CBD is undoubtedly a growing trend in the UK, but despite its increasing mainstream presence, some confusion remains regarding its legality in the United Kingdom. There’s a growing curiosity surrounding products such as our popular CBD gummies, yet we are often asked by intrigued consumers if CBD edibles are legal products.
Regulations on CBD products vary across the globe with some countries laying stricter restrictions on the purchase and consumption of CBD goods than the UK. The CBD is a huge industry in the United Kingdom, and, in short, the answer is yes, CBD edibles are legal here. However, before purchasing your first CBD-infused edibles, it’s wise to have an insight into the UK’s regulations on cannabis-derived products and an understanding of the different types of CBD. We’ll save you the in-depth research; just stick with us and equip yourself with all the relevant info to ensure you remain on the straight and narrow when experiencing the phenomena of ingestible CBD.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, which is an acronym of cannabidiol, is a compound that is extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant and often combined with a carrier oil, to create CBD oil which is used for therapeutic purposes. It’s one of many natural cannabinoid compounds from the hemp plant – you may have heard of another famous (or arguably, infamous) cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabinoids are produced naturally by the cannabis plant and, interestingly, your body produces its own similar natural substances known as ‘endocannabinoids’. These compounds are a vital feature in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates critical functions such as mood, sleep, appetite, immunity, metabolism, etc. Some phytocannabinoids (plant-derived cannabinoids) such as CBD can interact with your ECS in a similar manner to your own endocannabinoids – when ingested via a CBD gummy, for instance - and influence those vital processes such as sleep.
There is still much scientific research to be carried out on the benefits of CBD, but early studies show promising results which are supported by anecdotal reports from CBD users. Cannabidiol is an anti-inflammatory and relaxant, and some of its benefits include:
- Relief from muscular pain
- Reduced joint inflammation
- Reduced tension
- Better sleep
- Lowered stress/anxiety
- Improved mental health
- Improved skin texture and hydration; CBD can even help with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
- More energy
What are CBD Edibles?
CBD edibles are simply any food or drink that has been infused with CBD oil. A very popular edible in the UK is the CBD gummy; a flavoursome sweet that is effortlessly chewed and swallowed. The effects of CBD commence when the edible is broken down by the digestive system and cannabidiol is absorbed, usually around one hour after consumption. These effects can last up to several hours.
CBD gummies and alternative edibles will contain varying levels of CBD and the recommended dosage depends entirely on the individual; however, new users of cannabidiol are always advised to start with a low dosage and build up slowly if required.
Will CBD Edible Gummies Get Me High?
CBD gummies will not get you high. That intoxicating effect that cannabis is often linked to is actually caused by the THC compound. The terms linked to cannabis are often used interchangeably, and this is how confusion arises quite frequently. Let us clear a few things up:
- Cannabis – This term is often used to describe the intoxicating substance that is inhaled by smoking (‘weed’ and ‘pot’ are also regularly used) but cannabis is actually the name given to the family of plants which includes both marijuana and hemp. Both plants contain THC and CBD compounds in varying levels. THC has psychoactive properties when enough is consumed, CBD does not – no matter how much is ingested.
- Marijuana – This type of cannabis plant is high in THC and contains lower levels of CBD. Since THC gets you high, marijuana is used to make the ‘weed’ that is smoked.
- Hemp – This is another type of cannabis plant, but unlike marijuana, it contains naturally high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. This is the plant used to extract CBD for oils, gummies and other CBD products. Trace levels of THC means that hemp-derived CBD products won’t get you high.
Whilst CBD and THC are related, it’s important to remember that CBD is the non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, and will not intoxicate you in the same way as smoking marijuana. As a result, the UK law surrounding both products is different.
So, Are CBD Edibles Legal in the United Kingdom?
Yes, the great news is that CBD edibles are legal in the UK! Now that you are aware of the differences surrounding CBD, THC, hemp and marijuana, you’ll appreciate cannabis laws in the UK are there to control the content of psychoactive THC in cannabis-related products, rather than the non-intoxicating CBD.
So CBD products are legal, provided they meet certain conditions. For instance, any CBD product must contain an absolute maximum of 0.2% THC, to ensure that the product does cause noticeable psychoactive effects. This condition is currently met by using very specific strains of hemp that are EU-approved.
UK Cannabis Laws
In the United Kingdom, the farming, manufacturing, supplying and possession of controlled substances in completely prohibited, unless permitted by the authorities for scientific or medical reasons, for instance. This is according to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Cannabidiol (CBD) is no longer featured on the controlled drugs list in the UK and is recognised for its potential health benefits.
It is therefore completely lawful to manufacture hemp-derived CBD products with trace quantities (0.2% or less) of THC, providing that ingredients and potency levels are clearly stated on product labels. Third-party lab reports must also be provided by CBD brands to clarify the safe use of pure hemp-derived CBD. Any company selling CBD that does not comply with UK law is at risk of criminal charges.
Things You Should Know Before Purchasing CBD Edible Gummies
To summarise, purchasing and consuming CBD edibles is completely lawful – but it is always worth checking labels carefully to ensure that UK laws have been complied with and that it is safe to use your CBD product. Buy CBD gummies from reputable and premium brands, and check with your GP before taking if you are concerned about any side effects.
Remember, the legality of CBD varies from country to country. If you are travelling, be sure to research local CBD laws before taking your products with you – this includes airline regulations too.