CBD has grown in popularity in the UK since 2018 when the UK Government legalised medical cannabis. It is now widely available online and in shops. According to CMC UK, the CBD market is expected to reach nearly £1 billion by 2025. Despite its increasing popularity, there is much confusion surrounding the legality of CBD.
Many people assume that because CBD derives from the cannabis plant, it is completely prohibited. But this is not the case. CBD is not a controlled substance in the UK, which means that it is legal to sell, possess, and consume.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound extracted from hemp plants. It comes in various forms such as oil, vapes, capsules, skincare products, and is known for its potential benefits.
CBD legalities in the UK
CBD is legal to buy and consume; however, there are some regulations we need to be aware of. In the UK, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is illegal; it is a psychoactive chemical that creates a feeling of euphoria and intoxication. Due to this, THC is classed as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
THC can also be found in the same hemp plants that CBD is harvested from. Legal CBD-based products must contain no more than 0.2% or 1mg of THC content.
Similarly, hemp strains used to extract and manufacture CBD must be EU approved, and all products must also be correctly labelled with details about manufacturers and all ingredients. UK regulation states that companies can only promote their CBD products as a food supplement and blocks companies from making medical claims that are not proven.
However, it is important to be aware that possessing hemp plants, CBD buds, and flowers is completely illegal in the UK as they contain a high degree of THC.
Back in January 2019, CBD was announced a “novel foods” product, which means CBD products are only allowed to be sold in the form of a “novel food”. Novel food, according to the Food Standards Agency UK is foods or food ingredients that have not been widely consumed in the UK or the EU before May 1997. Some CBD products that are considered novel foods are:
Overall, purchasing CBD products is legal in the UK, but it’s imperative to consider whom you are buying from. You must check the labels thoroughly and ensure that you buy from a trusted and licensed company which follows UK and EU regulations and is approved by UK FSA.
We agree with the decision made in February 2020, by the Food Standards Authority (FSA), declaring that people on medication, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers should not consume or use CBD-based products.
It is also essential to know that CBD regulations differ according to national or local laws. So if you are buying CBD products in any other country, it is vital to check the local laws and abide by them.