A full guide to the legality of CBD around the world including information on whether you can safely travel to and from each country with CBD.
While the legal status of recreational cannabis in most nations is black-and-white; conflicting and contradictory laws make the legal status of CBD quite complicated. In some countries, some CBD products are legal while others are prohibited, only compounding the confusion.
Whether you just have an interest in the legality of CBD and cannabis in certain countries or you intend to travel with CBD from the United Kingdom; our country by country guide on the legal status of CBD will provide all the information you need.
Table of Contents
Is CBD legal worldwide? List of Countries where CBD is legal
Cannabis is illegal and CBD is legal in most countries around the world. However, because CBD is an extract from the cannabis plant, its legality is steeped in lots of regulation and legislation which mean that not everybody can grow, produce or purchase the products. Adding to this the fact that each country has its own laws that are ever changing regarding cannabis; it is a minefield answering questions regarding the legality of CBD.
Is CBD legal in Europe?
Regulations by the EU govern the sale of CBD in most European countries. However, these countries are allowed to make their own interpretations of the regulations and well as level of punishment. The tolerance for cannabis-related crime varies massively from country to country in Europe and, as a result, so does how the law on CBD is policed.
Country | Is CBD Legal? |
Albania | No |
Cannabis and any of its byproducts are illegal in Albania but plants are present throughout the country and the law isn’t usually enforced. People using cannabis for personal use are not generally prosecuted but the law still dictates the products are illegal. For this reason, CBD oil is illegal in Albania and is not worth the risk of importing into the country.
Austria | Yes, with a prescription |
Possession of cannabis was decriminalized in January 2016. However, the Austrian Ministry of Health has recently issued a ban on the sale of all food and cosmetic products containing CBD unless issued via a medical professional. Without a prescription for your CBD product, it will be taken from you in Austria. Despite this, CBD oil is still available to purchase as an aromatic oil which is ‘not for human consumption’ in some Austrian shops.
Belarus | No |
Belarus has one of the most restrictive laws across Europe with both recreational and medical use of cannabis being completely illegal. In law, there is no distinction between marijuana or hemp in Belarus and anybody caught cultivating hemp and selling CBD can be prosecuted with up to 5 years in prison.
Belgium | Yes, with a prescription |
Cannabis is illegal in Belgium but decriminalized for adults over 18 for the possession of up to 3 grams. Cannabis-derived drugs are legal for medical use, such as Sativex. However, Belgium has an extremely low rate of prosecution for cannabis possession and is renowned for being relaxed with CBD items available online and in health food stores for many years. So, CBD is technically illegal without a prescription due to a law made in 1912, but it isn’t policed.
Bosnia and Herzegovina | No |
Even though a branch of the Bosnian government has been formed to explore the legalization of cannabis products for medical purposes; all cannabis and by-products are illegal in Bosnia. Therefore, CBD is illegal in Bosnia.
Bulgaria | Yes |
Bulgaria is the first country in Europe to allow the free sale of CBD oil products made from hemp. This means it is neither classed as a supplement or a medicine like in the rest of Europe, but as a food. CBD is completely legal in Bulgaria with a THC of less than 0.2%.
Croatia | Yes |
Cannabis is legal in Croatia with a prescription. Possession of cannabis is decriminalized and being caught with a small amount for personal use will result in a fine. All hemp and CBD related products are legal in Croatia as long as they have less than 0.2% THC and you can safely import and buy hemp and CBD here.
Cyprus | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.2% at any point during production. It’s safe to travel to Cyprus with CBD bought in the United Kingdom.
Czechia / Czech Republic | Yes |
Recreational cannabis is decriminalized. Possession of up to 10 g and the cultivation of up to 5 plants both are subject to a small fine. The law states that any cannabis product that contains less than 0.3% of THC is legal, so CBD oil can be sold and consumed openly in the Czech Republic.
Denmark | No |
The answer is quite complicated for possessing CBD in Denmark. From July 2018, CBD oil containing less than 0.2% THC is legal but must adhere to strict regulations set regarding medicines, food products and food supplements. Due to the Danish authorities interpretation of these regulations, they advise that all over-the-counter and online CBD items are more than likely illegal, even if they contain less than 0.2 % THC. The advice is that these products would have to be assessed on an individual basis.
As a Danish resident, you can apply to be part of a pilot scheme made available in January 2018 to use cannabis products and must possess a written prescription from your licensed health provider. There is nothing to state that prescriptions are valid from other countries, so don’t travel to Denmark with any CBD.
Estonia | Yes |
Recreational cannabis is decriminalized where possession of up to 7.5 g is subject to fine. Large amounts of cannabis and distribution are illegal. Medical forms of cannabis are available with a permit. Estonian law dictates that CBD is not banned for use. Consequently, CBD with less than 0.2% THC are perfectly legal for sale, consumption and travelling into Estonia.
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Finland | Yes, with a prescription |
CBD is legal in Finland, but any products containing CBD are classed as a medicine, so must require a prescription issued from a medical professional. Other cannabis products are illegal and although it isn’t heavily policed, punishments for minor possession can be quite harsh.
France | Yes |
CBD is legal. However, the French government advise that even the slightest trace of THC in CBD would make it illegal. Therefore, only CBD with 0% THC is legal for sale and consumption in France.
Germany | Yes, with a prescription |
CBD and the medical use of cannabis are legal substances in Germany, but only if you possess a medical prescription and a marijuana card. Some CBD items are not classified as medicines such as hemp tea and full-spectrum extract as long as the THC is less than 0.2% and can be purchased. CBD bud/flower is illegal.
Greece | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.2% at any point during production. Safe to travel to Greece with CBD sold in the UK.
Hungary | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.2% at any point during production. It is safe to travel to Hungary with CBD sold in the UK.
Iceland | No |
There is no specific law on the production and sale of CBD in Iceland. However, Icelandic authorities do not make a distinction between cannabis and CBD and therefore CBD is illegal in Iceland. However, many small Icelandic businesses sell CBD despite the law.
Ireland | Yes |
CBD is legal in Ireland. However, there are two sets of regulations with discrepancies that make the law confusing; one which states that only CBD extracted from cold-pressing is legal and the other that even the slightest trace of THC in CBD would make it illegal. Despite this, CBD items are sold in Ireland from multiple extraction methods and well-tolerated whereas THC in products isn’t tolerated and is policed. Regulations in Ireland are currently being looked at by the Irish government as they look at proposals for decriminalisation of recreational cannabis and are expected to be updated in the near future.
You may be interested in reading our blog on: Medical Cannabis In Ireland Is Legalised For Conditions
Italy | Yes |
The cultivation of hemp and the production and sale of CBD is legal in Italy, providing the content of THC throughout production is no more than 0.6%. The Italian Supreme Court advised in June 2019 that this legislation does not pertain to smokable cannabis. Therefore, the sale of high-CBD strains of cannabis with less than 0.6% THC is not legal in Italy.
Latvia | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.2% at any point during production. Safe to travel to and from Latvia with CBD sold in the UK.
Lithuania | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.2% at any point during production. Safe to travel to and from Lithuania with CBD sold in the UK.
Luxembourg | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.3% at any point during production. Safe to travel to and from Luxembourg with CBD sold in the UK.
Malta | Yes, with a prescription |
Cannabis is decriminalized for possession up to 3.5 grams and is legal for medical purposes. CBD is classified as a medical form of cannabis in Malta and is therefore only available with a prescription.
Netherlands | Yes |
Possession of cannabis is decriminalized up to 5 g and the sale and use is widely tolerated in licensed coffee shops. CBD is legal but CBD oil is illegal in the Netherlands, because of distinction in the law which dictates that cannabinoids cannot be isolated from the cannabis plant. Despite this, CBD is widely available across the Netherlands and not policed.
Norway | Yes |
Although Norway is not part of the EU, their law has been largely dictated by the European hemp market, so CBD is legal in Norway. However, the Norwegian government advise that even the slightest trace of THC in CBD products would make it illegal. Therefore, only CBD with 0% THC is legal for sale and consumption in Norway.
Poland | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.2% at any point during production. Safe to travel to and from Poland with CBD products sold in the UK.
Portugal | Yes, with a prescription |
Recreational cannabis is decriminalized up to 25 g and medical cannabis is legal in Portugal. CBD is considered to be a medicine and technically only available with a prescription from a medical professional.
Romania | Yes |
Recreational cannabis is illegal and medical forms of cannabis is available as long as the THC is less than 0.2%. The Romanian government has no restrictions on where the CBD in their products is sourced, so unlike most EU nations, the CBD can be extracted from marijuana.rather than hemp. CBD products are legal in Romania as long as they contain less than 0.2% THC.
Russia | No |
The cultivation of hemp is legal in Russia, but any extraction involving removing or isolating cannabinoids is illegal. It appears some vendors so sell CBD products despite the fact that CBD oil is illegal in Russia.
Serbia | No |
All cannabis and by-products are illegal in Serbia for recreational or medicinal use. Consequently, all CBD products are illegal in Serbia.
Slovakia | No |
One of the strictest countries in Europe for cannabis possession, even a small amount of cannabis can result in 8 years in prison. The Slovakian law dictates that CBD is a psychoactive narcotic and the production, sale and possession of any CBD product is prohibited and punishable by law.
Slovenia | Yes |
CBD is legal if it comes from industrial hemp and the concentration of THC does not exceed 0.2% at any point during production. Safe to travel to and from Slovenia with CBD products sold in the UK.
Spain | Yes |
The cultivation of cannabis for personal use in Spain is legal. By law, any cannabis product (including CBD) cannot be bought or sold in Spain as a consumable product. CBD is legally allowed to be sold as a cosmetic product. Despite this, consumable CBD products are still available in Spain but display the warning ‘for external use only’. These CBD products must have less than 0.2% THC.
Sweden | Yes |
CBD is legal. However, the Swedish government advise that even the slightest trace of THC in CBD products would make it illegal. Therefore, only CBD products with 0% THC are legal for consumption in Sweden. A license from the Medical Products Agency in Sweden is needed to sell consumable CBD products.
Switzerland | Yes |
Swiss cannabis laws are relaxed, with possession of 10 g or less of cannabis decriminalized. Cannabis and by-products are legal if they contain less than 1.0% THC. All hemp-derived CBD products with less than 1.0% THC are legal to purchase and consume in Switzerland.
Ukraine | Yes |
CBD is legal. However, the Ukrainian government advise that even the slightest trace of THC in CBD products would make it illegal. Therefore, only CBD products with 0% THC are legal for sale and consumption in Ukraine.
United Kingdom | Yes |
Is CBD Legal in UK? Yes, it is legal. However, the UK government advise that even the slightest trace of THC in CBD products would make it illegal. Therefore, only CBD products with 0% THC are legal for sale and consumption in the UK.
Read our similar blog on: Is CBD Legal to Ship in the UK?
Is CBD oil legal in South America?
In South America, the market for CBD products is growing incredibly quickly with the global change in ideas regarding the dangers of cannabis. Countries across South America are beginning to recognise the medical benefits of cbd oil, and this is reflected in the current medicinal cannabis laws.
There isn’t enough information regarding CBD for some South American countries. What we have looked at instead is the legality of cannabis.
You may be interested in reading our blog on: CBD driving Laws
Argentina | Yes, with a prescription |
Cannabis is decriminalized for personal use in small quantities and medical cannabis has been legal nationally, since 21 September 2017. CBD is considered to be a medical form of cannabis and therefore is available with a prescription. CBD is well tolerated in Argentina.
Bolivia | No |
All forms of cannabis and any by-products produced from cannabis are illegal for sale, possession and consumption across Bolivia. CBD products are illegal in Bolivia.
Brazil | Yes, with a prescription |
Recreational cannabis is illegal and not tolerated in any amount. Medical forms of cannabis have been legal since 2015 in the form of Sativex when they changed CBD from a prohibited to a controlled substance. No information is available on whether you can travel to Brazil with CBD if you have a prescription from another country.
Chile | Yes |
Cannabis is decriminalized for personal use in small quantities for personal use and medical forms of cannabis are legal in Chile. CBD is considered a medical substance and is available on prescription. Consumer acceptance for CBD in Chile is quite high and CBD is available for purchase online and use is well tolerated by authorities. Chilean airports have a zero-tolerance policy for any narcotics, recreational or medicinal, so do not travel with CBD oil.
Colombia | Yes |
Recreational cannabis is decriminalized up to 22 g or 20 plants for personal use and medical forms of cannabis are legal. CBD products containing less than 1.0% CBD by weight are allowed to be sold by retailers who possess a licence.
Ecuador | No |
Recreational cannabis is decriminalized up to 10 grams. Medical cannabis is illegal but talks are ongoing to create a medical cannabis program. Not enough information available to know if CBD is tolerated, but if it is the market is small.
Paraguay | Yes, with a prescription |
Recreational cannabis is decriminalized up to 10 grams. Medical forms of cannabis are not legal apart from in a handful of special cases. However, Paraguay authorities are currently looking into adopting a pilot scheme for medical forms of cannabis which could see more medical patients gaining access
Peru | Yes |
Recreational cannabis is decriminalized up to 8 grams. Medical cannabis is legal and widely accepted. CBD products are legal and widely available for purchase in Peru.
Uruguay | Yes |
Uruguay has extremely relaxed laws on cannabis. Recreational and medical cannabis is legal and cultivation of up to six plants for personal use allowed. The Uruguayan government does not want to promote cannabis tourism, so have made access to cannabis illegal for foreigners. CBD is not widely used in Uruguay and only a handful of products are available in pharmacies to access with a prescription.
Venezuela | No |
Both recreational cannabis and medical cannabis are illegal in Venezuela. No information on CBD products is available.
Is CBD oil legal in Africa?
For the majority of African nations, the law on the production, sale and possession of CBD isn’t available. Aside from South Africa, all nations across the African continent regard recreational cannabis as illegal and only Lesotho and Zimbabwe have legalised cannabis for medical purposes, although access in these nations appears to be limited.
Despite the legislation, cannabis is well tolerated in some African nations and the law is often unenforced. Other African nations carry heavy penalties for the possession of minor amounts of cannabis.
The CBD market hasn’t developed in Africa as it has globally, with South Africa being the only nation who can claim to have a competitive market. Despite this, travelling to any African nation with any CBD products isn’t advised.
Is CBD oil legal in the Middle East?
The attitude towards cannabis across the Middle East varies dramatically depending on what nation you are looking at. On one hand, you have Israel who leads the way in international research of cannabis and where medical cannabis is legal and well tolerated; on the other, you have Saudi Arabia who have executed people for possession.
Under no circumstance should you travel to any nation in the Middle East with any CBD, whether you have a prescription or not and regardless of the THC concentration.
CBD with 0% THC appears to be on-sale and popular in Egypt, Israel and Turkey, although possession in some areas of these nations may be policed heavier than others and is overall not recommended.
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In what US states in CBD oil legal?
The federal law in America states that CBD grown from hemp and that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal for cultivation, transportation and sale in the US. However, the individual states have the final say on what happens within their borders, meaning that every state in the US has a different legislation.
With the variance in law across the US, it’s easier to use a traffic-light system to order each state depending on their laws: –
- Green States – Cannabis is legalised and so are all by-products i.e CBD oil;
- Amber States – Cannabis are related products are okay under certain conditions;
- Amber-Red States – CBD is okay under certain conditions;
- Red States – All cannabis products are illegal.
These states allow the use of recreational and medicinal cannabis and you can freely purchase CBD: –
Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C.
These states allow the use of medical cannabis and CBD oil is legal, although you may require a prescription: –
Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, West Virginia.
In these states, cannabis is illegal for both recreational and medical purposes, but CBD oil is prohibited under specific circumstances. Such as for certain medical conditions or if it has a low THC content: –
Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
In these states, CBD oil is illegal: –
Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota
Is CBD oil legal in Australia?
In 2016, the Austrailian government legalised cannabis for medicinal purposes, but only a handful of Austrailians have been able to gain access due to the requirement of needing special approval from the Department of Health for the prescription.
In Australia, CBD is legal, but because it is classed as medicinal cannabis, it can only be accessed through the same special approval scheme and purchased from a select few approved vendors. This has resulted in as many as 100,000 Australians sourcing CBD illegally for their medical needs.
This issue has been recognised by the Australian government, and talks are ongoing about fully legalising CBD oil.
Is CBD oil legal in New Zealand?
CBD is legal in New Zealand, as long as access has been granted and that the CBD has been purchased lawfully through a medical professional.
Medicinal cannabis products such as Sativex are allowed regardless of THC content and possession of up to one months supply is allowed for travel. Other CBD items must contain less than 2.0% of THC or other intoxicating cannabinoids and possession of up to 3 month supply is allowed for travel.
You may be interested in reading our blog on: Is CBD Legal for Cyclists?
Is CBD oil legal in Canada?
Canada legalised cannabis for medicinal use in 2001 and then legalised recreational cannabis in 2018. Each province in Canada was given the power to create the specifics for the purchasing of recreational cannabis, such as age of requirement and how much you can possess.
Even though you can purchase CBD oil over-the-counter in most provinces in Canada, it is technically illegal unless for medical purposes. This is because the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Act only specified that fresh, dried, oil or seed form be legalised, not extracts and edibles; and CBD oil is technically classified as an extract.
Is CBD oil legal in Mexico?
Medical Marijuana has been legalised in Mexico for products that contain less than 1% THC, but access to products won’t be able until 2020 because licences to producers have only just been granted.
CBD isn’t classed as medical marijuana, and can be purchased from brick-and-mortar vendors and online without the need for a prescription.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It belongs to a group of compounds called cannabinoids, of which there are over 100 known to exist naturally. Another renowned cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), known for its use as a recreational narcotic that causes users to experience a ‘high’.
Different cannabinoids have different medical properties when consumed and traditionally cannabinoids have been consumed from smoking the buds of the cannabis plant. Advances in science have seen these cannabinoids extracted from cannabis and put into oils, lotions, balms, bath bombs, lollipops and more.
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Difference between cannabis and CBD
Cannabis is the umbrella term for all of the plants that exist in the genus Cannabis sativa. Cannabis plants can be differentiated into two main categories, marijuana and hemp. Marijuana has more than 0.3% THC and Hemp has less than 0.3% THC. Both marijuana and hemp contain CBD that can be extracted. However, for CBD oil to be legal in most nations around the world, it must be extracted from hemp.
For anybody who has persevered in reading this whole article, you will understand that the legal state of cannabis and products across the world is as varied and diverse as the planet itself. The hard rule is that if you are unsure about the legislation in a certain country, then opt to be safe and don’t travel with CBD. For anyone wanting to get into the CBD industry we recommend using approved UK CBD white label companies