The law on CBD remains unclear to many, something which comes as a result of the patchwork regulation of CBD oil in recent years. In fact, many people might have been confused to see CBD products across our favourite high street stores, especially since Cannabis remains illegal in other forms. What’s more, the UK government has expressed that they have no intention to legalise recreational cannabis use, despite exempting medical cannabis use. To help you understand whether CBD oil and gum is legal in the UK, we have compiled this blog post.
You can legally buy CBD oil and gum either online or as food supplements in health stores. Although, it is worth noting that it is important to only purchase these things from a reputable retailer and trustworthy stockist since there is the possibility for potentially illegal and dangerous quality and content to be sold under the guise of legal CBD oil.
Interestingly, CBD is not psychoactive since the THC, the psychoactive compound which produces the sensation of being high is found only at a very negligible level as per a regulated limit of 0.2%. This means that it will not have any psychoactive effect whatsoever, hence it is exempt from regulation under psychoactive substance laws so long as the THC level is strictly controlled within the products. The only exception to this regulated limit is when the CBD oil is prescribed medically by a professional, which only happens in very rare and specific circumstances, such as for epilepsy and MS.
The main reason for legalisation of CBD in the UK is that it is non-intoxicating and that it has several, proclaimed health benefits. Although, as discussed above, CBD is only legal within the UK so long as it does not contain above 0.2% of THC, since THC is one of the regulated and controlled drugs that fall under the UK’s Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. In order to escape regulation under this law, any CBD oil and gum must be compliant with this threshold.
Under EU regulations designed to harmonise the national law on CBD oil across Europe, food, drink and supplements containing the regulated amount of CBD oil are classified as ‘novel food’, with other items such as capsules, oral sprays, gum, mints and infused drinks all categorised the same way. Since this form of EU law is binding on the UK at present, it must be applied without deviation and in a uniform manner across the EU member states. Under the current law, any food supplier which attempts to market and sell these novel foods must first have a validated / approved application to the European Commission by a specified deadline and they must have premarket authorisation first.
However, the sale and use of CBD gum which is compliant with these requirements can be legally sold and used within the UK. Although there are some more stringent regulations on the cultivation of hemp and cannabis for these purposes. In particular, CBD producers must have a license and permission from the UK home office, sellers must be licensed medical distributors or sell the product as a nutritional supplement and all CBD products must be compliant with specific marketing and labelling practices too.
So although CBD gum is legal within the UK, cultivating and selling it is considerably more difficult than purchasing it. Even still, we recommend that to ensure your CBD gum is both legal and safe, you purchase it with a reputable seller only.