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Independent health store advice on CBD

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This month we speak to Nick Tofalos, an osteopath and owner of Garstang Health Food Store in Preston.

Cannabis and CBD are the names on everybody’s lips at the moment. In the last two years or so there has been an explosion of demand to match the myriad of brands and products that have appeared in the UK market.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD has been found to have many benefits without any of the side effects associated with recreational cannabis use.

A common misconception

A common misconception about CBD is that it can cause a ‘high’. The psychoactive substance in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. CBD products are made from extracts of low THC varieties of cannabis which is also known as ‘hemp’. It is completely legal to grow this plant under licence. The result is an extract of oil which contains naturally high levels of CBD and very little THC. Final products often contain undetectable levels of THC.

While research into the widespread benefits might still be ongoing, CBD is still safe to use. There are no known side effects to using CBD. It is also non-addictive.

People use CBD supplements for all manner of problems, but the manufacturers and sellers are not allowed to make any claims as to what it can treat. However, there are plenty of forums and information on the internet that can help you decide if it may be of use to you.

CBD comes in a number of different formats. The commonest most people encounter is the oil. To get the most potent effects this should be a full spectrum plant extract which means it will have other important compounds in it that help it be more effective. The oils are typically an extract of the cannabis plant in a carrier oil – at CBD One we use hemp seed oil.

A good extract should have a strong herby, complex smell and taste. It should not look clear or too transparent but rather be a light to dark brown colour depending on the strength. A very clear CBD product normally means it is over processed and so will have lost much of the other compounds that help CBD be effective. CBD oil is dropped under the tongue and held there for a minute or two before swallowing.

There are also some water-soluble CBD products that can be added to drinks. At CBD One we have noticed that our oils tend to be more calming, whilst the water-soluble products tend to be more energising – possibly because it gets into your system much faster than the oils.

Where to start

If you have decided to buy some CBD and are wondering where to start, I generally suggest people start with a medium strength oil if budget allows, so you get a good hit of cannabinoids to start with. If you start too low, and nothing really changes, there is a temptation to think CBD doesn’t work for you when it may simply be that you needed to take a stronger product to start with.

Once you see benefits you can always go to a lower strength product next time around. I would consider medium strength to be anywhere between 400mg to 1,000mg of CBD in a 10ml bottle.

I encourage people to listen to their body and increase or lower the dose according to how they are doing. There really is no black and white set of rules for how much to take or how often. Typically people start with two or three drops, two or three times a day.

When someone asks me if CBD supplements may help them my answer is simply to try it – you may be pleasantly surprised.

Garstang Health Food Store

Garstang Health Food Store is located on the High Street in Garstang, Preston, and has been established since 1971.

Nick Tofalos used to work as an osteopath at the natural therapy centre next door and took over the ownership of the store along with his wife when the previous owners decided to retire.

He says: “We have very loyal customers from the local area and also from far and wide.”

To contact the store, visit, call 01995 602833 or go to

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