New CBD users often have the same question: is CBD legal? And it’s little wonder that you should ask, as unfortunately there is no straightforward answer. The problem is that CBD’s legal status varies from country to country, and in some cases state to state. Before you purchase any product online, even if the company ships to your address, it’s important that you research the laws governing your country or region.
Why it’s complicated
Although some countries are more relaxed than others, the truth is that marijuana has been illegal in most countries for some time. And despite the fact that CBD comes from hemp, which is not the same as marijuana, it’s true that they both are cannabis plants. This makes it difficult for lawmakers, who can have trouble deciding where to draw the line on exactly what should be legal.
The fact that some CBD products also contain small amounts of THC further complicates the issue and you will often find that laws refer to a certain percentage of THC that meets the legal limit. In addition, there can be different laws in any particular country or state that apply to whether you’re growing, producing or purchasing CBD products. The best advice for anyone interested in CBD products is to get information on your local legislation from a reputable source.
CBD in the UK
Cannabidiol (CBD) is not a controlled substance in the UK. However, THC and CBN (another type of cannabinoid) are. This means that where a CBD product contains any amount of THC or CBN, there are rules around the legality. While other countries have laws that regulate the percentage of THC that can be contained in a product, the UK government rules that the THC content can be a maximum of 1g. Different rules apply to the farming of hemp for CBD, which dictate that the THC content of the raw plant material is below 0.2%
CBD in the USA
If you live in the USA, the laws surrounding CBD can be particularly confusing. Each of the 50 states has its own legislation to with CBD, while there is also federal law that governs the entire country.
On a federal level, CBD is legal, provided that it has been derived from hemp (not marijuana) and that the THC content is 0.3% or lower. CBD with THC content higher than this is classed as cannabis, which is illegal under federal law.
Even on a state level, there is often no straightforward ruling about the legality of CBD. And it doesn’t always correlate to the state’s stance on marijuana. For example, recreational marijuana is permitted, but CBD gummies are not strictly legal – as there are restrictions around adding CBD to any food products. Laws around the labelling of CBD products can also impact their legality.
Some states have very tight restrictions, such as Idaho, which has harsh penalties for not only CBD, but also for hemp.
CBD in Europe
Within Europe, each country is responsible for determining the legality of CBD within its borders, but as with the USA, there are overarching laws set out by the EU that must be adhered to. Laws for all EU countries state that CBD products contain less than 0.2% THC, which is lower than federal law in the USA. European countries that are not part of the EU are not subject to this law.
Only a handful of countries have strictly banned the use of all cannabis derived substances, which includes CBD, including Slovakia and Croatia.
Travelling with CBD
If you take CBD regularly for a health complaint or even for general well-being, then going on holidays or travelling for work can present some problems. You will need to be aware of the laws in in any country or US stat that you are travelling to, as well as any stop over on the way. Also be aware that even if CBD is legal in the country you are departing from, you will need to check the legality of taking the product through the airport. If at all possible, try to obtain a copy of the lab results for your CBD product, which will clearly outline the THC percentage. Any reputable supplier of CBD oil should provide this as standard. Finally, avoid travelling with CBD flowers, as these can not easily be distinguished from marijuana buds.