The European region is experiencing a surge in demand for CBD products never experienced before. Partly, the sky-high demand for CBD products is attributed to their therapeutic benefits. As a result, we expect the CBD market in the European region to hit a staggering €1.4 billion before the end of 2023. Despite the popularity of CBD in Europe, the laws surrounding its cultivation, production, sale, distribution, and consumption are still stringent.
The first step to understanding the reason behind the stringent measures on CBD products is differentiating industrial hemp from cannabis/marijuana and CBD products.
Definition of Common Terms
Hemp is part of the cannabis family and is famous for its non-psychotic properties. Hemp is the primary source of cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid that is revered for its therapeutic effects. Unlike marijuana that contains high THC levels, the THC levels in hemp are below 0.3%.
Marijuana, popularly known as pot, weed, or even cannabis, occurs in three species: cannabis indica, cannabis sativa, and cannabis ruderalis. The herb is famous for its “head-high” effects due to the high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level. The THC levels in marijuana range from anything above 0.3% and can go up to 30%.
CBD products refer to products that are infused with CBD. The products could be edibles, topicals, capsules, or oil. CBD products are classified into three, depending on the constituent components:
These products contain less than 0.3% THC and all other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain zero THC and all other compounds in hemp.
The CBD levels in isolate-infused products can be as high as 99%. These products do not contain any psychotic compound.
What is the Legality of CBD and Hemp in Europe?
Under this section, we will tackle the legality of CBD and hemp in the European region. We will also analyze any developments in the legalization of CBD and hemp in countries within this region.
- CBD Legality in Germany
If you are from Germany, you can buy CBD products without much hassle since it is 100% legal. However, there is a catch to this freedom. First, the hemp must have been cultivated within the EU and certified for quality. Second, the permittable THC level for CBD products in Germany is 0.2% and below.
- CBD Legality in Georgia
The laws on the sale and consumption of CBD products, hemp, and CBD in Georgia are very complex, with stringent measures applied to the same. First, you can acquire up to 100g of fresh hemp flowers and 70g of dried flowers. Second, only people over the age of 21 are allowed to smoke hemp or weed. Third, smoking in a public place or near a minor is prohibited. If you adhere to these regulations, you stand a high chance of being on the right side of the law. However, given the complexity of these laws, you should be on the lookout, lest the laws catch up with you.
- CBD Legality in Austria
According to the Austrian laws, you cannot buy CBD or CBD-infused products for medication or as a food supplement. Besides, it is illegal to buy CBD products with more than 0.3% THC. However, you can still buy CBD infused in aroma oil. What makes Austria’s laws even more complicated is that you can purchase CBD-infused products with fewer restrictions, as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.
- CBD Legality in Norway
According to Norwegian laws, you cannot grow hemp or cannabis. However, you can buy hemp protein powder and hemp seed oil since they contain zero cannabinoids.
- CBD Legality in Sweden
According to the Swedish medics, CBD contains active ingredients that are responsible for “high” effects. According to a report by The Medical Products Agency, CBD is a drug. Therefore, a license is required to allow the sale of CBD and CBD products. Although Sweden prohibits CBD products’ sale, it is legal to buy them outside Sweden and have them shipped to the country. Even with this leeway to import CBD oil and other products to Sweden, the THC level must be 0.00%.
- CBD Legality in Ireland
Ireland applies similar laws to the EU in the cultivation and use of CBD. However, Ireland only permits CBD products with 0.0% THC, unlike other countries which require CBD products to have 0.2% THC levels.
Here is a summary of other countries in the European region that have legalized CBD:
Switzerland- You can buy CBD products as long as they have less than 1% of THC.
Netherlands- There has been a surge in demand and consumption of CBD products.
Luxembourg- The Luxembourg government is planning to decriminalize the use of recreational marijuana, making it the first country to walk that path. The demand for CBD and its affiliates will increase too.
Poland- It is legal to use and produce CBD products with less than 0.2% THC.
The UK- It is legal to use or sell isolate CBD products in the UK. However, there are several restrictions on CBD products for pets and medical CBD.
Amendments on CBD laws, hemp, cannabis, and CBD products are increasingly becoming popular in the European region. Hopefully, more countries in the area will follow suit and legalize CBD.