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Is CBD legal in EU? Services and products that we buy and use nowadays are, or at least should be, well regulated. This includes everything from booking a hotel for your vacation or business trip Made from the highest quality European hemp, our organic, full spectrum CBD oil tinctures are available in a variety of strengths for optimum wellness.

Is CBD legal in EU?

Services and products that we buy and use nowadays are, or at least should be, well regulated. This includes everything from booking a hotel for your vacation or business trip to buying foodstuffs like milk, personal care products and cosmetics at your local store or online.
The legal status of the items that we buy, use and/or consume depends on several factors, such as:

  1. the classification of the product,
  2. the type and legal status of the ingredients,
  3. the country where the product is sold.

Sounds confusing? We will explain these factors below using concrete examples for CBD and other consumer products.

So, what is the legal status of popular CBD products?

The question of the legal status of CBD products is, besides questions about quality, certainly one of the most important and common from CBD users.

Unfortunately, the answer is not simple or straightforward. The reason for the complexity is that all three of the above-mentioned factors must be considered when we want to define the legality of a certain CBD product, as you will see in the continuation.

1. The classification of CBD products

Did you know that CBD products fall into many different categories of final products? Currently, the most popular and known are:

  • Food supplements, where CBD oil is the most common
  • Foodstuffs like drinks infused with CBD and other active ingredients
  • Cosmetic products containing CBD, such as anti-aging topical creams and serums
  • Personal care products that contain CBD are scarce, but oral hygiene products, for example, are gaining in popularity
  • Medicines with an active pharmaceutical ingredient (CBD in an isolated form or as cannabis extracts)
  • E-liquids with CBD for vaping
  • Smoking a type of cannabis flowers with CBD (so called “tobacco” substitutes)

The legislation and legal status of these diverse forms of CBD products differ, regardless of the fact that they all contain CBD. This is quite reasonable if we consider that some are used on the skin, while others are ingested or even inhaled. Not to mention the purpose – medicines are used to cure and treat diseases, which is not the case for cosmetics and food supplements.

Below is a simple legal classification of the various CBD-related products and the applicable general EU legislation. It is important to note that besides the general legislation, additional EU and national regulations apply as well. Currently, the most “popular” and specific to the world of CBD is EU Regulation 2015/2283 on novel foods. This regulation was discussed in one of our previous blogs.

*certain forms of cannabis are used for vaporizing (flowering parts) and are classified as a medicinal product.

Are you questioning whether all these CBD products are legal? Well, this depends on other factors, i.e., the type of CBD used as an ingredient in such final products and, interestingly, where the product is sold, as you will see in continuation.

If a producer or seller of a particular product complies with the applicable EU and national legislation, then the answer is “yes” in all cases. Hence, CBD products are legal as long as they are registered and compliant with the legislation that needs to be followed.

2. The type of CBD as an ingredient

While some ingredients like caffeine can be incorporated into cosmetics, food supplements and foodstuffs as well as pharmaceuticals, there are some ingredients that are regulated and can only be used in certain types of products.
One such ingredient is vitamin D, which is a very popular ingredient in food supplements, especially these days, as it boosts the immune system and keeps viral infections away. Some studies also relate vitamin-D intake with potent antiviral properties in the case of Covid-19.

Vitamin D is also an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in medicinal products, where daily doses are typically higher than food supplements with vitamin D.

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In stark contrast, vitamin D is on the list of prohibited substances in cosmetic products in the European Union. Both forms of vitamin D (ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol) are listed in Annex 2 of EU 1223/2009 – the list of substances prohibited in cosmetic products.

CBD as an ingredient in cosmetic products can occur as an isolated CBD or as hemp/cannabis extract, which typically also contains other phytocannabinoids that can be found in hemp.

Cosing, a comprehensive EU database on cosmetic ingredients, provides the following information for the keyword “cannabidiol”:

As you can see, there are no restrictions on CBD, regardless of its origin – whether it is naturally derived from hemp/cannabis or synthetically produced. The restrictions in the last column refer to the above-mentioned list of prohibited substances given in EU 1223/2009.

We see something similar if we type in Cosing the following keywords “cannabis sativa leaf extract”:

The source of the extract in the case of hemp/cannabis matters in terms of the legality of cosmetic products. For example, only extracts of certain parts, such as stems, seeds and leaves, are allowed. This relates to a rather obsolete, yet still applicable, classification of drugs from the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, signed in New York on 30 March 1961.

On the other hand, medical preparations from cannabis can be produced from any part of the plant and can contain either CBD on its own or a combination with other phytocannabinoids, including the psychoactive tetrahdydrocannabinol or THC. THC is classified as a drug according to the UN Convention from 1961, but can be legally used as a medicine under certain circumstances.

3. The legal status of CBD by countries

The legal status of CBD in Europe is defined by EU and national regulations. The legislation and people’s opinions are changing fast and continuously, so the “rules” that apply today might not be effective tomorrow.

For example, last year the European Commission’s preliminary opinion on CBD being a narcotic was withdrawn after a few months. The Commission changed their minds in November 2020, when the European Court of Justice published a judgement stating that CBD that is extracted from cannabis should not be considered as a drug under the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

A similar case at the national level happened last October in Italy, which suspended a decree, only a few days old, where CBD preparations were added to “Section B” of the Italian narcotics law’s table of medicines. Just for clarification: medicines in “Section B” require a special prescription that cannot be used multiple times in Italy.

It is clear from the above, that whether a certain CBD product can be legally sold in a certain country depends on its classification.

For example, in all the EU Member States and the UK, cosmetic products with CBD are legal if they comply with the applicable cosmetic regulations.

On the other hand, food supplements with CBD are a little more complex. In the EU, such products need to be approved by the European Commission prior to being sold legally on the market. This is not the case in the UK now, where the authorities decided that CBD products that are currently on the UK market can be sold freely if the producers/sellers have authorization for the approval of such Novel foods in process. For more details on this topic, check our previous blogs on Novel Foods in the EU and in UK.

So, you can see that the legal status of CBD products depends on many factors, such as the form of the final product, the source of the CBD and last, but not least, on country-specific regulations.

The latter are changing fast. Therefore, our advice to you is to constantly follow the news as it relates to the CBD market. At Pharmahemp, we are closely monitoring the situation in the EU and the UK and any major changes and updates to the legislation will be shared with you instantly.

For any further advice and guidance on specific legislation you can also contact us at [email protected]

Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures

Sourced from premium hemp farms in the EU, our full-spectrum CBD oils combine cannabidiol’s wellness properties with the benefits of other terpenes and flavonoids. All our organic CBD oils are third-party lab tested and held to the highest standards of quality. Shop online and discover the benefits of CBD oil for overall relief and wellbeing.

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What is CBD oil?

CBD oil, otherwise called a CBD tincture, contains the hemp compound known as cannabidiol. People around the world use cannabidiol (CBD) oil for supporting health and well-being. More generally, it can promote overall balance within the systems of the body throughout the days and nights.

Our organic CBD oil tinctures come in different sizes and doses so that you can choose the concentration right for you. Our products range from 500mg to 3000mg of CBD, and are available in 10ml and 30ml options.

Cannabidiol, the main compound found in our CBD oil, is a cannabinoid. It’s one of the active ingredients in cannabis and hemp plants, along with other cannabinoids you may have heard of such as:

The scientific community has discovered over 100 cannabinoids. Today, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD, or cannabidiol, are the two best-researched compounds.

All of our CBD oil is sourced from hemp, as are our vape e-liquids and topical creams. Though these compounds exist in cannabis, the psychoactive form of the plant that is illegal or restricted in most parts of the world, cannabidiol is almost always sourced from hemp. By contrast, hemp’s legal status and chemical composition are very different. The cultivation and sale of low-THC hemp crops are legal across Europe and much of the world. According to the European Court of Justice, hemp farming cannot be controlled by individual states, either.

Different from THC, cannabidiol contains many benefits of its own. Most people choose to make CBD hemp oil a part of their daily routine because it provides a sense of balance. This can mean many different things. For some people, it supports sleep; For others, it supports comfort or relaxation. Full Spectrum CBD oil, as opposed to CBD isolate, includes other components of the hemp plant which together enhance the benefits of CBD oil. This is also known as the “entourage effect”.

CBD is a non-psychoactive component which means using it will NOT get you “high”. Full Spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but it is not enough to produce any unwanted psychoactive side effects.

How does cannabidiol (CBD) work within the body and how does it differ from THC? Both compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system, a network within the human body responsible for a number of critical biological functions. The Endocannabinoid System is generally responsible for maintaining homeostasis, meaning a sense of balance within the body as it interacts with external elements.

The system is as crucial to the body’s health as other major biological systems such as the nervous system, circulatory system, and others. However, the endocannabinoid system is the least understood–and researched–out of all of the human body’s systems.

Most quality CBD oils include what’s known as a carrier oil because it helps to “carry” the CBD and other phytochemicals. Since cannabinoids are soluble in oils and fats, a carrier oil acts as a solvent to dissolve the compounds of the hemp plant and make them easier for the body to break down and process.

  • MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are a type of fatty acids that are typically sourced from coconut oil (sometimes called fractionated coconut oil.) These types of fats break down more easily and rapidly in our body than other fats, which makes them an excellent carrier for CBD.
  • Hemp Seed Oil (not to be confused with hemp leaf extract) is jammed with essential fatty acids and is linked to numerous wellness benefits. This oil works well with hemp plant-derived CBD and is known for its earthy color and aroma.

Both are popular options for CBD carrier oils.

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“I got rid of my adult acne with Canzon CBD oil. Waking up to clear, healthy skin feels amazing!”

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“My days went better and calmer when I started taking the oil regularly and also the quality of my sleep improved.” ​

“The CBD oil and balm have helped improve my sleep and mood and have helped to reduce my pain levels.”

4 Steps for Choosing the Best CBD Oil

The only way to experience CBD oil benefits is to choose a high-quality product. These four factors set the best CBD oil apart from the rest:

Know Where It Comes From

Hemp is often imported. In 2018, China was the world’s largest hemp producer. The best way to ensure CBD tincture quality is to choose a product subject to European agriculture regulations. We set out to source the highest quality hemp across Europe.

Consider Ingredients Beside Cannabidiol

If you’re making cannabidiol a part of your daily routine, you want to make sure that there are no unwanted additives. All of our oils are vegan and gluten-free.

Look for Third-Party Lab Testing

The only way to know how much cannabidiol a product contains is to look for third-party lab testing results. These ensure that the amount of CBD hemp extract announced on the label is actually in the product and that it doesn’t contain unwanted amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Our line of CBD oil products contains less than 0.2 percent THC so it cannot produce any psychoactive side effects.

Make Sure It’s Organic

Like any crop, hemp can be farmed with pesticides and insecticides that can negatively affect your health. All of our oils are organic and subject to strict European farming standards.

Per E.U. regulations, the hemp we source is farmed using environmentally-friendly growing practices, all while maintaining soil and water quality.

Finding the CBD Oil That’s Right for You

For many people around the world, CBD oil represents an easy and all-natural way to support comfort and relaxation at home, at work or while exercising. The best way to experience the effects of CBD oil is to understand how cannabidiol works, how to dose it, and what to look for when choosing a high-quality product.

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