CBD UK is one of the fastest growing wellbeing trends. It can be found in everything from sweets to bath bombs.
Medicinal cannabis products are currently available on prescription in the UK, via the NHS, for people with severe treatment-resistant epilepsy (Epidyolex). Other ‘CBD only’ medicinal products can be prescribed under shared care arrangements by doctors on the Specialist Register.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
The UK CBD industry is growing rapidly, and there are a lot of questions about the legality of the products. CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, and unlike its psychoactive cousin, THC, it doesn’t cause changes in mood or perception. That means it’s safe to consume and won’t show up on drug tests.
CBD is extracted from ‘hemp’ varieties of the cannabis plant that are grown for fibre and have a low THC content of less than 0.2%. It is then combined with other ingredients, including oils and tinctures, to make CBD products like gummies, capsules and creams.
CBD-containing wellness products that are available without prescription (Opens in new window) are legal in the UK, as long as they don’t make medicinal claims. However, many of these products are not rigorously tested and could contain contaminants. For example, researchers have found that some products from high street health food shops don’t contain the advertised amount of CBD. Others have been found to contain the solvent dichloromethane at levels that exceed food safety limits.
Is CBD flower legal in the UK?
The UK market for CBD is one of the most robust in Europe. Interest in products like CBD flower is growing but, under UK law, it’s not legal to possess hemp flowers. This is because, under the Cultivation of Hemp licence, only hemp seeds and fibre can be cultivated. This means that the leaves and flowers must be retted or otherwise disposed of in order to be compliant with the licence.
This means that it’s illegal to possess a CBD flower in the UK, no matter its THC content. This is because, under the Misuse of Drugs Act, the UK Government sees all cannabis plants (even those with low THC) as being a controlled drug.
However, despite this, it’s still very common for people to buy and smoke CBD flower online. Many people enjoy smoking the buds for a faster and higher-strength effect, while others choose to use dry herb vapes which heat the flower into a vapour. This is a safer and healthier option than burning the plant material as it doesn’t produce harmful byproducts.
Is CBD for pets legal in the UK?
CBD has become an increasingly popular supplement for pets, with people giving it to their dogs and cats to help with issues such as anxiety and joint pain. However, before you rush out to buy a bottle of CBD for your pet, make sure you speak to your vet first as there are certain rules that need to be followed when using CBD products for pets.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) classifies CBD as a veterinary medicine, meaning it can only be sold for use on animals with a prescription from your vet. This means that no CBD products specifically designed for pets are available to buy in the UK, although your vet may be able to prescribe human CBD products such as oils for your pet.
If you do decide to give your pet CBD, it is important to start with a low daily dose and monitor them closely for any side effects such as excessive licking or head shaking. If they do develop any symptoms, stop the product immediately and consult your vet.
Is CBD e-liquid legal in the UK?
CBD vape juice (sometimes referred to as vaping oil) is not considered a controlled substance, so it is legal in the UK. However, it is important to note that you should not be smoking CBD e-liquids in public spaces where it’s illegal, as this could result in a fine or even prosecution.
As CBD continues to grow in popularity, more and more products are becoming available, including a range of CBD vape oils that can be used with a vaporiser device. It’s important to choose a high-quality product that adheres to the strict regulations set out in the UK, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible results.
All regulated CBD e-liquids must be made using hemp varieties of cannabis which have low levels of psychoactive THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). They should also be tested by a 3rd party lab to ensure that they contain no dangerous levels of other controlled substances, such as THCV and CBN.
It’s also important to check the laws of the country you’re travelling to before bringing any CBD products with you, as they may not be permitted. Fortunately, CBD has been approved by the NHS as a treatment for epilepsy in children and for muscle stiffness and spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.
Is hemp tea legal in the UK?
Hemp oil, paste and capsules are legal to buy in the UK as long as they meet 3 criteria set out for exemption by the MDR (Medicinal Products Regulations) and do not contain THC or THCV or be packaged so that the cannabinoids cannot be readily separated from the final product. CBD vape juices and e-liquids are also legal if they do not contain more than 1mg of THC, THCV and CBN and are not marketed as a medicinal product. They also do not require Novel Food authorisation to remain on the market.
In 2023, it will be possible to import legally made CBD edibles into the UK from across Europe if they are based on hemp with THC below 0.2%. However, importing CBD flower or other cannabis-based products into the UK may not be straightforward, and may require expert advice.
Currently, the UK only allows hemp to be grown for its seeds and fibre. If growers wish to produce CBD from the plant, they must obtain a licence to do so. This is a complicated process, and can only be done on land that has been specifically licensed to grow hemp for its non-CBD uses.