Is CBD Oil Legal In The UK?
Despite CBD being on the rise, many still aren’t actually certain whether or not it’s legal to use in the UK.
The short answer is that as long as consumer CBD products are approved by the Food Standards Agency’s exacting safety standards for food supplements, they’re completely legal in the UK. And since Good Hemp’s pure CBD oil range is officially FSA-approved (well in advance of the deadline of 31 March 2021, may we add), it’s safe to say – well, it’s safe!
A History of CBD Oil Legislation in the UK
CBD oil hasn’t always been legal in the UK, and despite its significant increase in popularity over the last five years, this miracle compound has had a tough time proving its worth. We’ve put together a brief history of CBD’s journey to legality below.
Products containing cannabidiol marketed for medical purposes were classed as medicines by the UK regulatory body until 2017 – the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – and could not be marketed without regulatory approval for the medical claims.
From 2018 onwards, CBD oil was legal to possess, buy and sell in the UK, providing the product did not contain more than one milligram of THC and wasn’t advertised as having a medicinal benefit. If you wanted to get your hands on CBD oil that does contain THC, it would have to be controlled under the MDA 1971/MDR 2001 and need to meet specific regulations for it to be lawfully available for human consumption, of which there are only a handful of cases in the UK.
In January 2019, the UK FSA indicated that it would regard CBD products, including CBD oil, as a ‘novel food’ having no history of use before May 1997. From this point onwards, such products have had to be authorised and have proven safety standards in order to be legally marketed.
31 March 2021
This is the upcoming deadline for companies with existing CBD products to submit a full and validated novel foods application to the FSA. Failure to do so before this date will exclude those companies from selling CBD.
31 March 2021 onwards
New products containing CBD will require a fully approved novel foods status.
What’s Required for CBD Oil to Be Legal?
CBD is not listed as a ‘controlled substance’ under the Misuse of Drugs Act, unlike the majority of cannabinoids (the active ingredients in cannabis that are responsible for that post-consumption high). This means as long as it’s derived from an EU-approved industrial strain of hemp – this includes novel foods like oils, drops, sweets and gels – CBD is totally legal to purchase and use in the UK.
In order for CBD oil companies to successfully categorise their products as novel foods in the UK, they should provide:
- A description of the novel food, production process, compositional data, specification, proposed uses and use levels, as well as an anticipated intake of the novel food
- The history of use of the novel food and/or its source, absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, nutritional information, toxicological information and allergenicity
- Where potential health hazards have been identified (eg. from the composition of the novel food, its production process, its history of use or results from animal or human studies). They should be discussed in relation to the anticipated intakes of the novel food and the proposed target populations
All of our Pure CBD oils have FSA approval and are completely legal in the UK! We use a CBD isolate extract in our oils, meaning it’s pure and THC-free so there’s no chance you’ll feel high or fail a drug test. We’ve also made sure to debunk some of the most common misconceptions about CBD oil for those worried about trying it for the first time. We hope it puts your mind at ease.
CBD Safety Advice from the FSA
It goes without saying that it’s super important for consumers (and suppliers) to understand how to use CBD products safely, and while there’s still more research to be done, we’ve got the basic dos and don’ts for you.
The FSA is currently advising vulnerable groups – including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication – not to consume CBD products unless under medical direction.
Healthy adults are advised to consume no more than 70mg of CBD a day (that’s about 58 drops of Good Hemp’s 250mg Natural CBD Oil). This advice is based on the very latest scientific information available with the above amounts based on an average 70kg adult.
How We Envision the Future of CBD
Now that the science-y part is out the way, we can move on to the fun stuff. We support all CBD products being tested to ensure you can feel comfortable in the knowledge that what is available on the market is safe – and that you know exactly what’s in it. We’re firm believers in being transparent every step of the way.
As you’ll have gathered by now, we’re passionate about the benefits CBD has on your physical and mental health and, naturally, want it to be accessible to as many people as possible. We think the product approval process should be free and not take ages; if you want to make a good quality CBD product, it shouldn’t be very difficult to do so.
We already know that it’s legal to grow hemp in the UK (as long as you have a license from the Home Office permitting you to grow a ‘controlled substance’), but the process of extracting CBD from the plant is currently illegal in the UK.
Which is ridiculous.
We’d love to see CBD extraction become legal in the UK for many reasons – primarily to support UK farmers (staying true to our wider mission of creating a world where sustainable living is a priority) and so that we can come up with even more great CBD products for you! We envision the future of CBD will lead to a healthier and happier planet for everyone.
So what are you waiting for? Now you know the facts, why not give our FSA-approved CBD oil a whirl?