CBD has recently gained momentum especially because of its many beneficial effects on the body. However, the world community remains cautious to legalize this molecule due to the risk of confusion that could exist with THC and therefore cannabis. Let us take stock today of the legislation in Europe and in the world around the CBD.
CBD and THC: how to avoid confusion?
CBD and THC are part of the cannabinoid family which has more than 100 different compounds. These two molecules are naturally present in the hemp plant, also known as “cannabis”. If the CBD has recently been on the front of the stage (see the CBD definition), THC has been recognized for many years, but above all for its harmful effects on the human body and brain.
Le THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, it is the substance that is at the origin psychoactive effects adverse cannabis. The CBD meanwhile has no intoxicating or psychoactive effect. On the contrary, several studies have updated these beneficial and soothing effects on the body and mind.
So why so much confusion about these two compounds from hemp? Often we confuse hemp and cannabis. Hemp today is a variety of plants that is regulated and subjected to strict controls so that it can then be used in many industries. CBD is naturally present in hemp plants in varying amounts. It is then extracted to create all kinds of CBD products: CBD oil, CBD wax, e-liquid for e-cigarette and many others. These hemp plants have no trace of THC, or even an infinitesimal quantity: they have no chance of getting you stoned or addicted.
Commonly called cannabis hemp plants that contain more than 0,2% THC, sometimes with much higher contents. THC like CBD is also naturally present in certain varieties of hemp. These plants with high THC levels are considered drugs in most countries of the world and are therefore illegal.
The confusion between the two compounds therefore comes from the fact that they come from the same variety of plant. : hemp. However, THC has been shown to have harmful health effects while CBD may have real therapeutic value. Despite this, governments are sometimes still reluctant to allow CBD, often to avoid the drifts and the risks of misunderstandings and although the scientific community expresses the idea that the molecule of CBD is promising.
Let's take stock together CBD legislation in different countries in Europe and the world. Obviously, this information is valid at the time of writing, but may change in the coming years, or even months.
CBD in Europe
Most European countries have adopted regulations around CBD products, including by legislating on their THC content.
En Germany. as Spain and France for example, the THC content of the hemp plants used must not exceed 0,2%. En Switzerland, this rate is 1%. In Italy it is 0,6%. We can see how little tolerance for THC levels remains unequivocal in Europe.
Some countries do not make it clear that CBD is subject to strict regulations. In Germany for example, CBD is not mentioned in the narcotics law as a controlled substance. In fact, you can find CBD products in nearby stores. To the Netherlands where THC is tolerated despite the fact that legally the substance is completely prohibited, CBD is also allowed. In France on the other hand, the look is more severe and the authorities believe that they do not have enough perspective on CBD to be certain that it is 100% safe.
Some countries also use CBD as an effective therapeutic alternative. This is the case ofGermany since 2017. At UK, CBD is authorized when it is sold as a dietary supplement. It has also recently been authorized on medical prescription for patients with specific medical needs: it has become a medicine in its own right. In the same vein, the Belgium has authorized pharmacists to sell CBD preparations on medical prescription since August 2019. Belgium, like 17 other European countries, also authorizes the prescription of drug Sativex, an oral spray that contains CBD and THC and is intended for patients with multiple sclerosis. This drug is also not marketed in France despite a marketing authorization dating from 2014, which is not without arousing the incomprehension of the patients concerned by this drug.
CBD in the rest of the world
Elsewhere in the world, very many countries allow CBD as a therapeutic alternative. This is the case of Israel, Uruguay, Canada and the United States.
The United States are the most complex example. With its 50 states, no standardization exists and each state has adopted its own legislation. Yet today it is one of the countries that benefits most from the success of the CBD industry. Food products are booming and we no longer count the marketing blows linked to CBD announced by the giants of the food industry. You can also consult our article on the subject to see that their imagination has no limits.
En Asia, there is a total blur around the CBD. No country has taken official action on the molecule despite sometimes very strict cannabis laws.
En Africa, there is also no official legislation except in South Africa which has legalized CBD and therefore its use.
Despite legal ambiguity in several countries and particularly in France, CBD is debated and the laws around its marketing and especially its marketing as a therapeutic product evolve every year. In fact, if you go on vacation to a foreign country, rteach yourself before your departure on the evolution of laws around CBD if you are a consumer.