CBD flowers are NOT legal in the United Kingdom.
CBD flower is a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. You can’t possess or sell it in the country.
The good news?
Ready to find out more?
- Is CBD Flower Legal In the UK: Here Is the Low-Down
- Is There A Legal Way To Use CBD In The UK?
Before going into its legalities, let’s first look at what CBD flowers are…
CBD flower is the trimmed and dried flower or ‘buds’ of the Cannabis sativa plant (a strain of the genus Cannabis).
It contains high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC (usually less than 0.2% THC).
We know what you’re thinking:
- CBD (cannabidiol): It’s a primary chemical compound in the cannabis plant. CBD may reduce pain, promote sleep, ease anxiety symptoms, etc.
P.S. CBD on its own does NOT give you a high.
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): It’s a cannabis plant compound with psychoactive effects. It’s responsible for inducing the “high” associated with cannabis use.
|Fun fact: Did you know THC and CBD are only two of the many cannabinoids in cannabis plants?
There are around 133 different cannabinoids in the Cannabis Sativa plant!
If cannabis flowers contain low THC, why are they illegal in the UK?
Under the UK’s CBD law, a legal CBD product must contain 0.0% THC.
CBD flower (or CBD weed) contains trace amounts of THC.
You can still smoke the flower, use it in a vape, or extract its THC to induce a high.
The hemp flower is a class B drug (controlled drug) under the UK’s Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
The following CBD law and regulations specifically cover CBD flowers — AKA ‘bud,’ ‘CBD weed,’ and ‘kush’.
But hold on.
Since hemp plants produce hemp flowers, we’ll first discuss hemp cultivation in the UK.
i. Cultivation of Industrial Hemp
What is industrial hemp?
Plants from the genus Cannabis with a THC level of less than 0.2% are defined as industrial hemp.
It’s mainly cultivated for producing legal CBD products and industrial building materials.
So what’s the real story here?
In the UK, you can cultivate hemp ONLY if you have an industrial hemp licence.
But there’s a catch.
The industrial hemp license allows you to ONLY work with hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and fibres of the plant — NOT the CBD hemp flower.
It prevents growers from extracting THC from the rest of the plant (read: hemp flower).
Wait… what happens to the hemp flowers these plants produce?
Read on to find out.
ii. Possession and sale of CBD flower
The sale and possession of CBD flower or CBD flower products are strictly illegal in the UK.
It includes any raw, cured, or shredded forms of the cannabis flower, regardless of how it is packaged or labelled (think: cannabis resin or even cookies!).
The legal implications?
According to the UK Government’s Drug Penalty guidelines:
- Possessing CBD flowers or cannabis resin: Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both (Psst… you may also get an on-the-spot £90 fine or a warning.)
- Supply/production of CBD bud: Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both
P.S. The penalty depends on the amount of CBD bud you are caught with and if you have a controlled substance criminal record.
So what happens to the CBD flowers from industrial hemp plants?
The CBD flower and bud have to be destroyed — they CAN NOT leave the cultivation site.
|Important: Cannabis plants with a THC content of more than 0.2% are regarded as recreational cannabis (marijuana or THC flower) and are strictly controlled in the UK.|
You might be wondering:
If you can’t buy CBD flowers in the UK, why do some retailers sell them?
The truth is:
Many retailers (online and offline) flout the law.
In 2020, the UK police raided several CBD companies and shops for selling CBD hemp flower as “hemp tea” or other names.
These retailers attempted to exploit a “loophole” that allows certain stores to sell recreational cannabis buds containing levels of THC up to 0.2%.
What kind of stores?
The sale of THC-containing cannabis ONLY applies to licensed pharmacies selling to people with a certified medical cannabis prescription.
|Important: In rare cases, patients with severe illnesses can receive prescriptions from their healthcare practitioners for medical cannabis.|
Buying and selling a hemp flower or ‘buds,’ no matter the percentage of THC, is a criminal offence under the CBD regulation laws.
Use this knowledge to keep yourself safe if anyone tries to sell you “legal” CBD flower products in the UK’s CBD industry.
|Side Note: In the UK, hemp tea is legal as long as it’s crushed or milled. It CANNOT be sold as unprocessed hemp flowers or buds.|
CBD extracted from an industrial hemp plant can be sold legally as long as:
- The THC content is 0.0%
- It’s sold by a company that has submitted a novel food application
But how do you ensure a 0.0% THC limit?
Look for products containing CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD extract. These CBD types have a 0.0% THC level and therefore have NO psychoactive effects.
|Note: Broad-spectrum CBD products contain no THC. But they have other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes(aromatic compounds).
On the other hand, CBD isolate is pure CBD extract — it contains no other compounds.
And what is a novel food application?
It’s mandated by the FSA for the novel food authorisation of edible CBD products, which can be sold only as ‘food supplements’ under UK law.Here are some CBD legal products you can buy in the UK:
CBD oil contains CBD extract diluted with a carrier oil (think: hemp oil, MCT oil, or olive oil).
It’s one of the most popular ways to take CBD in the UK.
- CBD oils have a higher bioavailability (absorption rate) since you can take them sublingually (under the tongue).
- They are also easy to use and come in various CBD strengths and flavours.
Looking for an effective CBD oil?
Try the Vitality CBD 1200mg Natural Drops — a THC-free CBD oil containing natural, vegan-friendly ingredients.
Like CBD oils, CBD sprays are taken under the tongue for maximum bioavailability.
How do you use CBD spray?
Spritz the required number of sprays under your tongue, hold for about 30 seconds, and then swallow for the best results.
CBD sprays are more convenient to use than oil drops — especially if you prefer discreet dosing.
Ready to try CBD sprays?
Grab this delicious Vitality CBD 600mg Berry Spray — perfect for taking CBD on the go!
Prefer a tastier way to take your daily CBD dose?
Try these CBD edibles:
- CBD gummies: infused with CBD isolate (the pure crystal form of CBD) — the same way vitamins are infused to make vitamin gummies.
Up for some delicious gummy treats?
The Love Hemp 50mg CBD Jelly Domes packs a flavour punch of strawberry, blackcurrant, and orange.
- CBD capsules: usually contain CBD oil in gelatin casings (think: fish oil capsules).
Looking for the best way to start your day?
Try these Provacan CBD 2100mg Gold Capsules — a high-quality, high-strength CBD capsule.
- CBD cookies: similar to regular cookies (with added CBD oil) — the perfect mid-day treat!
But there’s a catch.
CBD gummies and other edibles have a slightly lower bioavailability than CBD oils as they are digested in the stomach.
Take your skincare routine to the next level with CBD topicals (thank us later!).
From night creams to CBD patches and topical balms, there’s a lot to choose from.
Their health benefits?
CBD topicals may reduce the effects of skin conditions such as eczema. They also offer relief from muscle pain and inflammation.
Try the soothing Infinity CBD Nature’s Balm to ease muscle aches and joint pains.
Enjoy CBD Legally With The Best CBD Products In The UK
CBD flowers are illegal in the UK due to their THC content.
But all’s not lost!
Go for CBD oils, sprays, topicals, or edible supplements to enjoy CBD’s benefits legally.
And for 100% legal CBD products, look no further than GreenBox! We offer top-notch, THC-free CBD products from the best CBD companies in the UK.