Where is CBD Legal in 2019
You already know hemp is legal, but what is CBD’s legal status? Depending on which country you’re in, CBD may or may not be illegal. While the cannabinoid itself is non-psychoactive, due to its association with cannabis, the legality of CBD isn’t as cut and dry as you might think. Discover where in the world CBD is legal with my CBD.org.
Where in the World is CBD Legal?
Demand for CBD has exponentially increased in recent years due to a growing number of published studies, patient accounts, and media coverage reporting on the benefits of the cannabinoid. But regardless of its effectiveness, the CBD’s legal status still inhabits a grey area when it comes to legality.
Why People are Demanding CBD
As we know from published reports, Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive, all-natural, and relatively safe compound. However, because it is derived from the cannabis plant, use of CBD has resulted quite a bit of confusion and debate. The result, is a fairly complex legal situation, with many different variables involved.
For example, CBD is legal in many regions and countries where cannabis is not, meaning that even CBD-rich strains containing trace amounts of THC are still considered illegal. Fortunately, CBD can also be extracted from industrial hemp, a cash crop that is legal to grow and sell in many countries, including the United States.
What’s the difference between Cannabis and Hemp?
While both THC-rich cannabis and hemp are the same species, legally, the difference between cannabis and hemp comes down to THC percentage. In simple terms, Cannabis plants called “marijuana plants” are those which have been selectively bred over time to produce higher amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Contrastingly, industrial hemp is considered as a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. Both hemp and cannabis also contain varying levels of CBD, which is extracted during manufacturing processes.
Is CBD Extraction Legal?
Extracting CBD from cannabis plants and working with the isolated compound is technically legal in many places. For example, if a product was made in a region where cannabis is legal, shipped to a location where cannabis is illegal but CBD isn’t, that CBD product would be considered legal because of its the lack of THC.
CBD’s Legal Status According to the UN
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. Comprised of 193 member states, one of the reasons for the formation of this group of nations was to achieve co-operation in solving international problems.
In 1971, the United Nations signed a treaty to control psychoactive drugs, including psychedelics and cannabis. Known as the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the doesn’t list CBD as a controlled substance, but it does create an onus for the regulation of cannabis as a narcotic.
CBD Legal Status in the USA
The legal status of CBD within the United States is by far one of the most confusing. Each of the country’s 50 states have varying cannabis laws, while the federal government maintains that cannabis is a prohibited substance. As of December 2018, industrial hemp has been legalized by the American federal government.
American Federal Law and Cannabis
Federally, cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug under The Controlled Substances Act. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on October 27th, 1970, the CSA makes it illegal to manufacture, import, posses, use, and distribute listed narcotics including: stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and cannabis.
As a “Schedule 1 drug” the American federal government’s official stance is that cannabis and all of its derivatives have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical applications in treatment. Unfortunately for CBD advocates, the law also applies to cannabis extracts which are defined by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as “an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin obtained from the plant.”
While advocates and the public at large have questioned the motivation behind such a classification, the American government’s federal stance on cannabis and CBD exhibit a profound lack of understanding of the plant and its compounds. CBD has been shown in numerous scientific studies to have vast medicinal potential, and little to no potential for abuse. Although cannabis is illegal federally, industrial hemp is legal in America. Therefore, CBD derived from industrial hemp is legal to produce and supply, despite its origination from the cannabis plant.
State CBD Laws
Because American states can make their own laws, most now allow for recreational and medical marijuana programs. The benefits of CBD have even caused historically conservative areas to break with tradition and some of these states have made medical cannabis or just CBD legal.
CBD’s Legal Status in Europe
While hemp is legal everywhere in Europe, medical cannabis, and CBD, are legal in multiple countries within Europe. Medical cannabis has been legalized in: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, and Italy, among others.
Due to protections provided by the EU, industrial hemp is legal to cultivate in much of Europe. As a precaution, only certain strains of the hemp plant can be grown, all of which contain less than .2% THC. Various companies in Europe also use industrial hemp their source of CBD extracts and isolates.
CBD’s Legal Status in the UK
CBD has been legalized within the United Kingdom and is no longer considered a controlled substance, meaning it can be freely manufactured and distributed. It is important to note however, that CBD derived from cannabis plants cannot be obtained legally, as cannabis is illegal under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Hemp-derived CBD is possible because hemp cultivation is legal within the UK, per alignment with EU regulations. In the UK, any product with more than .2% THC is illegal.
CBD in Switzerland
Switzerland is home to some of Europe’s more unique approaches to cannabis laws. THC is illegal within the country, but CBD is not a controlled substance under the Swiss Narcotic Act. In As a result, cannabis products containing less than 1% THC can be produced and sold. Switzerland also allows hemp growers to produce high-CBD strains, so long as they don’t exceed the EU’s THC limitations on hemp.
Luxembourg’s Stance on CBD
Luxembourg has legalized the medical use of cannabis, which includes products containing both THC and CBD. In 2017, Luxembourg’s Minister of Health declared the start of a two-year pilot program which allows citizens to obtain cannabis extracts and medical cannabinoids for a variety of health conditions. In June 2018, the country went even further when lawmakers within approved a proposed bill that fully legalized the medical use of cannabis. This means that as of 2019, CBD users in Luxembourg will be able to legally self-administer the cannabinoid without fear of prosecution. Cultivation of cannabis and hemp is also legal within Luxembourg, but only for those strains with less than 0.3% THC.
Canadian Cannabis Legalization
In 2018, Canada legalized recreational cannabis, meaning that CBD oil and products are now easy to obtain and entirely legal for both recreational and medicinal users. As one of the world’s largest legal cannabis markets, the potential for Canadian companies to revolutionize the CBD industry in 2019 is immense.
Stay on Top of CBD’s Legal Status in 2019
As one of the fasted growing industries in the world, the global legalization of CBD is inevitable. Until then, stay on top of all the CBD industry’s developments by subscribing to myCBD.org.