If you’re a resident of The Republic of Ireland or you’re a tourist on a visit to the Emerald Isle, you may be wondering where you can buy CBD oil. Now, before finding that out, and also understanding how to select the right type of oil, it would be a good idea to see if buying CBD oil in Ireland is legal or not.
- 1 Ireland’s stance on the sale and purchase of CBD oil
- 2 How to get a hemp license in Ireland
- 3 Novel Food Authorisation of Cannabidiol
- 4 Buying CBD oil on the Emerald Isle
Ireland’s stance on the sale and purchase of CBD oil
Despite the numerous health benefits CBD has been observed to offer, the legality of CBD is still in question in many places, and this includes Ireland.
To sell or purchase any item under the “medicinal/health” classification in Ireland, the product or ingredient must first be granted the status of medicine. However, in the eyes of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), cannabis and its derivatives have never been considered “medicinal products.” This makes it extremely difficult to trade in any cannabis-derived ingredient or product in the country.
In late 2016, the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill was rejected in Parliament. It was then that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, commissioned the HPRA to study the health benefits of cannabis, after sustained backlash from citizens and legal parties who were pro-medicinal CDB. The report, published in February 2017, provided ample evidence of the numerous health benefits that medicinal cannabis and CBD oil, in particular, provide users. An announcement was then made by the Health Department to allow the legal use of medical cannabis; but only in select cases to treat patients with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and those undergoing chemotherapy.
THC and chronic pain
In late 2018, the Government of Ireland’s Department of Health legalised the use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the treatment of chronic pain. THC is another ingredient derived from cannabis, and it is THC which is responsible for giving users the distinctive feeling of “high” when cannabis is ingested.
This is why cannabis products with even trace amounts of THC fall under the Misuse of Drugs Act and are considered illegal in Ireland. Post-2018, THC could be prescribed in select cases by qualified medical professionals; however, in very minute quantities.
Cannabis as a food supplement
The only type of cannabis derivative that is legal in Ireland is cannabinoids used as food flavouring agents or supplements. The reason these supplements are legal is that most CBD food supplements are derived from the hemp plant.
How to get a hemp license in Ireland
Hemp, a type of cannabis plant, contains a significantly less amount of THC. This makes it much safer and less psychoactive than other forms of cannabis. To legally grow and harvest hemp, growers must get sanction from the HPRA and must obtain a special grower's license.
Next, they must follow EU-defined extraction methods to derive the hemp oil and other natural ingredients; failing which they will be barred from selling their CBD products in the Irish market. For example, cold-pressed hemp oil is legal to sell in Ireland. However, hemp oil that is extracted using any other technique or which undergoes further purification or processing requires not just HPRA authorisation but also authorisation from the EU.
Novel Food Authorisation of Cannabidiol
Today, the legality of cannabis and cannabinoids remain in the grey area due to the novel food authorisation issue currently been lobbied in the EU commission by the Cannabis Trade Association. However, pharmacies and stores in Dublin have started selling CBD products which contain less than 0.2% of THC. This is because of the recent amendments to Irish law, which have recognised CBD (hemp-derived CBD) as a non-cannabis product, making it legal. These oils and products must be developed according to HPRA and EU standards to be accepted in the market. Cannabis-derived CBD oil is still illegal in Ireland.
Buying CBD oil on the Emerald Isle
When we talk of legal CBD in Ireland, we talk of hemp-derived CBD.
Today, Ireland has many dedicated stores and pharmacies which stock and sell CBD products. There are many specialised websites and online businesses which also sell CBD oil across the country. CBD hemp oil, extracts, soft gels, vape kits, protein powders and salves are some of the products that can be purchased.
While quality and regulatory compliance are the same online and offline, the major difference that you’ll find when trying to purchase CBD products in Ireland is that while e-commerce stores sell full-spectrum CBD products, the brick-and-mortar stores and pharmacies stock only CBD isolates.
Before you decide to buy CBD oil in Ireland, it’s important that you understand the fundamental difference between isolates and full-spectrum CBD to ensure you purchase a product that is right for you.
CBD isolates vs full-spectrum CBD
CBD isolate is pure CBD. Once the oil, chlorophyll, wax and other ingredients are removed from the hemp plant, only a pure powder is left behind. This crystalline powder is called the CBD isolate.
On the other hand, is CBD derived using the entire hemp plant. This CBD is developed by retaining all the waxes, chlorophyll, other cannabinoids and oils present in the hemp plant. It is this type of CBD that contains trace amounts of THC (only up to 0.2%).
Read More: Is CBD Oil legal in the UK? 2019 Update
So, which is better?
While it may seem like CBD isolate is more potent and powerful because of its pure CBD form, this isn’t true. Research shows that the benefits offered by the hemp plant’s other ingredients enhance the health benefits offered by the CBD. This makes full-spectrum CBD oil a much better option for patients. When combined, all of the ingredients inject numerous minerals, vitamins, terpenes, compounds, fatty acids and fibres into the body, which offer a myriad of health benefits. This helps patients experience faster and more effective relief.
However, since Ireland enforces extremely strict rules in the sale of CBD oil and products, you may have to settle for CBD isolates if you shop at the physical stores.
But this doesn’t mean that CBD isolate is any less beneficial. In fact, many users prefer the isolate because of the complete absence of THC. This makes the isolate perfect for users who have a very sensitive constitution and who may be physically unable to ingest the THC safely. It is also useful for sports professionals, armed forces, Gardaí officers, doctors and other professionals who wish to gain the medical benefits of CBD without worrying about THC showing in drug test results. CBD isolate can be mixed with a carrier oil like olive oil and grapeseed oil and then consumed either directly, or used for cooking or baking.
Selecting the CBD oil that’s right for you
Once you decide which type of CBD oil you wish to use – isolate or full-spectrum, you have to evaluate the following criteria when choosing a CBD oil:
Some CBD oils are more concentrated than others. While these high-concentrated oils do offer better health benefits, they aren’t ideal for a first-time user.
Just like other products, CBD oil is available in small bottles and large bottles. If you’re planning on transporting the CBD oil outside Ireland, you will need to verify your destination country’s laws regarding CBD and cannabis, before you buy CBD oil in Ireland.
• Delivery method
Oils come in liquid and soft gel form. If you’re purchasing an isolate, the CBD will be in powder form. You need to decide which form of ingestion most appeals to you or works for you the best.
Different forms of CBD are priced differently. It’s important that you check different websites and visit a few pharmacies to find a product that is priced within your budget.
Finally, it’s important to check if the CBD oil you’re purchasing in Ireland meets all the legal criteria or not. Has the CBD it been extracted the right way, processed the right way and packaged the right way? Is information regarding ingredients used and nutrition provided on the pack or not? Has it been tested by the right authorities? These are some questions to ask.
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Is CBD oil legal in Ireland?
All cannabis products must have a THC content of 0.2% or less to be legal in Ireland. Any product with such a low THC content does not have any psychoactive effects on humans. Dr. Hemp Me does not sell recreational or medical marijuana. We sell only CBD oil derived from the non-psychoactive Cannabis variety called hemp.
CBD goes by many names including CBD oil, CBD tincture, Cannabis Oil, Hemp oil, CBD hemp oil, CBD vape oil, CBD vape E-liquid and so on. All these formulations are legal as long as the THC content is less than 0.2%. These different forms usually refer to the method by which the CBD is consumed.
Tinctures and oils are taken orally under the tongue while vape oils or vape liquids are placed in a vaporizer and the fumes are inhaled.
Is CBD oil a novel food?
One of the main issues around the legality of CBD in Ireland and the EU is whether CBD should be listed as a novel food or not. The UK Cannabis Trade Association to which Dr. Hemp Me are members of has previously clarified its position on the novel food issue. Unfortunately, this situation is still murky and needs further consultation between the FSA and the CTA. The CTA's stance is that CBD isolates should be listed as novel foods whereas whole plant CBD should not. For this reason, all Dr. Hemp Me CBD Oil is full spectrum and benefits from using the whole plant in what is known as the entourage effect.
Is recreational cannabis legal in Ireland?
No, recreational or medicinal marijuana is not legal in Ireland and cannot be sold or cultivated in the country. All cannabis products must have a THC content of 0.2% or less to be legal in Ireland. Any product with such a low THC content does not have any psychoactive effects on humans. Dr. Hemp Me does not sell recreational or medical marijuana. We sell only CBD oil derived from the non-psychoactive Cannabis species called hemp.