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CBD is new to the scene in the UK, and it's growing fast, so it's common for CBD users to have some questions around the laws in the UK We've outlined the basics of CBD law in the UK for you so you can have a better understanding of how to buy a high-quality legal product.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Yes. CBD is legal in the UK - is the first thing to know.
We've gotten that out of the way. Now, you can take a sigh of relief.
While CBD is legal, there are just a couple of stipulations you need to know when you're purchasing it. First, CBD oil must contain less than 0.2% THC in it. That's the part of the cannabis plant that is psychoactive. THC would follow under the 'Misuse of Drugs Act' from 1971 that considers it a controlled substance. We'll talk about more about that soon.
CBD Law Timeline
From the original roaring 20s to the current 20s cannabis laws have been changing with the times. Here is a brief overview of how the law has changed.
1928: The UK creates some of the first laws around cannabis with the Dangerous Drugs Act. Cannabis was making its way into North America and the UK, so the government acted by adding it to the act initially created in 1925.
1967:With the boom of cannabis use in the 60s, recommendations were made to reduce penalties for having cannabis.
1971: The Misuse of Drugs Act was introduced, and the growing and prescription of cannabis were restricted.
2001: Changes were made to the Misuse of Drugs Act where if you applied for a special licence, you could grow and use cannabis for research purposes.
2018: The UK home secretary introduced legislation that made it possible for people to access cannabis for medical reasons legally.
2020: CBD is booming! Even though technically THC-free CBD has been legal for a while, it's flourishing now. By 2021 companies must register with the European Commission as a novel food.
Food Standard Agency Registration
One area where the CBD industry is still working to establish regulations in the UK is with the Food Standard Agency (FSA).
They've given a deadline of March 31, 2021, for all CBD companies to submit a novel food authorization application to register with the FSA. I know what you're thinking. Why is CBD being considered a food?
A novel food is a little bit different.
The European Commission defines novel food as 'food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before May 15 1997.' Basically, it's newly developed food that uses new technologies and processes.
They look for things like if the company is trying to mislead the public or if the novel food isn't safe to consume. They updated the category to include CBD.
What Is CBD?
So you know it's legal, but what exactly is CBD? CBD stands for cannabidiol and occurs naturally in the cannabis plant alongside over a hundred other types of cannabinoids. Along with THC, it's one of the most common ones you'll find. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that work with our bodies natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS works to balance your system when it faces stressors like pain or anxiety. It works to keep homeostasis.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
Yes. CBD oil is safe.
The World Health Organization released a report saying that CBD is 'well-tolerated and safe for human consumption' and that it is found not to be addictive to humans. Research is growing as the market does. They're discovering more benefits of CBD all the time and backing up the benefits users talk about when they're using CBD.
But there's a reason the FSA is putting regulations around it. Brands aren't always going to follow proper guidelines.
When you're purchasing CBD products, check out the labels or information on the website. The first thing to look for is a certificate of analysis (COA). A COA shows that the company has had their products tested by a third party. If you can't find this info, then it's better to be on the safe side and skip it. Amphora lists all of our certificates of analysis right on our website. We always want to be transparent and make sure you know that you're getting the best quality product.
Do not buy CBD oil from companies that promote it as a medicine, or make medical claims. Not only is this dangerous, but it's against the law. If you're selling anything in the UK as medicinal, you need to have a proper licence.
CBD will cost more when made from higher-quality ingredients, is organically grown and uses safe extraction methods. It would be best if you were cautious of products that are priced really low. It could be tempting if you're just starting with CBD, you want to be sure you're taking something safe.
How Do I Take CBD?
There are lots of ways that you legally take CBD, and it all depends on your preference.
CBD Vape Oil
CBD Vape Oil is one of the best ways to take CBD because of how fast-acting it is. Using a vape pen to inhale the CBD means it enters your bloodstream quickly and starts working. This function is called bioavailability, which is the degree and rate at which CBD enters the bloodstream. Vaping would have high bioavailability. You can usually notice the effect in about 5 – 15 minutes. Amphora has a specialized, effects based formulations to meet your wellness needs.
The beauty and wellness industries have been booming with CBD products. They usually come in the form of creams, lotions or balms that are applied to the skin. How fast it takes depends on how well it penetrates your skin so it could be anywhere from 30 – 120 minutes.
CBD Edibles and Capsules
These fall into the slow-release category of oral CBD. When you swallow capsules or edibles, it passes through the digestive tract and is later metabolized by the liver. Because of this process, it takes longer to be released into your bloodstream so the effects can take anywhere from 30 to 180 minutes, but the results will last longer.
So now you have a better overview of the laws around CBD in the UK. But the most important thing to know is that yes it's legal, but not all companies follow the rules. Make sure when you're buying CBD it's from a brand you trust and know is doing everything they can to be compliant to the UK laws.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.