CBD has continued to gain traction and popularity around the world. While the legality of marijuana is often black and white, there’s a lot of gray area when it comes to the legal status of CBD. In some countries, CBD products are entirely legal, while in others CBD is strictly prohibited. This makes knowing whether or not CBD is legal in your home or destination country extremely confusing.
Whether you’re looking to travel in the near future or just want to brush up on your knowledge about CBD legality around the world, here’s everything you need to know about the legal status of CBD in certain countries.
CBD Isolate May be the Safest Option
Before we get into all of the CBD legalities in various parts of the world, let’s quickly discuss your best option if CBD is something that you must have access to when traveling or as part of your daily routine.
Because of the many different rules and regulations in the U.S. and abroad, if you’re planning to travel or are someone who has endless wanderlust, your best option may be to stick to products that contain CBD isolate. CBD isolate is the purest form of the compound, which means that it contains:
- No THC
- No other cannabinoids
- No terpenes
- No flavonoids
Before buying any CBD product, take the time to review the certificate of analysis (COA). This is a document provided by a third party lab that indicates the specific ingredients (and their amounts), found in a certain product.
When traveling, ensure you have a copy or quick access to each product’s COA. In the event that your CBD products are questioned, you’ll have scientific evidence of what the product contains, showing that it meets legal requirements.
You’ll also want to read trusted reviews, such as those found on CBDStudy, to ensure you’re buying a quality product.
CBD Legality in the United States
In general terms, CBD is legal in the United States, but there are tons of caveats and fine details that must be considered. The U.S. is very unique in that there are 50 different states, which opens the door for potentially 50 different laws that apply, based on where you live or where you are traveling.
Federally, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC.But, a product that meets all of these requirements isn’t necessarily legal in every state. In fact, CBD laws are very different, depending on each state.
For example, in Virginia, CBD can only be bought and possessed by those who have a prescription. Other states are much more progressive, allowing any consumer over the age of 18 to purchase a CBD product.
On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Idaho. Idaho is one of three states that haven’t changed their CBD laws in order to better follow the stance set forth by the 2018 Farm Bill. In the state, hemp and marijuana are the same. Only CBD products that contain no THC are legal, and the CBD must meet strict guidelines, such as only being derived from mature stalks or fibers produced from the stalks.
While there is a federal law that legalizes certain CBD products, it’s safest to check your state and local laws to ensure that you aren’t buying a product that may be illegal.
CBD Legality in Europe
The European Union (EU) is the governing body that sets rules and regulations for the sale and use of CBD in most European countries. But, similarly to the U.S., countries are allowed to interpret the regulations on their own and set country-wide rules.
According to research conducted by CBDGrade, Belarus has one of the strictest CBD laws throughout Europe. The country has banned both the medical and recreational use of cannabis and hemp. Anyone caught growing, selling, or using CBD could be sentenced to up to five years in jail.
In Austria, the possession of cannabis and hemp plants was decriminalized more than four years ago in 2016. But, the Austrian Ministry of Health has banned the sale of food and cosmetic products that contain CBD. These products can only be prescribed by a medical professional.
In most European countries, CBD is legal, as long as the product contains less than a set percentage of CBD. In Italy, products must contain less than 0.6%. In Greece, Hungary, and Germany, products must contain less than 0.2% THC to be legal. And in France, products must contain no THC.
If you’re planning to travel to Europe in the near future, it’s ideal to first research the laws in your destination country to ensure that you can legally bring CBD products there. Since products in the U.S. must contain less than 0.3% THC, many CBD products would be illegal in many European countries.
CBD Legality in South America
Like many other places throughout the world, the market for CBD products has steadily increased over the last few years in South America. Today, many countries have recognized the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of CBD and have enacted laws that legalized the use of CBD for certain purposes.
For example, in 1932, hemp was banned due to its association with recreational marijuana use. For decades, hemp and cannabis plants weren’t differentiated in terms of legality. But in 2017, the Argentine senate approved the use of CBD cannabis oil for medical use.
A similar story stands true in Brazil. In general, industrial hemp and its derivatives are prohibited in the country. But, CBD was legalized in 2015 after the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency authorized the compound to be used for therapeutic benefits.
The same stands true for traveling to South America. It’s best to research the laws in your destination country before making the decision to bring CBD along with you.
CBD Legality in Australia & New Zealand
In 2016, the Australian government legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. But, citizens must get approval from the Department of Health in order to obtain a prescription. In the country, CBD is legal because it’s classified as medicinal cannabis. So, prospective users must get approval to use CBD as well.
In New Zealand, CBD is legal as long as the product was lawfully purchased from a medical professional. CBD products must contain no more than 2.0% THC, and users can obtain a 3-month supply for travel purposes.
So no matter where you live or where you may be traveling, knowing the laws that apply to CBD is a must. Having peace of mind makes things all the easier, no matter if you’re road tripping to the next state or flying to a new country.