CBD oil has skyrocketed in popularity over recent years. According to the European CBD & Cannabis Market 2019 Report by Brightfield Group, the UK CBD market exceeded expectations to be 3 times larger than what was predicted in 2019. And this is only increasing!
In the UK, cannabis is classed as a Class B drug under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, meaning that it is illegal to possess, grow, sell and distribute it.
But what about CBD by-products? According to the Home Office’s Drug Licensing Factsheet, CBD products are legal so long as they contain no or under 0.2% THC. The THC is what causes a user to feel the high sensation, so having no or a minimal amount of this, produces no intoxicating effect.
In this guide we will break down everything you need to know about CBD and the legalities in the UK, so you can feel assured if you are buying a product.
What Is CBD?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the natural chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are called cannabinoids. Other cannabinoids such as THC can cause users to feel the high sensation, but CBD has no psychoactive effects.
For this reason, you can find CBD being used for it’s potential to help with pain relief or for its anti-inflammatory properties. That being said, research into the benefits of CBD is still underway in the UK.
Which Part Of The Cannabis Plant Does CBD Come From?
CBD can be found in cannabis and hemp plants. Hemp is a type of plant from the same botanical class of cannabis sativa as marijuana except it contains low levels of THC.
The CBD extract can be taken from most parts of the plants, but typically the leaves or flowers. It is extracted by using heat to activate the compounds. It is typically diluted with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, in which the CBD is heated to allow the CBD to bind to the oil fats.
There are other extraction methods including CO2 extractions which is a clean but costly method. A Subcritical CBD extraction involves using low pressure and low temperatures to extract the CBD. This method takes considerably longer and is best used for small batches.
Solvent CBD extractions offer a quick and easy extraction process but the final product is of less quality. Finally, CBD can be extracted through dry ice and produces a higher-quality product than with solvents.
Is CBD Vape Juice Legal In The UK?
CBD vape juice is legal in the United Kingdom so long as it is within the legal limit of less than 0.2% THC. There are also different types of CBD vape juices including CBD isolate, broad-spectrum and full spectrum.
CBD isolates and broad-spectrum products contain 0% THC due to their extraction method. For isolate, manufacturers extract all compounds from the plant to leave behind CBD in a crystalline form. Broad-spectrum CBD can contain other compounds, but this should not include THC.
Full-spectrum products are where you can get that tiny percentage of THC as it is harder to separate. However, this is still legal as less than 0.2% is not enough to produce any mind-altering effects.
Are Other Forms Of CBD Legal?
CBD vape juice is just one of the ways CBD users can consume the product, so we will look over each to see how they are considered in the CBD oil UK law.
CBD edibles are allowed in the UK so long as they contain less than 0.2% of THC, so, therefore, produce no psychoactive effects. As with all CBD oil products, you should ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable and abiding company.
The most popular CBD edibles in the UK come in the form of gummies as they’re an easy and fun way to ingest the oil.
Some people add CBD oil to their food to enjoy calming effects. In these cases, CBD oil is commonly combined with other oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and sesame oil. However, it can also be used alongside meat, fish, and eggs.
Sublingual means ‘under the tongue’ in Latin, so the oil is usually contained within a dropper bottle whereby you place 2 to 3 drops of the oil under your tongue. The reason it is taken under the tongue is to assist with the absorption, but due to this, it may not be an ideal option if you struggle to swallow.
CBD supplements such as capsules and drops are also legal to purchase and use in the UK. Once again, this is so long as they contain less than 0.2% of THC.
CBD Cream & topicals
Various CBD creams and topicals claim to contain various benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief. These are also allowed in the UK just as long as they are under the legal limit.
CBD creams can also be combined with other benefits to target specific concerns such as soothing properties to prevent flare-ups. Unlike the other options, CBD creams and topicals are not absorbed into the bloodstream and are instead used to moisturise, balance, and assist with skin concerns.
Unlike the other mentioned products, CBD flower is currently illegal in the UK. This is because the flower comes from a banned area of the plants, so even if the flower contains less than 0.2% THC, it still cannot be sold.
The consequences of possessing a CBD flower vary from a fine to a prison sentence that can be up to five years. Therefore, be sure to avoid CBD flowers altogether and opt for a legal CBD alternative.
Current CBD Product Regulations
As mentioned earlier, the current regulations are outlined in the Home Office’s Drug Licensing Factsheet.
Firstly, industrial hemp farming requires a license in the UK. Currently, farmers have to destroy the leaves and flowers by degrading or burning them as they can only solely cultivate the seeds and stems. This is important to note as CBD is found primarily in the flowers of hemp.
Therefore, CBD has to be imported into the UK from an industrial-grade strain that is approved by the EU. Likewise, the THC content must not exceed 0.2%.
You can possess and sell CBD, but sellers need to have a third party lab report which is able to show the details of their substances to ensure it doesn’t exceed the legal limit.
Also to note, even though CBD is legal, you should still show the same courtesies in public spaces as you would with other vape or smoking products.
As a good rule of thumb, stick to designated smoking spaces if you are vaping CBD. Also, anywhere where smoking is banned you should assume the same rule applies for vaping as you could end up with a hefty fine.
Where To Buy CBD Vape Products
Whether you are new to CBD vaping or are an experienced user, CBD Planet UK has a huge range of CBD vape products to choose from. You can find your essentials such as CBD vape juice products in a selection of sizes, vape pens to start your journey, and vape cartridges in a variety of flavours.
Plus we have products for experienced users such as vape additives to pair with your existing staple juices.
Not only do we have a large selection of products to choose from, but we also offer a price guarantee on all of our items. This means you won’t find cheaper prices anywhere else!
We hope that you have found our guide to vaping in the UK helpful in your CBD journey.
Why is CBD legal in the UK?
The reason why CBD is legal in the United Kingdom is because of its absence or minimal amount of psychoactive content. This means that CBD doesn’t leave you feeling intoxicated or with a high sensation, which is why it is legal.
When consumed, THC binds itself to the CB1 receptors which are found in the central nervous system, this produces the euphoric effect. This can also have an effect on functions such as memory, thinking, coordination, and your senses.
Where can I legally vape CBD?
While vaping CBD oil is legal, that doesn’t mean you should do it anywhere. Be respectful of others in your surroundings and abide by any rules on vaping. In other words, take note of where smoking or vaping is banned.
Generally, treat vaping as you would with smoking, so do not vape on trains or in indoor public spaces. Even in open public spaces, we advise you to be considerate of others.
If you are unsure about whether you are allowed to vape in a certain area, there’s no harm in asking a member of staff what the rules are.
You should also take care if you are thinking about vaping CBD when behind the wheel. The thick clouds of smoke created when vaping can limit your vision. You can avoid this by vaping out of your car window as with smoking, but we’d generally say it’s not worth the trouble you could find yourself in.
If you are caught vaping and blowing the smoke inside your car, you could face between three and nine penalty points, up to a £2,500 fine, or in extreme cases, you can lose your license.
Is vaping CBD oil the best way to consume it?
The best way to consume CBD will vary depending on your personal preferences. Vaping CBD is a good option for those looking for something convenient and easily accessible. Those who enjoy CBD vape juice can experience a near-instant effect as it diffuses into your bloodstream.
That being said, it is not deemed the healthiest way to take CBD and it requires additional gear such as the vape pen and the CBD e-liquid.
Edibles are a more discrete and easy way of taking CBD compared to a CBD vape. These take longer to feel the effects as they travel through the digestive tract and onto the liver before being absorbed into the bloodstream. There are even options to combine CBD oil with food.
Sublingually is another way to consume CBD oil. Placing the drops under the tongue is a quick and discrete method that requires no additional tools like vape pens.
On the flip side, the taste may not be pleasant if you do not like the earthy flavours of CBD.
Unlike the other options, topical CBD products never reach the bloodstream. These are instead used to balance and keep your skin supple. Some users also like this method for easing sore muscles. The usage is simple, just massage the discrete product onto your skin.
Topical CBD products are easy to use and require no additional equipment. However, the soothing effects are not as long-lasting as with other methods.
Overall, each method of consuming CBD oils serves a different purpose and works best for different groups of people. If you are after something discrete, the vape is probably not the most appropriate option. However, if you want to enjoy near-instant effects, you might like the vaping option.
Where can I purchase CBD vape juice?
CBD Planet UK has a huge range of vape juices and e-liquids from a variety of CBD brands. You can find so many different flavours to suit your tastes with a selection of strengths so there are plenty of options for beginners and veterans.