UKs rules on Hemp and CBD

All research is accurate as of November 2020

Throughout the UK there are a number of rules and regulations outlined for the use of Hemp and CBD products. Follow this article as we talk about some of the rules that the industry has to follow to ensure products are produced in a legal and safe manner.

So is it legal to grow Hemp

Under UK law it is an offence to cultivate any plant of the genus “Cannabis” except under a Home Office Licence. You need a licence for cultivation and also one for possession.

The Home Office can issue licences for use of the non-controlled parts of the plant (ie Seeds and Fibres) but doesn’t allow the use of ‘green’ material (ie leaves and flowers) so these must be lawfully disposed of. The plants can be grown only for the fibres to be used in industrial applications, and seeds for oils, Growth of the plants for any other use including CBD production is not currently authorized.

The crops have to be cultivated from approved seeds with a THC content not exceeding 0.2%.

Is there anything I can’t say when it comes to selling cbd?

When it comes to selling CBD, there are regulations around what you can and cannot claim. The MHRA ( Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) ensures that under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, no medical claims are made with regards to CBD products.
The following bullet points are just some of the rules:

  • You cannot make any explicit medical claims about your product
  • You are not permitted to offer advice nor offer a product to treat any condition
  • You are not to have links to organisations that promote “cancer cures” or any other medicinally biased sites
  • You are not to publish articles that may imply your products can or have traditionally been used to treat illness
  • You must not suggest they talk to a medical professional
  • You must not use imagery or product names that may imply your products are medicines.
  • You must not make comparisons with licenced medicines
  • You must not use product names which imply the product is a medicine
  • You must not make references to medical and/or clinical research and testing
  • You must not make references to the health risks of not taking CBD
  • You must not publish editorial medicinal claims
  • You must not publish recommendations by Doctors/Health professionals.
  • You must not publish testimonials that include/imply medical claims
  • You must not use graphics that imply medicinal
  • You must not reference or reproduce generic information.
  • You must not reference any medical conditions, conditions of the mind, treatments and symptoms.

If you wish to market the product for Medicinal purposes you must have a product licence (marketing authorisation). Medicinal products have to meet further safety, quality and efficiency standards before being sold.

Do I need a license to sell CBD in the UK?

After 31st March 2021, to be able to market a Novel Food in the UK / EU, a pre-market safety assessment and authorisation are both required.
The regulations deadline in the UK on the 31st March 2021, meaning all regulations come into force on the 1st April 2021.

Under EU regulations these following rules also apply to specific products

Selling CBD Cosmetics

All cosmetic products must have the correct cosmetic safety reports, CLP labelling and also be registered on the European portal.  

Selling CBD Vapes

As with all Vapes CBD vapes and e liquids must comply with the non-nicotine e-liquid regulations in the General Product Safety Directive. See more about CBD and vaping here

Selling Pet CBD Products in the UK

Products cannot be marketed for pets in the UK. CBD products for animals are classed as medications so require authorisation from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). 

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