Is CBD Legal in the UK?
CBD is legal in the UK if sold as a food supplement. CBD products that are produced using Cannabis Sativa L. (hemp) are able to be legally sold as food supplements. The Food Supplements Directive 2002/46/EC defines a food supplement as foodstuffs which supplement a normal diet and which are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physical effect.
Hemp has been used as a nutritionally rich ingredient for thousands of years. Its also one of the oldest and most sustainable crops to be grown in the world.
Have the MHRA banned CBD?
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have not banned CBD. They do not have the authority to ban CBD and any reports that you have read stating they have are false.
What about the MHRA statement on CBD?
The MHRA have stated that “products containing cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine. Medicinal products must have a product licence (marketing authorisation) before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK“
Any product that make medicinal claims and are used for medical purposes are classified as medicinal products. It is true that these products do need marketing authorisation.
But the MHRA have not stated that CBD used as a food supplement will require a marketing authorisation. Just that CBD used as a medicine require a marketing authorisation.
Why doesn’t CBD require a marketing authorisation from the MHRA?
As long a CBD product is sold as a food supplement and does not make any medicinal claims. Then they are legally able to be sold in the UK. If the effects of the consumption of a food supplement is no different to that linked to the consumption of hemp as a foodstuff, it cannot be classified as a medicine and does not need marketing authorisation to be sold in the UK.
Could the MHRA ban CBD in the future?
No, as stated above. They do not have the authority to impose a blanket ban on CBD.
They can however make determinations on a case by case basis and subsequently conclude that a product is a medicine and would require authorisation.
But until they have assessed each case and issued a final determination.. They can not lawfully impose any restriction on the sale of a product or enforce any action with regards a breach of the medicines act.
A new case would be required for each specific product and for each product they would have to take in to account of all of the characteristics, in particular its composition, its pharmacological properties, the manner in which it is used, the extent of distribution, its familiarity to consumers and the risks which its use may entail.
Following our meeting with the MHRA on 3rd November they indicated this is a process that could take 6-8 months.
So there is currently no immediate threat to consumers or suppliers of CBD products in the UK