CBD is a buzzword in many countries right now. One of the fastest-growing markets in the USA and across the world, cannabidiol has become big business, and is in itself a fascinating substance. Although manufacturers cannot legally make claims for the relief it is said to bring to sufferers of chronic pain or the help it gives to people with anxiety problem – to name just a couple of its apparent benefits – many thousands of happy and satisfied users can, and they frequently testify to its effectiveness.
CBD is just one of the many compounds – known as cannabinoids and terpenes – that can be extracted from the industrial hemp strain of cannabis. This is the only strain from which legal CBD can be produced. Furthermore, in the USA and in most other markets where it is legal CBD can only contain up to 0.3% of THC, which is the compound that gives you the high. So, we have the legal requirements for the USA, but is it legal in every state? And what about overseas for people travelling abroad?
CBD in the USA
In most states of the USA CBD is now legally sold and used for recreational purposes, so long as it meets the criteria laid down by the law. Don’t confuse this with cannabis, which is now legal in some states but not in all. However, if you live in Indiana, Louisiana, North Caroline, Kentucky or Idaho you need to be careful as CBD is prohibited in those states. Make sure you check the law in your state before you go about taking it openly, as you could get in a lot of trouble.
So, now we know there is such a thing as Legal CBD for most Americans, what about the rest of the world? Let’s start with the good people of Europe who have a host of different rules, regulations and laws regards CBD.
CBD in Europe
Within the European Union (EU) the law states that CBD must contain no more than 0.2% THC, so that’s a slightly lower level than in the USA. There are a few EU countries where it is not legal, such as Slovenia and Croatia.
In Germany, the requirement is for CBD to be prescribed medicinally. However, it’s safe to say that the German authorities are prone to turn a blind eye to CBD consumption. Most EU countries – France, Spain, Italy and so on – follow general EU law where CBD is concerned, although some have their own laws.
The status of CBD in the UK is unclear. Cannabis remains prohibited, but the UK has been following EU law for its CBD laws. However, the UK is now part-way towards withdrawing from the EU so will likely introduce its own laws on the product. Industry commentators believe it may remain legal under similar terms.
CBD in the Rest Of the World
A few notables: Canada has the same CBD laws as the USA, while in South Africa it is permissible to buy and use CBD but with only trace elements of both THC and CBD present. Japan is unusual in that CBD oil is legal to buy and use but must be THC-free, while in China the substance remains illegal. Pure CBD which is THC-free is legal in Thailand.
The different laws regarding CBD in various countries serves to highlight the controversy that has dogged the substance from the beginning, Suffice to say that while it is a slow process, most of the developed world has recognized or is starting to see that this is a substance that is both harmless and beneficial to many users.