With the rising popularity of CBD products growing daily, their value as natural remedies to many physical and mental ailments is becoming well-known and more research on their benefits is being produced. However, there is still confusion over their legality, where and in what form is CBD oil legal? Read on to find out more.
Its ubiquity can make it easy to believe CBD is legal around the world, however that is not the case. CBD is one of several compounds derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike, its infamous counterpart THC, the psychoactive compound derived from cannabis, CBD has no psychoactive effects and is not addictive. In other words, THC gets you high, whereas CBD doesn’t. THC, the main ingredient in marijuana is illegal in most places. In the UK, THC is a controlled substance under the Misuse Drugs Act 1971. However, laws and guidelines around CBD are less clear and vary more from place to place around the world.
Is CBD oil legal in the UK?
CBD is legal in the UK but it must be produced by an EU-approved strain of industrial hemp. CBD products in the UK are not allowed to contain more than 0.2% THC content. Double-check where your CBD oil is produced, especially if buying online as the retailer may be from a country with more relaxed laws, which may make the product illegal for use in the UK and psychoactive.
It is best practice to always check your CBD products, that they contain the legal amount of THC, are of good quality, have been appropriately tested for any contaminants and are from a regulated UK supplier. See our guide on where to buy CBD for more information.
It is important to note, that this is different from cannabis oil, which is extracted from the cannabis plant as a whole, which means it contains both CBD and THC in high quantities. Cannabis oil is more likely to get you high, although concentrations of THC vary. Therefore, it is a controlled substance in the UK.
Where is CBD oil legal vs illegal?
Around the world, the laws and regulations of CBD are rapidly changing. Countries vary in their restrictions on growing, producing, selling and using CBD. This can make flying and travel to different countries difficult.
In America, CBD is classified still as a Schedule 1 Drug. It is best to research the local state laws as CBD is still sold in stores even when the state says it is illegal, or only for medical use.
In three states CBD is illegal – Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Regardless of which plant it is derived from and how much THC it contains. It is recommended that you avoid travelling with any form of CBD product in these states as they are considered contraband.
In the following states, CBD oil is allowed in some form: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The general rule is that CBD oil from hemp is legal, whereas CBD from marijuana is illegal. For products to be sold in the US they must contain less than 0.3% THC content. They must also adhere to state and federal regulations, and be sourced from hemp grown by a licensed farmer.
In Canada, CBD is widely available, although each province specifies their own laws and regulations. CBD oil can be sold for medical purposes and you can purchase it over the counter in most places. But it is technically illegal unless for medical purposes.
In Central and South America, CBD is legal in some form in the following countries – Argentina, Belize, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Peru, Virgin Islands, Uruguay.
Outside of these countries, CBD is generally illegal in South and Central America. Although some countries have disparities, for example in Brazil marijuana is illegal but is allowed in small amounts for personal use and, CBD can be used for the treatment of epilepsy but it is heavily regulated.
In South Africa, CBD is legal and generally tolerated regardless of THC content. Across Africa, many nations regard recreational cannabis as illegal, bar Lesotho and Zimbabwe, where it is allowed for medical purposes. Although, it varies from country to country how strictly these laws are enforced. Therefore, it would be best to check the government guidelines and laws of the specific country.
In China, hemp-based CBD is legal, if the THC content is low or non-existent. But Cannabis laws are strict. It is illegal to bring CBD oil into China from elsewhere as it is prohibited as a food product.
In Thailand, CBD is legal with a THC content of less than 0.2% by weight.
CBD is legal in Japan but must contain zero THC content.
CBD is a controlled substance in Singapore, with possession being illegal. Although buying and selling it is not. Visitors are advised to leave their CBD behind.
CBD is legal in Australia, but products cannot contain more than 50mg of any cannabinoid per kg. CBD oil has to contain less than 0.3% THC. There are only a few approved vendors. As CBD is classified as medicinal cannabis, it can only be accessed through a government approved scheme and purchased from a few approved vendors.
CBD is legal in New Zealand, but access must be granted and the CBD should be purchased through a medical professional. CBD products must contain less than 2% of THC and you can travel with up to 3 months’ supply.
In Europe, the EU controls the sale of CBD across many counties, although individually each country can set their own regulations and punishments. It is important to check each country’s specifics.
CBD oil is legal in these European countries where medical cannabis is also legal:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Italy.
CBD is only legal for those who have a medical prescription in the following countries – Germany, Portugal, Austria, Finland and Malta.
In Switerzland, there are very strict laws around THC but none around CBD. CBD is legal but the THC presence cannot exceed 1%.
In Sweden, guidelines are stricter and CBD products that contain 0% THC are only legal. Sellers also need a licence from the Swedish Medical Products Agency.
These countries have banned THC and have strict laws around cannabis but no specifics around CBD. Therefore, CBD is generally allowed, if the THC content is at a specific level: Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Slovenia.
However, it is illegal in Albania, Iceland, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia. Whilst these countries don’t have specific laws around CBD, cannabis laws are very strict. Therefore it may very difficult to access CBD in these countries and doing so may cause you legal trouble.
Cannabis legality and attitudes towards it vary across countries. In Israel, medical cannabis is legal, however in Saudi Arabia, for example, laws are a lot stricter.
In Egypt, Israel and Turkey, CBD with 0% THC is on sale but the specific policing varies between each of these countries and within different areas of the country.
It is best advised not to travel with CBD products in the Middle East, regardless of the THC concentration and whether you have a prescription.
Is CBD oil legal for children?
Some countries prohibit the sale of CBD to those over 18, and some allow CBD without any age limits. Therefore, it is important to check the country you live in or wish to visit.
Generally, products containing THC should be avoided. However, there is a risk of small amounts of THC being present even in products reported to only contain CBD. Therefore, caution is advised and you should consult your paediatrician for best practices and advice about giving CBD products to children.
Where is CBD oil legal?
The legality of CBD varies across the world. CBD is legal in lots of countries, providing the THC content is within a certain level and the manufacturing and producing of it is within the countries’ guidelines. However, specific rules vary by country and even the regions within some countries, so you would be best advised to do your research, and check with the country’s laws and regulations before purchasing or bringing your CBD with you.
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Disclaimer: Despite the general safety of CBD products, minimal side effects can occur, especially at the first use. Contact your medical professional for advice