Cannabidoil / CBD


The buzz around Cannabidoil (CBD) has increased even in the time it has taken us to write two articles and thoroughly test some products.  There are a number of new brands and formats available, along with all the hype can be quite dazzling, so we hope this is useful.


CBD Cannabidoil Hemp


We have had CBD on test from the lovely people at CBD Virtue for a few months now but we did not start using it without first doing our research and the questions we wanted answers to before taking the product are addressed here.  In this first article looking at CBD we discussed what it is, the legality, both on the ‘high street’ and for athletes who are subject to dope control, the benefits and potential side effects and finally how we can know if the product we are buying is pure – in other words, how do we know we are getting what is promised on the label. 


Before we tell you about the products we have tested it is worth reminding ourselves why we decided to accept the offer of samples from CBD Virtue when we actually had a number of different options.  The short answer is that we wanted to test the highest quality, purest Cannabidoil and CBD Virtue ticked all the boxes – they sell only third party lab tested and certified pure Californian CBD, that’s the good stuff as compared to products from China, Eastern European or Western European for example. 


What is so special about California we asked?  The obvious answer is that any plant is only as good as the environment it is grown in and the quality of the soil, the water and the amount of sun shine in California is optimal for growing the best varieties of hemp and marijuana plants.  And so it probably goes without saying that organic options will be better than CBD produced using harsh fertilisers and chemicals too.  


Not all CBD is created equal


Think about wine, there are many different types of grape and the quality varieties produce the best wines when they carefully nurtured.  Like wine, CBD comes in a range of varieties, from cheap, mass produced, poor quality to carefully crafted, world class products.  So while there are a lot of brands claiming to offer pure CBD it is worth remembering that the quality will depend on a whole range of factors; from the genetics of the plant, to the environment in which is it grown in and the amount of care the plant is given – every stage of the growing process will affect the final product.


The next key thing to understand is how the CBD is extracted.  The best quality is obtained through CO2 extraction rather than cheaper solvent based extraction, or worse still backroom extractions done with dangerous chemicals from some factories in Asia.


It's also important to look for good test results and quality packaging and branding.  Test results should be available on request from any reputable brand and packaging is important because people who take care over the details are generally going to take care over every aspect of the production.  Essentially cheap CBD products look cheap and if you buy cheap you need to accept there will most likely be a reason for it.


If in doubt you can ask The Cannabinoid Trust for advice: on how and where to buy CBD.


CBD in honey on toast - delicious!


So now we have explained our obsession with quality and why we chose CBD Virtue let’s talk about the products we tried and our experience of them.


We have been testing CBD in three different forms:

  • CBD Honey sticks each containing 10mg of CBD blended with premium Californian natural honey which can be sucked straight from the stick, stirred into drinks or spread onto toast – truly delicious and very easy to transport
  • CBD tincture which can be dropped into the mouth under the tongue, or stirred into food or drinks, for an extra relaxing effect, stir into camomile tea
  • Muscle Rub which contains a combination of essential oils, alongside CBD which benefits muscle recovery by increasing blood flow, as well as helping acne-prone skin and promoting collagen production and increased blood flow


In addition to these products they offer CBD gummies, CBD roll-on for targeted pain relief, CBD body butter for inflammation and swelling, CBD aphrodisiac oil and a CBD foot rub – we like the sound of all of those!


We found the tincture the easiest way to take CBD on a daily basis, although it has to be said that the honey sticks were outrageously delicious.  The tincture comes in a bottle which is easy to pop into a handbag, small enough to take as hand baggage if you are travelling and depending on the concentration you buy and the dose you prefer, a bottle can last months.  We started with a 10mg daily dose and have worked up to two doses of 50mg, which means a 3,000mg bottle lasts us 30 days.  We chose a higher dose because we have been training really hard and wanted to test the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD to the fullest.


CBD Virtue tincture oils


As per instructions, we squeezed the tincture into our mouth, holding it under the tongue for about 45 seconds before swallowing.  By consuming CBD oil this way the absorption process bypasses the digestive system and liver metabolization, allowing it to reach your bloodstream and interact with the endocannabinoid system more quickly.  The taste is mildly nutty or earthy, definitely pleasant and CBD Virtue’s product in particular has a nice fresh taste.  Interestingly one of the team had used a CBD product in the past and she remarked how much cleaner CBD Virtue’s product tasted than the one she had tried before … I guess that goes right back to the wine analogy.


So how did we get on?  The most immediate and measurable effect was that both the quality and quantity of our sleep improved.  That was clearly quantifiable via Fitbit at a level that was beyond question (we wear a FitBit Charge 2 which gives a detailed sleep analysis).  The numbers showed that we got to sleep more quickly, woke less often during the night and significantly spent more time in deep sleep.  Deep sleep is when the body works on physical recovery, the pituitary gland secretes important hormones, like human growth hormone, leading to growth and development of the body.  A healthy dose of deep sleep leaves you better recovered and with greater energy, you will also have improved cell regeneration and increased blood supply to the muscles, all of which promotes growth and repair of tissues and bones, as well strengthening of the immune system.


If our quality of sleep is better, then recovery from exercise will also be improved because sleep is absolutely fundamental to that process.  So while it is difficult to measure the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil, there is no question about the positive effects on the quality of sleep.  This is a massive breakthrough for us because we are training hard six days a week and anything that will legally assist in the recovery process will have a huge impact on performance when we get to the big races this season.


During this time we have also taken CBD for headaches and happily found relief from them – we would much rather take a natural remedy over chemical painkillers any day.  We also had the opportunity to test it for nausea and again would recommend it without hesitation, and finally, a colleague who suffers with arthritis pain told us CBD is life changing!  Interestingly none of us suffered any side effects that were not totally positive.


CBD Virtue product range


So yes, we love CBD Virtue’s range of CBD products, which offer a number of easy and very pleasant ways to access the healing properties of Cannabidoil.  Would we recommend it?  Hell yes!  In fact we have purchased a number of bottles of their tincture since the original samples were sent to us and that we think is the most honest endorsement we can offer.


So if you are training hard and looking to optimise recovery, or perhaps feel the quality or quantity of your sleep could be better (we haven’t met anyone yet who gets all the sleep they feel they need).  Or maybe you suffer from pain and want to try a more natural way to deal with that.  Honestly there are so many great reasons to try CBD oil and, in our experience absolutely no downsides other than the cost ... and what price do you put on your health?



CBD Virtue Honey sticks 10mg CBD x7 one weeks supply £19.99

CBD Virtue Balm 300mg CBD 60ml £29.99

CBD Virtue Tincture options from 500mg CBD £34.99 to 3000mg £154.99


CBD Virtue



Performance: 10/10

Value: 10/10 we cannot put a high enough value on good health


Tested by Jan Birkmyre



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