With the rapidly increasing popularity of CBD up against archaic marijuana laws that were established nearly a century ago, the laws surrounding CBD can differ vastly across the globe. So how are you able to obtain CBD-rich remedies if you’re outside the United States? Well, it depends on which country you’re talking about. CBD itself is non-psychoactive, which means that many countries don’t prohibit it. However, restrictions do still apply. For starters, we are going to have to explore where CBD is legal.
The demand for CBD has increased exponentially over recent years due to the emergence of published studies, anecdotal feedback, and, of course, media coverage reporting on the numerous benefits associated with the compound. But regardless of the perceived effectiveness, CBD still lives in a gray area when it comes to legality.
While CBD is non-psychoactive, natural, and considered to be relatively safe to use, its association with the cannabis plant has made for quite a lot of confusion and debate. It’s a fairly complex issue, with many variables in play. Believe it or not, CBD is legal in many regions where cannabis itself isn’t. This means that even CBD-rich strains containing small traces of THC are legal.
CBD is also often extracted from industrial hemp, which is largely legal to grow and sell. The main difference between cannabis and hemp all comes down to the THC level. Both plants are from the same species, but cannabis is bred to produce higher levels of THC. Since THC is the compound responsible for making users high, it’s this cannabinoid that most authorities have a problem with. Industrial hemp typically contains less than 0.3% THC and is therefore virtually impossible to get high off. Hemp contains exceptionally high levels of CBD which makes it perfect for producing CBD-rich strains.
Furthermore, extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then isolating the compound into what would be a CBD isolate, is also technically legal in many places. If the CBD-rich product is made in a region where cannabis is legal and then shipped off to a place where cannabis is illegal, but CBD isn’t, the product will still be considered legal given the lack of THC.
So let’s get clear on the legal status of CBD in certain countries outside of the United States.
Europe and the United Kingdom
Medical cannabis, and thus CBD, is legal in various countries within Europe. CBD-rich remedies can be obtained in countries such as Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Romania, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
Industrial hemp is legal to cultivate in a large portion of Europe. However, only certain genetics are permitted to be grown, all of which contain under 0.2% THC. Plenty of countries on the continent make use of industrial hemp to manufacture CBD-rich remedies.
Within the United Kingdom CBD is legal and isn’t considered to be a controlled substance. There are no restrictions on the cannabinoid, and it can be freely distributed within the UK. However, it’s not possible to obtain cannabis-derived CBD since the herb is still considered to be illegal under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
The cultivation of CBD is legal within the UK, in accordance with EU regulations. Therefore, any CBD products that contain more than 0.2% THC is considered to be illegal. However, if you reside in the UK or many parts of Europe, you are able to legally buy CBD-rich remedies that contain less than 0.2% THC. There are plenty of online distributors who ship within Europe and the UK.
If you live in Canada, you’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about. Cannabis has recently been legalized in the country for recreational use, which means that you can easily get your hands on some CBD-rich remedies.
Switzerland features some unique cannabis laws. While THC is illegal in the country, CBD isn’t controlled under the Swiss Narcotic Act. This means that any cannabis products containing less than 1% THC are legally allowed to be produced and sold. The country allows growers to produce CBD-rich strains of cannabis, as long as they don’t exceed the legal limit of THC.
Luxembourg is one of the other European countries that has legalized medical cannabis. The start of a two-year pilot program was first declared by the Minister of Health in November 2017. This programme allows locals to obtain medical cannabinoids and cannabis extracts for the treatment of a variety of health conditions.
This movement was pushed even further in June 2018 when lawmakers approved a bill to fully legalize the use of cannabis for medical reasons. This law gives medical users in Luxembourg much wider access to CBD-rich remedies and medical cannabis. Ultimately, CBD users are able to administer the cannabinoid without the fear of being prosecuted.
The cultivation of hemp and cannabis is also legal in the country, but only for strains that have less than 0.3% THC.
Legal Status of CBD Around the World
Countries that have legalized both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana include; Canada, Spain, Uruguay, and Georgia. In the United States, the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in nine states and the District of Columbia. To the surprise of a lot of people, marijuana isn’t legal in the Netherlands. Possession and sale are tolerated in designated coffee shops, but personal possession remains illegal.
The good news is that the list of countries who have legalized medical cannabis is much longer. These include; Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Peru, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
There are many other countries which have more restrictive laws that will only allow the use of specific cannabinoids, such as CBD. This means that there are many countries in which you are legally allowed to buy CBD-rich remedies, even if cannabis itself is illegal.
Is it Legal to Mail CBD-Rich Products?
Now for the important part, if you reside in a country where CBD is legal, are you able to buy CBD-rich remedies from the United States? Unfortunately, once again, this is a very gray area of the law.
As you may already be aware, under the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis is federally illegal. This means that it’s a felony tracking offense to transport any form of cannabis across state lines. Sending cannabis via the mail is no exception, and you can be prosecuted for doing so.
However, you may have noticed that many brands advertise that they can ship CBD products to your home, especially within the United States, across state and federal lines. This is because industrial hemp is legal to import and ship across the state lines and process into various products, such as CBD-rich remedies. This is as long as the products contain less than 0.3% THC.
So technically speaking, if you reside outside of the United States, you could order CBD products online and have them shipped to your address. This does, of course, depend on whether the online store in question ships to your country and if CBD products are legal in your country.
Final Thoughts on Getting CBD-Rich Remedies if You Reside Outside the United States
The legality of cannabis for medicinal purposes or to use as a dietary supplement varies from country to country. Cannabis laws around the world may differ in terms of distribution, possession, how it can be used, cultivation, and what medical conditions it can be used to treat. The fact is, the recreational use of cannabis is prohibited in most countries around the world.
However, there are many countries that have legalized the use of CBD, more specifically CBD-rich products, so long as they don’t contain more than a certain amount (usually 0.3%) of THC. If you reside in a country where CBD is legal, there are likely to be online distributors in your region. Alternatively, if you find an online store in the United States that is able to ship to your country, you could order from them directly. Just be sure that you do your research beforehand and know what the laws are.