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The Legality of CBD Oil Products in the UK

September 29, 2022 5 min read

The Legality of CBD Oil Products in the UK

The Legality of CBD Oil Products in the UK

Most states around the globe have regulations concerning the possession, use, and production of cannabidiol products. This article delves into the legal nature of CBD oil products in the UK.

Before purchasing any cannabidiol product, it is vital to ascertain whether it is within the legal frame of a particular jurisdiction. Most states regulate products to ensure that manufacturers process items that are safe to be consumed by the masses. The popularity of CBD and related products seems to be gaining momentum, especially with the recent research on its various benefits on the human body. It relieves pain and inflammation, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves sleep quality. The United Kingdom has many rules concerning CBD and, most importantly, marijuana-derived CBD since marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug.

Defining CBD Oil

Leszko et al. (2021) stated that CBD oil is sourced from hemp, a cannabis plant strain. The hemp plant contains lower amounts of THC and higher amounts of CBD. Note that CBD and THC are sourced from the cannabis plant and are referred to as cannabinoids. Typically, oil is found in quantities conspicuous in cannabis. When processed, it is infused into several products such as lotions, creams, and lip balms or used to make supplements and beauty products. Like THC, CBD significantly impacts the endocannabinoid system, which regulates key functions within the human body, such as pain control and immune response. The endocannabinoid system comprises two major receptors, CB1 and CB2, which form a system of receptors in the nervous system, glands, organs, and brain.

The Legality of CBD Oil in the UK

According to VanDolah et al. (2019), the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971 categorized CBD as a harmful substance. This legislation was amended in 2018, thus making the sale and purchase of cannabidiol products much more accessible. The legalization of CBD was a big win, especially for individuals who resorted to CBD in treating an array of health issues such as sleep disorders and those who strived to live an organic life. Unfortunately, many legal issues still occur, even with the legalization of CBD. For example, some people find themselves at crossroads with the law regarding where their CBD is sourced. The UK law offers a guide that helps cannabis users purchase and consume cannabidiol products legally to avoid facing jail time or paying hefty fines.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived from cannabis. Recent research on CBD shows that it has substantial non-psychoactive benefits, especially in the medicinal sector. Some of the clinically proven benefits of CBD include;

  • According to Grimison et al. (2020), CBD has antiemetic properties that tackle digestive issues.
  • Managing cardiovascular diseases.
  • It helps to reduce the impact and effects of neurodegenerative illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
  • Chronic pain relief.
  • According to Atalay et al. (2020), CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate inflammation.
  • Reducing high stress and anxiety.

In the UK, CBD oil is sold as a food supplement, which is why different CBD companies cannot market the medical benefits of the cannabis plant. For a CBD oil company to legally set up in the UK, they must promote their products as wellness and health food supplements. Moreover, it is not within the UK laws for anyone to claim that certain cannabidiol products may help alleviate stress or any ailment since their license will be revoked by the MHRA (Medical Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency). Buyers must conduct in-depth research on any CBD product before purchase.

Additionally, the laws of the UK do not permit the sale, purchase, and possession of marijuana-derived CBD since it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Therefore, CBD oil is often sourced from hemp since it contains profound amounts of CBD and lower amounts of THC. Moreover, the UK laws state that the industrial hemp used to formulate any CBD products is not to be obtained from the UK but from overseas. Any hemp used to process CBD oil is sourced from the USA and EU since these countries are famous for their exceptional farming practices. Using hemp sourced from these countries, the UK government can ascertain that their CBD oils do not contain harmful substances and contaminants.

Types of Oils That Are Legal in the UK

According to Blebea et al. (2021), there are several regulations concerning the type of CBD oils sold and purchased. Based on the recent CBD laws, no CBD product in the UK should contain more than 1 mg of THC per packaging, either in a container or bottle. Therefore, if a particular brand promotes its CBD oil and has THC levels of about 5%, the owners of the brand may face hefty fines or jail time. Marijuana-derived CBD derived may contain higher amounts of THC. It is paramount to ensure that any product purchased coincides with the law.

However, since the UK only allows CBD products with a serving of 1mg of THC, companies are permitted to produce hemp-derived CBD oils with trace levels of THC. CBD oils that contain lower THC levels are known as full-spectrum CBD oils. Full spectrum CBD products do not cause psychoactive effects in the body and have no side effects. The only shortcoming of full spectrum CBD oil is its vibrant taste due to its different compounds. This CBD oil is perfect for individuals who want a cannabidiol product with trace levels of THC and other cannabinoids since these cannabinoids cause an entourage effect. Beware that other cannabinoids are legal in the UK besides CBD, such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN). Some of the illegal cannabinoids include delta 8/9 THC since they are categorized under Schedule 1 drugs due to their addictive and psychotropic nature.

Criteria for the Legality of CBD in the UK

Before purchasing CBD products from online shops, the product in question must fulfill the following conditions;

  • The container or packaging should not include more than 1 mg of CBN, THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), or THC.
  • CBD oil should not be marketed as a medicine for specific health issues.
  • The CBD oil should be packaged properly, with a concise product label that discloses the ingredients.


Regulations governing the possession, use, and manufacturing of cannabidiol products are in place in most states worldwide. Before making a purchase, it is essential to establish whether a cannabinoid product is permitted in a particular jurisdiction. Most states regulate products to ensure that businesses produce safe goods for the general public to consume. Due to the several therapeutic advantages of CBD, the popularity of CBD and associated products appears to be on the rise. Given that marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 drug, the UK has a ton of regulations in place regarding CBD and, more significantly, marijuana-derived CBD.


Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2020). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1), 21.

Blebea, N. M., & Negreș, S. (2021). Methods for quantification of the main cannabinoids in CBD oil. In Proceedings of the Geolinks International Conference on Environmental Sciences.

Grimison, P., Mersiades, A., Kirby, A., Lintzeris, N., Morton, R., Haber, P., ... & Stockler, M. (2020). Oral THC: CBD cannabis extract for refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase II crossover trial. Annals of Oncology, 31(11), 1553-1560.

Leszko, M., & Meenrajan, S. (2021). Attitudes, beliefs, and changing cannabidiol (CBD) oil use trends among caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 57, 102660.

VanDolah, H. J., Bauer, B. A., & Mauck, K. F. (2019, September). Clinicians' guide to cannabidiol and hemp oils. Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 94, No. 9, pp. 1840-1851). Elsevier.