Hemp laws across the UK seem to be changing all the time. As news of new legislations begin to pop up across the globe, it’s easy to feel confused or in the dark about current British policy.
V&YOU takes a deep dive into current laws to answer some of the most commonly asked questions relating to the matter.
Current CBD Market Demands
Both CBD and its related products range in legislation and penalties depending on its use, amount and consumption needs.
In the UK, CBD consumption usually derives of either industrial hemp – which is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant specifically cultivated for industrial use – or other strains of the plant. Britain is currently ranked as the most evolved country in the world in terms of CBD legislation, and is calling on the government to capitalise on the use of cannabinoids for the purposes of economic growth and stimulation after the COVID19 pandemic.
It’s important to remember that whilst CBD is legal in the UK – provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved – not all CBD products are. These have been extracted from various parts of the cannabis sativa plant. But the bigger picture is way more complex than that.
Let’s explore the laws and regulations governing the compound across the UK, as well as the products, ingredients and methods of consumption that relate to them. Plants that contain more than 0.2% THC cannot be grown under current UK law, so it’s important to be cautious of any product claiming to exceed this.
CBD Oil vs. Cannabis Oil
Whilst both are allowed in the UK, both of them differ with one not being as easily accessible as the other. The terms CBD and cannabis oil are often used interchangeably, but it’s worth noting that cannabis oil generally contains THC, whilst CBD oil does not. In order for CBD oil to be allowed across the UK, it cannot contain any traces of THC.
What about Hemp Oil?
Unlike CBD oil, which is derived from the stems, flowers and leaves of the plant, hemp oil is extracted from the seeds, which is why it is more commonly referred to as hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil contains no cannabinoids and is therefore legal in the UK. This oil contains omega-6, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B and D, making it a great choice for alternative health practices. Historically, industrial hemp has been cultivated for its fibre for use in fashion, stationary and building.
Can I Grow CBD Plants in the UK?
You can’t. Whilst CBD, hemp and cannabis oil are allowed in the UK, you cannot grow your own plants without a permit from the UK Home Office.
Considered a Class B controlled drug, the law is cracking down on backroom growers cultivating plants illegally. Permits are granted to industrial producers and official medicinal cannabis growers only. This only comes after rigorous testing and eligibility criteria are met – then they are permitted to grow under controlled and audited circumstances.
In addition, CBD flowers are illegal to purchase. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971, it is still ‘illegal to cultivate cannabis and is therefore illegal to possess any part of the plant – a category which CBD flowers fall into.’
Penalties Associated with Illegal Possession
Whilst leading the CBD game, the UK still awards strict penalties to those caught participating in the unlicenced dealing, production and trafficking of cannabis – with prison sentences that carry up to fourteen years, unlimited fines, or sometimes even both.
Can I Access CBD for Medical Purposes?
Yes, you can. Whilst specialist medical professionals are now allowed to legally prescribe CBD and cannabis oils, you’ll find there is a huge difference between the prescriptions you can fill and the CBD oil you can buy on the market.
The NHS advised you cannot get cannabis-based medicine from a regular GP. You must have a prescription by a specialist hospital doctor only. Even in this situation, it is only likely to be prescribed for a small number of patients, who may suffer the following:
- Rare forms of childhood epilepsy
- Multiple-Sclerosis related spasms
- Vomiting due to chemotherapy
The Bottom Line
Remember, CBD and hemp oil are legal in the UK, given they contain no THC. THC-containing products are only available via special prescription, and you cannot grow your own plants at home.
V&You’s collection of CBD oils and pouches are of the highest of quality and available across the UK. Our team has a passion for healthy minds and healthy bodies. Visit our store today, and check out our other informative articles to keep you in the CBD loop.