Legal and illegal CBD products. What's the difference?

Although CBD has occurred in nature for thousands of years, it's only recently become possible to extract it for use in commercial products. Which means laws and regulations are still evolving. And that makes it important for everyone to understand the differnence between legal and illegal CBD products.

Legal and illegal CBD products. What's the difference?

When are CBD products legal to buy and use?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found naturally in hemp and cannabis plants. It was discovered in 1940, and over recent years it's become possible to extract and isolate it for use in a wide range of products and applications.

As a result, research and laws are evolving as more is discovered about the potential ways it may impact on the endocannibinoid system in your body. But there are some basic rules to follow if you want to buy and use CBD in confidence.

CBD itself is not illegal to buy, sell, or use in many countries. The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that it's 'not a narcotic', and 'does not appear to have any psychotropic effect or any harmful effect on human health'. But laws still vary between countries, even those across Europe.

In the UK and much of the EU, CBD is legal to be sold as a novel food and supplement. This means no legitimate retailer can make medical claims for CBD products, and manufacturers need to apply to the relevant authority (the Food Standards Agency in England, for example) with details of the ingredients and laboratory tests.

Confusion over the legal status of CBD often comes down to whether it includes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical responsible for giving you a high from consuming cannabis. This is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs act, and only very small trace amounts are allowed to remain in any CBD products legally on sale.

CBD oil and other products may include around 0.01% of THC which is far too little to produce any feeling of intoxication, but could potentially help to encourage the 'entourage effect' in broad or full spectrum oils. Most retailers, including We Are Kynd, also offer Zero THC Isolate CBD oils and other products.

It's important to note that CBD products sold over the counter or online are not equivalent to medical cannabis products, which are subject to different regulation and require a prescription from your doctor.

How to buy and use CBD legally:

  • Always look for reputable CBD retailers.
  • Check that ingredients and lab test results are provided for the products you're considering.
  • If you're planning to fly within the UK or travel abroad, always check the rules for luggage and the laws for CBD around the world.
  • There are no laws to stop you driving after taking CBD, or regarding employment or sporting activities.


How to spot illegal CBD Products

While manufacturers are required to register their products, it's possible that you could find home-made alternatives on offer. And you won't know what other chemicals might be present, or in what amounts. For example, our CBD oils use coconut oil as a carrier for the Cannabidiol, which means they only include natural, vegan-certified ingredients.

And although we're all excited by the latest medical and scientific research, there's a big difference between sharing that news and making explicit medical claims. CBD may have potential benefits as part of a general wellbeing and health routine, but it's provided as a supplement, not a medicine.

Medical cannabis can contain high doses of both CBD and THC, but it's only available on prescription, and in the UK these are rare and only used for specific patients and conditions.

Finally, the sale of CBD flowers and buds is prohibited, even if the plants contain low amounts of THC. Although hemp can be cultivated legally with a license in the UK, only the fibre and hemp seeds can be processed for commercial purposes, and the rest of the plants have to be destroyed.

How to spot illegal CBD products

  • Being sold privately without legtimate manufacturer and retailer details.
  • No ingedients or lab test results.
  • Explicit medicinal claims
  • Flowers and buds are expressly prohibited from sale as a controlled substance
  • Medical cannabis products can only be obtained on prescription in rare and very specific circumstances. They can't be sold for any reason.


Ultimately, we want everyone to be able to buy and use CBD in the confidence they're enjoying the best qualify products, and in a safe and legal way. That's why we continually invest lots of time and effort to ensure the We Are Kynd range meet all the latest regulations, and that you're updated on what to look for when you're buying CBD in the UK.

And if you do have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us, or get in touch via social media. We're always happy to advice you personally and ensure your experience of CBD is the best it can be.