CBD has hit the American market by storm, and it is legal in all, but four states. However, that doesn’t mean that all countries feel the same way when it comes to cannabis-derived products.
In America, we have a plethora of information regarding the legality of cannabis, and it's pretty well-known around the world as well.
However, you may be surprised to know that the United Kingdom has gotten on this bandwagon. In fact, CBD is legal in the UK with certain caveats.
If you are looking to buy CBD in the UK, here is what you will need to know!
What is CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids derived from cannabis plants known as hemp or marijuana. It is the second most known cannabinoid found in cannabis plants.
THC is the most abundant cannabinoid. However, unlike THC, CBD does not get you “high.” Therefore, it does not have any mind-altering effects.
Within our bodies, we have an endocannabinoid system in which CBD and other cannabinoids bind to receptors throughout our body. When we ingest cannabinoids, they interact with various receptors in the body.
The endocannabinoid system is a huge network of cell receptor proteins, and it is believed to be involved in mood, immune, motor, memory, sleep, appetite, and pain functions in the body.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the brain, nervous system, digestive tract, on the skin, and in organs.
Our endocannabinoid system basically maintains homeostasis in the body. It keeps energy levels, immune response, stress, and nerve cell protection in balance.
When you take CBD, it interacts with our natural homeostatic balancing system to provide you with medicinal and therapeutic benefits much like our natural cannabinoids would.
This is because CBD is closely related to endocannabinoids that are produced naturally in our body.
Is it the Same as the US?
As described above, CBD in the UK is essentially the same as CBD in the United States. It is derived from cannabis plants and has the same medicinal benefits.
Over the last decade, legal issues surrounding THC have sparked the market for CBD-based oils due to the fact that it has no mind-altering properties.
The case of Charlotte Figi also helped bring CBD awareness to the UK spotlight. Charlotte was a young girl who had Dravet Syndrome. She suffered from epilepsy and had hundreds of seizures each week.
After taking CBD with virtually no THC, her seizures were reduced to just a few a month.
Medicinal Benefits of CBD Oil
Once medical researchers found that CBD was helpful for seizures, but it was also helpful for a vast range of medical conditions. In fact, CBD has been used for serious and potentially life-threatening diseases including:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety disorders
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Motor disorders
- Cancer (and the effects of cancer-related treatments)
- Psychotic disorders
While CBD is by no means considered a cure for these conditions, medical studies have shown that CBD is helping patients with these conditions.
Many patients have been getting rid of dangerous, costly, and addictive prescription medications in favor of CBD.
With all the miraculous benefits of CBD, there does come some legal caveats that must be followed.
What are the Legal Restrictions
Restrictions around CBD and other cannabis medicines, are under MHRA laws. MHRA is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK.
Their work and decisions are underpinned by robust and fact-based judgments to ensure the benefits of a medicine justify any risks.
This agency is an executive agency of the Department of Health.
While most cannabinoids including THC are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD is not. In fact, industrial hemp may be grown under license in the UK if it is a strain of cannabis plant that has little to no THC.
CBD is legal in the UK, but it does come with restrictions much as it does in the US. In fact, there may be a little more regulation in regards to selling CBD in the UK.
Here are some of the restrictions:
- CBD cannot contain more than .2% of THC. In the US, it is anywhere from .3% to .9% depending on where you live.
- Medical CBD must be licensed. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has made it clear that if CBD is being sold as a medicine, it must be licensed.
- CBD can be sold without a license. As long as the seller is not making medical benefit claims, the CBD oil can be sold without a license.
- CBD oil can be sold as a supplement. Without claims of medical benefits, CBD can be sold as a food supplement in the UK.
Now, manufacturers must prove that their CBD products meet a set level of quality, safety, and effectiveness. Some may say that MHRA’s criteria is too strict and there may be a shortage of CBD in the UK.
Because most manufacturers will need a specific license to register their CBD products as traditional herbal remedies, getting CBD could be trickier in the UK.
It is also important to note that even though CBD extracted from the plant is legal in the UK, the “whole-plant” cannabis is still illegal. So, if you have a cannabis plant, you can still be arrested and charged with possession.
Do you live in the UK? What do you think of the legality regarding CBD? Share your thoughts in the comments below!