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Is CBD legal in the UK?

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CBD is legal in the UK. It is a natural product and its association with the cannabis plant can lead to some confusion regarding its legality. CBD is a carefully controlled plant extract and has more in common with other organic supplements than those substances that are strictly regulated by law. That being said, new regulations coming into force class CBD as a novel food; which is good news for the consumer as it adds an extra layer of protection. Companies selling CBD products are now required to submit applications to prove the quality, purity, and ultimately the safety, of what they are selling. Anyone selling CBD in the future that does not have this UK government approval is liable for prosecution. 

In order for CBD to remain legal in the UK, it must adhere to the following criteria:

  • The hemp strain used in production must be from an EU approved source.
  • The CBD product must not contain more than 1mg of the controlled cannabinoids THC and CBN. This quantity is crucial as it ensures that the user does not experience any ‘high’; the sensation most commonly accredited to THC.
  • The marketing of any finished product must adhere to the advertising standards and regulations drawn up for the promotion of the items. There are currently strict guidelines governing claims that can be made about medicinal benefits.
  • From 1st April 2021, a product must be part of a validated Novel food dossier in order to lawfully operate in the UK CBD market. 

It sounds complicated, but rest assured these measures are there to keep consumers safe. It means that you can enjoy any CBD products from EthicaCBD safe in the knowledge that you won’t be breaking any UK or EU laws.

CBD Science

CBD is a legal substance in the UK. Companies selling CBD products as novel foods or food supplements in the UK must have submitted a Novel Food Application to the UK Food Standards Authority (FSA) by March 2021.

Selling CBD products that were processed outside of the UK is legal in the UK, providing they contain no controlled substances such as THC and are derived from hemp plants. THC is illegal in the UK. The maximum legal limit for THC in the UK is 1 milligram (1 thousandth of a gram) per container of CBD product, regardless of how much CBD product is within. Cannabinol (CBN) is a minor psychotropic cannabinoid present in hemp and cannabis plants, which is also illegal in the UK.

Professor David Heal
Scientific Advisor for EthicaCBD
Find out more

How does CBD differ from illegal substances?

The most important distinction to make between CBD and other cannabis-related products is the absence of THC. THC is illegal if present beyond quantities deemed to be contaminant levels. All of our products are within UK legal limits. THC is the element that is most associated with the cannabis ‘high’. Due to the micro-quantities involved, CBD portrays no similarities with the consumption of illegal cannabis products and CBD is safe and legal in the UK.

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