Is CBD Legal in the UK?

CBD has become more mainstream with people arguing on both sides of the coin as to whether it’s actually beneficial to our health. 

But never mind it benefitting our health, is CBD legal in the UK? 

What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid, one of more than 100 different chemical compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. The most well-known compounds found in the cannabis plant are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

THC is a compound that has psychoactive effects, allowing for the ‘high’ that users will feel. THC is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. 

As there are low levels of THC found in CBD you won’t get that high feeling when you ingest it, and it’s now possible to even get a prescription oil made from CBD. 

Is CBD legal in the UK? 

In short, the answer is yes. CBD products must meet a very stringent set of requirements in order for them to legally be sold in the UK. 

The Home Office will issue a license for those looking to cultivate hemp, which is the flower that you’ll find in CBD products. Hemp contains very little amounts of the psychoactive THC. To be issued a license from the Home Office you must only cultivate hemp with the use of the mature stalk, fibre or seeds of the plant. Whilst this might seem like plenty, in actual fact, there is little CBD in these parts of the plant. This is of course a problem for the industry, as most of the CBD can be found in the leaves and flowers of the plant. However, this part of the plant must be destroyed and it results in an uneconomical crop. 

To get around this though, CBD can be imported from other countries where the cultivation of the whole plant is legal. This is why you might find that perfectly legal retailers of CBD will have used hemp farmers from France, Portugal, Guernsey and other select countries. 

For CBD oil to be legal in the UK, the Home Office also states that THC must not be easily separated from the CBD. 

When was CBD made legal in the UK? 

In 2015 the first cannabis-based medicine was available under prescription. However, most of the CBD products we see on the market are classed as food supplements or skincare if applied topically. 

The CBD products that are sold at Natural Strains are not medicines, and they’re not intended to treat or cure ailments or diseases. 

For those who would like to use CBD as treatment or to help with the management of a health condition, it’s best to discuss this with your doctor who can advise as to whether it would be beneficial for you. 

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it’s not recommended that you use CBD. Also, if you’re already taking medication prescribed to you, then before taking CBD you must speak with your GP. 

Why use CBD? 

CBD has been used in many different ways for different reasons for multiple years now. Recently a report by the World Health Organisation in 2017 found that CBD could help with a number of different health conditions, these things included Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer symptoms, diabetes complications, pain, depression and anxiety too. 

A recent study has even linked the use of CBD to healthy weight loss. The research published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry journal found that it could be linked to causes of ‘fat browning’ which turns dangerous white fat into hardworking brown fat cells. These brown fat cells produce heat in the body, which can burn extra calories to aid weight loss. 

Is CBD the same as medicinal cannabis? 

CBD products are not the same as medicinal cannabis. This is because it is illegal for brands to sell items with higher levels of THC. THC is a controlled substance, this is only available through prescription. It was only in 2015 that medicines containing cannabis were available in the UK through prescription. 

Is CBD legal in the UK? It is and it’s important to know that CBD won’t get you high, and there aren’t any restrictions as to when you can use it, such as taking CBD and driving. It’s important however that you purchase your CBD products from high quality and reputable suppliers who adhere to the legal requirements to sell and produce CBD products. 

Can I take CBD legally in the UK? 

As long as the CBD products you purchase and use meet the requirements set out by the Home Office then you can legally take CBD in the UK. There are numerous brands on the market with plenty of different product types to choose from, such as oils, tea, sprays and capsules. 

The Food Standard Agency recommends that vulnerable groups should not take CBD and healthy adults should limit themselves to no more than 70mg each day. This amount should only be adjusted according to a doctor. 

It’s important that you check the packaging of your CBD products to guarantee that you take the right dosage. 

Is it legal to travel with CBD? 

Is CBD legal in the UK? Yes, it is, so that means you’ll be fine to travel within the UK with CBD. However, if you’re travelling overseas then it’s best to check with the country that you’re travelling to as different countries will treat CBD products differently. 

If you are travelling through multiple countries, then you’ll need to check with each of them as the legislation could be different for each and every one. 

China and Russia have banned the use of CBD and in the US it can vary from state to state, look it up if you want to guarantee that you’re not breaking any laws. 

Where can I legally buy CBD in the UK? 

CBD is legal in the UK, so there are many different retailers out there that you can purchase CBD from. But it’s important that you ensure you’re not buying from someone who is claiming to make miracles happen with their CBD products. 

You want a reputable retailer, like Natural Strains, it’s important to look at the quality of the product ensuring that there are adequate amounts of CBD in the product otherwise you’ll be spending more to garner any effect. 

CBD Regulations 

CBD is classed as a food supplement for the products that you ingest, and skincare for those items that you apply topically. There are regulations that must be followed when CBD products are produced and sold in the UK. As CBD is not a medicine, it is not regulated as medicines are. However, there are quality control and processes that manufacturers must adhere to. When you’re buying a CBD, always look to a reputable company and ensure that if you’re taking any other medication that you speak to your GP before taking CBD. 

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