CBD oil has grown in popularity recently, largely due to increased recognition of its medical applications. According to the Cannabis Trades Association UK, the number of cannabidiol consumers shot from 125,000 in 2016 to 250,000 in 2017.
Advocates of the substance say it can relieve issues like chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and even Alzheimer’s disease. But some people are confused about the legal status of CBD oil, so here are the facts.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is just one of 100+ cannabinoids, which are chemicals that affect the body’s natural cannabinoid receptor cells. These cells alter the release of neurotransmitters in the brain and can have different impacts on the body depending on their input. The chemical compound THC is the one responsible for the high associated with marijuana; CBD doesn’t produce that high and is thus available on prescription as an oil. The vast majority of cannabinoids are listed as controlled substances in the Misuse of Drugs Act, but what about CBD…
Is it legal?
CBD is not listed as a controlled substance and is completely legal in the UK as long as it has been derived from an EU-approved industrial hemp strain. These strains contain zero – or close to zero – THC, and are thus approved for use. For CBD oil to be legal, it may not contain any more than 0.2% THC, and it cannot be easy to separate that THC from it. Cannabis oil, on the other hand, is not usually permitted in the UK because it has a far higher THC content.
The only exception to this rule is Sativex, which is a 50-50 mixture of CBD and THC produced in laboratory conditions. It has been approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis in the UK. Additionally, certain special clinicians are allowed to prescribe other cannabis-derived medicines under recent legal changes.
Tread carefully with CBD
The reality is that although there are cannabis-derived products available to buy online, you should only use trusted sources for CBD oils. This is because many products sold as CBD oil will not meet the strict purity standards defined in UK law, and may be illegal and even dangerous to consume.
At this time, the government has no plans to legalise cannabis for use as a recreational substance. Possession of cannabis remains illegal in all circumstances, so only CBD oil that can be proven to adhere to the stringent standards of UK law is permitted for use, so only purchase CBD oil from a trustworthy source.