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Is CBD Oil Legal to Buy in Germany? (Update September 2021)

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CBD is just one of many cannabinoids present in the hemp plant and has a long history in the wellness market. The amount of each of these cannabinoids varies from one cannabis plant to the next. Hemp for example, a relative of cannabis, has a high CBD content and low levels of other cannabinoids.

The delivery of cannabinoids to the body, CBD for one, is a new form of food supplement that both German men and women are seeing the benefits of. There are many ways to add CBD food supplements to your diet but for most people a CBD oil tincture is the best option.  

The European Union has very stringent rules regarding the legalisation of cannabis and its derived products in 2021. 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.

Germany has some of the most stringent laws in the European Union. This has made the topic of the 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 and cannot buy. But first, let’s take a closer look at CBD products and what the term CBD or Cannabidiol actually means. 

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What is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) is one of the by-products produced when the cannabis plant is processed. The CBD chemical compound is a low-psychoactive and non-toxic compound, which won’t generate the feeling of a ‘high’. This so called ‘high’ refers to the feeling people usually experience when consuming THC, a compound or cannabinoid that is also found in cannabis. THC can be toxic in large amounts in comparison to CBD which is deemed a safe food supplement for both humans and animals. 

CBD oils and other CBD products are becoming a trendy food supplement in Germany when it comes to improving the health value of your food diet. Cannabis food supplements can be purchased in a variety of forms and act like any other daily vitamin or mineral supplement. Nutrients present in CBD or hemp oils are many including Omega 3’s, B vitamins of a complex nature and even sources of iron.  

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 that are neither too safe nor too dangerous. This is why companies can grow and trade 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.

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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. However, cannabis which meets such requirements can be used to produce CBD products like oil, vapes and extracts.

Read More: The legality of CBD oil in your country

The legalisation of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

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

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.

Cannabis-in-Europe

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 such as CBD oils, capsules and edibles. 

The legality of CBD Oil in Germany

Hemp is a type of cannabis plant, which contains 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 topicals , e-liquids, CBD oils, edibles, wax, extracts, leaves, buds 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.

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 in Germany under the Narcotics Law. As a result CBD oil is available in coffee shops, pharmacies and supermarkets across Germany.

CBD oil is also a popular product online. Shopping online has increased dramatically over the last few years. Consumers are enjoying the benefits of choice, reviews and shopping discretion too. On dedicated CBD websites you can find expert knowledge from the team behind the virtual CBD store. Customer service is helpful and discretion is maintained this way. 

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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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 0.2% 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 allowed 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-legalisers 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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Frequently Asked Questions
✅ Is it legal to buy cbd oil online in germany?

Purchasing and using Hemp oil / CBD in Germany is currently legal. You can get it online or in health food shops. Germany became one of the first countries in Europe to legalise the cultivation of hemp allowing the sale and consumption of hemp derivatives like CBD oil and extracts. The law states that only completely processed cannabis products must be made available to the end consumer.

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