Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK?

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Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK 2020?

At the start of the year, the FDA made some noise about regulating the CBD industry as there are too many companies who are selling CBD oils that do not comply with industry standards; whether that is that the oil contained too much THC, no CBD at all or in the form of an Isolate (some of the biggest named brands on the high street were highlighted as serial offenders).

Since this point, a little confusion seems to have arisen as to if CBD oil is legal in the UK still?

Current CBD Legality of CBD Oil

The legality of CBD oils is up for some debate. While some claim that these are set in stone, there are a few huge industry players who are not playing by these rules and seem to get away with it. Which is frustrating. To keep this simple: CBD oil is legal in the UK and has been since 2016, so long as it follows a few rules.

  • Must be derived from a Sativa L strain (although there are some Indica oils on the market)
  • Contain less than 0.2% THC
  • Must not be made from a CBD Isolate if being consumed
  • Ideally Should be 3rd Party Tested

THC, which is the main psychoactive component of Cannabis (and gives you a high) is still prohibited by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The authorities have set out that even full-spectrum CBD should contain more than 0.2% of THC. As you can see, each of our products has been carefully crafted to comply with legislation so our own products are completely illegal. It is partly why 3rd party testing is so important.

There is some debate in regards to THC: while full-spectrum oil is technically more effective, there may be some who move legislation to enforce that all CBD oils in the UK must be 0% THC. Although, some European countries are allowing up to 1% THC content- which would be very interesting if our government allowed this to happen! So, is CBD oil legal in the UK? And what kind? We may have to wait and find out!

There are some high THC oils that are legal in the UK- most of them are not readily available as they are prescribed by a medical professional.

Legality As a Novel Food

CBD oil is legal to be sold as a food supplement: it is partly the reason why we cannot make any medical claims about the products we sell on our website. It is therefore currently illegal to sell a CBD oil as a medicine, or as a cure for health conditions without a license (which costs a lot of money and requires a load of medical research). While there is lots of anecdotal evidence, and suggestions of CBD’s benefits online, they are yet to be tried and tested by science. While we know a lot, clinical trials need to be carried out so that we can ascertain CBD’s medical benefits.

Each of the products we sell are as food supplements to ensure that you can maintain your ECS and levels of phytocannabinoids, all of which are vitally important for your well-being!

The FSA’s statement at the start of 2020 puts into motion the enforcement of ‘Novel Food’ status of CBD. This means that all foods containing CBD (including CBD oil) will be illegal unless it has undergone a process of testing and approval. This testing process can take up to a year and a half to complete. If this were to happen in the UK, the whole CBD industry and those who rely on that income will be decimated. The UK’s FSA has set out that manufacturers must submit their applications by March 2021.

For us as a retailer, we need to keep an eye on the progress of the industry. Our supplier is applying to be given a license and supply CBD, so all fingers crossed we will be able to keep selling our fantastic CBD oils well into 2021.

For consumers, this may be a positive. It means that all of the oils on the market will comply with a high standard of production and formula. It stops the roulette that many of us need to run today to find something that is of good quality- there are more than a few companies selling products that aren’t what they seem. Sadly, you can’t even trust high street brands!

Are other kinds of CBD still legal?

Well, the FSA’s change in policy only affects products that are taken orally: which are classed as foods. CBD products like cosmetics, topicals, and vape oils are not included. We are unsure whether this will change, or there will be independent reviews of these kinds of CBD oils.

Products like CBD flower (which we think is actually fantastic) are technically not legal and cannot be sold. However, this is not fully enforced as there are still ‘hemp tea’ products still available online. This will certainly change in time

Cannabis Organizations

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We’ve created a roundup of some cannabis related organizations which are no longer around – we’ve done this because we want to make sure the message they were trying to spread is still heard, even if their websites are no longer live! Let’s get started:

 

 

Cannabis Business Alliance

The Cannabis Business Alliance was an industry leading resource and trade association for business owners formed in 2009. The Alliance advocated for sensible and collaborative public policy that protected employees, patients, and clients of the medical and retail marijuana industry.

 

 

The CBA played a vital role for its members in the development of the cannabis industry. It promotes best business practices, works to enhance the emerging industry’s role in state-level business economy, and supports education and safety to protect employees and purchasers within regulated marijuana commerce. Although the CBA no longer seem to be active, they had a great impact on the industry.

 

 

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR)

Since 2011, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR) has organized, energized, and empowered people to stand up and take action against the United States’ damaging cannabis policies. The CCPR is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to replacing the harmful policy of cannabis prohibition with reasonable regulation, based on science, through ballot initiatives, legislative collaboration and public education campaigns.

 

 

 

 

What is CBD Isolate/ Powder?

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What is CBD Isolate/ Powder?

CBD these days can come in lots of different forms; from a flower to oils & pastes and even in the form of a CBD isolate (also called CBD powders or CBD crystals).

These do look a little suspicious but a CBD isolate is a pure hemp extract that only contains the compounds of CBD and is derived from a process of CO2 extraction and winterization- this process extracts the CBD compounds from the hemp plant and therefore produces a pure crystallized form of CBD.

The crystals that remain after the distillation are a very high percentage of CBD (often 99.9%) and are usually produced so that a carrier oil, or product can be infused with CBD. Therefore, generally, the main use for CBD isolate/ CBD power is as a wholesaler or somebody who wishes to make their own products at home. Way back in the day, when CBD isolate was readily available, we ourselves created a range of skin oils and experimented with the process of making our own topical CBD oils.

You cannot produce a CBD oil to be taken orally with isolated CBD- if you want to make your own tincture, then follow this tutorial.

If you buy a CBD powder, or even CBD crystal, product online it likely will come to you in a little tub of 1g or more. It looks like a white a fine white powder and should be used with caution.

How to use CBD Isolates

CBD isolates, in theory, are handy. If you buy them online you generally get them it in a little tub and a little does go a long way. You will need to get yourself some scientific scales and some scientific equipment (like a small spatula, beaker, thermometer and a big pan of water).

Remember- anything you make should not be taken orally.

 

  • Place a carrier oil (like olive oil)into a large beaker or bowl
  • Boil water in a large pan and place the beaker to warm the oil
  • Slowly warm until the oil is 60 degrees, then add your CBD isolate
  • Slowly stir the oil and maintain the temperature until crystals/isolate has dissolved
  • Remove beaker carefully from the water and allow to cool down

Once the oil has cooled down, you can use it for your hair or something similar.

 

The danger of CBD powders

CBD powder/ CBD isolate is not permitted for use for any CBD oil that you consume in the UK- so legally, it would be illegal (and frankly irresponsible) to try to produce tinctures to sell using this method. There are much more effective ways to make your own CBD oil! It can be argued that tinctures produced with a CBD powder is unethical and ineffective.

Secondly, these days, the quality of the isolate in the UK is at an all-time low. Previously, growers in the EU would priorities their CBD production to produce oils, and pastes, rather than isolates. So generally a producer would only be able to produce a comparatively small amount of CBD isolate per harvest. The demand was so high that the price of these products skyrocketed and they were very difficult to get in stock. Where there is limitation, there is always opportunity. The market is now flooded with fake products that contain anything from washing power to being plastic shards- imagine melting plastic into something you’re about to ingest- and then selling it to customers?

What is a Landrace Strain?

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What is a Landrace Strain?

A landrace strain refers to a “local” strain of cannabis that’s adapted to the environment in its geographic location. They’re typically named after their native region, which is the reason we’ve got stains like Hindu Kush, Panama Red, Durban Poison, Acapulco Gold, and more.

Landrace strains have adopted to their environment over time, finding the optimal balance to thrive. Climate, weather, soil, and other environmental factors in certain areas are what make up the ideal conditions for cannabis to adopt to its environment. It is the landrace strains that have withstood the test of time, becoming the foundation of the variety of strains we see today.

Landrace strains are the true OGs of cannabis. As an example, Hindu Kush originated in the Hindu Kush, a rugged mountain range that stretches from Afghanistan to Pakistan, making it a landrace strain to Afghanistan/Pakistan.

Hybridization has left us with countless strains of cannabis, but fewer original genetics. Coming across a pure landrace strain is rare, with most of today’s popular cannabis strains crossbred with two or more strains.

Landrace strains have withstood the test of time. They are the seeds that were smuggled from their native regions by some of the first cannabis crusaders. Landrace strains have given us the wide variety of weed we’re so familiar with today, each with their own history and geographical home.

One Fix Cannabis

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The One Fix Cannabis campaign is a cannabis campaign from the guys behind the Craft Cannabis Alliance, and is intended to allow for interstate cannabis transfer. The One Fix Cannabis campaign would allow the Oregon governor to approve licensed, interstate cannabis transfers, which is the first step in a multi-faceted effort to allow the interstate sale of cannabis. Smith believes it is the only way to save Oregon’s unique industry.

Currently the website is down, so we thought we’d explain what the campaign is about.

 

If the campaign was to work, it would allow Oregon to open up state lines and allow for legal transfer to other markets with cannabis programs. Because the quality of Oregon products is so high, it would be great for Oregon to be able to provide this product to other states.

Furthermore, as stated by the organisers of the campaign:

“Interstate export would immediately end Oregon’s oversupply problem and stabilize prices. It would save hundreds of local businesses and family farms that are currently at risk of collapse, preserving hundreds of millions of dollars in local capital, and thousands of jobs.”

So if you’d like to support this campaign, head to the Craft Cannabis Alliance website and contact them for more information.

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