If you’re considering using CBD products, it’s important to know whether they’re legal and safe in the UK. In the UK, CBD products need to meet specific rules to be sold and used legally. Below, we explore the legal status of CBD oil in the country for 2023.
Is CBD legal in UK?
Yes, CBD is legal in the UK. But, the CBD oil product you buy needs to meet certain standards for it to be legal. Some CBD products you find in shops might not be authorized, so it’s safer to buy them from reputable sources like pharmacies or trusted websites (like Blessed CBD).
In the UK, CBD oil products can be legally sold only if it contains an extremely low amount, or even no THC at all. THC is the part of the cannabis plant that gives you a “high.” So, even though CBD and THC are derived from the same plant, the THC content in legal CBD oil must be minimal, within legal limits. If you’re not sure, consult your doctor or a pharmacist, and always read the label before using any CBD products.
When Did CBD Oil Become Legal in the UK?
CBD oil products, such as the ones from Blessed CBD, are usually sold as food supplements. However, in 2016, the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that CBD could only be considered a medicine if it’s used for health reasons. To be legally sold as medicine, CBD products must have a license that confirms they are safe and effective.
If you want to use CBD for health reasons, talk to your doctor first. It’s important to note that CBD is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or for those taking other medications. Check with your doctor if you’re in any of these categories.
What Are the Rules for Selling CBD in the UK?
For a CBD product to be legally sold in the UK, it has to meet certain quality standards. But with more CBD stores appearing, it’s important to do your research and possibly consult a healthcare professional to ensure you’re getting a safe product.
In January 2019, CBD was categorized as a “novel food.” This means that it’s relatively new to the market and authorities are keeping an eye on its safety and legality.
“Novel foods” are foods that weren’t commonly eaten in the UK or EU before 1997. These foods must be proven safe before they can be sold. Examples include new types of yogurt bacteria, chia seeds, and milk treated with new methods.
CBD and Novel Foods in UK
The Food Standards Agency required all UK-based companies selling CBD products to submit a Novel Food Application by March 31, 2021. This rule doesn’t apply to skincare items like CBD balms and topicals, which have their own strict regulations.
Only CBD oil products tied to a verified application (such as Blessed CBD’s range) can continue to be sold. No new CBD products can enter the market without an approved application starting April 1, 2021. This means that any CBD consumables introduced after February 13, 2020, can’t be sold legally.
So what does submitting a Novel Food Application involve, and what does it mean for CBD products?
In simple terms, this improves product quality. The current CBD market lacks strong regulations, and some products may not contain CBD or might have illegal levels of THC and other harmful substances. Submitting a Novel Food Application requires companies to have their products fully analyzed, which includes:
- Complete chemical review
- Stability tests
- Microbial tests
- Toxicity assessment
- ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion) evaluation
This is a costly and time-consuming process that could force many CBD businesses to close if they can’t afford the stringent testing.
The UK CBD Industry is Still Growing
Right now, many CBD products in the UK claim to contain CBD but don’t, and some even have illegal levels of THC and harmful substances.
While there are laws in place against this, it’s mostly an issue of actually enforcing those laws. In the meantime, it’s crucial for you, the buyer, to be educated. Always check for third-party lab reports before making a purchase. If they’re not provided, or if the company refuses to share them, it’s best to try a different brand.
We’re still in the early stages of understanding the science behind cannabinoids, but research is rapidly advancing. Hopefully, as we learn more, laws will adapt to ensure safer and better products.
You can count on Blessed CBD for trustworthy and transparent practices. We are committed to setting high standards in the CBD industry and educating people about the ongoing changes in the CBD world.