Skip to content
The legal status of CBD

The legal status of CBD

One of the most common questions we get from our customers and community members is whether CBD is legal in Europe. Well, in November 2020, the European Court of Justice published a judgement stating that cannabidiol extracted from the cannabis plant should not be considered a drug under the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Despite this, there is currently no consensus in Europe on whether CBD should be legal or not, or what percentage of THC is too much for the CBD product to be legally sold, and therefore laws can differ greatly, even between countries that share a border. While all CBD products aren’t legal in every country in the European Union, it is legal at least in some form in most countries. Many European nations choose to ignore EU guidance and prefer to make their own decisions regarding CBD and Cannabis.

CBD Oil UK – The UK's Best CBD Oil Products of 2021 | Observer

The different laws, regulations and ‘Grey Areas’ in policies regarding CBD can make understanding the legal status in your country very confusing. We will try to provide some clarity on the legal status of CBD in the EU and the UK.

UNRESTRICTED & LEGAL UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS

United Kingdom
CBD isolate products are completely legal in the United Kingdom, however, there are some light restrictions in place for the use of CBD pet products. We would advise that you contact your local vet for a consultation before buying any CBD products for your pets.

Cyprus
Despite the extremely strict laws on the consumption of Cannabis for recreational use, the use of medical cannabis has become legal. CBD is considered legal if it is derived from industrial hemp and complies with THC limits (up to 0.2%).

Germany
CBD products with up to 0.2% THC content can be purchased freely over the counter, and medical CBD can be obtained from a doctor.

Switzerland
CBD products with a THC content of less than 1% is completely legal.

Austria
CBD products with a THC content of up to 0.3%, that also comply with the Novel Food Act, are completely legal.

Hungary
All cannabis products with up to 0.2% of THC are considered legal.

Portugal
In the year 2001, the government of Portugal passed Law 30/2000, which decriminalised the consumption and possession of all drugs for personal use (including cannabis). This made Portugal one of the first countries in the world to adopt a position of this kind. CBD is legal for medicinal purposes. It can also be purchased and consumed without prescription, as long as the THC content (the substance responsible for giving people the ‘high’ effect) is below 0.2%.

Italy
You can legally buy and sell CBD products, provided it contains less than 0.6% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This THC percentage, while far below the levels that would elicit any type of intoxicating effect, is relatively high compared to some other European countries, which stay within the union’s-imposed THC limit on hemp CBD products of 0.2%.

Denmark
CBD Oil of less than 0.2 percent THC is safe as long as it meets certain laws in Denmark that govern drugs, dietary additives & milk.

France
The use of CBD oil is legal in France. But the legal status of CBD oil in France is quite ambiguous. CBD oil produced from marijuana is illegal due to its high content of THC of 14%. But the CBD oil derived from hemp is legal as the THC content is less, with only 0.2%. Recently, any trace of THC was made illegal in France for personal use.

Greece
According to current regulations, hemp CBD is excluded from drug control. Meaning CBD is legal, provided its THC content does not exceed 0.2%.

Poland
CBD products with up to 0.2% of THC are considered legal.

Spain
The use and production of CBD-rich products is entirely legal as long as the product is designed for topical use only, for example skin care products and medicinal balms and oils. The agency in charge of regulating topical CBD products is the Medicines Agency.

The Netherlands
In the Netherlands, the situation is a little bit more complicated. While cannabis products with very high concentration rates of THC are sold freely in licensed coffee shops, CBD is sort of in the grey area. It is considered illegal to produce plant extracts, so the hemp being produced in the Netherlands and then processed abroad. As things currently stand CBD with less than 0,05% THC level is tolerated by the government and is sold over the counter all across the Netherlands. This is significantly less than the content allowed for hemp production, which causes problems for CBD oil producers. However, you can still order CBD oil and other CBD products online from the common market in Europe. In this case, the THC limit is a bit higher – 0.2%.

Belgium
Another complicated one. Cultivation of marijuana is illegal, and the possession of up to 3 grams of cannabis, cannabis resin, or one plant for personal use was decriminalized in 2003. CBD products for external personal use is legally sold in pharmacies around Belgium. On the other hand, CBD oil cannot be sold as a medicinal cannabis product or as a food supplement according to the laws in Belgium. This is due to the infamous Novel food’s regulation; CBD food supplements are considered to be novel foods and require authorization before they can enter the market. The Belgian authorities have not granted such authorization.

NOTE: Although officials have said that they consider online shops illegal, there are no clear regulations imposed on brands that operate online. You can order CBD online, but customs could seize your product.

Georgia
The passing of HB 213, also known as the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, permitted the in-state production, processing, and sale of hemp and hemp products, and redefined CBD to match the federal definition.  Georgians can now legally purchase CBD products containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. The Georgia Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the state's industrial hemp program, has released a declaration prohibiting the sale of CBD in food, drink, animal feed, or dietary supplements.

Estonia
In Estonia, recreational cannabis is decriminalized, where possessing up to 7.5 grams will only result in a fine. Possessing and distributing large amounts of cannabis still remains illegal. CBD products are completely legal in Estonia, as long as they contain below 0.2% THC.
North Macedonia
Cannabis in North Macedonia is legal for medical purposes, but illegal for recreational purposes. CBD regulations remain unclear.

Bulgaria
CBD is legal in Bulgaria. You can buy CBD products online, in pharmacies or in headshops. However, CBD production is forbidden. Bulgarian legislation allows farmers to process the hemp’s stem and seeds but prohibits them from processing the plant’s leaves or flowers.

THC may range from 0.2 to 21 %, depending on the variety of hemp. All plant varieties in which the THC content is less than 0.2 % are qualified as industrial cannabis.

Luxembourg
CBD is legally permitted, as long as it has a maximum of 0.3% THC.

Czech Republic
According to the state, any cannabis products with less than 0.3% THC are legal.

Slovenia
CBD products with up to 0.2% of THC are considered legal.

Romania
CBD products with up to 0.2% of THC are considered legal.

Croatia
CBD products with up to 0.2% of THC are considered legal.

Malta
CBD products with up to 0.2% of THC are considered legal.

Latvia
CBD products with up to 0.2% of THC are considered legal.

HEAVILY RESTRICTED, UNCLEAR CBD REGULATIONS AND ILLEGAL

Iceland
CBD products with any THC content are considered illegal.   

Ukraine
Historically, there were no explicit bans on the importation of products containing CBD into Ukraine from other countries and their commercialisation. However, due to a lack of clear regulation on CBD, the commercialisation of CBD-based products was associated with significant risks. Following amendments introduced as bylaws in April 2021, CBD isolate and CBD isolate-based products are confirmed to be non-controlled substances, which means that since April 2021, the restrictions applicable to controlled substances do not apply to these products.

Sweden
Sweden had made CBD legal, but it can’t contain any THC. Therefore, only THC-free CBD products can openly be sold and consumed.

Norway
Norway’s Medicines Agency regulates CBD very strictly. CBD is considered an exempt medication and is available with a doctor’s prescription. THC is not allowed in any concentrations at all in Norway. It has since been made clear that CBD oil is legal as long as it contains 0% THC.

Despite CBD being a mainstream product throughout Europe, the Norwegian lawmakers have decided to maintain previous laws — keeping the sale and distribution of CBD-infused products tightly controlled.

Ireland
In Ireland, if CBD products contain THC in any quantities, they are considered controlled drugs, meaning they are effectively banned. CBD products with no THC content are considered completely legal.

Finland
The Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) recently stated that Cannabidiol (CBD) is controlled as a medicine in Finland. A (medicinal) preparation that contains CBD needs a prescription and each preparation is assessed separately by Fimea. Furthermore, purchasing products containing CBD from abroad may be illegal. It is forbidden to import a preparation containing CBD into Finland that is classified as a medicine without a prescription. "Anyone who orders products from the net, for example, or brings products with them from abroad must first ensure that importing them is legal."

Lithuania
Only CBD products with 0% THC content are legal for now. CBD is still referred to as a new kind of food supplement, and its regulations are in the consideration stage. However, Hemp-based products are legal, so you are allowed to bring CBD oil in the country when traveling.

Albania
Although CBD is low in a potentially psychoactive THC compound or is free from THC completely, Albanian law makes no distinction between CBD and cannabis. This means CBD is considered in a legal grey area and it is not banned, but it’s not allowed either. However, private, personal use of cannabis is allowed if the user only has a ‘single dose’.

Andorra
Cannabis is banned in Andorra and individuals caught with cannabis possession might receive a €1200 to €1800 fine or imprisonment for 2 years. As for CBD, Andorra does not have special CBD regulation and is not a member of the EU, so CBD is considered illegal.

Moldova
The production, sale and possession of any form of medicinal marijuana products are illegal in Moldova. The cultivation, sale, and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes are illegal in Moldova. The country's law puts them all in the category of psychotropic substances with no medical value. The laws state that cannabis oil from the amount of 0.05g is a large quality and is frowned upon.

Armenia
Cannabis is banned in Armenia for all uses, and those caught with cannabis possession can be subjected to heavy fines or a jail sentence of up to 2 months.

Slovakia
The regulations on CBD remain heavily restricted. However, back in March 2021, The Slovakian parliament on passed an amendment removing CBD from the country’s Schedule II of psychotropic substances, effective May 1.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Again, regulations are not completely clear on legal status of CBD. The medical use of cannabis is not regulated in Bosnia and Herzegovina as such. However, the Law on Prevention and Suppression of Narcotic Drugs Abuse of Bosnia and Herzegovina only permits growing, importing and selling hemp for industrial purposes. Therefore, it’s arguable that growing, importing and selling of hemp for medical use is not permitted.

Belarus
All forms of CBD products are strictly illegal.

 

Previous article Understanding your CBD Label
Next article The Endocannabinoid System: What is it?

Leave a comment

* Required fields