The increase of cannabis use, as well as legalization across the world and the EU,  has now given us more opportunity to get to know cannabinoids on a deeper and scientific level.

One popular research question that scientists are examining around the world, and in the EU, is whether CBD (cannabidiol) truly has a mitigating effect on THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

Prevalence of Cannabis Use in the EU

Cannabis use is quite prevalent across the European Union, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting in 2015 that within the WHO European Region:

  • an estimated 14.6 million young Europeans, aged 15–34 years, or 11.7 % of this age group, used cannabis in the last year;
  • of this age group 8.8 million of this group were aged 15–24 years;
  • levels of lifetime use differ considerably between countries, ranging from around one-third of adults in Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom, to 8% or less than 1 in 10 in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey

All the recent statistics show that cannabis use is on the rise, especially as more countries in Europe move towards legalization.

Now, more than ever, scientists, legislators, and the cannabis community are looking at cannabis, and cannabinoids, at different perspectives as we race to grasp all the knowledge we can in this new era of legalization.

The Issue of Safety and Cannabinoids

One major issue that drives research is the issue of safety of THC consumption and understanding what cannabis users can to do mitigate any risks associated with over-consumption of this psychoactive cannabinoid.

Within cannabis science and the cannabis community at large, it’s generally believed that CBD can mitigate the effects of THC, a hypothesis that has been generally supported since it emerged in the studies of renowned cannabinoid science Dr. Ethan Russo in 2006. The belief is that CBD can act as a powerful “antidote” in the event of THC over-consumption. In fact, most guides about cannabis will tell users to turn to CBD to get them back to a feeling of equilibrium.

The Go-To THC Antidote

Current research suggests that CBD can:

  • reduce the negative side effects associated with THC;
  • simultaneously enhance the therapeutic efficacy of THC;
  • lessen the “euphoria” associated with cannabis intoxication;
  • lead users to experience fewer psychotic experiences and less memory-impairment when using CBD alongside THC.

However, three studies have recently emerged that show differing perspectives regarding the efficacy of CBD oil for reducing THC intoxication. Here, we’ll examine three recent studies that will show that although we’re getting closer to more effective research in cannabinoid science, there is still a lot more work to be done.

Study 1: CBD & Driving Impairment

The WHO reported that the WHO European region has one of the lowest rates of road and traffic mortality, with most European countries taking official efforts to improve road safety. Drunk driving has been a large concern among European countries, with a median of 14% of road traffic deaths being attributed to drunk driving.

However, as cannabis use increases and EU countries work towards creating safer roads, free of intoxicated drivers, the issue of THC and other cannabinoids will begin to take centre stage.

An emerging body of research that largely includes epidemiological studies is suggesting that cannabis intoxication produces a modest increase in the risk of being involved in a crash, although not the risk of being seriously injured or killed.

However, one new study examining the modulating effect of CBD on THC while driving has revealed that CBD may not be as powerful as the community thought in reducing the effects of THC.

CBD & THC are Put to the (Driving) Test

Earlier this spring, an article was released from Australia and New Zealand in Psychopharmacology that tested the hypothesis of CBD’s mitigating effects on THC.

In this study, 14 participants were put through various driving simulations, with each participant receiving different ratios of CBD to THC. All participants were identified as infrequent users, consuming THC less than 2 times per week in the previous 3 months, and all had possessed an Australian driver’s license for one year or greater.

Exclusion criteria for participation included current mood disorder, lifetime major psychiatric illness, history of clinically significant adverse response to previous cannabis exposure, any moderate or severe substance use disorder as assessed by an addiction medicine specialist, pregnant/nursing, interest in treatment to reduce cannabis use, current use of medications known to affect driving, active hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or chronic pulmonary disease.

All 14 participants received cannabinoids that they would vaporize before taking place in the driving simulations. This included a THC-dominant strain (11% THC, < 1% CBD [hereafter “THC”]), a THC/CBD-equivalent strain (11% THC, 11% CBD [hereafter “THC/CBD”]), and placebo (< 1% THC; <1% CBD) cannabis.

Prior to inhalation, measures were taken to ensure that participants did not have any alcohol or drugs in their system, and cognitive tests were performed as a baseline for which to compare to post-inhalation. Blood was drawn from participants 20-minutes prior to inhalation.

Participants were invited to vaporize their products using a standardized procedure over 5 minutes at 200 degrees C. Participants were asked to try to identify what cannabinoid product they’d consumed, with most of the participants receiving the placebo being able to identify it as such based on the size of the vapor plume created by the placebo.

The driving simulator was a custom-built program designed to emulate the feeling and experience of being behind the wheel of an automotive vehicle and was designed to collect driver response time to certain stimuli and driver behaviour within certain driving scenarios. Scenarios included both highway and rural driving areas, where there were other vehicles present.

Results May Surprise You

Here’s what these experiments revealed, in a nutshell: Both the THC and THC/CBD group subjectively identified feeling “stoned” with the THC/CBD group identifying a slightly higher rate of sedation than the placebo group.

Both the THC and THC/CBD group reported feeling anxious behind the wheel in the simulated driving experience, with the feelings of anxiety being experienced later in the experience by the THC group than the THC/CBD group. Both THC and THC/CBD participants self-reported a decreased “confidence to drive”. 

During the driving tasks, both the THC and THC/CBD group had a degree of “lane weaving” compared to the placebo group, yet it was shown that the cannabinoid groups left a significant more amount of space between their car and other cars, leading the researchers to hypothesize that this was due to perceived impairment.

When the cannabinoid content of the blood samples was examined, it surprisingly showed that peak THC levels were significantly higher in the THC/CBD participants than in the THC condition. This, along with the observed cognitive changes, the blood test results, and the driving test results led the researchers to conclude that,

vaporized cannabis with equivalent concentrations of THC and CBD causes similar impairment of driving and cognition to THC-dominant cannabis, and does not produce substantially different subjective effects

The researchers go on to reveal one of the most interesting parts of the study in that,

the presence of CBD may increase plasma concentrations of THC, and subtly increase some measures of cognitive and driving impairment. These results have significant implications for individuals using medicinal and recreational cannabis containing both THC and CBD

The researchers astutely acknowledge the limitations of this study that include a) that there was no CBD-only product tested in this study, thus making it impossible to draw a correlation between CBD use and driving; b) that participants were only infrequent cannabis users, and thus, didn’t assess effects on frequent cannabis users; and c) those who inhaled the placebo were able to identify it as such, possibly affecting their performance and results.

This study is very helpful in acknowledging that while CBD is often cited as a powerful antidote to THC, it may increase the efficacy of the THC when consumed in equal ratios. This is largely why CBD is used in conjunction with THC in therapeutic approaches to cannabis medicine.

While this study holds a lot of weight in terms of its implications for public safety, some concurrently released studies are further supporting the hypothesis that CBD can indeed mitigate the effects of THC.

Study #2: CBD Impairs Functional Connectivity

Concurrently to the above investigation, a study was published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology that showed that the role of CBD in mitigating the effects of THC is still up for debate

A randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled, double-blind design was used to compare cannabis containing both THC and CBD (referred to as Cann+CBD in this study), cannabis containing THC but no CBD (referred to as Cann−CBD in this study) and matched placebo cannabis containing neither compound.

Participants were between the ages of 18 and 70 with the mean age being 26.2, 9 of the 17 being female. All participants were not frequent cannabis users.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatments and were all instructed to have not used cannabinoids for a week prior to the study. Participants used a Volcano Medic Vaporizer to inhale their target dose [8 mg THC and 10 mg CBD (in the Cann+CBD treatment) and 8 mg THC (in the Cann−CBD treatment), which was deemed equivalent to 25% of an average joint found in the UK. All participants used a similar inhalation method.

CBD & THC are Put to the Cognitive Test

Participants were placed in an MRI machine and were subject to various tasks, including a music listening task and a memory task.

The researchers found that compared to the brain’s “default mode” the low-CBD strain impaired functional connectivity in the posterior cingulate area and salience networks (which help our brains determine what stimuli to pay attention to), while the high-CBD strain caused only a minimal disruption to these regions, suggesting that the CBD counteracts some of THC's psychoactive effects.

The study says,

This lends support to an emerging view that the effects of THC and CBD are in many ways oppositional, and that CBD may serve to buffer the user somewhat against the harmful long-term effects of THC.

and goes on to say

The present data further suggest that CBD may also buffer the user against the acute effects of THC on the PCC (posterior cingulate cortex) and abolishes the relationship between functional disruption in this region and the subjective effects of intoxication.

Study #3: CBD Blocks THC-Related Effects

In Canada, where cannabis has been made legal across the nation, scientists at Western University also put the CBD-to-mitigate-THC hypothesis to the test.

The new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience shares that they have reached the “critical neural nexus point mediating THC-induced affective disturbances and suggest a potential mechanism by which CBD may counteract the psychotomimetic and psychotropic side-effects of THC”.

This study is still hiding within the ivory tower and the public is not yet able to access the full text of this study, but what we can see shows in the study’s statement of scientific significance:

We demonstrate that THC induces cognitive and affective abnormalities resembling neuropsychiatric symptoms directly in the hippocampus, while dysregulating dopamine activity states and amplifying oscillatory frequencies in the ventral tegmental area via modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signalling pathway. In contrast, CBD co-administration blocked THC-induced ERK phosphorylation and prevented THC-induced behavioural and neural abnormalities. These findings identify a novel molecular mechanism that may account for how CBD functionally mitigates the neuropsychiatric side-effects of THC.

To put it simply, the scientists were able to show that the administration of THC can lead to “THC-induced behavioural abnormalities”, but that CBD can mitigate the “neuropsychiatric” side effects of its psychoactive counterpart.

Understanding Research on Cannabis

A few aspects of research need to be recognized when interpreting research on cannabis, as not all research is to be taken as straightforward, especially around contentious issues like cannabis legalization. These aspects of research include:

  • Country of origin and current legal status;
  • Sponsor of the research;
  • Relevancy of the research (i.e. when was it published);
  • Any identified (or un-identified) research bias;
  • The need for more research that is stated in most

Responsible consumers, and advocates look at the research, but also beyond the research and use their own critical thinking, experiences, and experiences of others to form their own opinions on cannabis.

So, Is CBD Psychoactive?

When CBD was introduced to within the cannabis community, it was largely referred to as “non-psychoactive”, meaning that it didn’t have the psychoactive “high” associated with THC. However, as more is learned about CBD through various research studies, we do begin to understand that cannabidiol can affect the mind and mental health.

In recognition of this, the cannabis community has largely replaced the verbiage of “non-psychoactive” with “non-intoxicating” as it does not cause impairment.

Going forward, it’s responsible for cannabis brands, educators, and legislators to understand the acute details, and emerging science, that helps us understand how cannabinoids affect the mind, and body, and thus, safety and risk.

Your Cannabis Research Expert

Euro CBD Expert remains dedicated to reviewing the latest research on cannabinoids to guarantee that those interested in cannabinoid consumption are up-to-date on information about how cannabinoids are affecting people, health, and our societies.

References

Arkell, T. R., Lintzeris, N., Kevin, R. C., Ramaekers, J. G., Vandrey, R., Irwin, C., ... & McGregor, I. S. (2019). Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognition. Psychopharmacology, 1-12.

Hudson, R., Renard, J., Norris, C., Rushlow, W. J., & Laviolette, S. R. (2019). Cannabidiol Counteracts the Psychotropic Side-Effects of Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in the Ventral Hippocampus Through Bi-Directional Control of ERK1-2 Phosphorylation. Journal of Neuroscience, 0708-19.

Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: the therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical hypotheses66(2), 234-246.

Wall, M. B., Pope, R., Freeman, T. P., Kowalczyk, O. S., Demetriou, L., Mokrysz, C., ... & Feilding, A. (2019). Dissociable effects of cannabis with and without cannabidiol on the human brain’s resting-state functional connectivity. Journal of Psychopharmacology33(7), 822-830.

With the many benefits attached to CBD Oil, it seems pretty obvious that it should be legal in every country of the world. Yet, there is a buzz on whether CBD is legal in many countries of Europe, one of which is Italy. Many people are curious to know whether it is lawful to use CBD oil in Italy. People travelling to Italy from other countries are especially interested in knowing if they can carry CBD oil into Italy without getting arrested.

Laws regulating CBD is constantly changing in Italy and this has led to controversy over the use of the substance especially for medical purpose without a proper prescription. The murky areas of the laws surrounding marijuana pave way for the debate on the legal status of CBD and its products.

What then is CBD and CBD oil?

CBD, a short form for Cannabidiol, is one of the most active ingredients of Cannabis Sativa plant which is also known as marijuana or hemp. After delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is the second most active ingredient in marijuana. It has been proven that CBD does not have any psychoactive effect as present in THC. Therefore, CBD does not make people high. In essence, it is very unlikely to abuse CBD even in its purest form.

There are thousands of products derived from CBD like vapes, extracts, and even gummies but CBD oil is the most popular. CBD oil is the purest form of CBD as it is a direct oil extract. You must know that CBD oil is different from hemp oil with a non-significant amount of CBD. That is, hemp oil does not have any cannabinoid which is present in CBD oil.

The chemical components in CBD oil vary greatly depending on the process of extraction and the chemicals present in the plant. Similarly, CBD is a legal alternative to medical marijuana with none of the side-effects that are associated with the latter. The continued studies on CBD have increased the buzz around it over the years.

What benefits are derivable from the use of CBD?

The benefits accrued to CBD use are extensive though most of the claimed benefits have not been proven scientifically. However, due to the increased interest in natural medicine, CBD has been legalized by many and the government of Italy is not left out. Also, the absence of side-effects in the use of CBD unlike THC makes it more acceptable by many.

As shown by the production of a drug, Epidiolex using CBD in the US, it can be used to cure a seizure disorder caused by Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. While CBD has been approved for the treatment of epilepsy in both adults and children above the age of two, it must be used as a last resort. There are other claims on the diseases that can be cured using CBD oils however we cannot discuss them as according to the HPRA in Ireland we cannot discuss potential medicinal benefits.

What is the Legal Status of CBD Oil in Italy?

Yes, CBD oil is legal in Italy. Since CBD oil is one of the derivatives of cannabis, it is essential to give a brief insight into the history of the legalization of cannabis in Italy. The legality of cannabis has been a back and forth issue in Italy since the 90s. While cannabis was legalized and tagged “soft drug” in 1990 when it carried non-criminal penalties, it was classified as “hard drug” in 2006. In 2013 cannabis was legalized and made available to the people for industrial and medical purposes only.

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With the legalization of CBD, the government realizes that the prize of imported CBD is high, so, the military was authorized to cultivate hemp but the regulation on its use was still considerably high. To increase the quantity of CBD oil produced in the country due to its medicinal advantage, the government eventually legalized the cultivation of hemp by the general public in with Italian Law Number 242 made in 2016 which resulted in the “green gold rush”. Italian law number 242/2016 provided that it is legal to cultivate and produce industrial hemp as long as the THC content is not more than 0.6%.

However, there is a ceiling on the level of THC that must be present in CBD oils to be legal, even if it is for medical purposes. When CBD was first legalized, the amount of its THC component must not be more than 0.2% but it has since been increased to 0.6%. It is still unlawful to use CBD oil with more than 0.6% THC even if it is for medical reasons unless there is specific and direct instruction from a doctor. Nevertheless, you can get CBD without the doctor’s prescription in Italy as long as the hemp content is below 0.2% in both online and offline stores and pharmacies.

In May 2019, a new Supreme Court of Cassation’s ruling was made to prohibit cannabis derivatives except for the ones without “narcotics effects”. This has created confusion among the growers on CBD, however, the ambiguity of the law created loopholes. This is because there is no clarification on whether CBD oils with 0.2% to 0.6% THC have the level of narcotic effects that will make it deem unlawful. The law indeed has many grey areas which if not addressed will continue to create confusion. As such, many people continued to plant, buy and sell CBD oils in Italy today despite the legislation.

The verdict

Unlike most European countries, Italy has fewer restrictions on the use of CBD oil, however, due to wide drug abuse among its populace, the government is seeking to regulate the use of CBD products and that includes CBD oils and other consumables. However, when you think about the current legal status of CBD oils in Italy, you must keep in mind that as long as it does not have a “doping effect”, then it is legal. However, the current position of the government is not favourable towards the consumption or use of CBD oils that have more than 0.2% THC.

CBD-oil-in-portugal

Introduction to CBD in Portugal

Since the advent of CBD oil, people have used it to treat several medical conditions. Not only this but its popularity has also brought about a revolution in the healthcare industry. But several doubts are surrounding the usage of CBD oil. Those uncertainties arise from the fact that laws related to the usage of CBD oil vary across states. And unfortunately, cannabis has always had a bad reputation despite its legalization. 

However, according to the data presented by various scientists over the years, CBD oil has the potential to treat various medical conditions. So, if you live in Portugal and wish to know everything about the legality of CBD oil, keep reading below. Because in this post we will talk a little about CBD oils legal history in Portugal, its legal status in Portugal, and whether you can buy CBD oil in Portugal or not?

Let’s begin!

History of CBD oil in Portugal

We all know by now that CBD oil is an extract of the cannabis plant. So its legality at large encircles cannabis. In fact, the usage of CBD oil will also depend on the laws surrounding medical cannabis. So, this is precisely what happened a few years back in Portugal. 

Two proposals were submitted in the parliament, and both were declined. The first one was submitted by PAN: Peoples Animal Nature party. It said that people should be allowed to possess up to 75 gms of cannabis and grow six plants per household. This means if the proposal was passed it would have allowed an individual to grow six plants.  

cbd-oil-legal-in-the-algarve

The Left Block submitted the second proposal. It outlined a roadmap for selling and cultivating cannabis. Well, both the proposals were declined. They were in favor of affordable cannabis production to put a tab on the illegal market. This would have allowed a much-needed change. Nevertheless, medical cannabis was finally legalized in June 2018. This move received massive support from the Socialist Party and the Social Democrats. 

Eventually, this is how medical cannabis entered the streets of Portugal and along with it came the use and production of CBD oil. Having said that, let us look at the current legal status of CBD oil in Portugal.  

What is the legal status of CBD oil in Portugal?

Yes, CBD oil is legal in Portugal. But here are some things that you have to keep in mind. First and foremost, Portugal decriminalized the use of drugs in 2001, but it allowed the use of medical cannabis. As we all know that CBD oil is very much a part of the medical cannabis industry. Similarly, its usage will not get you in any sort of legal trouble.

medicinal-cannabis-legality

However, if you wish to get CBD oil over the counter without any prescription, it is quite the possibility that you will end up in trouble. This is to say that you have to buy CBD oil from a pharmacy with the help of a valid prescription. So, the next time you go out to get CBD oil make sure you have a certified doctor’s prescription and a qualifying medical condition for the same. 

If we talk about medical marijuana as a whole, It is fair to say that all cannabis-related medicines, except herbal cannabis, is legal in Portugal. But it is also noteworthy that the National Institute of Pharmacy and Medications regulates medicinal cannabis. 

However, the cultivation of this plant still remains illegal. This means that if your medical condition allows you to use CBD oil and you wish to grow your own medicine. You strictly don’t have the permission to cultivate cannabis plant yet. 

Interestingly, there is only one cannabis-based medicine that has been legal in Portugal for the past many years - Sativex. Moreover, this medicine has been legal since 2012, but its usage is quite limited. First, because of the stigma associated with cannabis and second this medicine is quite expensive. 

So, in entirety CBD oil and medicinal cannabis share a legal status. But only a certified doctor can give you the prescription. Plus you will be able to find CBD oil at a pharmacist. And INFARMED is a regulatory authority for the medical use of cannabis. 

Now that you know all about the legal status of CBD oil. Let us talk a little about,  ‘How to get CBD oil in Portugal?’

CBD OIL SHOP

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How to get CBD oil in Portugal?

Usually, in countries like the US, you can take CBD oil with the help of a medical marijuana card but the same does not apply to Portugal. Like I said earlier, you need to take a prescription from a doctor that states your need for medical marijuana. The doctor will specify the condition you’re using it for and the amount of dosage you need to consume. If you’re confused about the method of ingestion, the doctor will guide you on the same. 

There are different ways to use cannabis. Well, the method that will suit you depends on your biology. Some people use it directly while others prefer consuming it through food. In general, ways that do not involve smoke are better for your health. That’s because there is no adverse effect on your lungs, and you can easily manage your health condition. Just make sure you take the prescribed dosage for best results.

But when it comes to Europe, the legal aspect varies across states. Keep reading further to know more about it. 

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What is the legal status of CBD oil in Europe?

The legal status of CBD oil and its usage hangs from a cliffhanger. Perhaps this is the reason why people are not sure about consuming CBD oil. But if we look at the legalization of medical cannabis across the EU, it is worth noting that European Parliament will always look forward to remove any roadblocks that halt the growth of medical cannabis as a whole.

Also, if we glance through the growth of the cannabis industry, it is estimated that by 2025, medicinal cannabis will play a huge role in lifting the Europian economy. Now, looking at the impact medicinal cannabis has globally, Luxembourg became the first European country to establish a regulated recreational cannabis use. 

As a result of which, Europe too looks forward to entering the market of medicinal cannabis and hopefully people all over Europe will start using CBD oil to treat several medical conditions in the near future. 

SO, what is in store for the future of CBD oil in Portugal

The cannabis industry is set for a significant boom. Holigen, a company based in Portugal, has partnered with a Canadian firm to set up a cannabis cultivation unit. It will produce over 500,000 kilograms of medicinal cannabis every year. Well, some estimates even suggest that the figure can rise to 630,000 kilograms. The statistics are lucrative and point to the large scale of use. 

Another firm Gaia Pharma has teamed up with Canada based Aurora Cannabis Inc. The Canadian company is set to acquire a 51% stake and will collaborate to headline a local facility producing medical cannabis and related products. This investment from major companies is a massive setback for illegal traders. That’s because people will have access to good quality cannabis from dispensaries or pharmacies at an affordable price. 

If you wish to read to learn more about the benefits of CBD oil? Learn more through this post. 

legal-in-the-eu

Why is CBD Oil The Best Thing For You?

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds. Out of those, THC and CBD are the two most popular. That’s because they come with the medicinal properties which make the plant usable. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive compound. The characteristic high you feel is because of this. 

As discussed earlier, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce a high. Cannabidiol is very useful in managing pain, anxiety, acne, and other chronic conditions. People usually use it for managing multiple sclerosis and arthritis. 

CBD oil is available in varying concentrations in the market. The best-quality CBD oil comes directly from hemp. Also, the mode of extraction influences the produce. Ideally, the CO2 extraction method is the best. The potency and purity of CBD are top-notch. When you’re buying a bottle of oil, ensure it’s of the right concentration and holds a nod from the agency. In countries like the USA, you can get a medical marijuana card online and buy your stock. But in Portugal, you need a written prescription from a doctor. 

Bottom line

Portugal welcomes the use of medicinal cannabis, including CBD oil. But it will be interesting to see how successfully Portugal Parliament lifts the fog surrounding the legal status of medicinal cannabis. Till then make sure you use a prescription to get the right dose of CBD oil.

The county of Limerick is one of Ireland’s busiest counties and as such, the demand for CBD oil has dramatically increased over the last few years. The law surrounding CBD oil is complex however it is imperative to be fully aware of which CBD oils are legal before buying. Whether you are from Limerick or a tourist just visiting please read on to get the low down on the law surrounding CBD and also where to buy in Limerick.

The Law Surrounding CBD Oil in Ireland

Breakthrough in research put CBD into contention to be one of the ‘formerly outlawed, now accepted’ products of this modern century. However, as all things that concern ripping out the roof off falsely held myths, CBD is still not widely accepted.

Most European countries including Ireland have a long history of growing cannabis. This was however stopped in the 20th century, a period when cannabis was getting a bad-name on a global scale. This led cannabis to be classed as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Relations.

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Cannabis as a Criminal Offense

Possession of cannabis was labelled a criminal offence under the Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977-2017. This legislation distinguishes between possession for personal use and possession with an intent to sell or supply. At the minimum, possession of cannabis for personal use attracts a fine of a thousand euros to about three thousand euros. This fine is dependent on whether the offender is a first time offender or a second timer. Third convictions can attract a one-year to three-year jail term coupled with fines. On the other hand, if a person is caught possessing a large amount and found to be intent on selling or supplying, they can be sentenced to life imprisonment. The minimum sentence is a 10-year jail term.

Hemp as a Sustainable Resource

The year 1995, saw the Irish authorities begin an assessment of hemp (Cannabis Sativa) as a source of sustainable fibre and oil. Ireland is a member of the European Union, so to comply with EU regulations on the subject, it is now legal to farm approved varieties of hemp by the European Union in the country. This variety is one that contains not more than 0.2 per cent of THC. THC is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. It is responsible for the ‘high’ you feel when you consume marijuana.

CBD from Hemp is Legal in Limerick

In Ireland, CBD products are only allowed to contain 0.2 per cent of THC. CBD from hemp should not be mistaken for THC Cannabis strains. Cannabis with high levels of THC is illegal while CBD from EU approved hemp is not illegal under the Misuse of Drugs Act. CBD oil used to be frowned upon by the authorities. But in 2016, the Minister for Health in Ireland directed the Health Products Regulatory Authority to conduct a study on the health benefits of Cannabis and particularly, CBD oil has for users.

The study, which came after public backlash from citizens and legal parties who supported the use of CBD oil, led the authorities to soften their resolve on the sale and use of CBD oil. This, however, doesn’t lead to CBD being authorized as a medical product in Ireland. Doctors cannot prescribe the product as a treatment option as it is not considered one by the Health Products Regulatory Authority in Ireland.

You can, however, buy CBD oil and other CBD products in Ireland as long as it contains less than 0.2 per cent of THC and they are marketed as a food supplement. Possession of any CBD based product with more than 0.2 per cent of THC will attract severe penalties.

If your worried about whether the CBD you are buying is legal make sure to ask for the lab test report to ensure there is less than 0.2% THC. In truth, any physical store selling CBD will be legal as they would not last long if it wasn't. Online CBD is the tricky one. All Dr. Hemp Me's CBD products are legal to sell in Ireland and they are all backed up by lab test reports.

Evaluation-of hemp-in-Ireland

The Novel Food Problem

What is a Novel Food?

Novel foods are foods or food ingredients that were not available on the European Union Market to a considerable degree before the 15th of May, 1997.

CBD Oil as a Food Supplement

Some forms of CBD oil are not allowed to be sold as food supplements in the EU. This is related to the process of extracting the oil. Generally, if hemp oil is obtained through the cold pressing of the seed or parts of hemp's plant, authorization is not required. Authorization is not required because hemp oil was consumed in the European Union before 1997.

The Cannabis Trade Association who view CBD oil as a product that has been in use all over the world before 1997 is hotly contesting this issue, therefore CBD should be exempt from the novel food authorisation.

If CBD does have to be novel food authorised this will literally shut the industry down for 18 – 24 months which is not ideal for the industry as a whole and also consumers who now rely on CBD for everyday use.

At the moment this issue is not being enforced and CBD oil companies are still allowed to trade.

Guide-to-cannabis-Munster

Where to Buy CBD Oil in Limerick

There are lots of physical stores that sell CBD oil in Limerick that offer great prices and different CBD products. So let's take a look at these stores in no particular order.

On Thomas St, there are a couple of physical stores like Eats of Eden and Milagro CBD oil.

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The physical stores in Limerick employ a team of experts who verify the percentage composition of THC in the CBD oil they sell to help you avoid any trouble with law enforcement. They also sell products in different forms like capsules, CBD vapes, and edibles.

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Buying CBD Oil Online in Limerick

If you are looking to buy online, a very reliable CBD brand is Dr. Hemp Me. All our products are tested by a third party to ensure exactly what is stated is in the oil. Currently, the CBD industry is very unregulated as such it is up to the consumer to do their due diligence before buying CBD. We are HPRA compliant and rated "Excellent" by Trustpilot.

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We are based in Dublin, Ireland, and we are regulated by the Cannabis Trade Association.

So there you have it, a comprehensive guide on how to purchase CBD in Limerick, Ireland.

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CBD is infiltrating every corner of the world and creating a buzz. What was once believed to be illegal is being accepted in many markets for its immense benefits. If you live in a country where CBD is made legal, you would have seen it grow in the market and go from ‘being around’ to ‘everywhere.’ Yet, many countries are unwilling to accept CBD and make it legal. If you want to buy CBD and its products, make sure you understand what CBD is, and whether it is legal in the country you are staying in.

CBD-oil-in-Sweden

Read More: Is CBD oil legal in your country?

What is the Cannabinoid Cannabidiol?

CBD is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant and derived directly from the cannabis plant Hemp, which is a related species of Marijuana. It was discovered in 1940 and is short for cannabidiol. There are almost 113 other identified cannabinoids derived from the hemp plant, but CBD accounts for 40% of the extracts. After THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is the most predominant cannabinoid of the active ingredients of cannabis plant Marijuana. It offers a lot of benefits without the psychoactive agents that are present in Marijuana, meaning you will not go high. Due to this feature, CBD is gaining a lot of popularity worldwide.

Hemp-in-Finland

What is CBD oil?

Different makers have different ways of extracting CBD from the cannabis plant hemp. The derived CBD is mixed with a carrier oil and called CBD oil. CBD oil is the oil with extracts of cannabidiol. It comes in different strengths and used for various purposes.

Hemp oil is not to be confused with CBD oil. While CBD oil is derived from the extracts of the hemp plant, Hemp oil is derived from hemp seeds and it is more commonly known as hemp seed oil. Hemp oil is packed with fat and is often used in the beauty industry.

It is suggested to consult your doctor before using CBD oil and check whether CBD oil and CBD-based products are legal in your country or your region.

More: Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Legal Status of CBD

Every country, every region has different laws that govern them. While in one country the use of CBD oil in retail products is legal and medicinal products is illegal, it is the other way in a different country. It is always suggested to understand what is legal and what is illegal before buying CBD-based products.

Scandinavia is a beautiful region in Northern Europe known for its history, culture and linguistic ties. It covers the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The question that needs an answer to is, is CBD oil legal in Scandinavia kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden? Have the three kingdoms opened their arms to CBD? Does CBD have a future in these three regions?

CBD-oil-in-Scandanavia

Is CBD oil legal in Scandinavia?

Cannabis and products related to cannabis have been in controversy for several years and will continue to be in controversy. The only difference is that now, due to the potential benefits of cannabidiol or CBD, governments of many countries have become more lenient towards CBD industry.

legal-status-of-cannabidiol-denmark

Is CBD oil legal in Denmark?

Until July 2018, products containing CBD were regulated by the Danish government. But since then, CBD products containing 0.2% or less THC is no longer a regulated substance. Possession and sale of products containing 0.2% or less THC are legal.

CBD oil in food supplements is legal in Denmark as long as they comply with the European Food Safety Authority. The European Food Safety Authority also regulate CBD oil health claims relating to dietary supplements. But when it comes to the online sale of CBD oil, there is some confusion on its legality.

Products sold online contain CBD oil in quantities that will have some effect on the body. Such high content of CBD oil is considered as medicinal, even if the THC is below 0.2%.

In such cases, these products must either act on a Medicinal Cannabis Pilot Program or fulfil the rules of the Danish Medicines Act.

The bottom line is that CBD oil-based products sold online are illegal in Denmark as it does not satisfy the other rules that apply in the area. CBD Oil with less than 0.2% THC is legal if it follows the rules that regulate the medicines, food supplements & food in Denmark.

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legal-status-of-hemp-in-Norway

Is CBD oil legal in Norway?

The industrial hemp that is used to produce CBD oil does not come from the same strain of cannabis as that of cannabis that is used to produce Marijuana. Due to this difference, CBD oil is widely accepted in Norway. The Norwegian Parliament decriminalised personal drug use in December 2017, but the drug-regulation laws are quite contradictory. The conflicting laws in Norway made it quite confusing regarding the use of CBD oil. It was later made clear that as long as there’s 0% trace of THC, CBD is legal. Though the rule is a little too strict, since THC is the compound with the psychoactive agent, the rule makes sense.

Norway is not a part of the European Union, and the restrictions for the use and sale of CBD in this country are different. It is legal to use and possess CBD only if it is prescribed by a doctor.

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Swedish-CBD-oil

Is CBD oil legal in Sweden?

Sweden is one of the countries in the European Union with the most restrictive drug laws. As many companies made medicinal claims, CBD fell under the Medicines Act, which meant, there were certain regulations to be looked at. CBD had long been in the grey zone in Sweden and was being considered by the Medical Products Agency to be medicine. No matter the THC content, CBD products are classified as narcotics by the Supreme Court. The oral intake of CBD is considered as medicine. It is not to be sold without a license from the Medical Products Agency. Yet again, it is considered as narcotics if it contains traces of THC. In simple, selling supplements or any products containing CBD is illegal.

Any product containing CBD cannot display statements of beauty, health, benefits and such in the instruction for use. The CBD substance is not banned in Sweden, but the marketing and sales with statements of its benefits are prohibited. CBD can be bought online legally if the THC concentration in it is 0.00%.

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Can I legally grow cannabis?

In the three kingdoms of Scandinavia, different regulations govern the legal growing of cannabis.

  • In Norway, it is illegal to grow hemp and cannabis. You are also prohibited from buying whole hemp and cannabis seeds.
  • In Denmark, if you want to grow cannabis, you must get permission via three separate public bodies, namely Landburgsstyrelsen agricultural agency, Laegemiddelstyrelsen, and Rigspolitiet the national police.
  • It is illegal to grow cannabis for personal use in Sweden. As the laws are very restricted, the government does not accept the industrial growth of cannabis either.

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CBD oil Scandinavia present and future market

In Denmark, a four-year trial for medical cannabis is in progress as a result of the proposal made by the coalition government. Denmark is all set for the medical cannabis industry. Lægemiddelstyrelsen, Denmark’s medicines authority, announced licenses for the cannabis industry as well, which will be tightly regulated. Recently, Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian medical marijuana grower, came together with tomato grower Alfred Pedersen & Son via a joint venture called Aurora Nordic Cannabis. The pharmaceutical company is all set to produce cannabis and penetrate deeper into the CBD market. This company is designed to serve the needs of other Scandinavian countries.

The CBD market is no longer in the grey zone. As most of the production of CBD oil is mostly concentrated in Europe and North America, the future of the CBD market in the three kingdoms of Scandinavia look strong.

Though Sweden has a restricted approach to CBD oil, it is believed that an integrated industry chain, from the industrial hemp to downstream industries, can change the face of the CBD market.

This integrated chain can ensure that the final product of CBD reaches the rightful market and the country’s regulations are not broken. With the global CBD oil market expected to increase to US$3860 Million by 2025, there are ample growth opportunities in the CBD market in Scandinavia.

 

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The legality of cannabis and its derived products namely Cannabidiol has been under debate in the UK for years. But with 2019 already halfway done, there is still a lack of clarity about the legality of cannabis and in particular, CBD Oil. CBD Oil legal in the United Kingdom

Britains conservative influence on the legality of CBD Oil

The Conservative Party has been on the ruling seat in the UK for years, and their extremely strict and traditional leanings have made the issue of cannabis legalisation extremely fraught with challenges. More: Enjoy the benefits of whole plant CBD Oil For decades, the UK has viewed cannabis and all of its derivatives as a great evil, and the Conservatives have been vehemently opposed to the legalisation of cannabis in the UK. In 1990, the Green Party pushed for total legalisation of cannabis – from growing to processing to sale to consumption. This stance was supported by the Liberal Democrats in the 2000s, and a case for the legalisation of cannabis was made in the Parliament. British MP Norman Lamb even introduced a bill to decriminalise the processing, consumption and possession of marijuana in 2018. However, he lost with 66 to 52 votes against the proposal.

Cannabidiol legal status in the UK 

Changes in the medicinal Cannabis law

Even today, the Conservative Party is against the legalisation of cannabis, its compounds and products. However, things took a turn for the better when the UK Government legalised medical cannabis in select cases, under The Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and License Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018 bill.

The move came after minor patients Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell provided evidence of how regular consumption of cannabis had reduced the frequency of their epileptic seizures.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, England's Chief Medical Officer, along with the support of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and the Department of Health (DoH), conducted a thorough investigation into the medicinal effects of cannabis and CBD. Today, medical practitioners can prescribe CBD products to patients in select circumstances such as:

    • Children suffering from extreme epileptic seizures.
    • Severe chemotherapy-induced nausea and side-effects.
    • Severe muscle stiffness and chronic pain due to multiple sclerosis. 

Hemps legal status in Britain

British laws about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in 2019

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another major compound found in cannabis, and it is a psychoactive compound. While CBD is responsible for the rejuvenating effects on the human body, THC is responsible for the feeling of “high” that users experience when they consume cannabis. This is why THC is still illegal in the UK – it is considered as a type of drug. This brings the legality of CBD oil back into question.

Full Spectrum oil in England

CBD Isolate products

The cannabis plant contains both CBD and THC. Based on the way it is processed, the CBD oil can either be an isolate or a full spectrum CBD. CBD isolates are those CBD products which contain 100% pure CBD. They are prepared by stripping away all those compounds, wax, chlorophyll and other by-products from the cannabis plant.

Full-spectrum/whole-plant hemp oil

However, full-spectrum CBD is the CBD which is formulated using the entire cannabis plant. This means full-spectrum CBD Oil also contains the chlorophyll, oils, wax and compounds (including THC), which are found in the cannabis plant.

In order to prescribe CBD oil in the UK, doctors need to make sure that the oil contains less than 0.2% of THC, and the THC must not be easily separated from the oil.

Additionally, the oil must be formulated in accordance with the Human Medicines Regulations 2012. Circumventing these regulations is punishable by UK law. Read More: Is CBD Oil legal in Ireland? This is why many medical practitioners prescribe low concentrate CBD oil to patients – oil which contains less than 0.05% of THC. This ensures that they don’t flout legal regulations.

Cannabis OIl in UK

Is CBD oil legal in the UK?

When we talk of medicinal CBD oil, we refer to CBD oil made by pressing the psychoactive cannabis plant variety – the plant which contains THC. Although CBD oil is legal as medicine in the UK, the processing, possession and consumption of cannabidiol oil for any other reason is still illegal. This means you can only legally access medicinal CBD when prescribed by a doctor under special circumstances. The only completely legal form of cannabis CBD oil in the UK is hemp CBD oil. This is because hemp contains only trace amounts of THC. Hemp that is being cultivated in the UK and Europe at the moment has been been preapproved by the EU and once the THC content is below 0.2% the extracted CBD is legal to sell as a food supplement in the UK.

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According to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), any CBD derivatives, compounds and by-products made from the hemp plant are 100% legal in the UK. Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant. In fact, hemp oil is a very common food additive in the UK and is also used in cosmetics.

CBD oil in the United Kingdom

CBD oil on Amazon UK

The Cannabidiol market place can be confusing for shoppers, especially for first-time buyers. CBD oil from your local pharmacy, online e-commerce store to even Amazon CBD products all offer different varieties of CBD oil.

CBD oil from Pharmacies

Most oil found in pharmacies is CBD isolate products which means exactly how it sounds CBD and CBD alone. CBD oil works better when the plant's cannabinoids work synergistically together.  CBD Oil UK Amazon

CBD Oil from Online Stores

Full-spectrum can be found mostly in online e-commerce stores. This is, without a doubt, the inferior product as you are getting the benefits of the whole plant. In fact, there are an estimated 300 different cannabinoids to be found in trace amounts in hemp. Make sure to read the label and check for 'whole plant' or 'full spectrum'. This leaves the oil found on Amazon.

Cannabidiol from Amazon UK

Amazon has a strict policy on CBD related products and bans all sales. However, if you venture to there website to buy CBD oil, you will find listings. Most of these products are very cheap when compared to normal CBD prices which either means the oil is substandard or it is a very weak CBD oil. Usually, this is the case (although there is a lot of misleading advertising here). Usually, these products stay up on Amazon for a short time before they are taken down by site regulators. Some products can even be found to be promoting a wide range of health benefits which is a big no no in the CBD industry.

Hemp Seed Oil on Amazon 

Hemp seed oil is the only legitimate form of Cannabis found on Amazon. This oil is made entirely from hemp seeds and therefore does not contain any CBD. This oil has its benefits and is very high in Omega 3 fatty acids.  Be careful when purchasing CBD oil from Amazon. The CBD oil is usually fake oil that is wholly underpriced, or it is just hemp seed oil. Either way, if you are looking for a potent CBD oil, you will need to search online for whole plant/full-spectrum oil. Cannabidiol Amazon UK

Legal caveats in hemp

The legality of CBD oil in the UK isn’t a matter in black and white. There are many CBD products and hemp products that are subject to different rules and regulations, generating further confusion about their legality. For example, while hemp oil is legal in the UK, hemp buds are illegal. They are considered a form of drug, despite the complete absence of THC. However, crushed hemp tea leaves are considered legal in the UK and can be sold in stores.

Why full spectrum hemp is legal and Isolates are Not

Similarly, while CBD isolates are legal in the UK, they can only be inhaled or vaped. They cannot be ingested as a powder or used with a carrier oil. This makes the usage of CBD isolate oils illegal. Only full-spectrum CBD Oil that contains less than 0.2% of THC is legal for consumption. However, CBD isolate made from cold pressing the plant is legal. Finally, according to the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), CBD products cannot be used as supplements in pet food, since they are classified as “medicine for humans” only.

Medicinal Cannabis

Buying medicinal prescriptions from the NHS

The National Health Service (NHS) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have strict rules in force to regulate the sale and consumption of CBD oil in the UK. As mentioned, patients afflicted with severe epilepsy, chemotherapy-induced nausea and multiple sclerosis-induced muscle spasticity are granted prescriptions to CBD.

Medicinal Hemp in UK

First medicinal approved product

Initially, only one strain of CBD - Nabiximols (sold under the trade name of Sativex) was legal for medicinal use in the UK. Today, there are other brands, like Cesamet (Nabilone), which is a synthetically designed cannabis-based medication. Nabilone is consumed in the form of capsules and Sativex is used as a spray. Read More: Is CBD Oil legal in your Country? However, the NICE recently gave Sativex a "do not recommend" status because of its low-cost effectiveness. Research is underway to develop low-cost CBD medication in the UK. Additionally, the NHS recommends that doctors use their discretion when determining the duration of the prescription to prevent patients from getting too addicted to CBD. So far, only 7-year-old Sophia Gibson has been granted the long-term license to use cannabis for the treatment of Dravet syndrome.

Is CBD oil legal in Northern Ireland?

Marijuana is illegal and classified as a Class B drug under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. But this doesn't mean that CBD oil is illegal too. The attitude towards Marijuana is shifting, and people are shifting their judgment from ‘illegal drug that takes you high' to ‘an oil with health benefits.' The laws on CBD oil is consistent in the UK, and Marijuana still is illegal due to high levels of THC. So, where does that leave CBD oil?

CBD is sought-after for the non-existing psychoactive agents that Marijuana contains. As CBD offers a lot of health benefits, the World Health Organisation declared it to be safe and non-toxic for use in 2017. Taking this into account, many companies started selling it for its medical benefits. It was used as a health supplement as it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) declared that CBD could only be sold over the counter as food supplements.

Even after Sativex, a medicine containing CBD was made legal, there was a lot of confusion on the legality of CBD oil in Northern Ireland. It was then made clear that CBD oil is legal for sale in shops as well as online. But the product cannot have traces of THC more than 0.2%, and it must be made from an EU-approved strain of hemp only.

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Is growing Hemp legal in Northern Ireland?

Hemp is one of the species of the cannabis plant that is known for its medicinal benefits. As it contains less than 03% THC, it is well in demand in several industries. The UK laws on cannabidiol have been consistent for all countries and Hemp can be grown locally. You will need a special licence, and you will also need to follow some strict restrictions from the Home Office. If, as a manufacturer, you fail to follow the MHRA guidelines, you will be in trouble. Apart from that, you are free to grow Hemp legally in Northern Ireland.

The legal status of CBD / THC oil as medicine in Northern Ireland

CBD oil is being used in the medical world in many countries. When we speak about medicinal CBD oil this usually includes elevated levels of THC meaning it cannot be sold as a food supplement as the THC level is over 0.2% and oil also doesn’t come from industrial hemp. But can CBD oil be used in Northern Ireland for medicinal purposes? Can CBD oil be prescribed by doctors?

Cannabis-based medicinal products are available in the country. But to be able to obtain these products, you will need a prescription from a specialist doctor. Not every doctor can prescribe CBD oil for medicinal use. The quality, safety and effectiveness of CBD oil are analysed by a team of expert clinicians. These clinicians are listed on the specialist register of the General Medical Council, and only those listed doctors can legally prescribe CBD oil for medical purpose.

CBD / THC as medicine under prescription was made legal after much campaigning by families of children with Lennox-Gastuat syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Any CBD-based medicine sold without a prescription from the doctors listed under the General Medical Council is considered illegal in Northern Ireland. CBD-based medicinal products must have a product licence to be sold legally. Also, the sale and advertising of CBD oil for medical purposes without a product licence is illegal.

Will I be in trouble if I buy CBD oil in Belfast?

As long as you, as a consumer, buy CBD oil with the following guidelines, you will not be in any trouble. You just have to make sure that:

  • The CBD you buy contains less than 0.2% THC
  • The product comes from industrial hemp and is labelled a food supplement
  • The product contains a third-party lab report to verify the guidelines above
  • Medicinal CBD / THC can be bought but only under prescription from a specialised doctor.

As a manufacturer, as long as you follow the guidelines set forward by the MHRA, CBD oil production is also legal in Northern Ireland. [rating_form id="2"] 10% Discount Code: Drhemp10

When you hear of Cannabis, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘illegal’ or ‘weed.’ You may be surprised to know that Cannabis has a component in it called cannabidiol that has several benefits. Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound of the cannabis plant. It is a crucial cannabinoid that is free from psychoactive properties.

CBD oil for Personal Use in France

CBD oil is everywhere and in almost everything. It is used in beverages, beauty products and even in pet treats. Some parts of the world have made CBD oil legal while in other parts, it is not accepted.

Cannabidiol or CBD oil in France is illegal for personal use. Only limited types of cannabis-derived products are made legal.

France is the largest producer of Hemp in Europe. Hemp is legal in France since it has much less THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) than marijuana. It is legal if it is grown for the industrial use of its fibres. The government’s anti-drug mission introduced strict rules against CBD oil in France in 2018 and banned any traces of THC in CBD oil.

CBD Oil in France

France has an increasingly isolated attitude towards CBD oil. It continues to police the possession and use of CBD oil, and the possession of this illegal drug is punishable with a fine as well as a jail term. French law even prohibits the promotion of anything having to do with marijuana. As simple as an image of marijuana can get your business and you in trouble.

Read More: Is CBD Oil legal in the UK

France has decriminalised the possession, production, transportation, export, acquisition, and offering of a few products containing cannabis derivatives.

Is CBD oil legal in France?

France has one of the strictest laws on cannabidiol usage in Europe. In short, the use of CBD oil is legal in France. But, the legal status of CBD oil in France is quite ambiguous. CBD oil produced from marijuana is illegal due to its high content of THC of 14%. But the CBD oil derived from hemp is legal as the THC content is less, with only 0.2%. Recently, any trace of THC was made illegal in France for personal use.


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The beginning of CBD legality

In 2017, the presence of CBD oil in a few products for public consumption was made legal. Only products with a maximum of 0.2% of THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, was permitted.

It was noticed that some shops were posing as a threat to public health and promoting the use of drugs. Legal loopholes were being exploited, and the government pledged to put a stop to such businesses.

Personal use of CBD oil in France or any CBD derivatives remains illegal, and only hemp-derived CBD oil is made legal for use. But the laws still need clarity. There are several cases that have created confusion among business persons regarding the sale of CBD products in France.

Cannabidiol a conflicting topic

Products containing CBD oil are a huge success in France. The French legislation was quite flexible with the usage of CBD oil until a research project was organised to redefine the market regulations. In June 2018, CBD oil was made illegal, with certain exceptions.

According to article R. 5132-86 of the Public Health Code, CBD made from specific breeds of cannabis plants were made legal. The legality of CBD oil is considered a conflict topic in France, thanks to the strict laws that govern its usage. While it is believed that CBD oil with THC of 0.2% or less and derived from hemp is made legal for use, several cases have surfaced that create a conflict.

CBD sellers cannot advertise medicinal benefits

There is still a lot of confusion on the legality of CBD oil in France. French authorities cracked down on several CBD oil sellers and cases were filed against shops for the illegal sale of CBD oil.

CBD oil sellers are not allowed to make claims that it has healing properties, or it can help with certain illness. Strict action is taken against shops that make such claims.

Most people do not know the difference between cannabis and cannabidiol or CBD.

Cannabis with high THC content

Cannabis is a type of plant which includes hemp, marijuana and others, whereas cannabidiol is a chemical compound that is found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is the second-most vital cannabinoid after tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that is extracted from cannabis.

THC has psychoactive elements because of which French laws have banned CBD oil that has even traces of THC. Meaning full spectrum CBD Oil is illegal.

Shops can only promote by saying that CBD oil helps to relax, like herbal tea.

Cannabidiol promotion in France

Promotion of CBD oil in France without the knowledge of its pros and cons is as good as advertising the negative impact of CBD oil. Consumption of the CBD oil with a high content of THC can be addictive and can also prove lethal if you are allergic to the components present in the CBD oil. The French laws were framed with this in mind, and the possession, consumption, sale and promotion of the illegal substance was banned.

More: A Review of Charlottes Web CBD Oil

French laws even prohibit the promotion of CBD oil. Images of cannabis or any kind of advertisement that involves the properties of CBD is considered illegal. The slightest mistake from the part of any shop owner who possesses, sells, consumes, or promotes CBD oil will result in legal action.

The bottom line is,

  • CBD oil from hemp is legal in France.
  • The possession, consumption, promotion and sale of CBD oil from other forms of Cannabis is illegal.
  • CBD derived from cannabis plant ‘hemp’ is legal and ‘marijuana’ is illegal.
  • THC in CBD oil in any amount is illegal. Meaning full-spectrum CBD oil is illegal.
  • Shop owners can promote CBD oil as a relaxant like herbal tea and not as a healthy alternative to anything.
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Discovered in 1940, cannabidiol is one of 113 identified cannabinoids (a class of chemical receptors) found in cannabis plants. One of the several ways of taking CBD is consuming CBD oil. Cannabidiol oil or CBD oil contains only CBD as the active ingredient. Over the years, CBD oil has earned a bad rap. Many people use it for getting high; however, this is just one side of the story.

Many health experts believe CBD to have medicinal properties. Over the years, various studies have highlighted the potential of CBD oil in relieving pain, reducing anxiety, and improving cardiovascular health. It is also believed that CBD oil can help protect against some forms of cancer.

Thanks to these benefits, the attitude of governments around the world towards CBD oil is changing.

Many countries recognise the medical potential of CBD oil and have relaxed the legal restrictions surrounding the cultivation, classification, sales, and distribution of cannabis and derived products

Industrial hemp vs. cannabis: The difference

Before we take a look at the legal status of hemp and cannabis and derived products, it is important to understand the difference between hemp and cannabis and hemp-derived products, CBD-based products, and cannabis-derived products.

Industrial hemp and cannabis explained

Both industrial hemp and cannabis come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa that is native to Central and upper South Asia. While industrial hemp is used for commercial purposes such as manufacturing paper, body care products, and textiles, the term cannabis refers to the recreational, spiritual, and medicinal use involving the smoking of cannabis flowers. Industrial hemp is also used for extracting cannabinoids.

Industrial hemp has a very low concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (0.3 per cent-1.5 per cent), the chemical that makes the user high. Cannabis, on the other hand, contain up to 10% THC. Some modern strains may contain up to 30% THC.

While the average height of THC-producing marijuana plants is five feet, average industrial hemp can grow up to 15 feet.

Hemp Products in Europe

What are CBD-based and hemp-based products?

As the name suggests, CBD-based products contain different concentrations of CBD. Found in extractions from the hemp plant, CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it does not make the user high. Sold in various forms, including gels, supplements, and extracts, CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Though CBD is usually extracted from hemp strains, other subspecies of Cannabis Sativa too can be used for the purpose. To maintain THC levels below the permissible limits, many manufacturers remove all compounds, except CBD. The process is usually used by businesses catering to markets where the permissible THC concentration is very low.

Hemp-based products are made from hemp. These products do not contain CBD. Hemp has traditionally had a bad rep and was earlier considered to be a part of the group of substances with a high THC concentration, which is a shame given the many benefits of the plant.

Hemp farming is 100% sustainable.

Thankfully, people’s perception of hemp has changed for the better during the past few years. Today, researchers consider hemp a miracle plant. Over the years, various studies have highlighted the benefits of hemp. Hemp farming is 100% sustainable. Hemp can be grown in rotation with other crops. Additionally, hemp plants do not need chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides to survive and thrive.

Cannabis in the EU

Thanks to the reintroduction of hemp in society, industries that manufacture hemp-based products such as biodegradable plastics, eco-friendly (recyclable) paper, textiles, and clothing are thriving once again.

Cannabis-derived products are made from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis-based products usually have a higher concentration of THC. Many health experts around the world swear by the effectiveness of cannabis-based products in treating several health issues. While some countries in the world have already legalized the recreational and medicinal use of these products, others are in the process of relaxing laws regarding their use.

Cannabidiol in Ireland

The legal status of CBD around the world

Countries that have legalized the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis are Spain, Uruguay, Canada, and Georgia. You may find it hard to believe, but cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands. Though possession is illegal, select coffee shops around the country are authorized to sell the substance.

Thirty-three states in the U.S. and Columbia have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis.

Hemp products are legal in all 50 states. European Union criminalizes the sale and use of products that have a THC concentration of more than 0.2%.

Some countries that have legalized the use of both CBD oil and hemp are Argentina, Argentina

Belize, Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Paraguay, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Peru, Uruguay, Canada, Slovenia, Romania, Sweden, and Spain.

Hemp legality in Europe

The legal status of hemp-based CBD oil in major Latin-American countries

Over the years, several Latin-American countries have relaxed their laws related to the usage and sale of materials containing cannabinoids. In 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of four plaintiffs who were seeking permission to legally grow and smoke marijuana.

After the landmark decision was passed, Mexico City mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, introduced a bill that decriminalized the import of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The very next year, Mexico’s regulatory authority COFEPRIS allowed two girls suffering from severe epilepsy to import hemp oil.

Though Brazil has long been an advocate of cannabis legalization, the Latin American country, as of now, has legalized the medicinal use of cannabis. Brazillian citizens with Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy and those experiencing chronic pain due to a medical condition (for example, migraine) are allowed to import hemp-based CBD oils.

Hemp legal status

How are Hemp seed oil and CBD oil classified by the EU?

Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD. Because it has been available in EU markets for quite some time now, the hemp seed oil is classified as food.

CBD oil, on the other hand, was not available in most markets until 1997. Though the EU does not classify CBD oil as food, CBD-based products are regarded as a novel food in many countries. Countries that have legalized the medicinal use of CBD-based products allow their citizens to legally buy only products that are classified as prescription medications. People buying these products will have to provide a medical prescription.  

Cannabis-derived CBD extracts vs. Hemp-derived CBD extracts

Because cannabis-derived extracts have a high concentration of THC, they are banned in most countries.  Hemp-derived CBD extracts, on the other hand, contain a small amount of THC. Because Hemp-derived CBD does not have psychoactive effects, their use is legalized in almost all countries.

Cannabis legality

Recreational use of Cannabis

Most countries have allowed only medical use of cannabis. Only a handful of countries allow their citizens to use cannabis for recreational purposes. Some countries have decriminalized cannabis, that is, they have a policy of not pressing criminal charges on citizens who are found in possession of a specified amount of cannabis.

Countries that have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis are Canada, Chile, Australia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Thailand, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Cyprus, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Jamaica, Greece, and Norway. Though 33 states in the US and Colombia have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis, their use is still prohibited at the federal level for any purpose.

Some countries with specific CBD laws

The UK

The United Kingdom does not criminalize the use of CBD. Though CBD can be freely distributed in the UK, CBD derived from cannabis plants cannot be legally obtained in the country. UK citizens are free to cultivate hemp plants with low THC content (less than 0.2%). CBD oil with a higher THC value is considered medical marijuana.

Switzerland

Though Switzerland has declared THC illegal, it does not control the use and sale of CBD containing less than one percent THC. Swiss nationals are allowed to cultivate high-CBD strains that do not exceed specified THC values.

Norway

Norway prohibits its citizens from buying whole hemp and cannabis seeds. Norwegians also cannot legally grow cannabis and hemp; however, the government does not restrict the sale of CBD without THC.

Ireland

Ireland allows Hemp cultivation, as long as the THC content of the plants is less than 0.2%. Ireland prohibits the sale of cannabis and hemp with even low concentration of THC.

Sweden

CBD does not feature in the list of Sweden’s banned substances. Swedish nationals can buy CBD products online, given the condition that:

a) The dealer is licensed

b) The CBD product being sold contains less than 0.2% THC

c) CBD is derived from hemp

Supplements containing CBD cannot be legally sold in the country. Additionally, marketers in the country are not allowed to use statements of healthy/beauty benefits for promoting CBD products. The country is yet to recognize CBD as a medicine.

Denmark

Denmark does not criminalize possessing hemp oil, as long as the THC content is less than 0.2%. The country recognizes hemp oil as a medicinal drug, meaning that Danish nationals would need a prescription from a licensed practitioner to legally buy hemp oil in the country.

A table depicting the legal status of CBD oil, hemp, and cannabis in different countries:

Country CBD Hemp Cannabis
Argentina Legal Legal Legal
Austria Legal Legal Illegal
Canada Legal Legal Legal
Chile Legal Legal Legal
Belgium Illegal Legal Decriminalized (up to 3 gram)
Belize Legal Legal Decriminalized (up to 10 gram)
Bulgaria Legal Legal Illegal
Colombia Legal Legal Decriminalized (up to 22 gram)
Costa Rica Legal N/A Illegal
France Legal Legal Illegal
Georgia Legal Legal Legal
Estonia Legal Legal Illegal
Finland Legal Legal Illegal
China Illegal Illegal Illegal
Hong Kong Legal N/A Illegal
Hungary Legal Legal Illegal
Iceland N/A N/A Illegal
Greece Legal Legal Illegal
Guatemala Legal Legal Illegal

The European Union has very stringent rules regarding the legalisation of cannabis and its derived products in 2019. While individual EU nations do need to meet certain EU regulations when growing, processing and selling cannabis products; respective governments can make their own decisions regarding the legal status of cannabis and CBD products in their countries.

legal status of CBD in Germany

More: Europe's strongest full spectrum CBD oil

Germany has one of the most stringent drug laws in the European Union. This has made the topic of legalisation of cannabis a highly-challenging one. While CBD products are legal in Germany, there are certain restrictions on the type of products users can buy and which they can’t.

What is cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) is one of the by-products produced when the cannabis plant is processed. The CBD compound is a non-psychoactive compound, which doesn’t generate the feelings of ‘high’ that people usually experience when consuming THC cannabis. This makes it extremely safe to ingest.

In countries like the USA, CBD oil and other CBD derivatives are used for recreation and also in cooking.

Hemp legality

The laws regarding cultivation and processing of cannabis

Germany was one of the first countries in the EU to legalise Cannabis. In March 2017, the Government gave the green signal for the legalisation of the sale and consumption of cannabis and its derivatives like CBD oil, flowers & cannabis extracts.

Cannabis under the Narcotics Drugs Act

Under the Narcotic Drugs Act, cannabis belongs to Appendix III of the Narcotic Drugs Act – drugs which are neither too safe nor too dangerous. This is why companies can grow and trade in cannabis. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) – a part of the Federal Ministry of Health – was set up after the legalisation of medical cannabis, to oversee the cultivation, processing and trade of medical cannabis and CBD products in Germany; both for the recreational and non-recreational use of cannabis.

Cannabis in Germany

Cannabis cultivation permits

Initially, companies were allowed to apply for a special cultivation permit from the BfArM through a tender, where they need to prove their expertise and qualification in cannabis cultivation. If they didn’t possess enough experience, they could partner with established cannabis farmers from the EU and apply for the tender.

However, this procedure became difficult to manage, and the BfArM amended application rules. Now, any German company which has experience cultivating plants that require unique care and processing methods can apply for the cannabis cultivation permit.

During processing, the cannabis plants and seeds are required to meet European Union cultivation standards.

Failing which, they will be considered as full-blown narcotics under the law, and the cultivating companies will be prosecuted under the Narcotic Drugs Act.

Read More: The legality of CBD oil in your country

However, cannabis that meets legal processing requirements can be used to produce CBD products like oil, vapes and extracts.

THC in Germany

The legalisation of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

In addition to CBD, Germany is also one of the first countries in the European Union to have also legalised medical cannabis that contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is the THC compound that generates psychoactive effects in the user’s mind when cannabis is consumed. Doctors can now prescribe medical cannabis which contains lesser than 0.2% of THC.

Cannabidiol from hemp

Germany’s stance on hemp

The rules under the Narcotic Drugs Act also cover the legality of another cannabis variety – hemp.

The law states that only completely processed cannabis products must be made available to the end consumer.

Other unprocessed or semi-processed cannabis plant variants like buds, dried flowers and leaves can only be used for scientific research or commercial purposes and cannot be sold to customers. This is because of the presence of higher concentrations of the psychoactive THC compound in unprocessed and semi-processed cannabis.

The only exemption to this rule is hemp-derived products.

Cannabis in Europe

The legality of CBD Oil in Germany

Hemp is a type of cannabis plant, which contains very trace amounts of THC. If processed correctly, the THC can be removed completely. Products made from hemp contain pure CBD, which makes them very safe. In fact, most of the commercially available CBD products like topical oils, e-liquids, CBD oils, edibles, wax, extracts, leaves, buds, vapes, and so on are made from hemp. These hemp-based CBD products (including CBD oil) are 100% legal and can be bought in stores and pharmacies without any prescription.

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Where to Buy CBD Oil in Germany?

Cannabidiol made from hemp and other cannabis strains are completely vegan and have been declared safe for use. These days, CBD oil is available in coffee shops, pharmacies and supermarkets across Germany.

CBD oil is also become a popular product online. Shopping online has increased dramatically over the last few years. Consumers are enjoing the benefits of choice, reviews and shopping discretion.

In Germany, CBD oil comes both in the form of isolate powder and full-spectrum liquid. Cannabidiol isolates are stripped of all other compounds and extracts found in the cannabis plant, leaving behind 100% pure CBD. This powder can be mixed with a carrier oil like olive oil and then ingested.

Full-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, is made using the entire cannabis plant and contains trace amounts of THC.

As long as the THC content is below 0.2%, full-spectrum CBD oil can be purchased from stores and used.

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Cannabidiol legal status

Travelling to Germany with Cannabidiol

The European Union has very strict rules regarding the transport of cannabis and CBD products within the region. It is recommended that travellers not fly into Germany with CBD oil.

Any CBD product found containing more than 0.3% THC is considered illegal under EU law, and German authorities may confiscate the products and punish the traveller accordingly. The same is the case when flying out of Germany with CBD oil.

European Cannabis

Will recreational cannabis ever be legal in Germany?

With the number of cannabis users steadily increasing in Germany, the neoliberal FDP have joined together with the Left Party and the Green Party in an effort to legalise all types and forms of recreational cannabis in the country.

Read More: Is CBD oil legal in the UK?

Pro-legalizers believe that legalising all forms and strains of cannabis in Germany will prevent citizens from purchasing harder drugs from the black market. However, with the Angela Merkel government (CDU) and the CSU in complete opposition to the legalisation proposal, it may still be a few years before recreational cannabis is completely legalised in Germany.

In Germany, possession of any form of cannabis (with the exception of legal specified cannabis and CBD products), is illegal and punishable by law with a fine up to €25,000 or jail time of 2 years.

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In recent years, CBD has been the latest craze to take the food and medical industry by storm. Ireland too is no exception. The country has plenty of online stores and brick and mortar stores selling hemp products in the form of CBD buds, tea, hot chocolate, topical products and even mascara.

CBD Flowers in Ireland

Is CBD from hemp legal?

If you are wondering is CBD legal, then you should know that CBD is legal in Ireland when it is derived from hemp, and only when it is advertised as a food or a dietary supplement. This is because CBD does not have psychoactive elements in it that cause a high when it is consumed due to its low THC content.

All cannabis-derived products in Ireland must have a THC content below 0.2% to be legal.

This takes us to the question, “Are CBD buds legal?” If CBD products are legal, is the bud or flower of the hemp plant, from which CBD products are derived, legal in Ireland?

Cannabidiol bud Dublin

What are CBD buds?

CBD buds, also known as CBD flowers or hemp buds, are the buds from the hemp plant. As mentioned before, CBD itself is a compound found in the cannabis plant, but unlike THC – the compound that is responsible for inducing psychoactive effects, thereby causing a high – CBD does not contain the psychoactive component. However, this is not to say that CBD does not have any impact on the brain.

According to Yu-Fung Lin, an associate professor of physiology and membrane biology at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine, CBD may not be psychotropic, but it still works on the brain in its own way.

Although CBD does not activate the cannabinoid receptors in the brain in the same way that THC does, large parts of our brain and nervous system which control cell activities in our body are still targeted.

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Hemp flowers in Ireland

Cannabidiol has no psychoactive effects

Due to the fact that CBD has the potential to provide the relieving effects of cannabis without the psychotropic effects, it’s no surprise that people are taking their chances with it.

In Ireland, many shops and cafes are selling CBD products (which is legal, as long as the THC content is below 0.2%) in the form of oils, tea, hot chocolate, balms, moisturisers and so on. Recently, there has been news that in the last few months, police have raided shops and cafes in Ireland which are suspected of selling cannabis flowers.

Legality of CBD Bud

The legality of cannabidiol buds in Ireland?

 So, now the question arises, “If CBD products are legal, then why is CBD flower or bud not legal in Ireland?” Why are some sources claiming that CBD buds in Ireland are illegal despite people selling and buying them both online and from shops?

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the legality of CBD buds in Ireland. According to the Misuse of Drugs Act or MoDA, the whole hemp bud, regardless of the THC content, is illegal as of now. However, if the cannabis-derived product has a THC content that is lower than 0.2%, then it is legal to cultivate it, provided, you have a government-issued license. It is also required that the product must not be raw. It should be processed.

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Flowers legal status

The difference of opinion with the MoDa

This is where many people tend to disagree. Some argue that CBD or hemp buds are not raw, that they are cut, trimmed, dried and cured as part of the process. As such, they should be exempted from the MoDA.

However, hemp licenses only cover the stem and seeds of the plant. There is no mention of the buds or flowers. Moreover, under the Misuse of Drugs Act, there is no clear definition or specification between the different strains of cannabis, and since hemp is classed the same as other cannabis strains, this law also applies to it. Currently, the only way that hemp can be legally sold and bought in Ireland is if it is processed down and sold as tea. Then, it cannot be classified as the whole hemp.

Cannabis law in Eire

Clarification of cannabis law

It is not explicitly stated in the MoDA that food and medicinal products which are derived and processed from hemp, and which contain below 0.2% of THC, are illegal. However, it is important to note that if hemp products contain any controlled substance, then the product itself will most likely be considered a controlled substance too.

Moreover, health regulations in Ireland forbid smoking of any plant or part if it, except for tobacco products. If a person is arrested for possession with intent to supply, then they can be sentenced to a maximum of 18 years of imprisonment in Ireland.

According to the Misuse of Drugs Act, if hemp is to be legal, then there should be a total separation from all parts of the plant; that is, leaf, stems, buds and other parts of the plant should all be separated. To summarise, CBD buds are not legal in Ireland, even though many a time, people try to find loopholes regarding the topic.

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