It’s hard to know what’s really legal when it comes to CBD oil and the UK. Some U.S. stares have confusing laws, but in the UK – it’s even more confusing. In this guide, we’ll break it all down for you. It’s always a good idea to know the laws of the countries you visit, especially if you are a CBD oil or cannabis user.
CBD Oil and the UK – Is it Legal?
The first thing you’ll want to know is if CBD oil is legal in the UK. The simple answer is yes – with stipulations, of course. Only those with a license to possess CBD oil are permitted to have it and use it. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does recognize CBD as a medicine, but it’s not sold in stores for everyone to buy.
The downside here is – not many UK residents have been granted these special licenses.
Ready to be confused even more? The UK goes so far in distinguishing what’s legal and what’s not by allowing hemp-derived CBD oil to be sold in some stores. Cannabis-derived CBD oil is not legal unless you have a medical cannabis license. Confusing, right? Yes, we think so too!
Flying with CBD Oil to the UK
You’d think that flying into the UK from another country, like the U.S. for example; with CBD oil would be okay. It’s not. When it comes to CBD oil and the UK, flying into the country with it is a big no-no.
It might be better to consider capsules as long as the label doesn’t mention CBD. The UK is still very far behind the times when it comes to this non-intoxicating and safe cannabinoid.
What about CBD Vape?
Don’t bother thinking you can buy CBD vape at UK vape stores. The authorities have confiscated CBD vape products at several retailers. It isn’t known what the consequences would be if you flew into the UK with CBD vape, but it’s best not to even try it.
The god thing here is – no one’s been arrested in these seizures of CBD vape from vape stores. The authorities consider it a violation of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Now that some new laws are in place, medical cannabis can be obtained in the UK. Only specialists can prescribe medical cannabis. No general practitioners are permitted to write a recommendation or prescription.
THC and CBD products are available under the country’s medical cannabis program.
The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has loosened some restrictions on cannabis recently. The Misuse of Drugs Act had not been amended since 1971 in regards to cannabis. Medical cannabis is rescheduled, but a verifiable medical condition must be documented to be approved for the coveted medical cannabis license.
The rescheduling of medical cannabis in the UK is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the country regarding drugs of any kind.
Here’s what makes it tough about CBD oil and the UK – medical cannabis, including UK CBD oil, can only be obtained if “no other lawful medicinal is available that would meet the specific needs of the patient”. So, unless a patient has tried every existing option without improvement, it is very hard to be approved for a medical cannabis license.
Can Visitors Obtain Medical Cannabis in the UK?
No. Visitors cannot obtain medical cannabis while visiting the UK, unless you travel to Holland or Barrett to find hemp-derived CBD oil. Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal and can be found in several stores. But, cannabis-derived CBD oil is what’s only available with that coveted medical cannabis license.
Where can visitors find the hemp-derived CBD oil that is legal? Health food stores and vape shops mostly.
You’d have to go to the high street in Holland and Barrett to find the CBD oil that visitors can have. They’re only able to sell these products because they’re marketing them as “nutrition supplements” and not medicine or health products.
Medicinal Use of CBD Oil and the UK
Although the MHRA has recognized CBD as having medicinal and therapeutic potential – it can’t be “sold for medicinal purposes” by any establishment other than a licensed dispensary. A valid U.S. medical cannabis card will not do any good in the UK as they have not established any reciprocating laws for visitors. Will you get arrested if you do buy a CBD oil product from one of the high street retailers? Most likely not. It’s not something that UK law enforcement is really interested in pursuing.
Key Points to Remember
How can you be sure that you are using legal CBD products while visiting the UK? One thing that is unique about CBD oil and the UK is that their legal percentage of THC in these products is 0.2% THC or less. In the U.S. it’s 0.3% THC or less.
Additional key things to look know:
- CBD oil containing more than 0.2% THC and/or is derived from cannabis and not hemp can only be purchased via prescription.
- The quality of the products marketed as “hemp oil supplements” is not consistent.
- The products you find there may not be as beneficial for your body as what you find from U.S. retailers like Canna Trading Co.
- The only CBD oil that can be sold as “medicine” must be from a retailer/dispensary with proper licensing from the MHRA.
Determining High-Quality CBD Oil Products in the UK
Not all UK CBD Oil products are created equally. Just as in the U.S., there has been controversy surrounding CBD oil and the UK. There have been reports of some bottling hemp seed oil and marketing it as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil contains no cannabinoids. Some are also marketing olive oil with CBD infused into it but the concentration of CBD is minimal to nil.
It is important to research UK CBD oil companies just as you would a U.S. company to ensure that the product you’re purchasing is safe, good quality and legal to purchase.
We hope we haven’t confused you even more about CBD oil and the UK. Their laws are more confusing than some individual states here in the U.S. But, as always, do your due diligence and research. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals where to buy legal CBD oil and what brands are quality.