Guest Article: The Legal Status of CBD Oil in Spain

Author: Brian Cusack 

Different countries have different laws. In fact, some laws change from one state to another. While in some countries cannabidiol is legal, it is illegal in other countries.

There is a lot of constraints attached to the legal status of cannabidiol. In some European countries, cannabidiol can be used in medicines, but not for commercial sale, while in other countries, both commercial and medical use is legal, but growing them is considered illegal.

To understand why there are different laws governing cannabidiol, it is important to understand what cannabidiol is.

What is cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical compound that is extracted from species of cannabis plants marijuana or hemp. It is the second-most vital cannabinoid after tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. While THC is the psychoactive agent that is present in a cannabis plant, CBD has a lot of medicinal properties. Researchers believe that CBD is the most significant cannabinoid discovered until now due to the absence of psychoactive agents and positive effects on our physical and mental health.

Cannabidiol can be made into edibles and oils. These are produced using CBD oil that is extracted from selected types of cannabis plants that have a low level of THC. The CBD oil derived is used commercially to make body oils, tinctures, balms, elixirs and other products and in medicines. Nowadays, CBD oil is used in almost every consumable. The sale of CBD oil-based products is illegal in some countries.


The legal status of CBD oil in Spain

 The use of cannabis for commercial purposes is illegal in Spain. It is considered a criminal offence. But cannabis can be cultivated and used personally. Any purpose other than the trade or sale of cannabis was decriminalised. This grey area led to the formation of cannabis clubs and user associations. These clubs and associations were formed as non-profit organisations and sold cannabis to its members.

There have been recent regulatory changes in the legal status of CBD oil in Spain. The cannabis market in Spain is a mixture of Spanish and foreign-owned companies selling seeds, fertiliser, hemp-infused beers and CBD tinctures, oils and creams. The distributors, manufacturers, grow shops, and online vendors operate in a grey market which permits them to sell as long as they follow certain rules.

In Spain, any product that has CBD oil as one of its components cannot be sold if the THC level is above 0.2%. The prohibition is as per the international laws. Furthermore, all seeds for cultivation of hemp must be sourced from the Approved European Hemp Seed Catalogue.


CBD oil in food and supplements

 The use of narcotic drugs in food supplements are prohibited in Spain, so is the use of CBD, even though it does not have psychoactive agents. Several shops in Spain were raided, and CBD oil-based products were confiscated as AECOSAN, Spain’s food and safety authority, had updated its legislation that prohibited the sale and distribution of products containing CBD sold as food supplements. As per the Spanish law, food supplements can only include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acid sourced from ‘normal’ food. Spain has made it a law that CBD oil cannot be used in the production of consumable.


CBD oil in cosmetics in Spain

 CBD oil in Spain can be sold under ‘for external use only’ banner, meaning, it can be used as an ingredient in the production of cosmetic creams and balms. Several companies have launched product lines that use CBD oil.


CBD oil for medical purposes in Spain

Medical cannabis is not regulated in Spain and cannabis cultivation in Spain for the purpose of extraction of cannabinoid is subject to the prior authorisation from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Products or AEMPS. Five companies in Spain have been given authorisation for the cultivation of cannabis for research purposes.  For research purposes, it is necessary to distinguish between products rich in CBD and products enriched with CBD. Spain prohibits the use of narcotic drugs as ingredients for medical use. But CBD is free of psychoactive agents, and hence, its medicinal use has been made legal in the country recently.

CBD oil comes with a lot of medicinal benefits. These include:

  • It helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
  • It reduces inflammation, reduces the pain and swelling associated with diseases such as arthritis. It also promotes bone growth.
  • It acts as an antibacterial and reduces nausea and vomiting.
  • It also acts as a neuroprotector and a vasorelaxant.
  • It helps the body to get balanced sleep, and, in turn, improves digestion and concentration.


CBD oil is also shown to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, neurodegenerative conditions, insomnia, acne, seizures, multiple sclerosis, nausea and psychosis.

The legal status of import of CBD oil-based products in Spain

CBD companies all over Europe sell their products in Spain. They sell either through grow shops or online. These sellers or exporters have been affected as they are forced to recall their products or re-label them to sell in the Spanish market as Spain has made CBD oil illegal for commercial purpose.

As Spain is the hub for the cultivation of hemp, the production of derivatives for marketing is made legal only for export to a company that is authorised in its country of origin.



With a network of grow shops, hemp farms and cannabis social clubs throughout the country, Spain is one of the most progressive cannabis hubs in Europe. Spannabis is the largest cultivator tradeshow in the country which was celebrated in March 2019. Though CBD was absent in the tradeshow, hemp was making its presence shown. It was an unsurprising situation that the concept of using CBD as preventative healthcare is still relatively new in Spain.

It is believed that socially responsible brands will lead Spain CBD oil market, and the present market is just a phase that will improve over time. It is believed that CBD has opened the market for opportunities that will be taken over by medicinal use of CBD oil. Though there is a lot of uncertainty in the market for CBD oil in Spain as of now, this phase will certainly improve.


Bottom line

The bottom line is,

  • CBD oil is extracted from a species of the cannabis plant that has a low level of THC. It is extracted from the hemp plant that is high in CBD and low in THC.
  • CBD cannot be used for commercial purposes in Spain. It can be cultivated and used for personal consumption, which has resulted in the formation of several cannabis clubs and associations.
  • Hemp made its mark in the 2019 Spannabis, a cultivator tradeshow. Though CBD was absent in the tradeshow, it is assumed that the presence of hemp will pave the way to the use of CBD oil in Spain for commercial and medicinal use as well.
  • CBD oil has a lot of benefits that are yet to be realised by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Products. They are slowly progressing with cannabis research.
  • The health benefits might pave the way to the use of CBD oil in consumable products as they are banned for use as food supplements
  • CBD oil is legally authorised for use in cosmetics and cosmetic products. They will be sold under the banner ‘for external use only.’
  • CBD oil produced in Spain can be exported to other countries that authorise the sale of CBD oil and products that contain CBD.


To sum up, if you are caught trading CBD oil or CBD oil-based consumable products in Spain, you will end up paying a hefty fine, and you may also lose your business.


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