Are CBD Products Legal In The United Kingdom?

Millions of people are turning to CBD products in myriad forms to help manage a range of unpleasant symptoms. However, a crucial question on everyones’ mind concerns the legality of CBD oil. 

You’ve probably heard that the use of CBD oil as a health supplement is legal. That’s true, but it is not without conditions. Here’s explaining the complexities of the law surrounding CBD use in the United Kingdom. 

CBD – A Cannabis Derivative 

Cannabidiol or CBD finds itself in legal limbo primarily because it is one of the major derivatives of the Cannabis Sativa strain;  the other compound extracted is Tetrahydrocannabinol better known as “THC”. The cannabis plant consists of over 100 other cannabinoids in addition to CBD and THC. 

Further, the Cannabis Sativa Strain has two substrains – hemp and marijuana. They differ in the amount of THC they contain. The hemp strain has less than 0.3% while marijuana exceeds this threshold. 

Most of the cannabinoids sourced from the Cannabis plant feature in the list of controlled substances (it is a class B drug) as per the Misuse of Drugs Act. CBD, unlike THC, is non-inebriating. Even in high doses, it does not affect cognitive performance. Hence,  it is not classed as a scheduled substance. Thus, products containing CBD have been legalised and can be prescribed in the United Kingdom. 

CBD products come under the scanner for the quantity of THC they contain. THC creates a ‘high’ when consumed, thus altering mental state. Consumption of THC is prohibited in the UK. 

Are CBD products legal in the United Kingdom? 

The answer to that is a ‘yes’ under the following circumstances: 

  1. CBD isolate is extracted either from the industrial hemp strain or the cannabis plants. The United Kingdom permits CBD obtained from the EU-approved industrial hemp strain. 
  2. Products containing CBD  – oils, tinctures or creams – should contain no or very little THC. The United Kingdom does not approve THC traces higher than 0.2%. The THC content in CBD products should not exceed 1mg. 
  3. If CBD is extracted using a solvent or Carbon dioxide, it shouldn’t contain any THC. 
  4. It is legal to import processed hemp extract provided it does not have any controlled substances such as CBN and THC. 
  5. Many people prepare their own formulations of CBD oil from homegrown cannabis or hemp. This is illegal. 
  6. Hemp cultivation requires a license from the UK home office. There are two types of licenses for the cultivation of hemp. One that permits cultivation of hemp below 0.2% and the other for above 0.2%. 
  7. Licensed medical distributors alone can sell CBD products. 
  8. The legislation allows CBD products to be sold as ‘nutritional supplements’ only.  CBD products marketed for health benefits need a license. 
  9. The United Kingdom has banned the sale of CBD flowers and buds even if it meets all the criteria. 

The above mentioned points are some of the regulations associated with the use of CBD for medicinal purposes. However, given its growing uses, one also needs to keep up with the constant updates to the law. 

Is CBD safe? 

CBD has not shown to cause any serious side effects on consumption. Nevertheless, the safety of the product has much to do with its quality, source and manufacturing procedures. To ensure you don’t suffer negative effects: 

  1. Buy products that are third-party tested. 
  2. Look for a reputable source. 
  3. Check the list of ingredients on the package. 

CBD has proved to be highly effective in the treatment of inflammation, pain, poor appetite, insomnia, mood improvement and anxiety. It is legal to buy and use CBD products in the United Kingdom. And sourced from trusted brands, you can enjoy its benefits safely. 

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