September 15, 2019

The Legal Status of CBD Oil in France. (Update July 2020)

By Brian Cusack

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.


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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Frequently Asked Questions
✅ Is CBD oil legal in France?

CBD oil is legal in France but in a very limited form. CBD Oil must not contain any THC, meaning Full Spectrum CBD oil is illegal. CBD isolate on the other hand is legal in very limited forms. The CBD must only come from the Cannabis strain hemp.

✅ Can Cannabidiol be medically advertised in France?

No medical claims can be made in any form about CBD oil. This is heavily enforced in France

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