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Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK?

It feels like CBD is everywhere in the UK right now and shop shelves seem to be brimming with CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD balms and CBD sprays. But is CBD oil legal?

The short answer is ‘yes’. But we’ll go into more detail below and find out more about its history, its legal status and its availability.

A quick outline – what is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an active chemical compound that can be found in the cannabis plant.1 It is one of the many compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the plant. Unlike the other main cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects, so it doesn’t produce the “high” most people associate with marijuana use.1 In fact, it seems that CBD has many potential health benefits.

These possible benefits are wide-ranging and include the treatment of anxiety,2 depression,3 chronic pain,4 heart health5 and many more. Because of this, CBD is becoming increasingly popular as a natural treatment option, all the more so because it can be consumed in a variety of forms, such as oils, capsules, sprays and edibles.

Why is CBD oil legal in the UK?

Is CBD legal in the UK? Essentially, CBD law in the UK states that the CBD oil that’s legal in the UK is available because it contains extremely low levels of THC.6 Under UK law, since 2018,7 cannabis products that contain THC levels of 0.2% or less are considered legal and can be sold as health supplements. CBD can be purchased legally and can be found in health food shops, pharmacies, dedicated CBD specialist stores and also online.

Is CBD oil legal in the UK in 2022?

But is CBD oil still legal in the UK in 2022? As things stand, CBD remains legal in the UK. The UK Home Office stipulates that CBD an only be extracted from plants that are cultivated to the specification that they have less than 0.2% THC content.6 Furthermore, it’s illegal to sell these low THC cannabis buds or flowers.6

Additionally, since around 2019, stringent regulations have been bought in by government agencies to ensure the products that hit the market are of a decent quality. The Food Standards Agency recognises edible CBD as a ‘novel food’8 and that means companies selling digestible CBD need to make a novel food application before manufacturing their products.

On top of that, The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency demands that any form of CBD sold for medicinal purposes has to comply with the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 to ensure patient safety.9 As part of these regulations, CBD products must always advise users to speak to a medical professional before introducing CBD into their lifestyle.9

Is CBD oil with THC legal?

THC remains a controlled substance in the UK – and that means that the cannabis plant and THC based products are still illegal to cultivate, manufacture, sell or consume here.7 While many US states have slowly relaxed their laws on ‘medical marijuana’, that kind of legislation hasn’t, to date, found its way to the UK. Therefore any CBD product claiming to contain THC should be avoided and is likely to be a scam or an illegal product of some sort. 

Can I get CBD oil on prescription in UK?

There are some cases whereby doctors will prescribe THC and CBD based medicines to deal with very specific conditions. These include some forms of epilepsy,10 multiple sclerosis10 and those who are undergoing cancer treatment and suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy.10 Unless it’s for one of these specific ailments, CBD oil is not available to NHS patients in the UK.

Can doctors prescribe CBD in the UK?

Medical professionals will not prescribe CBD unless it’s for the above mentioned conditions, but your doctor will likely give you a sympathetic ear if you mention that you are interested in trying it to deal with any issues you might have. What’s more, your doctor will be able to give you an idea about whether CBD is a suitable treatment for your ailment and should also be able to offer guidance on the best method of taking it, as well as the ideal dosage. Generally, in terms of the amount you take, the recommendation is to start small and build up over time.

Finally, your doctor will also be aware of your medical history, helping you to make a more informed decision regarding any side effects or interactions with medications you’re currently taking.

Pureis is a food supplement, not intended to treat or prevent any physiological or psychological disease.

  1. Your Guide to CBD –
  2. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder –
  3. Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders –
  4. The Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Chronic Pain Management – SpringerLink
  5. CBD for Heart Disease: Can It Help?
  6. Consumer cannabidiol (CBD) products report (accessible version) – GOV.UK
  7. Drug licensing factsheet: cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids – GOV.UK
  8. CBD products linked to novel food applications – Food Standards Agency
  9. The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 –
  10. Medical cannabis (cannabis oil) – NHS