Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is a naturally-occurring chemical in cannabis, famous for its numerous pharmacological applications.
CBD has garnered considerable attention in the last few years; particularly its analgesic properties. Emerging research indicates that the compound may also help treat many other medical conditions besides pain. Examples include anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, inflammatory diseases, nausea, seizures, etc.
In addition to its various therapeutic benefits, CBD is also famous for its non-psychoactive nature. The compound doesn’t produce the mind-altering effects of marijuana, commonly known as “high.”
But if planning to buy CBD in the UK, there are certain conditions to keep in mind to avoid running afoul of the law. This article explores some of those conditions.
Know Your Supplier
Before diving into the legality of cannabidiol products in the UK, the first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with your supplier.
According to GQ magazine, around 1.3 million people use CBD in the UK. With such a huge demand, it’s not surprising that there’s an equally high number of retail outlets to find CBD oil UK.
However, not every cannabidiol supplier is legit. Many CBD oil retailers are outright scammers actively seeking out unsuspecting customers to defraud.
The onus is on you to find a credible CBD company. That includes asking tough questions about the retailer’s background and the quality of products they deal in.
To be safe, consider purchasing CBD oil from older, more established brands that enjoy favorable reviews from their past customers. Also, insist on suppliers whose CBD products come with quality assurance. That includes but is not limited to proof of lab testing.
Understand the Law
You’ve now nailed what appears to be a credible CBD oil supplier. But before ordering anything from them, it’s essential to find out what the law says about cannabidiol products.
The UK’s Misuse of Drugs Act lists numerous cannabinoids as controlled substances. Fortunately, CBD doesn’t appear on this list.
Therefore, all CBD-infused products are legal in the UK. CBD oil, gummies, beverage drinks, vape juices, and even CBD topicals like bath bombs.
However, there’s a rider. CBD is only legal in the UK if it comes from industrial hemp approved in the European Union. Hemp is a variant of the cannabis plant noted for its higher concentration of cannabidiol and lower yields of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
Hemp plants are often contrasted with marijuana. Although marijuana broadly means the same thing as cannabis, the term may also denote specific cannabis variants significantly high in THC.
Countries that have criminalized cannabis for recreational use normally take issue with the plant’s psychoactive effects, most of which come from tetrahydrocannabinol. To minimize exposure to these effects, regulators stipulate that cannabidiol and other medicinal cannabis extracts must come from the hemp and not marijuana cultivar.
Beware Of THC Levels
Psychoactive chemicals like tetrahydrocannabinol are the main hindrance to cannabis’ legality in the UK. Therefore, it’s essential to beware of the potency of these compounds when buying CBD oil. An excellent place to start is by checking if the product you’re about to purchase contains the following words in its description – isolates, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum.
CBD isolates are products containing cannabidiol as the only cannabinoid. This category of cannabidiol products is your best bet if seeking to purchase CBD oil legally in the UK.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain cannabidiol plus a host of other non-psychoactive cannabinoids. As broad-spectrum CBD is free from THC, it’s also another excellent recommendation if shopping for legally-approved CBD oil in the UK. However, ensure none of these additional cannabinoids features in the Misuse of Drugs Act list-controlled substances.
Lastly, full-spectrum CBD oil contains cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol, and several other psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids. This is the one category of CBD products to avoid while shopping for CBD oil legally in the UK. Although studies indicate that full-spectrum CBD products provide compounded therapeutic benefits, the fact that these products are high in THC makes them illegal in the UK.
But there’s one welcome exception.
According to the BBC, a cannabis-derived drug known as Sativex has been approved in the UK to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Sativex contains equal amounts of CBD and THC.
Remember To Seek Preapproval
Despite its numerous health benefits, cannabidiol oil remains unlicensed in the UK. At least not as a medicinal drug. The substance can only be prescribed to you upon presenting valid proof that you’re suffering from a medical condition that cannot or has not been effectively treated by conventional medicines.
Therefore, preapproval is paramount if planning to buy CBD oil in the UK.
The first step in getting preapproved for CBD oil is to consult a licensed clinician. Be sure to present an extensive medical background, highlighting the specific ailments you’d wish to be approved for CBD. The clinician will examine your condition and determine whether you qualify for a CBD oil prescription or not.
Cannabidiol oil is legal in the UK provided that it meets two main conditions. The oil must come from industrial help approved by the European Union. It must also be THC-free.
If in doubt, always consult your physician before integrating CBD oil and other cannabis-based products into your lifestyle.