The current legal status of CBD

Due to its ability to naturally treat multitude of medical and health conditions, lately the demand for Cannabidiol (CBD) has skyrocketed. The popularity and the acceptance of the hemp-derived compound have begun to shift, and nowadays CBD products are flooding the market. In this article our goal is to shed some light in this matter and explain the legal status of CBD in different countries.


CBD can be purchased freely and legally in most European countries (like Spain, Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, among others). This is due to the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU, case C-88/07) which agreed to the free movement of goods and products made from medicinal plants that had been legally manufactured and marketed as food supplements or dietary products in other member states.

However, each country has its own regulations and laws with regard to the treatment of the cannabis plant, especially in the legal restrictions of THC. At present, the European Union (EU) allows the cultivation and production of certain varieties of industrial hemp in its member countries as long as its THC content, the psychoactive compound, is less than 0.2%.

In Spain the Royal Decree 1729/1999 established that industrial hemp destined for the use of industrial production, food supplements and textile materials (with THC levels lower than 0.2%) is legal within the Spanish territory, as well as in other 17 European Union countries.

North America

In the United States the legal status of CBD as a whole is still very unclear, due to the existence of different laws in different states, and even different laws at state and federal level.

Specifically, the legality of CBD in the various states is determined by where it’s sourced from, whether or not it’s derived from hemp or marijuana. In this case, hemp derived CBD is not in the jurisdiction of the DEA, and it’s completely legal to purchase, sell and use in all 50 states. On the other hand, CBD derived from marijuana is considered a byproduct of marijuana and is federally illegal. However, according to state law, it’s legal in those 46 states with medical or recreational cannabis programs.

In Mexico CBD is legalized; last year the country nationally legalized medical marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes. Hemp-based CBD is legal for approved patients, but any cannabis products containing any amount of THC (no more than 1%) remain illegal.

The medicinal use of cannabis is also legal in Canada, and its possession for recreational use is planned to be legalized this year. The cultivation of cannabis is also currently legal for seed, grain and fiber production only under licenses.

As you can see the legal status of CBD varies from country to country. So it’s always better to be informed about the jurisdictions of each country and try to receive information from the nearest authorities.

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