBD itself remains cruelty-free, there remains the issue of CBD products in the cosmetics industry, which may have been tested on animals. Thus, even if the ingredients are vegan-friendly and marketed as being so, it is still important to check for the cruelty-free symbol or conduct some further investigations with the manufacturer before you can be 100% sure of a product.
However, we like to keep things simple, so as there’s no reason to test CBD products on animals, all you’ll see here are leaping bunnies - letting you know our products are completely cruelty-free!
How Veganism Can Help The Planet
First of all, being vegan isn’t all about caring for animals (well, not 100% of the reason, anyway), it is also a viable way to help protect the planet. In fact, going vegan is thought to be one of the single greatest ways to reduce your environmental impact, according to a study conducted by J. Poore and researchers at the University of Oxford. This study found that, by eradicating meat and dairy from your diet, it could reduce your food carbon footprint by up to 73%. Furthermore, if everyone did this, it was found it would reduce the use of global farmland by up to 75%, which is (amazingly) equivalent to the combined size of the US, China, Australia, and the EU!
Did you know?
Livestock globally are responsible for producing the methane equivalent of 3.1 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide which enters our atmosphere annually - now that's pretty "odour-whelming"! This demonstrates how the aim of producing meat from grass-fed beef comes with an immense cost in emissions causing widespread environmental problems. The fact is, our diets have a massive impact on our carbon footprint, and purchasing animal-free products was found to produce greater environmental benefits than sustainable meat or dairy. Interestingly, Poore's five-year research project into this area actually resulted in him ceasing eating animal products after the first year!
Too often we think, what difference can I alone make? No defeatist attitudes here, please. These startling figures are a massive wakeup call to how we can each help make a massive difference, just by making a few vegan changes to our diet. So, as consumers become more aware of the environmental impact non-vegan products have on the world, just as Poore did, this accountability may cause a greater global movement towards sustainability. Fingers crossed!
How Vegan CBD Might Help You Become a Better You
We believe CBD is an incredibly powerful way to connect with nature. In a world where we're living in such fast-paced societies, in the boom of urban developments and technology, it can be hard to find time to slow down and appreciate nature's world. This separation from the natural world, and the mounting pressures of modern living, can take a real toll on our mental health and can stop us receiving the sleep our body requires to rejuvenate our energy for the day ahead and function healthily. That is why we believe introducing vegan CBD into your daily routine is so important; not only as a way to incorporate nature back into our lives, but also to improve our standards of self-care.
The Peaceful History of CBD
Unsurprisingly, there has been a large uptake in demand for well-being and meditation resources over the last decade. As CBD has a deep-rooted history in peace and harmony, used in spiritual gatherings and ceremonies for thousands of years across a broad spectrum (see what we did there?) of age-old traditions and religious practices, it really is time we all listened to our elders!
Therefore, the hemp plant is strongly associated with inducing feelings of relaxation and increased concentration and focus during rituals such as meditation and yoga, potentially helping to soothe the mind, body, and soul. Meditation alone is one of the most popular ways of achieving inner peace, helping to focus your attention, silence mental chatter, eliminate stress, and ultimately, enhance your mental well-being. Those among us well-versed in meditation will already be aware of the history the hemp plant has with meditation, with many cultures across the globe traditionally using its properties to facilitate meditation, as well as hailing it for its possible therapeutic properties. As with the hemp plant, CBD may also help give users a feeling of relaxation and calmness, potentially helping them to unwind and promote deep meditation.
As well as meditation, CBD may also deliver fruitful benefits when it comes to practising yoga. Combining both meditation and physical therapy, yoga is another age-old tradition that encompasses slow and unique movements and motions. Yoga can be considered to be both a mental and physical workout, offering several health benefits whilst helping to increase self-awareness and promote mental well-being. Combining CBD into your daily routine might just help you make the most of your yoga practices, helping to focus on your moves by potentially helping to relax your mind, and possibly reducing stress and anxiety. This form of self-tuning may enable you to access your inner-self more easily when meditating and practising yoga, making it a valuable addition to your physical and mental well-being.
CBD and Mental Health
Time to get serious for a moment. Emotional and mental health is a growing crisis, with numbers estimating that one in four people in England alone experiences a problem involving their mental health each year, which has a severe impact on our holistic health.
These figures make for a gloomy forecast. However, that's where CBD comes in. Anecdotally believed to help increase feelings of well-being whilst promoting a holistic lifestyle and improved self-care, its possible therapeutic properties are acting as a guiding light and are increasingly gaining attention from those who live with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Supported by strong anecdotal evidence, there is much support in the role of CBD to potentially help alleviate the common symptoms of such conditions, helping users to achieve a level of peace and harmony that may be conducive to mental well-being. But how so? Let's quickly explore the ways in which CBD may interact with the body to deliver such unique and promising potential properties:
Firstly, the scientific reasoning behind the uptake in CBD to help supplement the treatment of symptoms may be because CBD is believed to be able to interact with the body's CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Put simply, our ECS is where our body naturally produces cannabinoids (yep, without the help of the hemp plant!) known as endocannabinoids, and is one of the body's most critical physiological systems when it comes to the modulation of various functions and processes within our brain, organs, glands, connective tissues, and immune cells. Communicating cell-to-cell in the body's largest network of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers), our ECS's purpose is to maintain homeostasis - the body's internal state of equilibrium, which, when unbalanced or dysfunctional, can cause an array of health issues. The production of endocannabinoids helps to explain why the body is so accepting of CBD, and supports the notion that they are able to regulate hormone levels such as serotonin (needed to stabilise our mood and produce feelings of well-being) and cortisol (the body's stress hormone) which have a great impact on our perceived state of well-being.
There is also lots of positive anecdotal evidence gathered by cannabidiol users which demonstrates the potential use of CBD to help supplement the treatment of their symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as an increasing interest from those who suffer from depression. There is emerging scientific research to back these claims, demonstrating potential antidepressant properties of CBD when interacting with the brain's cannabinoid receptors to regulate levels of serotonin in our ECS. A proper regulation of serotonin helps to stabilise our mood, to create feelings of well-being and happiness, as well as to aid in core physical functions such as appetite, digestion, and sleep. Sleep deprivation is another common side-effect of emotional and mental health issues. CBD is also believed to possibly help improve users’ sleep quality by presumably lowering cortisol levels in the body and regulating serotonin levels.
According to research, CBD may potentially help to naturally increase and enhance levels of anandamide, also known as the feel-good endocannabinoid. In this way, CBD is thought to possibly interact positively with your mood through interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our ECS, where anandamide is synthesised. There has also been research into anandamide's role in interacting with the body's cannabinoid receptors to modulate the central and peripheral nervous system, helping to ensure a healthy, functioning immune system, as well as having involvement with systems and functions such as our memory, thought processes, motivation, pain, movement, fertility, and appetite. Therefore, it is clear to see anandamide's importance within the body, so when our ECS is deficient in this chemical, it has even been linked to serious syndromes, including schizophrenia and depression. Therefore, alongside supporting the brain’s cannabinoid signalling with a healthy diet (make sure it’s rich in Omega-3!), and exercise, CBD may help enhance and increase anandamide production to combat natural deficiencies.
Let’s Wrap Up!
Although all our products contain natural ingredients and are vegan-friendly, we believe you don’t have to be vegan to want to take a step towards becoming more in sync with nature. As plant-based solutions, such as CBD oil and derivative products, may be a natural way of promoting your internal well-being. However, it's clear to see there’s a huge amount of promising evidence to promote the use of vegan CBD, for both you and the planet. With such positive indications for the efficacy of this natural supplement, all suggesting incorporating CBD into your daily routine may not only help to promote your mental and physical well-being, but may also improve your mental attitude and give you that inner sense of well-being needed to achieve your goals.
Here at VAAY, we love to keep it real, which is why we deliver our consumers with the highest-quality and safest CBD to be used in conjunction with a supportive and healthy lifestyle. Plus, with so many medical claims surrounding CBD in the stratosphere, we remind consumers of the importance of seeking advice from your doctor before using CBD to supplement the symptoms of any ailments and conditions, especially if you are taking any existing medication to ensure they do not conflict. Furthermore, with the current ‘green-rush’ of pesky brands and manufacturers trying to cash in on the warranted hype of CBD, it's important to always buy high-quality CBD from reputable retailers that can provide you with a COA proving the legitimacy of their CBD content, as well as ensuring they contain safe, legal levels of THC (or none at all!)