Yes. As of November 2018, CBD has been legal in the UK. It has also been legalised in most Democratised Western Countries. However, there is a lot of confusion regarding the legality of CBD. This is not unusual because, despite the legality of CBD, there are still some CBD products that are yet to be made legal. It is important to note that as CBD becomes more popular, the laws and regulations will gradually evolve and change over time.
First, for CBD to be recognized as legal in the UK, the product needs to comply with certain UK laws and regulations. Generally, most of this regulation has more to do with the seller/manufacturer than the consumer. It is safe to say that consumption of CBD is legal in the UK. That said, certain regulations must be adhered to for manufacturers, importers, and sellers of Cannabidiol products.
All CBD products must be properly labelled detailing the added substances and the quantity of each substance. This is in accordance with Food Supplement Regulations 2003.
The CBD product must be Laboratory Tested with proper documents proving that it does not contain illegal products like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which has a psychoactive effect. In the UK, CBD product is permitted to contain no more than 0.02% of THC. Any product containing more than 0.02% of THC is an illegal CBD product.
A great step forward for CBD was in February 2020, whereby CBD products fell under the Novel Food Classification - This includes products containing even trace quantities of CBD (such as some high street CBD products). This means that any manufacturer who is considering producing CBD products must apply for Novel Food Approved Status following the Novel Food Regulation EU 2015/2283.
CBD manufacturers and sellers must receive a license from the UK Home Office or sell the product as a nutritional supplement. It is imperative to note that application for a license can be quite expensive and time-consuming.
Another CBD law is that CBD is considered legal only if it is derived from an Industrial Hemp Plant Strain approved by the UK. This is why all CBD products that have not been approved for Novel Food Status are not legal in the UK.
Illegal CBD Products in the UK
Licensed hemp farmers in the UK are governed by a regulation that states that only hemp fibres and seeds can be refined for commercial purposes. According to the regulation, the flowers and buds of the plants are to be destroyed. Hence CBD flower and bud including any derivatives of these parts are illegal in the UK.
0.2% THC Regulation?
If you are a keen CBD user, producer, seller or investor, you may have come across many discrepancies in the approved quantity of THC for a legal CBD product. To clarify, the legal contents of a CBD product in a bottle, jar or any other container, must not exceed 0.02% of THC.