Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract of the Cannabis Sativa plant. As a Class B drug, it’s not surprising that many people question the legalities surrounding CBD in the UK. Here, we take a look at some of the crucial legislation governing CBD. We also look at some significant changes to CBD UK law currently taking place and myth-bust some frequently asked questions.
Is CBD Legal In The UK?
Most suppliers and retailers sell CBD as a food supplement, vape product or medicine. It is legal to buy and consume CBD in the UK. Although CBD is legal to buy, the regulations governing its production and sale can be complex. In 2021, significant changes are coming into effect which is worth looking into further.
CBD Oil Novel Food Regulations
CBD oil has gained popularity as a food supplement and natural medicine for treating conditions such as anxiety. As such, legislators in the UK and EU are trying to catch up. More regulations are falling into place to protect customers and ensure that suppliers of CBD meet certain legal standards for their production.
From the 31st of March, many CBD product categories will require an approved ‘Novel Food application’ or validated submission. This ensures that they are compliant with regulation. Driven by the EU, this legislation seeks to protect customers by erecting a regulatory framework around CBD products for safety as a ‘novel food’. A ‘novel food’ is a ‘food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans’. Therefore, as a new or ‘novel’ food product, it requires authorisation for legal distribution. The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) is following the path led by the EU in regards to CBD as a novel food. They align with the position that CBD requires novel food authorisation to be sold legally from March 31st.
The types of CBD products that fall under this regulation include:
- Cannabinoid oils, capsules & oral sprays
- Edibles, including gummies and mints
- CBD infused drinks, including tea and coffee
- CBD-infused snacks
Medicinal CBD UK Regulation
As well as the legislation regarding CBD as a ‘novel food’ item, The Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is also considering regulating CBD as a medicine. In 2016, a spokesperson for the MHRA said: “We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine. Medicinal products must have a product licence (marketing authorisation) before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK, unless exempt. Licensed medicinal products have to meet safety, quality and efficacy standards to protect public health.”
These categorisations around CBD – as both a ‘novel food’ and medicine – mean that regulation may become tighter. As regulatory bodies hone in on the CBD market, the number of licenses required may increase.
CBD oil from Only Green is tested and certified by Mile High Labs – a world-leading name in testing CBD for regulatory compliance. We product our CBD oil to the highest possible standards and in compliance with the relevant regulations.
Other CBD Products And The Associated Regulations
Different legislative bodies regulate other CBD oil products, such as CBD skincare and CBD vapes. CBD balms and other skincare products must be assessed as per the Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR) to ensure they can be legally sold in the UK. Similarly, any CBD vape products must comply with the General Products Safety Directive.
How Much THC Is In CBD Oil?
By law, CBD oil must contain only traces of THC; the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that gets you high. ‘Per pack’ of a CBD product, there should be no more than 0.2% THC. However, some labs may find it difficult to obtain accurate and consistent readings of THC levels in their products. For this reason, many suppliers choose to sell CBD isolate oils instead which contain no traceable levels of THC at all.
Can I Take CBD Oil On Holiday With Me?
In most cases, you can take CBD oil on a flight with you. However, this depends on the size of the bottle you take as well as the type of CBD. All liquids must abide by the 100ml liquid rule, so you won’t be able to take CBD oil in any larger quantities. As well as this, you will have to ensure that your oil does not contain levels of THC above the 0.2% limit. Moreover, you’ll have to check the rules in your destination country to ascertain the maximum limit of THC they allow in CBD products. As a fail-safe, consider taking CBD isolate oil with you when flying to be sure. Some CBD oil companies may not adequately extract CBD from the cannabis plant, which can lead to higher concentrations of THC in their oils.
If your destination is in Asia or Africa, where regulations are often tight, you should pay close attention to the regulations in their countries. Don’t fly with CBD if you’re not sure it is legal in your destination.