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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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What is CBD bud?
CBD bud or flowers come from the Cannabis species hemp. Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD. CBD bud is non-psychoactive, unlike high THC cannabis strains.
Is CBD bud legal in Ireland?
CBD Bud as of August 2019 is still illegal in Ireland. Although hemp contains 0.2% THC when it is in its raw form it is subject the Misuse of Drugs Act. As hemp does contain THC a controlled subject the whole flower is considered illegal.