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Legal status of CBD around the world: List with countries

cbd oil legal

Table of Contents

In case you have a question about which countries CBD is legal in, we will take a brief tour of the world to give you answers.

Important: We wish to point out that this article gives an overview of the laws around CBD in various parts of the world, but we do not intend to be considered legal advice. You should do thorough research before traveling with CBD products.

Almost all countries around the world consider cannabis illegal and CBD legal. CBD is a cannabis plant extract; consequently, its legality is surrounded by a lot of regulations and legislation, preventing many from cultivating, manufacturing and possessing the products.

Is CBD legal in Europe?

There is a common misconception that CBD products with no more than 0.2% THC are legal. EU guidance states that licences may be granted for the cultivation of cannabis plants containing low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (less than 0.2%). This only applies to hemp plants which are grown for industrial purposes, and does not refer to the consumption of CBD products by humans.

EU regulations state that CBD products cannot contain any trace amounts of THC (<0.001 mg/kg bw) unless it has been approved by local drug enforcement authorities. However, the specific legalities surrounding CBD differ from country to country in Europe.

Aside from that, ingestible CBD products fall within the scope of the EU novel foods regulation. This regulation defines “novel food” as any food that was not used for human consumption to a significant degree within the EU before May 1997. Other examples of ingredients that are considered “novel food” by the EFSA are chia seeds and curcumin.Only products and ingredients which are authorized and included in the EU positive list of authorized novel foods may be placed on the EU market.

This change was introduced in 2019 and the biggest suppliers of CBD ingredients applied already for novel food certification but since the approval process takes up to 24 months, to date, there is no CBD product that has been authorized as a novel food in the EU.

Although CBD is a novel product, most European countries still allow it to be sold due partly to the WHO’s classification as “generally well tolerated and safe” 

Albania - illegal

Despite the fact that cannabis and its byproducts are illegal in Albania, plants can be found in pretty much any part of the country, and it is rarely enforced.

Cannabis used for personal reasons is not generally prosecuted, however the law still forbids the use of the product. The importation of CBD oil into Albania is therefore illegal and not worth the risk.

Austria | Yes, with a prescription |

In January 2016, cannabis possession was decriminalized. A recent ban has been imposed by the Austrian Ministry of Health on the sale of any food or cosmetic product containing CBD unless it has been endorsed by a physician. The CBD product you purchase in Austria will be confiscated without a prescription. However, CBD oil can still be purchased as an aromatic oil that isn’t for human consumption in certain shops in Austria.

Belarus | No |

There is no medical or recreational use of cannabis in Belarus, which has one of the most restrictive cannabis laws in all of Europe. In Belarus, hemp and marijuana are treated as the same thing, and anyone caught cultivating hemp and buying, selling or consuming CBD could face up to five years in prison.

Belgium | Yes, with a prescription |

The possession of up to 3 grams of cannabis is legal for adults over 18 in Belgium, but it is illegal for those under 18. Cannabis-derived drugs, like Sativex, can be used as medicine. Belgium, however, prosecutes very few of its residents for cannabis possession, and CBD products are widely available in health food stores and online. According to the 1912 law, CBD cannot be sold without a prescription, but it isn’t regulated.

Bosnia and Herzegovina | No |

The Bosnian government has formed a department dedicated to exploring the possibility of legalizing cannabis products for medical purposes; however, all cannabis products in Bosnia are illegal. Thus, CBD cannot be legally sold or consumed there.

Bulgaria | Yes |

In Bulgaria, the extraction process of hemp is forbidden, but the government allows the sale and import of CBD oil products.

Croatia | Yes |

Croatia allows the use of cannabis with a prescription. Possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is decriminalized and you will be fined if found with a small amount. Croatia allows the import and sale of hemp and CBD as long as they contain less than 0.2% THC. You can buy and import hemp and CBD safely.

Cyprus | Yes |

If the CBD is produced from industrial hemp and the THC concentration is under 0.2% at all points during the process, it is legal. 

Czech Republic | Yes |

It is now legal to use recreational cannabis. Small fines are imposed on those who possess up to 10 grams and cultivate up to 5 plants. In the Czech Republic, CBD oil can be legally sold and consumed as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.

Denmark | Yes

Denmark’s CBD laws are quite complicated. As of July 2018, CBD oil that contains less than 0.2% THC is recognized legally as a medicine, food product, and dietary supplement subject to strict regulations. Danish officials interpret the law in such a way that CBD items sold over the counter or online are likely to be illegal even if they contain less than 0.2 % THC. As a result, each of these products will need to be analyzed individually. You can apply to be part of a Danish pilot program launched in January 2018 to use cannabis products if you are a resident of the country and have a written prescription from your licensed healthcare provider. Prescriptions from other countries are not valid in Denmark, so do not bring CBD with you.

Estonia | Yes |

There is no criminal penalty for recreational use of cannabis, but possession up to 7.5 grams is subject to a fine. The sale and distribution of large amounts are illegal. Cannabis used for medical purposes requires a permit.

 It is not illegal to use CBD in Estonia. Hence, CBD with less than 0.2% THC can be legally purchased, consumed, and even transported into Estonia.

Finland | Yes, with a prescription |

Any products that contain CBD are classified as medicines in Finland, so a prescription must be obtained from a physician. There are other cannabis products that are illegal, and although possession of them is not heavily policed, minors can still be punished harshly for it.

France | Yes |

A CBD product is legal. Nevertheless, the French government advises that any trace of THC in CBD would render it illegal. Thus, in France, you can only buy and consume CBD that contains no THC.

Germany | Yes |

It is legal for people to use CBD and marijuana for medical purposes in Germany, but only if they have a prescription for medical treatment and a marijuana card. It is possible to purchase CBD items like hemp tea and full-spectrum extract that are not classified as medicines so long as the THC content is less than 0.2%. Buying CBD buds/flower is illegal.

Greece | Yes |

Hemp-derived CBD is legal if THC is no more than 0.2% during any stage of production, and the hemp originates from industrial hemp.

Hungary | Yes |

In order for CBD to be legal, it must come from industrial hemp and contain no more than 0.2% THC. 

Iceland | No |

Iceland does not have a specific law governing the production and sale of CBD. 

Since Iceland’s authorities do not differentiate between marijuana and CBD, CBD remains illegal. Yet, many businesses in Iceland still offer CBD products despite the law.

Ireland | Yes |

In Ireland, CBD is legal. Two separate sets of regulations have discrepancies that lead to confusion; one states that only CBD extracted from cold-pressed materials is legal, and one says that even the slightest trace of THC in CBD would constitute illegal use. Although this is true, CBD products are widely available and well-tolerated in Ireland, whereas THC-containing products are not tolerated and are closely monitored. Currently, Ireland is reviewing its regulations as it examines proposals for decriminalizing recreational cannabis and will likely update them soon.

 Italy | Yes |

Growing hemp and producing CBD is legal in Italy, so long as the THC content is less than 0.6% throughout the production process. It has been confirmed by the Italian Supreme Court that this legislation does not apply to smokable cannabis. Because of this, the sale of high-CBD cannabis strains containing less than 0.6% THC is not allowed in Italy.

Latvia | Yes |

A CBD product is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.2% THC throughout the entire production process. 

Lithuania | Yes |

If the CBD is derived from industrial hemp and the THC content is less than 0.2% throughout its production, it is legal. 

Luxembourg | Yes |

The CBD component of industrial hemp must contain less THC than 0.3% at any time during production in order for it to be legal. 

Malta | Yes, with a prescription |

 3.5 grams of marijuana is decriminalized and is legal for medical use. A prescription is required for the purchase of CBD in Malta, since it is classified as a medical form of cannabis.

Netherlands | Yes |

Cannabis possession is legal up to 5 grams, and the sale and use of it in licensed coffee shops is widespread. Because of a distinction in the law, CBD oil is illegal in the Netherlands, since cannabinoids can’t be isolated from the cannabis plant. Despite this, CBD remains widely available throughout the Netherlands and is unregulated.

Norway | Yes |

Norway is not affiliated with the European Union, but its laws are largely influenced by European hemp markets, which is why CBD is legal there. Even a minuscule amount of THC in CBD products is banned by the Norwegian government. So, only CBD with 0% THC can be sold and consumed in Norway.

Poland | Yes |

If CBD is derived from industrial hemp and its THC concentration never exceeds 0.2% during production, it is legal.

Portugal | Yes, with a prescription |

Portugal has decriminalized recreational cannabis up to 25 grams and legalized medical cannabis. A prescription is required for CBD, which is considered a medicine.

Romania | Yes |

While recreational cannabis is illegal in Romania, medical cannabis with a THC content of no more than 0.2% is available. Since Romania’s government has no limitations on where CBD is derived from, the CBD used in their products can be obtained from marijuana rather than hemp, as is the case in most other EU nations. As long as the CBD products contain less than 0.2% THC, they are legal in Romania.

Russia | No |

It is legal to grow hemp in Russia, but any method that removes or isolates cannabinoids is illegal. The sale of CBD oil in Russia is illegal, but some vendors appear to sell CBD products regardless.

Serbia | No |

Recreational or medicinal use of cannabis, as well as cannabis by-products, are both prohibited in Serbia. This makes it illegal to sell CBD products in Serbia.

Slovakia | No |

In this country, even a small amount of cannabis can get you eight years in prison, one of the strictest on cannabis possession in Europe. It is illegal to produce, sell, or possess any CBD product in Slovakia as it is classified as a psychoactive narcotic.

Slovenia | Yes |

During the manufacturing processes, THC concentrations cannot exceed 0.2% and the CBD must be derived from hemp for it to be legal. 

Spain | Yes |

In Spain, it is legal to cultivate cannabis for personal use. It is illegal in Spain to sell or buy cannabis products (including CBD) as consumables. Cosmetic products containing CBD are legal. However, there are still products containing CBD for consumption in Spain, but with a warning that says ‘for external use only’.

Sweden | Yes |

It is legal to use CBD. According to Swedish law, CBD products will be illegal if they contain even a trace of THC. Sweden allows the consumption only of CBD products with 0% THC. To sell consumable CBD products, a license from the Medical Products Agency in Sweden is required.

Switzerland | Yes |

The Swiss have relaxed cannabis laws, decriminalizing possession of up to 10 grams. If a cannabis product contains less than 1.0% THC, it is legal. Swiss consumers may purchase and consume hemp-derived CBD products with less than 1.0% THC.

Ukraine | Yes |

A CBD product is legal. Even the smallest trace of THC in CBD products would render them illegal according to the Ukrainian government. The only CBD products that are legally available in Ukraine are those that contain no THC.

United Kingdom | Yes |

Can CBD be purchased legally in the UK? The answer is yes. According to the UK government, CBD products containing even a trace of THC are illegal. For this reason, in the UK, only CBD products containing 0% THC are legal.

Is CBD legal in North America?

CBD policies in North America are quite lax, like those in Europe. CBD is legal in some form in 47 of 50 states in the United States. Iowa, Idaho, and South Dakota are the only three states where CBD is still illegal.

Using CBD for recreational and medical purposes is legal in Canada as of 2018. In Mexico, however, CBD can only be used for medical purposes. In all other North American countries, CBD is illegal. Jamaica and Costa Rica, however, decriminalize its use.

Is CBD oil legal in South America?

With a global change in ideas about the dangers of cannabis, the CBD market in South America is growing rapidly. The current medicinal cannabis laws reflect the recognition of the benefits of CBD oil across South America. However, some countries in South America lack sufficient information about CBD. Our focus has been on the legal status of cannabis.

Argentina | Yes, with a prescription |

The use of small quantities of cannabis for personal purposes is now decriminalized, and medical cannabis has been legalized nationwide since 21 September 2017. A prescription is required for CBD, which is considered to be a medicinal form of cannabis. Argentina tolerates CBD well.

Bolivia | No |

It is illegal to sell, possess, or consume any form of cannabis or its byproducts in Bolivia. Products containing CBD are also prohibited there.

Brazil | Yes, with a prescription |

It is illegal to consume recreational cannabis in any amount. Since 2015, the federal government has legalized medical cannabis in the form of Sativex, which had previously been prohibited. CBD prescriptions from another country may not be accepted for travel to Brazil.

Chile | Yes |

Chile decriminalizes the personal use of cannabis in small amounts for personal use and allows the medical use of cannabis. A prescription is required for CBD. In Chile, CBD is well accepted by consumers, and CBD can be purchased online and is well tolerated by authorities. In Chile, all narcotics, whether recreational or medicinal, are forbidden in airports. Therefore, CBD oil should not be taken into Chilean airports.

Colombia | Yes |

Up to 22 grams of recreational cannabis or 20 plants for personal use is decriminalized, and medical cannabis is also legal. CBD products may be sold by retailers with a license.

Ecuador | No |

Until 10 grams, cannabis for recreational use is not criminalized. There is currently no medical cannabis program, but talks about establishing one are ongoing. Currently, there isn’t enough information about CBD’s tolerability, but if it is, its market is relatively small. 

Paraguay | Yes, with a prescription |

It is legal to possess up to 10 grams of recreational cannabis. Apart from a few special cases, medical cannabis is not legal. The Paraguayan authorities, however, are considering introducing a pilot program to allow access to medical marijuana.

Peru | Yes |

As long as you don’t exceed 8 grams, recreational cannabis is legal. Medical cannabis has wide acceptance. The use of CBD products is legal and widespread in Peru.

Uruguay | Yes |

The laws regarding cannabis in Uruguay are extremely relaxed. Cannabis can be used for recreational and medical purposes, and six plants can be grown for personal use. Foreigners are not allowed to obtain cannabis in Uruguay, because the government does not want to promote cannabis tourism. Currently, Uruguay does not widely use CBD and only a few products are available through pharmacies with a prescription.

Venezuela | No |

Cannabis is illegal in Venezuela for both recreational use and medical use. It is not known whether CBD products are available in Venezuela.

Is CBD legal in Middle East?

There is a dramatic difference between attitudes towards cannabis in various Middle Eastern nations. You have Israel, where cannabis research leads the way internationally and where medical cannabis is legal and well tolerated; you also have Saudi Arabia, where people have been executed for possessing cannabis.

CBD should not be taken into any Middle Eastern nation, whether it is a prescription drug or not, regardless of the THC content

Although Israel has been at the forefront of CBD research and development, the cannabinoid is strictly regulated in the country. Patients with a valid medical permit in hand from the ministry were the only ones to access CBD until 2018. According to the health authority, licenses and prescriptions for medical cannabis can now be issued by public service physicians. Medical CBD is also now available at a number of government-licensed pharmacies.

There is some evidence that CBD with 0% THC is on-sale and popular in Egypt and Turkey, although possession under certain circumstances may be more heavily policed than others.

Is CBD legal in Africa?

Due to CBD’s relatively new status on the African market, there is not yet much information on its laws. Based on existing cannabis laws in most African countries, we suggest you consider CBD products illegal.

There is only one country in Africa that has clarified its position and laws on CBD, and it is South Africa. South Africa amended its medicine laws in May 2019 to allow for the consumption of 20 milligrams of CBD daily. In addition, THC content must be under 0.001%.

Is CBD legal in Asia?

Many Asian countries are known for their strict policies and laws. As a result, exporting CBD to countries like Russia, Singapore, and Japan can lead to steep fines and prison time. While China has a thriving CBD industry, any usage, selling, or purchasing of CBD is illegal within the country.

Currently, CBD is only legal in a very few Asian countries, including:

India – In the same way that one can buy bhang, a cannabis strain popular in India, one can also purchase CBD oils. Regardless of your medical condition, you can bring them with you.

South Korea – CBD can be found in a wide variety of topical products in South Korea, but it cannot be used recreationally. CBD may only be brought into South Korea for medical reasons.

Thailand – CBD products cannot be imported into the country unless you have a permit from FDA Thailand. Your permit allows you to use CBD for personal use for a maximum of 30 days.

Is CBD legal in Oceania?

Different states in Australia have different laws regarding CBD. From 2020 onward, CBD for medical use is legal with the requirement that less than 2% of other cannabinoids are present. A prescription is required to buy or possess CBD.

A Medical Cannabis Scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Health on April 1, 2020. A doctor registered in New Zealand can prescribe CBD products under this regulation. CBD products cannot be imported into New Zealand.

Papua New Guinea still prohibits the use of CBD.

Summarised list of countries

Key Takeaways

Globally, CBD is becoming increasingly recognized for its beneficial effects. Most countries are already aware of consumer demands.

CBD oil can be somewhat tricky to take on a flight, so its disadvantages will likely outweigh any possible benefits. While EU regulations are a little clearer, it can still be difficult to travel between countries with CBD oil.

Research any applicable regulations thoroughly if you cannot live without CBD oil. The best way to learn more about traveling with CBD oil is to contact an airline or security agency directly, especially if there is no guidance online.

It is harmful to be ignorant of the law, as Ignorantia iuris nocet.

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Disclaimer:

This article was written by an independent and third-party author specialising in CBD, hemp and cannabis research. Any opinion, advice or recommendation expressed in the article does not reflect the opinion of Kana Biosciences Ltd. or any of our employees. 

All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction nor meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We do not make any health claims about our products and recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician prior to consuming our products or preparing a treatment plan for any and all diseases or ailments. It is especially important for those who are pregnant, nursing, chronically ill, elderly or under the age of 18 years of age to discuss the use of these products with a physician prior to consuming. 

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