As far as CBD oil in the UK is concerned, the situation is somewhat confusing. Many believe the MHRA have decided to remain stubborn and they failed to acknowledge the major CBD product demand. On the flipside, Holland and Barrett and other high-end retailers have brought in serious revenue selling supplements containing CBD that are supposedly legal. But are they?
How are these companies selling these products? Is it actually legal to sell and possess CBD oil in the United Kingdom? We’ll do our best to answer these questions and more throughout this article. But to start things off, we’ll quickly look at cannabis use in the UK and discuss the legalization efforts and how far progress has come in this area.
Table of Contents
- Is It Legal to Open a CBD Oil Vape Store in the UK?
- How Do These Changes Effect CBD Laws in the UK?
- Is CBD Legal in the UK?
- A Generalized Summary of the United Kingdoms CBD Oil Laws
- Laws Make It Difficult to Buy CBD in the UK
- How Is It Possible to Get a Medicinal CBD Oil Prescription in the United Kingdom?
Is it legal to sell and use CBD oil in the United Kingdom?
Yes, the MHRA does consider CBD to be medicine but proper licensing is required for it to be sold this way.
Is It Possible to Fly Carrying CBD Oil in the UK?
At this time, it is illegal to purchase CBD oil outside of the UK and then fly home and bring it with you unless you are one of the few who have a license for medicinal CBD oil.
Is CBD Oil from Holland Illegal in the UK?
Yes it is, unless you process the right medicinal licensing.
Talk More about CBD Oil Benefits and Their Impact
Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical advisor, has played a big part in the decision of the UK to reschedule cannabis. Better yet, she has recognized “conclusive evidence of the therapeutic benefit of cannabis based medicinal products,” and she was especially taken by its ability to treat epilepsy. Other areas CBD can potentially help include sleep disorders, arthritis, stress and anxiety, and chronic pain.
Is It Legal to Open a CBD Oil Vape Store in the UK?
This is where a lot of the confusion still exists. In certain instances the police have received warrants to seize products in vape shops in the UK but the storeowners say that their products are fully legal. At this time, nobody has been arrested for violating the Misuse of Drugs Act.
A number of well-respected UK media outlets have reported that CBD oil and medicinal cannabis can be obtained throughout 2019 if you have a prescription. Specialist doctors now have the ability to prescribe CBD and THC products for medicinal purposes due to new legislation to help patients in need.
This legislation has been expected for quite some time now. In fact, Sajid Javid chose to reschedule medicinal cannabis and relax previously legislation so those experiencing verified medical issues can get the help needed to ease their pain and suffering.
One of the main reason legislation was relaxed is because kids could benefit from medical products containing cannabis CBD. So if they have a prescription, they will be able to get products to alleviate their suffering.
This is excellent news for anyone looking to learn about improvements regarding UK laws and CBD oil. But please be well aware that no one is saying cannabis oil is going to be easily obtainable or readily available for just about anyone to purchase at any time.
On the contrary, it’s actually the exact opposite since Javid mentioned that the decision to change the rule has nothing to do with recreational use of cannabis and everything to do with helping those clinically in need of assistance.
How Do These Changes Effect CBD Laws in the UK?
The legislation passed in November 2018 changes the laws but only part of the way. As mentioned previously, these changes have nothing to do with recreational CBD. They are specifically in place to help residents of the United Kingdom suffering from serious medical conditions and illnesses. They can apply to receive a prescription for medical cannabis as long as a special clinician makes the recommendation.
There is also a catch too. The special clinician needs to determine that there is the existence of an exceptional clinical circumstance. They have to outright believe that cannabis is the only thing that will help the patient ease their suffering. If a different type of lawful medicine can better help improve a patient’s outcome then the cannabis prescription will not be recommended.
If you happen to be someone looking to purchase top shelf CBD oil containing cannabis and a medical recommendation hasn’t been made on your behalf, then you are not going to receive any benefit from the new rules. But at the same time, you also realize that other types of CBD oil are available in high street specialty stores in the UK including vape shops and health food stores.
But as you probably know already, the legal CBD supplements are often different than the medicinal products like those you would find in Holland in the United States.
An advocate for CBD oil named Tannine Montgomery knows all about the differences between cannabis CBD oil and hemp CBD oil because her four-year-old daughter named Indie currently suffers from pediatric epilepsy. The name of the epilepsy is Dravet syndrome and CBD oil containing cannabis has helped tremendously as a treatment option. But when using a hemp CBD oil product, the results were far from stellar.
According to Montgomery, “previously we’d tried the high street cannabis oil that is legal here [in Suffolk], which helped some of the time, but not all – because it is not medicinal cannabis.”
So what exactly are they selling in Holland and Barrett and other places like it? And why is it legal? And even more to the point, is it actually CBD oil or something else entirely different?
Is CBD Legal in the UK?
Oddly enough, many of the high street retail locations like Holland and Barrett have found a way to sell CBD oil products legally by calling them nutritional supplements instead of health for medicinal products. And by labeling them this way, they are effectively skirting the laws to their advantage.
In 2016, the benefits of CBD oil were officially acknowledged by the MHRA and their therapeutic potential was also recognized. This clearly made it known that if you are selling CBD oil as a way to solve medicinal problems, a product would need to be properly licensed and considered a form of medicine. Without the proper licensing, it would be impossible to sell the products otherwise. Or is there a way around it?
Basically, vape shops and health food stores have figured out a loophole that makes it possible to legally sell CBD oil products, even the ones containing cannabis. And the loophole is simple… Instead of saying it’s a medicinal product; they are just telling their customers through advertisements that they are selling nutritional supplements. They are not talking about any medical conditions, or how they can help certain ailments, or anything like that in regards to health.
Even better as far as getting past the laws are concerned, the people selling CBD compounds are actually extracting the active ingredients from the hemp plant as opposed to cannabis. The hemp plant only contains 0.2% THC or less, which means it is well under the legal limits dictated by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act and very legal to sell in the United Kingdom.
A Generalized Summary of the United Kingdoms CBD Oil Laws
- It is legal to sell CBD hemp products in the United Kingdom because they contain less than 0.2% THC. But the catch is the retailers have to avoid calling it a medicine or linking it to certain medicinal problems and instead call it a nutritional supplement.
- To purchase CBD oil containing higher amount of THC in the United Kingdom, you can do so in 2019 as long as you were given a prescription from a special clinician.
- When purchasing legal hemp CBD oil supplements in the UK, the quality is very hit or miss.
- To properly advertise or sell CBD oil in the UK for medicinal purposes, you need the correct medicinal licensing that you can only get from the MHRA.
Laws Make It Difficult to Buy CBD in the UK
Regardless of the fact that CBD oil derived from hemp contains no more than 0.2% THC and can legally be sold in the UK, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to receive or experience the same benefits of those being sold as medicinal products.
As a matter of fact, certain sellers in the UK are being accused of selling infused olive oil or hemp seed oil and selling it as CBD oil on the high street, which is obviously illegal since it will not have any active compounds whatsoever.
Some of the more reliable companies are in full compliance with the MHRA and other organizations including the Cannabis Trade Association. But you can typically only purchase CBD oils of this nature on the Internet because many retail locations are worried that their products are going to be seized.
Companies similar to Provacan in the UK among others can actually ship their products to customers all over the nation and other parts of the European Union as well. Sure, it’s less convenient than having the ability to walk into a retail store and purchase it directly, but when you take the long view you’ll see that the major benefits of high-quality CBD oil are very helpful so the minor inconvenience shouldn’t be a major problem.
How Is It Possible to Get a Medicinal CBD Oil Prescription in the United Kingdom?
So, maybe you thought about the recent changes in 2019 regarding prescription CBD oil. And maybe you’re even wondering if it’s possible to get a prescription but you just don’t know how to get one.
Unfortunately for many, the process to obtain a prescription of this nature is not going to be easy. The current legislation in place is very inconvenient for clinicians to say the least, so they cannot just immediately write you a prescription and be done with. In fact, because of the slight controversies surrounding this form of medication, many doctors aren’t even willing to prescribe cannabis CBD oil because of a number of reasons, but one major one being they aren’t fully aware of all of the therapeutic benefits of this drug.
Dr. Zoe Williams published an article in The Evening Standard. In this article, she claims that it’s not going to be very easy or straightforward for patients to obtain a prescription from medical CBD. And even if there was a straightforward procedure, she would be very leery of writing prescriptions too quickly anyway.
She said that on paper the legislation sounds very good but in real terms it might not be realistic. Most local pharmacies do not have the ability to dispense medicinal CBD oil. And she also feels that she personally doesn’t have the right knowledge or expertise to determine if CBD is in the best interest of her patients or not.
UK residents certainly have the option to attempt to apply for a medicinal CBD oil prescription. To do so, you have to first start by applying for a license under a temporary approval panel. The panel will consider the merits of each claim on a case-by-case basis and decide if this treatment is appropriate or not.
And even more important, if a special physician does feel that a CBD oil prescription is warranted, they’ll need to prove their claim as an exceptional clinical circumstance, because it would otherwise be illegal to do so.
You can find the appropriate documents and forms on the gov.uk website if you’re looking to submit an application for potential approval.