CBD Safety and UK Regulations
Is CBD legal in the UK?
It’s certainly a question we see coming up time and time again, and it’s no wonder with the confusing and conflicting claims found online. But – the simple truth is that yes, the cannabinoid is legal for use in the UK, so what do you need to know?
Our detailed guide is here to give you the most current CBD regulations in the UK, cutting through the jargon so that you can safely purchase and use CBD products with confidence.
What is CBD oil?
CBD (cannabidiol) is so often confused with its counterpart THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the compound in weed that gets you “high”. But, whilst the two can both be found in the cannabis sativa plant, they have vastly different effects when consumed. CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids, alongside THC, that can be found within the cannabis plant. However, crucially, CBD when extracted from the hemp plant is completely non-intoxicating making it safe for consumption without the risk of getting “high”.
In order to get CBD oil, CBD is extracted from the plant and then diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil in order to create a finished product which has increased bio-availability, making it much easier for it to enter the body.
What is CBD oil used for?
CBD oil can be used in all sorts of ways, but it is most commonly associated with the treatment of various medical conditions. If you’ve heard of CBD, then you have likely heard the range of believed medical benefits that this cannabinoid has but separating fact from myth is crucial – especially when it comes to your health.
There is evidence out there to suggest that CBD oil can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Cancer-related symptoms
However, this is just a selection of the potential conditions that CBD oil can supposedly help with, and supporters will argue that the cannabinoid actually possesses the ability to help with much more. So does the research support this?
There are in fact plenty of studies looking into the potential of CBD for our health which show a great deal of promise, but with so many of these being exclusively animal-based, much more research is needed. With that said here are some of the biggest human studies done into CBD which have helped the cannabinoid not only become legal in the UK, but also the first ever CBD-based prescription medication to be developed.
Is CBD oil legal?
Yes – CBD oil is legal in the UK, however for those considering purchasing CBD products, there are strict guidelines which you should be aware of first. Although cannabis laws have been in place since 1967 with the Drugs Act, CBD itself has never been considered illegal so to speak, which makes things a little confusing. The key here is to consider the different cannabis plants, in that CBD derived from the hemp plant, rather than the marijuana plant, has always been considered legal as long as it does not contain more than 0.2% THC.
Here is a closer look at UK CBD laws:
- CBD grown in the UK must contain only trace amounts of THC. This is anything at 0.2% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol.
- It must be derived from EU-approved industrial hemp or if imported into the UK it must have 3rd party lab reports to show that there is no more than 0.2% THC.
- CBD products must contain no more than 1% THC or CBN (which are both controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act) per product.
- From the 31st March 2021, all foods containing CBD must have been authorised and validated by the Food Standards Agency (FDA) as novel food products. Novel food status applies to any foods which haven’t been widely consumed by people in the UK or EU prior to May 1997. Holding Novel food status dictates that the product is safe for consumption.
- CBD sold in the UK must comply with specific marketing regulations – i.e. they must not be sold with health or medical claims.
CBD regulations in the UK
With the confusion around cannabis and CBD, it’s no wonder why so many don’t really know where they stand when it comes to buying CBD products. Cannabis as we know remains a controlled Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but CBD is not. And whilst consuming CBD is legal, it is strictly prohibited by UK law to grow your own marijuana or hemp plants – so what are the regulations for CBD in the UK?
- Anyone producing CBD must hold a valid license as well as having permission to produce the cannabinoid from the UK Home Office
- All CBD products must have clear and precise labelling detailing all the ingredients and their quantities
- The CBD must be extracted from an EU approved industrial-grade hemp plant
- CBD in the UK must be sold by a licensed medical distributer or alternatively sold as a nutritional supplement
How is CBD oil used?
One of the many reasons why CBD oil has become so popular is its versatility. Today, there are so many CBD products on the market that make the cannabinoid accessible for all, from young to old and even our pets. Some of the most popular ways to consume CBD oil include:
- CBD capsules and edibles – CBD capsules are incredibly easy for those looking to get specific doses of the cannabinoid as part of their everyday health routine. This form of CBD oil makes consuming it simple and efficient, but for some the taste leaves a lot to be desired, which is where other CBD edibles come in! From chocolate to CBD gummies and even tea, you can get your hands on almost any edible containing CBD oil.
- CBD vapes – Discreet, versatile and a great way to consume CBD oil, vapes have seen a stark increase in popularity in recent years. With so many different vape devices on the market and a plethora of delicious CBD e-liquid to choose from, this is a go-to way of consuming CBD for many.
- Topical CBD – CBD oil in the form of skincare is popular, especially in those who are specifically aiming to target problem skin conditions such as acne or eczema.
Although CBD is legal for consumption in the UK, not all retailers are as reputable as others, so how can you know you’re getting high quality CBD products? Easy things to look out for include:
- Clear labelling with details of CBD quantity
- CBD that has been extracted using either Co2 or alcohol
- A product that isn’t too cheap in price
- Clear and easily accessible lab reports
- THC contents clearly displayed showing less than 0.2%
Of course, getting a high-quality CBD product is only half of it, and it’s just as important to ensure you are consuming it safely. It is always advised that you speak with your GP before starting CBD, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or are on regular medications. Others who should speak with a medical professional before taking CBD are:
- Women who are trying to conceive or are pregnant
- Women who are breastfeeding
- You have a compromised immune system
- You’re considering swapping a prescription medication for CBD
- You have low blood pressure
For adults who are given the all-clear to take CBD oil, it’s important to ensure that caution is taken when finding the correct dosage. It is generally advised that healthy adults should consume no more than 70mg of CBD a day unless otherwise advised by a doctor. However, to err on the side of caution, we advise you start taking CBD at the smallest possible dosage and then work your way up to an amount that you find beneficial.
If you’re considering trying CBD, you want to feel confident that you are getting the purest and best quality. It’s important to do your research and buy from a reputable buyer, such as Cloudstix who stock a range of e-cigarette, accessories and a vast array of CBD, e-liquids and more – all at an affordable