Is CBD legal in the UK?
The laws and regulations surrounding CBD oil and other products containing CBD underwent a big change in 2017 and have stayed the same since.
However, there is still some confusion around whether or not CBD is legal in the UK. As it stands, the laws surrounding the sale and use of CBD are as follows;
CBD is 100% legal in the UK as long as the products adhere to set regulatory conditions. The maximum level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or CBN (cannabinol) allowed in the UK is 1mg per product. CBD products must also derive from hemp with a 0.2% THC content or less.
It’s important to be aware that it is still illegal to grow cannabis/hemp without a license. To get a license, you need to send an application to the Home Office.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is not a controlled substance in the UK. It’s legal to make, sell, and own it as long as it meets these conditions.
Why it’s important for THC levels to be 0.2% and lower
THC which is an abbreviation of tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the hundreds of compounds found in cannabis. It’s this compound, however, that is responsible for the psychoactive reactions and the feeling of being “high”.
It also affects things like concentration, movements, coordination, memory, and a wide range of sensory and other perceptions. It also causes some of the opposite effects of CBD, such as causing drowsiness as opposed to CBD providing an energy boost.
It’s these reasons why CBD products being sold in the UK must have no more than 0.2% THC content.
This ensures users get all of the positive effects and benefits of CBD, without the sensation of getting “high” and the other negative effects of THC.
The laws surrounding CBD as a medicine
There are some strict laws and regulations surrounding CBD products being sold or marketed as medicinal products.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for regulating all medicines in the UK. To market a CBD product as medicine or claiming it has medicinal properties, a company will have to file for a product license with the MHRA.
Prior to the tightening of CBD laws in 2017, it wasn’t uncommon to see businesses making health claims about their products. The MHRA put a stop to this for any products that do not meet strict quality, safety, and efficacy standards.
Companies are strictly not allowed to make claims about their products helping with any health or wellness issues that could be interpreted as being used as a medicine.
Selling CBD as a novel food
Earlier this year the Food Standards Agency (FSA) updated its guidance on how they intend to regulate products for consumption containing CBD.
In order for companies to continue selling CBD products on the market, they will need to submit an application for a novel food authorisation license by March 31st, 2021.
The main consideration surrounds a product’s safety. It’s essential that the FSA is aware of what’s in every CBD product hitting the shelves for our consumption, and they’ve verified it’s safe for the public.
If any of the legalities surrounding manufacturing or selling CBD products in the UK is not clear, click here to find out more about our CBD compliance services.