CBD oil law and regulations for medical and recreational use of hemp and cannabis are constantly changing in most countries around the world. As the medical potential of both species of the plant increases most countries have already reduced the legal restrictions on cultivation, production, distribution, sales, classification and taxation on hemp and cannabis and its derived products.
The difference between Cannabis and Industrial Hemp
To understand the legal status of hemp and cannabis and products derived from them we must first know the difference between hemp and cannabis itself and CBD-based products, Hemp-based products and Cannabis derived products:
- Cannabis or Cannabis Sativa – is a plant indigenous to and originating from Central and upper South Asia. Three species are recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis although due to constant natural and human-based cross-breeding of species, they rarely appear in their original form. Total THC levels in today’s Cannabis Sativa strains are usually very high – up to 30%.
- Hemp, or industrial hemp – are registered strains of the Cannabis Sativa plant subspecies that are grown for a variety of industrial and commercial uses. Hemp can be used for extraction of cannabinoids and can be refined into a variety of commercial products that don’t contain cannabinoids. Total THC levels in industrial hemp are usually very low – up to 1%
- CBD-based products – are products that contain different concentrations of CBD or Cannabidiol – a non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in all Cannabis Sativa strains including Hemp. We must underline that the CBD used can be of full spectrum or crystals(Isolate).
Full spectrum CBD (along with other 140+ cannabinoids) is usually extracted from registered Hemp strains but can be also extracted from all other subspecies of Cannabis Sativa. In order to maintain the THC concentrations below the legally allowed limits, the extract is usually further elaborated. Here at Hempika® we focus on full spectrum CBD-based products. CBD Crystals or CBD Isolate begins as hemp-derived CBD extract. Then, all other plants natural cannabinoids and other compounds except for CBD are removed, leaving CBD as a pure crystalline, making CBD legal for sales also in countries where THC concentration is limited to 0.0%.
- Hemp-based products – are products made from industrial hemp and do not contain cannabinoids. With the reintroduction of hemp in western society – industries we can observe a boom of new hemp-based products such as paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, animal feed, insulation, construction material, biofuel, food…
- Cannabis-derived products – are products made from Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Sativa plant parts usually containing elevated concentrations of THC.
Our CBD map helps our user to quickly identify the legality of CBD products in different countries. It can be helpful when you need in-depth information about the CBD law and regulations regarding also the legal status of THC and its allowed limit in hemp and CBD-based products. You can access this information by simply clicking on a pin marked on the country map. We strongly advise you to do detailed research on the latest laws and regulations regarding CBD and THC before travelling to another country and we wouldn’t advise you to bring any CBD based products on a plane, even if the THC content is below 0,2%. Instead, we advise you to order beforehand your preferred CBD products to your designated location.
- CBD – Indicates where can you legally buy CBD-based products
- Hemp – Indicates where can you legally buy Hemp-based products
- THC limit (%) – Indicates the legal maximum THC concentration in products on the market (positive values apply to countries where THC is decriminalized or legalized)
- Cannabis – Indicates where can you buy Cannabis for recreational purposes
- Medical – Indicates where you can get a prescription for Cannabis derived products
Hemp seed oil and CBD oil classification
Hemp seed oil – Hemp seed oil doesn’t contain cannabinoids and it has been available on the EU market to a significant degree prior to May 15, 1997 so it can be classified as food.
CBD oil – was not available on the EU market to a significant degree prior to May 15, 1997 so it can not be classified as food. Depending on the country, CBD-based products can be classified as a novel food, but authorisation may be required when the oil is subjected to certain forms of extraction or purification techniques. In some countries, CBD-based products for topical use can be sold as cosmetics. Furthermore, today you can acquire CBD-based products that are classified as prescription medications, but only in some countries (last row in the table) and only with a medical prescription.
Hemp-derived CBD extracts and cannabis-derived CBD extracts
CBD can be found in hemp or in cannabis plants. Use and sale of hemp-derived CBD is legal in most countries, but cannabis-derived CBD is not, because the cultivation of cannabis is illegal or restricted only to licence owners in most countries.
Hemp-derived CBD extract usually contains small traces of THC (the legal limit in EU is 0.2% and in US 0.3%) or 0% of THC and as such has no psychoactive effects.
Cannabis-derived extracts usually have a higher concentration of THC and a lower concentration in CBD.
Differentiation in medical and recreational use of CBD
The differences in regulations and laws in force regarding CBD, hemp and cannabis for medical and recreational use varies by country, in terms of its possession, distribution, and cultivation, and how it can be consumed and what medical conditions it can be used for.
Medical use of cannabis in now legalized in Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, some states in the US and Thailand.
Recreational use of cannabis is prohibited in most countries; however, many have adopted a policy of decriminalization to make possession of small amounts of cannabis (marked as cannabis possession in the table) a non-criminal offence. Others have much more severe penalties – even imprisonment for several years. CBD as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid is usually not used recreationally.
Medical use of cannabis is now legalized in Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, some states in the US and Thailand.
CBD oil legal countries – country by country
Argentina, Austria, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Turkey, Japan
Countries with specific CBD laws and regulation
CBD oil in Norway
Is CBD oil legal in Norway?
Norway is not part of European Union and as such has some additional restrictions regarding the use and sales of CBD. In Norway hemp and cannabis is prohibited to grow and it is also prohibited to buy whole hemp and cannabis seeds. However the use and sales of CBD is legal if the THC concentration in it is 0.00%.
CBD oil in Sweden
Is CBD oil legal in Sweden?
The legal status of CBD in Sweden is a bit complicated, as the Swedish medical authorities consider CBD to be an active ingredient, therefore it must follow strict Swedish law regulating pharmaceuticals. The Medical Products Agency classifies it as a drug, which also requires a permit for sale. Selling supplements containing CBD is now prohibited in Sweden. In addition, statements of health/beauty benefits and/or oral consumption mentions in instructions for use are also prohibited in marketing and sales of CBD. However CBD in not on the banned substance list in Sweden and you can buy CBD products online, but most online shops take no responsibility for any shipping inconvenience or customs seizures. In conclusion use and sales of CBD in Sweden is legal if the THC concentration in it is 0.00% and if the seller has permit of sale.
CBD oil in Ireland
Is CBD oil legal in Ireland?
Under EU regulation hemp may be grown as long as the THC content is less than 0.2% and as a member state of the EU the same applies to Ireland. However under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 all derivatives of cannabis and hemp containing even traces of THC are illegal for sale and possession in Ireland, therefore we can say that only CBD products with 0.00% of THC are legal in Ireland.
In the table, you can also see the countries where CBD is also used for medical purposes marked in the last column – “Medical”.
To help CBD users in finding the answers about the legality of CBD, hemp and cannabis-based products we created a non-formal informative table. Apart from the fact that the laws and regulations regarding CBD are constantly changing in most countries, we have also limited and unverified information about this topic, so we kindly invite our users to contribute by sharing updated information (possibly with source links) in the comments section.
|Belgium||No||Yes||Up to 3 g||N/a|
|Belize||Yes||Yes||Up to 10 g||No|
|Colombia||Yes||Yes||Up to 22 g||No|
|Luxembourg||Yes||Yes||Legalization in progress||No||N/a|
|Paraguay||Yes||Yes||Up to 10 g||No|
|Portugal||Yes||Yes||Up to 25 g||Yes|
|United States||Yes||Yes||0.3||State regulated||State regulated|
|Uruguay||Yes||Yes||Prohibited for foreigners||Yes|