Current CBD Laws in the UK and Europe
Author: Jason Beverly
As CBD is a fairly new phenomenon, it is growing in popularity fairly quickly without people fully understanding the rules and regulations surrounding it.
Overall, CBD is considered safe to use, partly because the World Health Organisation has classed them as ‘generally well tolerated with a good safety profile’. This is because it does not ‘get you high’ like other parts of the hemp plant.
However, there is still some uncertainty surrounding CBD from official bodies and there are particular laws to bear in mind if you’re buying or selling CBD in Europe. I’ve offered a brief outline of these below.
Note: The laws around CBD are changing constantly so this information might have changed since the date the article was produced (24th February 2020).
Current CBD Laws in Europe
The specific laws for selling and consuming CBD vary from country to country, but hemp-derived CBD is legal in most EU member states and European countries. However, EU regulations state that CBD products cannot contain more than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive compound in the hemp plant.
It’s important to know that CBD has been banned in one European country – Slovakia. It is also a grey legal area in Italy so the situation is a little confusing there. It’s always best to err on the side of caution if you are travelling to these countries. If you are travelling outside of Europe, there are specific laws for different countries around the world.
The ‘Novel Foods’ classification
Products containing CBD are currently considered to be ‘novel foods’ by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission. A novel food is a consumable product which has not been shown to have had long-term and safe use before 1997.
CBD has been labelled as a novel food because the EU wants to ensure that CBD products on the market are safe for consumption, are being properly labelled and are not misleading consumers.
Despite being classified as ‘novel’ by the EFSA and the European Commission, CBD products are still currently being sold in most European countries. No final decision has been made by many member states in terms of whether they will uphold the classification.
However, it is suggested that should specific governments begin to enforce the novel foods classification in their country, CBD companies should seek market authorisation and novel food approval for their products before beginning to sell.
Current CBD Laws in the UK
CBD products made from hemp are currently legal in the UK, provided they have a THC content that is less than 0.2% and is from a strain of hemp that has been approved by EU standards. Now that the UK has left the EU, it could be that the laws around CBD change, although this is unlikely to happen immediately and the changes probably won’t be too drastic.
In fact, The UK Food Standards Authority (FSA) has now announced a deadline for CBD companies to apply for novel foods approval in accordance with EU guidelines – they must submit a ‘valid novel food authorisation application’ by the 31st March 2021. If approved, they can continue to be sold in the UK marketplace.
In terms of the laws around selling CBD in the UK, it can currently be sold as a nutritional supplement or a cosmetic product, but not a medicine. It is illegal to label a CBD product as medicinal without a license which must be obtained from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
There are some exceptions to this regarding medicines which have been licensed in the UK. Doctors can legally prescribe some specific cannabis-based medicines, including Epidyolex, which is a medicine for children with two different types of severe epilepsy. However, this is only prescribed for specific conditions and under certain circumstances.
This also means that CBD companies must be careful in the language they use to advertise CBD. Strict regulations around health claims by products that are not classified as medicines mean that people cannot claim that a CBD product ‘heals’, ‘cures’, ‘prevents’ or use any other medicinal language.
There are also strict regulations from the Advertising Standards Authority on what language can be used to advertise food supplements, and this includes CBD. For example, brands cannot make broad claims such as CBD is ‘healthy’, ‘good for sleep’ or ‘full of goodness’ and any more specific claims, such as ‘CBD has anti-inflammatory properties’ must be able to be backed up by specific research.
This means that brands are slightly limited in the ways they can advertise their products, although endorsements from consumers based on personal experience are helping to spread the popularity of CBD.
I would recommend doing your own research as laws are always changing and it’s important to find a good-quality CBD product regardless. Having said that, at the moment, most CBD products are legal in the UK and the majority of Europe, and this is unlikely to change, although some products may get taken off the shelves if they don’t receive novel foods approval.
Valentine’s Day CBD Gift Guide
Author: Jason Beverly Best CBD Gifts for Him, Her, and Furry Friends Valentine’s Day may look a bit different this year with COVID, rather than love, in the air. But while most restaurants are closed and the chance to go on that special date is looking slim, CBD may be the perfect gift to help…
How to find quality CBD products and what to look for in a reputable CBD company
Author: Joy Hughes The CBD market is exploding, and new CBD stores are popping up on every corner. Even drug stores, grocery markets, and holistic health centers everywhere are jumping on the CBD bandwagon, and for good reason. Scientific studies as well as anecdotal evidence have claimed that CBD holds a number of therapeutic values.…
Best Delta-8 THC Wax/Sauce/Dabs
Author: Jason Beverly Do you remember when Delta 8 THC first made its debut? Everyone and their grandpa wanted in on the action. Partly because they couldn’t believe that there were other variants of the THC cannabinoid. Let alone, a THC variant that slipped through the crack of being federally legal to consume. And that’s…
How to Press CBD Flower into Rosin
Author: Jason Beverly Rosin is a popular type of concentrate that is solventless, and it is used with heat and pressure to squeeze or extract the concentrate from the plant or flower you are using. This extraction technique has been used for many years, and is very popular for CBD flower rosin. CBD flower rosin…
Best Ways to Use CBD Oil for Dogs Treats
Author: Jason Beverly CBD oil is a concentrated tincture full of cannabinoids (if it is full or broad-spectrum) or just cannabidiol (if isolated). For dogs, there are variations of this product that are slightly different from those for human use. First, dogs don’t need the same doses of cannabidiol as humans. Secondly, pups can be…
What is CBD?
It seems everyone is talking about Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound that has shown promise for its therapeutic effects on a number of ailments. Let’s explore what CBD is, its history, how it works in the body, potential health benefits, and the legal implications of using it. CBD Definition Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid…
Best THCo According to Reddit
Author: Joy Hughes Is your hemp-derived THC not meeting your expectations? Well, you’re in luck… Introducing: THCO! One of the most potent psychoactive compounds in the cannabis industry. That’s right, THCO is considered among Reddit users and many experts to be highly euphoric. In fact, research suggests that THCO is 2-3 times stronger than both…
All you need to know about cannabis oils, concentrates, and extracts
Author: Janet Dahlen It is worth knowing that cannabis oils, concentrates, and extracts can provide you with many excellent benefits that you will not get from smoking. They are not only easy for precise dosing but also have refined flavors. Those products are focused on the finest ingredients of cannabis. You can get them in…
Best Delta 8 According to Reddit – Top Mentioned Gummies, Disposables, Vape Carts, Flower & More
Author: Joy Hughes It’s no surprise that everyone is wanting to give Delta 8 THC a try. After all, it’s federally legal and it’s considered to be both highly therapeutic and euphoric. The best of both worlds, right? But finding high quality Delta 8 THC can be a hassle. Especially if you have no idea…
Author: Joy Hughes Every day new cannabinoid-based brands are popping up on the scene, and only a few actually stand the test of time. That’s because the brands that do last value transparency, self-regulation, customer service, and creating effective products. These hemp brands are a reputable beacon of light in an overly saturated market of…