You may know by now that CBD comes from the cannabis plant. A plant which is a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act in the UK. However, CBD is a by-product of cannabis, one which contains either zero or a legal limit of the illegal substance, THC.
Read on to learn about the exact legal status and regulations of the cannabinoid.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant using a process which activates the compounds using heat. The plant is heated in oil for a few hours to allow cannabinoids and terpenes to bind to the fats in the oil.
In the UK, industrial hemp farming is legal with a license. However, farmers have to destroy leaves and flowers and can only cultivate the stems and seeds. This also means CBD as it is found within the flowers.
CBD must contain no more than 0.2% THC and so, therefore, it should be grown from industrial-grade hemp strain that has been approved by the EU. Hemp is naturally high in CBD and lower in THC levels, making it easier to meet the requirement once extracted.
This is what we found on the .Gov website about cultivating hemp.
“ Home Office policy provides that licences may be issued for the cultivation of cannabis plants with a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content for the production of hemp fibre for industrial purposes or the obtaining of seeds which are then pressed for their oil. For both of these uses, licences are granted to enable the use of non-controlled parts of the plant (i.e. seeds and fibre/ mature stalk only). This policy is only applicable where non-controlled parts of the plant are used.”
“There needs to be a defined commercial end use and the Home Office only issues licences for cultivation of plants from approved seed types with a THC content not exceeding 0.2%. The ‘0.2%’ reference is used solely to identify varieties which may potentially be cultivated, within the scope of this policy, and to differentiate between the fee level is applicable under the Misuse of Drugs (Fees) Regulations 2010. The Hemp (Third Country Imports) Regulations 2002 also require, except in specified circumstances, that hemp from ‘third countries’ be imported under a licence and, in the case of hemp seeds other than for sowing, under an authorisation”
CBD vape is legal here in the UK. However, there are some caveats to this. The maximum level of controlled substances within the cannabinoid, such as THC or CBN is 1mg per product or 0.2%.
You can get CBD isolate or broad-spectrum which contains 0% THC. This is due to the way in which it is extracted from the plant.
Full-spectrum CBD will contain a small dose of THC as it is the least aggressive extraction method and the THC is harder to separate. However, this dose is so small, it will not get you high and within the legal limit. It just means that it also keeps the terpenes, flavonoids as well as the CBD to encourage the entourage effect.
In the UK, CBD vape is not a controlled substance meaning that it is legal to possess and sell. However, the seller needs to have a 3rd party lab report detailing the ingredients to show that there are legal levels of any controlled substances, such as CBN and THC.
While CBD vape is legal in the UK, that doesn’t mean you can vape on a train or public space. Generally, everywhere that smoking is banned, you should assume vaping is too. If you’re unsure, ask a member of staff. Vaping where it is illegal can get you fined!
CBD doesn’t leave you feeling intoxicated. THC is the cannabinoid which is associated with feeling ‘high’. As CBD contains either 0% or less than 1mg per product, it isn’t going to have these effects and is therefore legally sold here in the UK.
Cannabis contains THC which makes you feel a sense of euphoria and intoxication because it activated the CB1 receptors in the human brain. However, CBD actually is found to inhibit this receptor, hence, you won’t feel high from this cannabinoid.
This is one way in which CBD vape is not legal. Even when the flowers contain legal levels of THC, the flowers are illegal in the UK.
How you will feel after taking CBD isn’t high. Instead, you may feel relief from conditions such as pain, anxiety, low mood, inflammation and more. You can read about the side effects of CBD vape here.
By March 31st 2021 all CBD companies have to submit an application for novel food authorisation. If the product doesn't have a valid application then it will not be allowed to remain on the market.
This is because of the fact that some companies have been found to be misleading the consumer. Not only are some found to contain much lower levels of CBD than stated, but others are containing illegal levels of THC.
These new regulations will help increase consumer trust in products. In the meantime, the ways you can find trustworthy CBD sellers is by asking to see the certificate of analysis, from a 3rd party.
Current laws state that each CBD product should: