Is CBD Legal or Prohibited? – Functioning of CBD in the USA and Worldwide

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While many of us understand the difference between CBD and THC, there is another lesser-known but very important difference to consider when it comes to the legality of CBD. Still, there is a significant difference between marijuana and cannabis.

Why is CBD Legal?

To your knowledge, the variations of hemp and marijuana are plants coming from the same family of cannabis. Still, there is a significant difference between the two of them. Why is CBD legal? The most important distinction of these specific plants is their CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content. Let’s say a marijuana plant can contain up to 30% THC. In other words, marijuana causes an increased feeling of euphoria and therefore has a psychotropic effect. Hemp contains no more than 0.03% THC. This minimizes the possibility of experiencing psychotropic effects of cannabis use. This is why cannabis is legalized in many countries and is safe for the elderly, children, and animals.

Also, hemp-derived CBD is quite legitimate in most developed countries. CBD is found in marijuana. Still, CBD obtained from the marijuana plant is banned in many other countries as its cultivation is considered to be illegal. However, hemp-derived CBD does not cause any psychotropic effects. So, buying, selling, and owning CBD products derived from hemp is legal in most places. There is a specific bias against cannabis-derived CBD as cannabis is frequently confused with marijuana. 

Where Is CBD Legal?

CBD extracted from industrial hemp is legal in countries outside of the United States. Where is CBD legal? Legislation in the following countries largely supports the notion that low-THC hemp CBD oil is legal:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico

As well as Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Republic of Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Virgin Islands, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Uruguay.

It is worth noting that the laws of other countries regarding cannabis use are stricter and allow the use of CBD oil and its various forms in certain counties. 31 states in the U.S. and Columbia have legalized marijuana exclusively for medical purposes. 

According to official figures, CBD products are now legal in all 50 states of the United States. In European countries, the laws regarding marijuana and cannabis differ in each country. In accordance with EU legislation, all CBD products may contain a maximum of 0.02% THC. This rule applies to all countries of the European Union.

Germany. Medical cannabis in Germany is prescribed exclusively for patients with severe diseases. There is no clear definition of the term “serious disease” in the law. In most cases, medical marijuana containing THC is prescribed for people with multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, severe problems with loss of appetite, or nausea from chemotherapy. Hemp products can be purchased in stores without a special prescription. Hemp oil and other hemp-derived products are fully legal in Germany for any medical purpose.

Denmark. In Denmark, it is legal to own hemp oil if the THC content is below 0.02%. Hemp oil is classified as a medicinal product which means that Danes need a prescription from their health care provider to buy hemp oil. The only exceptions are topical CBD medications like lip cream and balm. These drugs do not require a prescription.

Sweden. Sweden has some of the strictest drug laws in Europe. At the moment, Sweden does not have a specific law regulating the CBD. This means CBD is in a gray area. CBD is not classified as medicine but medical institutions are currently working on the issue. The issue of recognizing CBD as a drug must first be considered by the court and the process will take a long time.

Swedish citizens are free to buy CBD products as long as they contain less than 0.02% THC and are made from hemp. The only difference is that CBD products in Sweden do not indicate the health benefits they provide as they are not classified as medicinal products. As in Denmark, Sweden has an exception for topical preparations like creams and lip balms. They can be sold as you like.

When Did CBD Become Legal?

If you are looking for reliable information regarding the question: “When did CBD become legal?”, then take note that in 2018, CBD oil became legal in most parts of the world. It contains low levels of THC. However, answering the question of whether CBD is legal is still unclear. It all depends on its origin and whether the source of CBD is low-THC hemp or other high-THC cannabis strains.

Most states require a board-certified physician to issue a medical prescription for CBD. Therefore, it is important to know which states have the right to spread CBD products. In 2018, eight U.S. states approved medication with cannabis for recreational purposes. Thus, CBD has become officially legal in California, Maine Massachusetts, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.

If the following products do not pass government tests, they can be seized, as recently happened in Alaska. All CBD products are tested for purity and potency. Outside the states, consumers must trust the manufacturer. Sometimes it is justified but sometimes it is not.

In 2016, the FDA conducted tests on products containing CBD and found that many of the investigated products contained much less CBD than advertised. In several states with no medical marijuana laws in place, CBD remains a drug that is theoretically punishable by arrest. But for most law enforcement agencies, this seems like an extremely low priority. Only a few cases of someone being arrested for selling CBD oil have been found. No examples of being arrested for simple possession are obvious to this day.

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