So you're thinking of buying CBD oils but unsure whether or not it's legal in the UK?

In 2018, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was altered, changing the laws surrounding the sale of CBD products as food supplements throughout the UK. This authorisation was a milestone in the CBD industry, introducing rules and regulations that make it easier for UK residents to purchase high-quality, safe and effective, cannabidiol-infused products.

Unfortunately, while the new legal status allows for the sale and consumption of cannabidiol, there is still the potential for legal issues to arise due to a lack of understanding and awareness about what it means to be lawfully selling or consuming CBD.

This guide to CBD oil UK laws aims to help CBD users in the UK understand what CBD products they can and can't get as well as detail the specific laws that apply to CBD products in 2023.

With this information, CBD users can ensure that they stay within legal boundaries and enjoy increased confidence in CBD products. Doing so will go a long way towards mainstream acceptance of cannabidiol products in the UK as natural and effective potential alternatives to standard pharmaceuticals.

Want to jump straight to the answer? Yes, CBD is authorized and legal in the UK for 2023, as long as you buy from a trusted and reliable brand like Blessed CBD. As well as meeting the THC limits and refraining from making medical claims, these CBD brands have also submitted a novel food application to the FSA, which is now a legal requirement.

The Herald:

What is CBD oil & is it legal in the UK?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that is touted to have significant medical benefits but does not have any psychoactive effects associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

By formulating high-quality cannabidiol products using innovative methods, many clinical trials are starting to find that CBD may provide relief from:

These conditions are just a sampling of the many potential benefits of CBD reported by users in the UK and around the globe. But because CBD oil must be marketed as a food supplement in the UK, many of these medicinal cannabis benefits cannot be advertised by CBD brands.

In order to be legal for the UK market, many CBD companies in the UK choose to advertise their CBD products as health and wellness food supplements. However, they cannot claim the product is guaranteed to relieve stress, anxiety, and other common ailments or they risk getting into trouble with the UK's medical healthcare products regulatory agency, or MHRA for short.

By carrying out your own due diligence and reading customer reviews detailing specific symptoms and conditions, UK consumers can determine if CBD is a right fit for them.

Where does CBD oil in the UK come from?

Since the THC-rich cannabis Sativa plant (commonly referred to as marijuana) is still considered a controlled substance or controlled drug in the UK, CBD oil products are instead derived from high-CBD, low-THC content hemp strains (cannabis Sativa L).

As per UK law, the industrial hemp used in CBD products sold in the UK must be sourced from outside the UK. This means that most hemp used to make the best CBD oil UK products comes from farms in the USA and the EU, known for their superior farming practices.

By using hemp plants grown in these regions, UK CBD companies such as Blessed CBD can ensure that hemp-derived cannabis products do not contain harmful chemicals or contaminants.

By using hemp-derived CBD oils, UK CBD brands can ensure that they meet the UK's mandates of acceptable levels of THC in CBD products (1mg or less per product) without any legal issues associated with THC rich cannabis plants.

Is CBD oil the only legal form of CBD product in the UK?

CBD oil tinctures and sprays are the most common form of CBD product sold in high street shops and through online distributors. However, they aren't the only legal form of CBD products available to UK customers.

CBD capsules are a popular choice for UK residents who do not like the earthy taste of CBD oil. Often sold in vegan and vegetarian-friendly softgels, CBD capsules are a simple and discreet way to get a daily dose of fast-acting and long-lasting CBD.

CBD capsules are usually sold as a one month supply, and many CBD companies offer discounts for customers who want to buy CBD capsules in bulk.

Like other legal cannabidiol products, CBD creams, balms and salves are made using organic hemp oil naturally high in CBD. Applying these natural remedies to the skin allows CBD topical users to experience quick relief from the pain associated with arthritis or sore muscles without any psychoactive side effects or health risks.

CBD skincare products are often infused with additional natural ingredients such as hemp seed oil, shea butter and essential oils to provide extra hydration and nourishment without clogging pores or blocking skin.

  • CBD E-liquids

Getting your daily dose of CBD can be easier than ever with CBD vape oil for those with a vape device. By vaping CBD e-liquids, users can get all the benefits of CBD they love without smoking CBD flowers or buds, which are illegal for sale in the UK.

CBD e-liquids come in a variety of different flavours and formulations to suit every consumer preference.

After CBD oils, CBD edibles probably have the most arduous regulatory processes for getting them on the shelves.

Similar to CBD oils, for CBD companies to legally sell CBD edibles such as gummies, chocolates and fizzy drinks, they must submit a novel foods application to the Food Standards Agency, or FSA, detailing their product's ingredients, safety data and manufacturing process.

This extensive application process may seem arduous for some, but it serves an essential purpose in ensuring that CBD edibles are produced to the highest quality and safety standards.

What Types of CBD Oil Are Legal For Sale in the UK?

Just as there are many laws and regulations surrounding the form of CBD products that can be sold in the UK, there are also some limitations surrounding the types of CBD oil available for purchase.

First and foremost, the newest alterations to the CBD laws in the UK mandate that no CBD product may contain more than 1mg of THC per bottle or container. So, if a CBD brand advertises a THC-rich formula for sale and delivery to UK residents - they may be breaking the law. Remember, cannabis oil which contains high traces of THC is illegal in the UK. Therefore, it is highly advised that you avoid purchasing from these companies to avoid legal or health issues from using their products.

However, because there is a limit of 1mg per CBD product, UK CBD companies are legally allowed to produce hemp-based CBD oils naturally low in THC. These CBD products are referred to as full-spectrum CBD oils.

Full-spectrum CBD oils typically undergo an extraction method that uses all parts of the plant to produce a natural oil that is high in CBD and low in THC. Given that these products are naturally low in THC, they are not psychoactive or likely to trigger any adverse side effects whatsoever. Arguably, a potential downside to full spectrum CBD is the strong and botanical taste due to all the plant compounds being used.

For those with severe medical conditions such as epilepsy or chronic pain, full-spectrum CBD oils may be an effective option of getting all of the potential benefits of CBD without experiencing the side effects associated with THC.

Those who can't or don't want to take a CBD product containing any trace of THC but still want the benefits of additional cannabinoids such as CBDa, or the bioavailability of terpenes and other natural compounds, can purchase broad-spectrum CBD formulas. These formulas undergo ultra refinement and distillation processes that remove any trace of THC.

And for those seeking pure and potent CBD with no other compounds whatsoever can opt to purchase CBD isolate products that have undergone a crystallization process to produce a pure CBD powder.

Both the broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products are most commonly found in the UK as they do not risk violating any laws associated with the sale of cannabidiol infused products.

Are All Cannabinoids Legal in the UK?

While many beneficial cannabinoids such as CBD, CBDa, and CBG, are all legal in the UK, other cannabinoids such as delta-8/9 THC remain illegal and on the controlled substances list. This is because they often have side effects that may cause psychoactive reactions.

This is important to be aware of when purchasing CBD oil products from distributors based in countries where these cannabinoids are not illegal (such as the USA). Doing so may cause problems with UK customs and result in the confiscation of the CBD oil product at the border.

Best (& Legal) CBD Oils to Buy in the UK

Consider purchasing from either of these well-recognised CBD companies for those interested in high-quality CBD oils that comply with UK regulations and provide excellent wellness benefits. 

1. Blessed CBD

The top pick for the #1 recommended CBD oil in the UK is Blessed CBD, as rated by Observer, Reader's Digest and Herald Scotland. This award-winning CBD company based in the UK has dedicated itself to providing superior CBD products in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate formulas, and has been winning over thousands of satisfied customers since 2018.

The Herald:

Each batch of products undergoes rigorous third-party lab testing to ensure that every bottle of CBD oil contains the amount of CBD written on the label. These lab reports also certify that the CBD oils created by Blessed CBD are free of any dangerous levels of toxins such as solvents and pesticides that can be found in lower quality CBD products.

In addition to CBD oils, Blessed CBD offers UK customers a potent range of CBD topicals, capsules, and mixed fruit flavoured gummies to help consumers get the most out of their CBD oil products.

Find out more about Blessed CBD's products by clicking here.

2. Vibes CBD

Even though Vibes CBD is relatively new to the CBD market, they have made headlines thanks to their potent isolate-based CBD oils.

Using organically grown hemp farms with eco-friendly and sustainable practices, they are one of the few CBD companies in the UK that don't use pesticides or harmful chemicals in their growing process. As a result, Vibes CBD's products are free of contaminants found in other low-quality CBD oil brands. 

The supercritical CO2 extraction method utilised in making their CBD oils ensures no heat applied to the CBD oil that can damage its compounds. At the same time, cold pressing keeps the natural terpenes and other essential oils intact.

With an extremely high bioavailability rating for superior potency, these CBD products are perfect for those who want to achieve the best results for their money. UK customers can purchase Vibes CBD products in potent CBD oil tincture drops, CBD capsules, and fruit flavoured CBD gummies infused with Vitamin D3.

Find out more about Vibes CBD's products by clicking here.

To start shopping for CBD oil supplements, visit the Reader's Digest CBD marketplace.