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Is CBD Legal?

Is CBD legal? The legal status in 2018

In 2018, CBD oil is legal in most countries around the world as long as it contains low levels of THC (the natural compound found in cannabis plants that makes you ‘high’).

However, answering the question as to whether CBD is legal is not that straightforward. You see, it’s all down to origins and whether the CBD is from one of two sources: hemp with low levels of THC or other forms of cannabis with high levels of THC.

If CBD oil is made from the cannabis hemp plant most countries class it as legal. If it’s derived from other strains of cannabis with higher levels of THC above (0.2%) then some countries class it as illegal. Fundamentally, it all relies on how much THC is within the CBD product, THC is illegal because of its psychoactive properties.  And herein lies the confusion.

When the word ‘cannabis’ is used, people instantly think of it as an illegal substance. Yet, the cannabis hemp plant is rich in CBD which is non- psychoactive and only has trace amounts of THC (0.2%). CBD is a different compound to THC all together. To understand this, let’s explore what CBD is and how it fundamentally differs from Cannabis with high levels of THC and hemp.

What is CBD and where does it come from?

Here at Endoca, our CBD (or cannabidiol) comes from hemp - a type of cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Within cannabis plants there are hundreds of natural compounds, known as cannabinoids. And CBD is one of them.

We believe that when CBD is extracted from hemp, it has lots of great benefits. It is completely non-psychotropic so it’s impossible to feel ‘high’ from taking it.

CBD from hemp versus CBD from cannabis

Hemp is from the cannabis family. So there are a lot of shared characteristics with other forms of cannabis.  However, what is the main difference? It’s all down to the amount of THC, which is responsible for making you feel ‘high’.

Is hemp oil legal?

CBD hemp oil contains no more than 0.2% THC, so it can’t get you high. Hemp is not considered a controlled substance and can be used in natural beauty and skincare items, clothing and even cooking ingredients.

Cannabis CBD

Some providers use cannabis plants with high THC levels to make their CBD products and it’s in this situation that THC levels can be up to 30%, which is where the legality comes into it.  When CBD is produced with high levels of THC, it becomes more difficult to define it as legal especially in places where cannabis is illegal.

THC can certainly get you high. And because THC is considered a controlled substance, it’s therefore illegal in most countries.

Is CBD oil legal in some states?

When CBD (or cannabidiol) is hemp-derived it is legal in all 50 US states. This is because hemp-derived products are low in THC (less than 0.2%).

However, If you’re in a US state where cannabis is legal, CBD products with higher levels of THC are also legal.

Because there’s so much confusion around hemp and other forms of cannabis, there is still some stigma around hemp-derived CBD and Cannabis CBD. For example, some US states class CBD oil as a harmless supplement that can be bought over the counter in health shops (when it’s derived from the hemp plant). Others see it as the same as medical cannabis and you have to be a registered patient to get it (typically when it’s sourced from other forms of the cannabis plant with high THC levels).

Marijuana-derived CBD and its legal status in the US causes confusion when answering the question ‘is CBD illegal?’ This is because each state has different laws regarding cannabis. The laws vary from state to state, with 17 out of 50 states having specific legislation around the THC-levels found in CBD products.

Most states require you to have a medical prescription issued by a certified medical doctor to obtain cannabis-derived CBD. It is therefore important to be aware of which states class this form of CBD as ‘legal’.

States where cannabis-derived CBD is legal in 2018:

As of 2018, there are eight states where cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational uses. So cannabis-derived CBD is also legal. These are:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington

CBD legalities in your own country

CBD extracted from industrial hemp

In general, CBD is legal in countries outside of the US if extracted from industrial hemp. The laws in the following countries largely agree that hemp-derived/ low THC CBD oil is legal:

Argentina Georgia Norway
Austria Germany Paraguay
Belgium Greece Peru
Belize Guam Poland
Bulgaria Guatemala Portugal
Canada Hong Kong Puerto Rico
Chile Hungary Romania
China Iceland Russia
Colombia India Slovakia
Costa Rica Ireland Republic of Slovenia
Croatia Italy South Africa
Cyprus Latvia Sweden
Czech Republic Lithuania Switzerland
Denmark Luxembourg Virgin Islands
Estonia Malta United Kingdom
Finland Netherlands Uruguay
France Antilles

CBD extracted from Cannabis

Whether cannabis-based CBD is legal all depends on the individual country’s own rules in regards to cannabis legalisation. And these are changing all the time. For example, Canada has recently announced its plans to legalise recreational cannabis in the autumn. If cannabis is legal then cannabis-based CBD will also be legal.

So whichever country or state you’re in, it’s important to know the answers to the following:

  • Where is the CBD derived from?
  • What is your country’s specific laws and regulations?

Are the laws likely to change soon?

The good news is that CBD is gaining more interest and coverage - and more and more scientific research is taking place. As a result, the legal status of CBD oil around the world is rapidly changing, so we advise you to keep up-to-date with your local laws.

It’s also extremely important to bear in mind that any information that we’ve provided should NOT be considered legal advice.

Here at Endoca, our CBD oil is derived from hemp and contains no more than 0.2% THC. So why not head over to our CBD online shop to see the great products we have available? If you need a helping hand making an informed decision, you can also send us a message via our chatbot or drop us an email — our support team is more than happy to help.

Hemp leaves on a light green background


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