Are our CBD products legal? How far are the products legal, and which laws govern and regulate CBD use? Are our CBD oil and CBD ingestibles products legal? This article explains how CBD oil and ingestible CBD products are legal in Europe.
Lachenmeier & Walch (2020) explains CBD oil and ingestible are legal in Europe but heavily regulated. The amount of THC should be 0.2 or less. France only allows 0% THC CBD products. CBD companies should not make any medical claims about their products in the UK. Other countries like Norway allow CBD for medicinal use only. Buying CBD oil and CBD ingestible should not be difficult as long as they adhere to these regulations. CBD oil and CBD ingestibles are the most common CBD products. Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021) explains that CBD products are used for health and wellness in ailments like alleviating pain, stress, and anxiety; CBD can also be used for recreational purposes. Most countries in Europe are in the European Union; thus, most laws are centralized.
CBD is legal in EU member states as it is defined as a novel food as food not significantly consumed beyond 1997. In 1997 the EU came up with a Novel Food Regulation to create a food safety system that regulates novel food, artificial or genetically manufactured food. The government modified this regulation in 2018 to if a food has been regarded as novel, it must undergo a pre-market safety investigation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). For CBD to be considered novel, the potency of CBD has to be greater than the concentration of cannabidiol in the cannabis Sativa supply, which is more than 5%. CBD extract with more than 5% concentration of CBD is illegal in the EU. The history of Europe shows that users in beer production used hemp plant flowers before 1997. The EU states that member states must approve the extraction process of CBD. These conventional production methods regard the resulting product as food. Most EU member states set the limit of THC to be 0.2%, and France only allows 0% THC. CBD is illegal in Slovakia and Lithuania. Any product with more than 0.2% THC is considered to be marijuana. The hemp plant is legal throughout Europe, and it is used for fiber, seeds for food, and CBD extracts. CDB was unrestricted in EU members until the new 2019 novel food guidelines were introduced.
The UK is the largest economy in Europe which is not an EU member. CBD products are legal in the UK. Kittleson (2017) explains that the UK dictates that the hemp plant for CBD products must be from outside the UK, and THC should be 1mg or less per product or bottle. The UK further regulates that CBD should be sold as a food supplement and not for medicinal purposes, and products should not make any medical claims about their effects. CBD companies are to submit a Novel Food Application to the Food Standards Agency for them to be allowed to sell CBD products in the UK. CBD companies cannot sell flowers and buds of the hemp plant. Outside the UK and EU, CBD is legal in almost all other Europe countries. CBD is illegal in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Monaco, and Montenegro.
Buying CBD products should be easy if one understands that a particular country's CBD regulations, like CBD products with more than 0.2% THC, are illegal, and if you are in France, then only CBD products with 0.0% THC are allowed. But in other countries like Norway, CBD is for medicinal use only. Li, Mirosa, & Bremer (2020) explain one can buy CBD products online directly from the manufacturer and have them delivered to you; before buying, one can ask for the Certificate of Analysis to guarantee the product quality. The CoA shows third-party lab results of the CBD used in their buying product.
An individual can take CBD oil through sublingual, ingestion, topical, or inhalation. CBD ingestible like CBD gummies are taken through the ingestion method.
This method involves placing CBD oil or spray under the tongue and holding it for 60 seconds for absorption. The CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream by capillaries and tissues in the mouth.
The ingestion method involves eating CBD gummies or cookies. It also involves when one adds CBD oil to your food and drinks. The CBD undergoes metabolism before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Metabolism makes this method slow.
The topical method involves using CBD oil externally. CBD oil topicals are made for external use. One can apply the oil to the affected area and massage it for absorption to occur. The CBD is absorbed into the skin and binds with ECS receptors.
The inhalation method is the fastest method of taking CBD. The effect of CBD is felt in 10 minutes or less. This method involves using CBD oil vape pens or smoking CBD oil concentrate. Individuals can also smoke hemp plant flowers and buds. Hemp plant flowers are not sold in the UK.
CBD oil and CBD ingestible are legal in Europe but highly restricted. The novel food policy by the EU leads to the increase of restrictions on CBD products. The legality of CBD differs from one European jurisdiction to another. France only allows CBD with 0% THC, while Austria allows CBD with 0.3% THC. In other countries like Norway, CBD is for medicinal use only, but CBD companies cannot make any medical benefit of CBD in the UK. Other countries like Montenegro have banned the use of CBD products. Buying CBD products in Europe is easier when you understand your country's CBD laws.
Kittleson, M. D. Month: December 2017.
Lachenmeier, D. W., & Walch, S. G. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD): A strong plea for mandatory pre-marketing approval of food supplements. Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, 15(2), 97-98.
Li, C., Mirosa, M., & Bremer, P. (2020). Review of online food delivery platforms and their impacts on sustainability. Sustainability, 12(14), 5528.
Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.