Is CBD Legal In My Country?
The legality of cannabis for medical use or as a dietary supplement varies by country. Cannabis laws around the world may vary in terms of possession, distribution, cultivation, how it can be consumed, and what medical conditions it can be used for.
The use of cannabis for recreational purposes is prohibited in most countries around the world. Many countries around the world have adopted a policy of decriminalization to make simple possession a non-criminal offense. Others have much more severe penalties. For example, in some Asian countries possession of cannabis can result in imprisonment for several years. In most Middle Eastern countries, possession of very small amounts can result in more severe punishments.
The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
While most of us understand the difference between CBD and THC, there is another less known, but very important difference when it comes to CBD legality, and that is the difference between marijuana and hemp.
It is a fact that marijuana and hemp are both members of the cannabis family. There is, however, an important difference between the two. The most crucial difference between them is the amount of CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) each plant produces. A marijuana plant can contain up to 30% THC. In other words, marijuana is the plant that gives you the euphoric, psychoactive effects. The hemp plant contains no more than 0.3% THC. This makes it almost impossible to feel high from consuming hemp. This is the reason hemp is legal in most countries and safe for elderly people, children, and even pets.
The Legality of CBD
Hemp-derived CBD is legal in most countries. CBD is also found in the marijuana plant. Marijuana-derived CBD is not legal in most countries because the growth and cultivation of marijuana are not legal. CBD derived from hemp has no psychoactive effects, therefore the purchase, sales, or possession of hemp CBD products are completely legal in most places.
Because hemp is sometimes confused with marijuana, there is still some stigma towards hemp-derived CBD. However, from a legal perspective, hemp-derived CBD is completely legal and possession should not cause any legal issues in most countries.
Legal Status Of CBD Around The World
Countries that have effectively legalized both recreational marijuana and medicinal cannabis include Canada, Georgia, Spain, and Uruguay. In the United States, 9 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. To the surprise of many, marijuana is not legal in the Netherlands. Possession remains illegal it’s just that possession and sale is tolerated in designated coffee shops.
The list of countries that have legalized the medical use of cannabis is much longer. These countries include:
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
Other countries have more restrictive laws that only allow the use of certain cannabinoids like CBD. In the United States, 31 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana. Hemp products are legal in all 50 States of the United States. In Europe, marijuana and cannabis laws differ from country to country. According to EU law, CBD products cannot contain more than 0.2% THC. This applies to all counties in the European Union.
In Germany, medicinal cannabis is prescribed for “seriously ill” patients. The law doesn’t define what exactly “seriously ill” means. In most cases, medical marijuana (containing THC) is prescribed to those suffering from multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, serious appetite loss or nausea from chemotherapy. Hemp products can be purchased from shops without a prescription. Hemp oil and any other products derived from hemp are completely legal for all purposes in Germany.
In Denmark, possessing hemp oil is legal if the THC content is below 0.2%. Hemp oil is classified as a medicinal drug, that means Danish people will need a prescription from their healthcare provider to purchase hemp oil. There is one exception for topical CBD products such as creams and lip balm. These do not require a medical prescription.
Sweden has some of Europe’s most restrictive drug laws. There are currently no specific laws about CBD in Sweden yet, so CBD is in a gray zone here. CBD is not classified as a medicine, but the medical agency is currently working on classifying it as medicine. Classifying CBD as a medicine needs to be tried in court first and the process will take a long time.
According to EU laws, CBD products cannot contain more than 0,2% THC and this applies to Sweden as well. People in Sweden can buy CBD products freely if they have less than 0,2% THC and are hemp-derived CBD. The only difference is that CBD products in Sweden won’t mention anything about positive health effects as it is not classified as a medicine. Just as it is in Denmark, there is an exception for topical CBD products such as creams and lip balm, they can be marketed however we want.
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