An image of a gavel with the text 'Is CBD legal in the UK?'

3. Is CBD legal in the UK?

Victoria Hall

Is CBD legal in the UK? 

The short answer: compliant, carefully made products like HempWell CBD oils are perfectly legal in the UK.

The long answer: The CBD industry is rapidly evolving and the regulations surrounding CBD are constantly changing to keep up. CBD (Cannabidiol) is legal in the UK to take as a food supplement, not for medicinal use. Selling CBD products is legal in the UK, providing they contain no controlled substances such as THC and come from an EU approved hemp strain. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) remains an illegal substance. Brands selling CBD products in the UK must have submitted a Novel Food Application by 31st March 2021 (which HempWell Ltd has completed).

How is the CBD industry regulated in the UK?

Up until recently the CBD industry was largely unregulated but this led to several untrusted products going to market. So, the Food Standards Agency set a deadline for all UK CBD companies selling products for consumption (such as CBD oil/capsules/gummies) to submit a Novel Food Application by the 31st March 2021. This did not apply to topical products, which have to comply with stringent cosmetics regulations.

After this date, only consumable products that are linked to a validated application will be allowed to stay on the shelves. During this transition period no new CBD products for consumption are allowed to come on the market without a fully authorised application.

Those CBD products available before this date, which are linked to a validated application (like our HempWell application) are able to remain for sale while the authorisation process takes place.

When a CBD company submits Novel Food Application, their products must be sent for full analysis, including:

  • Full chemical analysis
  • Stability Testing
  • Microbiological Testing
  • Toxicological Evaluation
  • ADME Evaluation

This rigorous process should hopefully lead to better quality products. It is an expensive and lengthy process, meaning sadly it will likely result in the closure of some CBD businesses but should leave the market with more reliable and trustworthy options, including HempWell.