legle country for cbd oil

In what countries is CDB legal? List of countries

Recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of CBD, especially among medical cannabis users, due to the lack of psychotic properties. The European community supports a conservative view on the use of CBD. Despite an increase in popularity, the knowledge of whether or not it is legal and under what circumstances is sometimes incomplete. Legal regulations are unclear and vary from country to country.

The problem lies in mixed information about THC content in CBD products. THC level plays a key role in considering legality of CBD. As a result, this stirs uncertainty and disorientation, and generates scepticism.

In this article, we will try to summarize the most important legal aspects governing the use of CBD in the EU and worldwide.

Table of Contents

CBD vs. marijuana

To understand the regulations governing the use of hemp products, it is worth starting by distinguishing between CBD and cannabis. A plant called Cannabis Sativa is widely used among other things as a raw material for fibres, hemp oil is used in the food industry, hemp fruit is added to bird feed and hemp seeds are a rich source of protein.

Marijuana stands for dried inflorescences of the female Cannabis Sativa, rich in THC and other cannabinoids. THC causes relaxation, makes you feel euphoric and gives you a sense of experiencing something new. Also, it gives you a distorted perception of time and space and improves the appetite. CBD – cannabidiol, or THC isomer, can be extracted from hemp. It does not affect the locomotor activity of the body, it does not cause psychoactive stimulation, just the opposite – it affects the properties of THC limiting its effects.

CBD was discovered in 1940 by Dr Roger Adams from the University of Illinois, but its structure was studied in depth until 1963 [1]. The awareness of the medical properties of hemp has been widespread mainly in the medical community for years, while the rest of the population kept demonizing it. As civilization and means of communication have developed, the world has heard about the possibility of isolating CBD and its effectiveness in supporting the treatment of epilepsy (the story of Charlotte Figi [2]), post-traumatic stress syndrome or insomnia. Remember that recreational use of marijuana is illegal in most countries of the world.

Legal regulations on CBD

According to the law, CBD products are legal, depending on THC content. CBD products can be used in:

  • Poland – THC < 0.2%,
  • Germany – THC < 0.2%,
  • Austria – THC <0.3%,
  • The Netherlands – THC < 0.05%, above this limit it is a pharmaceutical product,
  • France – THC < 0.00%,
  • Belgium – THC < 0.2% – prescription required,
  • UK – THC < 0.2%, but only as a dietary supplement,
  • Northern Ireland – THC < 0.2%,
  • Southern Ireland – THC 0.00%,
  • Iceland – no legal regulations concerning CBD, but a very strict marijuana law,
  • Spain – THC < 0.2%, for external use only,
  • Portugal – on prescription,
  • Luxembourg – THC < 0.2%,
  • Switzerland – THC < 1%,
  • Greece and North Macedonia – THC < 0.2%,
  • Czech Republic – THC < 1%,
  • Hungary – THC < 0.2%,
  • Malta – legal marihuana for personal use
  • Georgia – THC 0.00%,
  • Cyprus – THC < 0.3%,
  • Romania – THC < 0.2%, for medical use only
  • Slovenia – THC < 0.2%,
  • Slovakia – illegal,
  • Italy – THC < 0.6%,
  • Croatia – THC < 0.2%,
  • Bulgaria – THC < 0.2%,
  • Norway – THC 0.00%,
  • Sweden – THC 0.00%,
  • Denmark – THC < 0.2%, prescription required,
  • Finland – THC < 0.2%, prescription required,
  • Estonia – THC < 0.2%,
  • Lithuania – true hemp cultivation is legal, but the status of CBD products is very unclear,
  • Latvia – THC<0,2%

In most of these countries, the recreational possession and use of marijuana is prohibited under penalty. However, each of them has its own internal legal regulations concerning CBD.

The Netherlands has long been one of the most liberal countries. Both CBD and THC are legal here. Free CBD products must not exceed a THC concentration of 0.05%, above this level they are treated as medicines and must not be sold outside of strictly defined locations. In Belgium, however, these products are only available on prescription.

In Norway, CBD is only legal if THC content is 0%. In June 2019, Sweden announced that THC concentration above 0.00% in CBD products qualifies them as drugs, placing this country’s legal system among the most restrictive ones in this respect. In Ireland, CBD production is legal when the product’s THC content is below 0.2%, but only CBD products with no THC content can be consumed.

CBD, in any form, is illegal in Slovakia. Italian law is variable in this matter. It oscillates between penalisation and decriminalisation, but the current government has again agreed to legalize CBD products with THC content below 0.6%. Thus, the Italian government has shown one of the more liberal attitudes.

Under an EU regulation of 1997, the term “novel food” has been introduced, which means that this category includes products which were not present on the food market before 15 May 1997, and marketing them is possible after obtaining permission from the European Commission. Under Regulation 2015/2283, extracts from fibre hemp (i.e. those containing higher than natural CBD concentrations) are classified as novel foods.

In Poland, the CBD issues are regulated by the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction of 29 July 2005 and the Act on the Reimbursement of Medicines, Foodstuffs for Special Nutritional Purposes and Medical Devices of 12 May 2011, as well as the Information of the Chief Sanitary Inspector of 23 November 2018. The European hemp industry and the associated countries cooperate within the framework of EIHA – European Industrial Hemp Association.

CBD – global perspective

  • Mexico – THC < 1%, works on full legalization of marijuana are underway,
  • Argentina – THC < 1%,
  • Brazil – THC < 0.2%,
  • Chile – THC < 1%,
  • Peru – THC < 1%,
  • Costa Rica – unclear,
  • Uruguay – THC < 1% (banned for foreigners),
  • Guatemala – illegal,
  • South Africa – THC < 0.2% (illegal in other African countries),
  • Virgin Islands – THC < 1%,
  • Australia – THC < 0.05%,
  • New Zealand – prescription required,
  • Israel – THC 0.00%; very unclear status, may entail consequences,
  • Turkey – THC 0.00%; very unclear status, may entail consequences,
  • Egypt – THC 0.00%; very unclear status, may entail consequences,
  • Hong Kong – THC 0.00% (no possibility to export it),
  • Japan – THC 0.00%,
  • China – unclear,
  • South Korea – only on medical order and under clinical conditions,
  • India – unclear,
  • Belize – THC < 1%,
  • Thailand – THC < 0.02%,
  • Belarus – illegal,
  • Russia – cultivation is legal, CBD products are illegal,
  • Ukraine – THC 0.00%.

New Zealand removed CBD from the list of drugs as early as in the 1980s, but importing it requires a prescription from a doctor. In Australia, CBD products must not contain more than 0.05% THC and they qualify as special medical purpose products and an order by an authorised doctor is required.

Israel, as a world leader in CBD research and education, began decriminalizing true hemp substances in 2017, with a special focus on medical marijuana. However, the conflict between the Israeli Ministry of Health and the Police Department puts the CBD issue in question – the law turns to a liberal approach. An intriguing issue is the recreational use of marijuana, because as long as a person does not violate the “public image”, law enforcement agencies do not take action.

Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea or Singapore, are among the ones with the most restrictive attitude towards CBD. Thailand is one of the few countries to have legalised CBD in some of its provinces. The status of CBD and THC in India is unclear, as hemp is considered sacred plants of the god Shiva there and it is ritually burned for religious purposes. Hong Kong has also legalised CBD, but has banned the export of any products containing THC. CBD per se is only legal with THC content of 0.00%. The most flexible of CBD laws are in force in South American countries.

CBD users

Despite a number of uncertainties related to the properties of CBD, every day more and more people decide to start CBD oil supplementation. The European regulations are clear, and each country determines its own laws in this respect.

Let us remember that Ignorantia iuris nocet – not knowing the law is harmful.

Legal Status Of CBD Around The World

The legality of Cannabis, Marijuana and/or their derivatives CBD and THC varies from country to country. Cannabis laws around the world vary in the areas of possession, distribution, cultivation, how it can be consumed, and what medical conditions it can be used to treat.

But there is more to know. While cannabis might be illegal in some parts of the world, its derivative CBD – the focus of this article – is often legal for use for health and wellness purposes.

Because hemp is sometimes confused with marijuana, there is still some stigma towards hemp-derived CBD. However, from a legal perspective, hemp-derived CBD is legal and possession should pose no legal issues in most of the United States and many countries, but it is important to understand how the law around CBD use and possession works in whatever country you find yourself.

Hemp-derived CBD is the only type of CBD that is legal in most countries. CBD is also found in the marijuana plant. Marijuana-derived CBD is not legal in most countries because the growth and cultivation of marijuana are not legal.

In this article, we will be looking at the legality of hemp derived CBD in selected countries across the world.

It is worthy to note that while medical cannabis and its derivative CBD is legal in all 50 states that make up the Union, the substance remains a class A drug federally and possession of the substance is in clear violation of federal laws. A bit tricky you might say, but that’s the reality of most cannabis control regulations in the United States.

CBD Laws in the United States

The US is unique because all 50 states have different laws for CBD products. There are some CBD products that are explicitly illegal federally like CBD gummies, and any product where CBD is added to food or drink. However, just a small handful of states do have laws that seemingly permit CBD that is added to food and beverages. Labeling requirements for CBD products also vary by state and not all products can be legally retailed in all 50 states.

Any product with more than 0.3% delta-9-THC is federally illegal in the US, but each state has different requirements for what they consider to be the amount of THC in a product. Some states require less than 0.3% delta-9-THC while others require THC to be more accurately reported as delta-9-THC + THCA, multiplied by the amount of THCA that can be activated and converted to delta-9-THC when heated. This more accurate THC calculation is not always the calculation used on labeling.

When it comes to CBD in the US, it is very important to actually read the state laws and understand that a product that is not produced in your state might not be legal to buy, sell, use, or possess. A good example of this are Louisiana, Indiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky which prohibit any smokable CBD or hemp product including flower, concentrates, and vapes! There are also states like Idaho where hemp and CBD are both illegal and heavily penalized.

In What Countries Is CBD Legal? [2021 Update]

There are many terms thrown around when people talk about the legality of CBD oil. Words like cannabis, hemp, and THC can often easily determine whether a CBD oil or other product is legally available for consumption and purchase or not. But why does this matter? Cannabidiol products all look and taste the same, right? Well- not quite. In this article, we will talk about the different types of cannabis, what makes cannabis products legal and where is CBD legal.

Let’s Talk About Cannabis

The use of cannabis with a high concentration of THC for recreational purposes is prohibited in most countries around the world. Nonetheless, many countries have adopted a policy of decriminalization to make simple possession a non-criminal offense. Others have much more severe penalties. For example, in some Asian countries, possession of cannabis is not just not legal but can result in imprisonment for several years. In most middle eastern countries, possession of very small amounts can result in more severe punishments.

In the United States, for example, the legal status varies according to state. Cultivation of hemp was officially made legal on a federal level thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. This 2018 Farm bill allowed many farmers to grow a specific type of cannabis plant which is used for manufacturing cannabidiol products. Known as hemp-derived, the compound is widely used in the United States in the making of CBD oil, mainly used as a partial treatment of a variety of medical conditions. There are also many organizations supporting and advocating the safe use of cannabis across the country.

Is CBD legal all throughout the United States? Read our guide here.

Before we get into all that, let’s back up a little bit and talk about cannabis and where CBD comes in. The term cannabis 1 refers to a genus of flowering plants from the Cannabaceae family. The family consists of three primary species: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. While people often refer to hemp and cannabis as “species”, they are actually not. 2 . According to the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 3 , the terms “hemp” and “cannabis” are wide classifications of Cannabis that were adopted into everyday language by different cultures; however, they technically cannot be called plants on their own.

Nowadays, this is the understanding we have adopted:

  • “Hemp” refers to cannabis varieties 4 such as Cannabis Sativa L. containing 0.2% or less THC content. Its cultivation is supervised by state authorities.
  • “grass”, “weed”, “pot” and “ganja” are synonym words, referring to Cannabis varieties which contain more than 0.2% THC 5 and can induce psychotropic or euphoric effects on the user.

Cannabidiol is one of more than 60 compounds 6 found in the cannabis plant, which means that both “hemp” and “medical cannabis” contain it within their chemical structure. This also means that CBD tinctures can be prepared from all cannabis plants, however, the CBD to THC concentration will differ with each plant.

What makes CBD legal?

The legality of cannabis oil for medical use or as a dietary supplement in Europe, in general, varies by country. Cannabis laws around the world may vary in terms of possession, distribution, how it can be consumed, and what medical conditions it can be used for. Nonetheless, according to EU law, CBD oil must not exceed 0.2% THC 7 . This applies to all countries in the European Union. This means that oils and other products have to be created using CBD-rich Cannabis varieties – namely Cannabis Sativa L (CSL) varieties. The cultivation of CSL varieties is officially legal in the EU, upon the conditions that they are registered in the EU’s ‘Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species’ and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in the plant does not exceed a concentration of 0.2 %.

There are, however, some countries that are following their own cannabis-specific laws, making cannabidiol partially legal or not legal at all. We suggest that you always check with your local authorities before purchasing any CBD oil.