What is the current legal status of CBD in the UK and Ireland

The laws in regards to CBD are very confusing in the UK and Ireland as CBD is legal in its pure form depending on how it’s processed . The extraction process to create pure CBD would need authorisation as a novel food, even though CBD is classified as a novel food.

Confusing yes it is, below are the relevant snippets from current laws form the UK home office , links to the full documents provided below

UK Law CBD as an isolated substance,

UK Home office fact sheet link

The UK Food standards agency fact sheet link

CBD in its pure form, would not be controlled under the MDA 1971 / MDR 2001. If a CBD ‘product’ contained any controlled cannabinoids, unintentionally or otherwise (e.g. THC ), then it is highly likely that the product would be controlled.

In the Republic of Ireland, 

Gov.ie cannabis for medical use face sheet link

 The FSAI fact sheet link

Generally speaking, hemp oil obtained by cold-pressing the seeds or other parts of the hemp plant does not require authorisation. This is because hemp oil was consumed in the EU to a significant degree before 1997 (see entry for Cannabis sativa L in the EU Novel Food Catalogue).  If, however, the CBD/hemp oil is subjected to certain forms of extraction or purification techniques, then a novel food authorisation may be required, as there may be an accompanying increase in undesirable constituents.

A typical example is hemp oil subjected to supercritical CO2 extraction. The legality of CBD depends on how it is processed. According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), CBD isolates that is extracted using solvents or carbon dioxide cannot be sold within the EU without authorisation as a novel food from the European Commission. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical constituent of the cannabis plant and products based on it can be legally sold in Ireland.

CBD and other cannabinoids ‘Products’

For a CBD and other cannabinoid products to be lawfully available for human consumption, it needs to either meet the Exempted Product Criteria in Regulation 2 of the MDR 2001 or the definition of a CBPM in Schedule 2 to the MDR 2001 for its possession to be lawful.

Where a product is neither a CBPM nor an ‘Exempted Product’, licences would not ordinarily be issued to enable the use of a ‘Schedule 1’ controlled drug product outside of bonafide research or a recognised UK clinical trial.n the UK Cannabidiol (CBD) and its control status:

The CBD-based drug called Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a treatment for childhood epilepsy. which is hopefully is the first of many.

We will update these laws as they change, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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