There’s a growing trend worldwide towards Cannabidiol (CBD) as a powerful supplement for improved health and the UK is no exemption. Upwards of a million people use the drug to treat pain, inflammation, insomnia, or anxiety.
However, many are unsure of their legal status. You probably know that cannabis is illegal but what about the CBD that’s created by that very same plant?
It can be a complicated and confusing issue. Read on for clarification about which circumstances it’s okay to use CBD in the UK.
What is CBD, anyway?
The Cannabid Sativa plant, more commonly known as hemp, cannabis, or marijuana produces many chemical compounds. One of these is CBD. Although it’s not psychoactive, it does have a calming effect and many purported health benefits. People who use CBD claim it reduces anxiety, improves sleep, and helps them to cope with chronic pain. This is supported by much scientific evidence and is the overall consensus among experts.
The active psychoactive component of the hemp plant is THC. CBD oils can be sold with or without this. Because many governments are unsure of the safety of THC, they have often sought to ban cannabis altogether. In the UK, cannabis is a Class B Drug, as stated by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. But what about CBD alone?
Is it legal in the UK?
The UK has taken a strict stance on drug laws compared to other European nations. The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 banned almost all psychoactive chemicals, including many substances that were previously considered legal highs. This included almost all cannabinoids. However, CBD was notably exempt from this ban, meaning that it’s still legal to purchase and use in the UK.
CBD in the UK is strictly regulated, however. You won’t easily find it advertised on the high street as it is in other countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands. If you head into a health food shop like Holland & Barrett, then you’ll be able to pick up CBD capsules. They’re sold as food supplements because it’s still illegal to advertise the medicinal benefits of CBD unless you’re an NHS doctor with a medical license.
It’s estimated that around 1.5 million Brits are already self-medicating with CBD. Due to regulations, however, CBD must be sold with no more than 0.2% THC levels. Growing industrial hemp is allowed because it conforms to these rules. There is one exception to the THC rule, though. Sativex, which is 50% CBD and 50% THC, is legal but only as a medical treatment on the NHS to people with multiple sclerosis. Even if these conditions are met, doctors rarely prescribe Sativex.
The laws in the UK are complicated and messy because they change all the time. It’s hard to regulate something as naturally occurring as the hemp plant. The bottom line, though, is that CBD is legal and widely available. You can get it as a prescription from the NHS, in health food shops, or online. Check the source carefully to ensure it is one to trust to sell legitimate and fully legal CBD.
If you’re interested in using CBD, you can become more informed by visiting Cibdol.