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Is CBD Legal In The UK?

Is CBD Legal In The UK?

Key Sections:

  1. Is Hemp CBD Oil Legal to Sell in the UK?
  2. How Did Hemp CBD Oil Become Legal in the UK?
  3. Is CBD Legal to Travel With?
  4. What is the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis CBD Oils?


In this blog we will be talking about all the legalities regarding the use, possession, and sale of hemp CBD oil in the United Kingdom. Which comes in the form of CBD Vape pens to CBD Chocolates and more. There have been groundbreaking law changes and alterations which have brought us to where we are now. Of course, we will not be going over the history of CBD’s legality, but we would love for you to know why and how we got to where we are now.

There is quite a bit of ground to cover before fully understanding all the legalities regarding hemp oil derived CBD, so below you will see all the different ways CBD derived from hemp is legal to sell, use, and posses. We also think it’s so important to know when CBD becomes illegal and what boundaries not to cross; because though there may still be many people who still think that CBD is illegal, there are also many people who don’t yet grasp what is illegal (in other words, what not to do).

Hemp plants

Is Hemp CBD Oil Legal to Sell in the UK?

Thanks to the adverse changes the UK’s laws regarding hemp derived CBD, it is legal to sell. But like many other things as controversial as this, there are a few boundaries within which CBD must stay so it can continue to be legal.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially chosen to classify CBD derived from hemp oil as a “dietary supplement” as long as it has less than 0.2% THC. It has not chosen to recognize CBD as an ingredient which can be used in medicine, since they see it as a very likely ingredient to emphasize or boost the nutrition consumers are getting from their diets; but not exactly as an ingredient which can or will boost the effect of a medicine or help any ailment.

So, while they still so consider it only a dietary supplement, they will only consider CBD oil a supplement as long as it stays within these boundaries:

  • CBD oil that are derived from hemp [with less than 0.2% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)] is legal in the UK, as long as they are advertised and sold as “dietary supplements” rather than medicine.
  • As of November 1, 2018, cannabis CBD oils with higher amounts of THC are available by prescription use only in the UK; and doctors can prescribe it “under their own risk”. For example, Sativex, which is a spray that contains a 50/50 mix of THC and CBD, is prescribed for people with Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Any hemp or cannabis derived CBD oil advertised and/or sold as a medicine must have proper medicinal licensing from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency); as do the stores they are sold (online or otherwise).

As of November 1st, 2018, there was a law that passed regarding cannabis oil which is higher in THC, but the same is still applied to CBD derived from hemp. The products must still be advertised as a supplement, as they are on many online and physical shops, so that they stay within the FDA’s boundaries, and the MHRA’s laws regarding licensing.

It is very important in the eyes of many of UK’s healthcare and dietary product regulation agencies and administrations that there be proper licensing, and proper tests done on the CBD before it even goes into sellable products. This is because the public needs and deserves the products to be regulated, because it is very important for the CBD not to cause any psychoactive effects from THC.

UK CBD law

How Did Hemp CBD Oil Become Legal in the UK?

Surprisingly enough, CBD oil has been classed as legal since 1972 Misuse of Drugs Act. Due to CBD oil not containing enough THC to make it illegal, like other cannabis products. Currently CBD and cannabis oil are available by two methods: medically which is prescribed by a doctor which can contain high THC levels, or as a food supplement, which has to contain below 0.2% THC as concentration for recreational non-medical use.

According to the Cannabis Trades Association UK, the number of cannabidiol consumers shot from 125,000 in 2017 to 250,000 in 2018, which made a very big splash in the legal portion of these debates. Also, there were many people who believed it should be legal in the UK, which also made a very large impact on the legalization of the sale and consumption of hemp CBD oil and cannabis oil.

It is fair to say that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence definitely wants the people in the UK to have the resources they need, so it is very great that they were also able to stand up for those who believed that CBD should be legal. Not to say that they made the legalization happen, but when a good number of large institutes like the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency give their opinion, it is usually much regarded and welcomed.

CBD Travel is it legal

Is CBD Legal to Travel With?

Currently, there have not been any laws passed regarding the travel with hemp CBD, especially if it contains THC (as does Sativex, the cannabis oil spray). This is because it interferes with the legality of CBD in other countries.

As long as it is legal to consume in the UK, you will be free to consume CBD oil derived from hemp which contains less than 0.2% THC any time anywhere; but the law only permits you to keep it within your country. It is legal in other countries but to varying degrees to being outright banned and a imprisonable offence, to the even carrying the death sentence (China, UAE, Singapore, Indonesia, and more)...We strongly recommend leaving your CBD at home. As this is still a cannabis or hemp product which authorities will be looking out for. as it purely can depend on the strains used in some situations on how much THC it contains.

On that note, it is, as of now, quite illegal to buy CBD in other countries, and to bring it into the UK. This is because different countries have different regulatory boundaries, and the country you are buying it from may not have the same regulatory process and limits that the UK has. This applies to you unless you are one of the very few people who have been licensed to be able to fly in and out of the UK with CBD.

On the other hand, though many think it to be different, though cannabis has been legalized for medicinal and recreational uses in the United States, it is still not legal to travel with your CBD into that country due to the fact that it is, as of now, illegal to travel with it.

Regardless of these laws, if it is legal in another country, and you need to take CBD for any reason, we highly suggest just buying some in the country where it is legal which you are traveling to, and not trying to take it with you, because to speak frankly, it probably won’t go well.


What is the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis CBD Oils?

Physically, there are not any very distinctive differences between the two oils at all. Both plants are within the same Cannabis sativa family, so they both produce almost the same things within the plant itself.

Though, there is one largely differentiating aspect between the two, and that is the plant’s natural production of THC. THC is the component, scientifically called tetrahydrocannabinol, which produces psychoactive effects on the brain, otherwise called making you “high”.

The Cannabis sativa L. plant, also known as the marijuana plant, produces a significantly larger amount of THC than its close relative the Cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as the hemp plant.

This is one aspect which makes an immense difference in the eyes of the law in the UK. The production of THC in the marijuana plant makes a large difference in the way they regulate all the CBD oils derived from this plant.

This makes many people believe that it is safer to consume CBD oil which is derived from hemp, when that is actually not quite true. The process of isolating CBD from both hemp and cannabis are both basically the same; and according to the law, all CBD must contain less than 0.2% THC.

So, in reality, whether it is derived from cannabis or hemp, CBD oil is completely the same. There is no real difference between the two regarding effectiveness, safety, or chemical composition. In other words, it is completely legal either way to take it and sell it and consume it (if it has less than 0.2% THC), and you are at no more risk of getting “high” when you take hemp oil derived CBD as you are when you are taking cannabis oil derived CBD.

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