CBD Oil UK: Laws, Benefits and Where to Buy
CBD laws in the UK – as well as all cannabis in general – have always existed in somewhat of a strange legal “grey” area. Cannabis itself is still illegal, officially designated as a Class B drug that comes with hefty penalties and/or potential prison time for its use. However, despite the plant’s total illegality, CBD itself is actually legal and essentially available everywhere.
Sold as a food supplement for the purposes of nutrition, you can actually buy CBD oil in the UK in a surprising variety of locations. (As you’ll see later, companies are not really allowed to market and list their products as “medicines,” unless they receive proper market authorisation with the MHRA).
In any regard, let’s take a look at the benefits of CBD oil and some of the best current brands that are available to buy in the UK, as well as the ins and outs of the legality behind it so you can make sure you’re not running afoul of the Conservative government’s hatred for all things narcotic.
What are the Benefits of UK CBD Oils?
CBD oil in the UK is not sold as a medicine, or really even advertised or known about. This might seem strange to those from other countries wherein CBD oil is known as a medicine that is available online. In the UK, CBD oil is nothing more than a food additive.
Officially classified in most instances as a “food supplement”, CBD oil is available for purchase in a variety of retail stores, but with very little reason, evidence or information given for why you’d actually take it (you’ll have to research that part yourself!).
The principal reason people take CBD oil in the UK, however, and indeed throughout the world, is for its well-known medical benefits.
CBD, acting as the counterpart to THC within the cannabis plant, is able to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body to produce a myriad of effects, such as increased neurochemical activity, a reduction in inflammation and pain, and improved sleep patterns.
Due to CBD’s interaction with the human body and its wide-reaching effects, people have found benefit in CBD oil for a huge number of medical conditions.
And believe it or not, the benefits of CBD and even cannabis itself have been made apparent in 2018, as the UK government officially legalized the production of cannabis-based medicines. Only sold under the brand names Sativex and Epidiolex, however, you can now be prescribed medication containing CBD by the NHS to help treat Multiple Sclerosis, as well as a few forms of epilepsy.
This legalization of cannabis medication makes the already murky question of cannabis legality even more confusing than it already is. Anyway, let’s look at what the current UK CBD laws are in an effort to understand where – and how – people can buy it.
What are the Current Laws in the UK for CBD Oil?
Put simply, CBD oil is legal in the UK. You can buy any form of CBD oil, whether it be full-spectrum oil or not, as long as it meets two important criteria:
- It is listed as a “food supplement” [i.e. does not advertise any medical benefits], and
- It does not contain more than 0.2% THC.
This last distinction is what separates a great deal of CBD products from the UK market, as it is typically difficult to produce CBD oil with that low of a THC content without significant industrial practices. This means than the production of CBD oil is limited to only a few companies that have the necessary infrastructure.
This issue of centralization of the control of CBD is made worse by the fact that the production of cannabis plants in the UK is limited to those holding an official governmental license. The UK government hands out very few of these licenses, preferring to allow a smaller number of large growers to control the entirety of the legal cannabis market.
Moreover, there are obvious issues with this limited control of cannabis; namely, that the production of cannabis is only possible for those that the government wants to produce cannabis. A great example of this is Victoria Atkins, who refused to speak up for medical cannabis legalization in the UK, instead taking a strong stance against its general legalization.
However, Atkins’ husband is the owner of the largest legal cannabis farm in the UK, growing CBD-rich plants for the production of the aforementioned epilepsy medication.
All this hypocrisy and governmental issues aside, it is still quite possible to get CBD pretty easily as a consumer – just don’t expect to have a great deal of choice when it comes to brands.
Where Can You Buy CBD in the UK?
Despite CBD oil’s popularity throughout the western world as a medicine, it is not anywhere near as common in the UK as it is elsewhere. Whereas in the USA and in Europe CBD oil is frequently sold as a self-administered medicine for the purposes of treating medical conditions, British people have little access to information about CBD oil.
That said, there are still a few high-quality brands that are producing, safe, effective, reliable products for UK consumers – and at pretty good prices too. In fact, one of these companies – Provacan CBD – is actually a direct affiliate with CiiTECH – one of the world’s leading cannabis research institutions that is currently sponsoring two major trials out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (which is more or less the epicenter of cannabis research).
Let’s take a little closer look at Provacan, and why they are far and away considered the highest-quality, most reliable CBD tincture for sale in the UK.
PROVACAN: HIGH-GRADE THERAPEUTIC UK CBD OIL
Like we said, the UK’s Provacan label is easily the best and highest-quality online retailer for CBD oil products. Inspired by the research from Dr. Raphael Mechoulam at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Provacan is essentially the “business side” of CiiTECH – a research and development group that seeks to promote and advance the cause of CBD awareness and acceptance.
Provacan is the #1 choice in the UK not only because of their quality CBD oil products, but because they repurpose their CBD oil sales into CBD and cannabis research – a true win-win situation for both the customer and the greater good of the medical cannabis community as a whole.
Provacan CBD Oil products are available in either 6% or 12% strength, and are priced only slightly higher than other producers (such as the retail store Holland and Barrett), but they offer an increased strength to help combat a wider variety of ailments.
Getting any kind of CBD oil stronger than 10% is particularly difficult in the UK, where the production is limited to a few growers and there isn’t as large a market, so the fact that Provacan exists to offer these higher volumes of CBD oil is extremely helpful.
Additionally, Provacan offers a myriad of other CBD products, such as topical CBD ointments and lotions, as well as a wide range of CBD e-liquids for vape usage. This means that you can not only administer your CBD orally through the traditional oil form, but you can also vape it, or apply it to specific areas on the body that are causing you trouble – this latter form of application is frequently used to treat localized inflammation.
Working with scientists all over the world, CiiTECH and Provacan are seeking to discover more benefits and uses of cannabis and CBD, as well as working with scientists and producers to create truly innovative and effective CBD products.
When you buy Provacan UK CBD oil, you can rest assured you’re not only buying the best quality CBD tincture, but also helping to contribute to the greater world of scientific research into CBD oil, and cannabis in general.
Other Reputable CBD Oil Companies in the UK
While Provacan easily would get our #1 pick for the top CBD oil in the UK, there are a handful of other brands as well that you can get your hands on, pretty much no matter where you’re located across England, Scotland, or Wales. You’re likely aware by now that CBD oil is pretty readily available in High Street retail shops, but be advised that most of these products are not much more than glorified hemp seed oils (or even olive oils) with little to no CBD in them.
Holland & Barrett does sell a decent CBD oil that may work for very mild applications, and we recommend you check them out if you are either unable or unwilling to purchase CBD online in the UK and have it shipped to your home address.
Holland & Barrett
Like we said, if you prefer to shop in a brick and mortar high street store, health food stores such as Holland and Barrett offer a small range of different CBD products.
Most of these CBD Oil products range in strength from 2.75% to 5%, and can even be ordered online or purchased in store in any of their larger locations. Most of their products are sold under the brand name of Jacob Hooy, and are available in capsule or regular oil form.
Holland & Barrett has been widely reviewed and recommended, primarily due to the fact that they are immediately available for purchase in person – something that many other CBD oil brands cannot offer in the UK. However, if you’re looking for something with a stronger CBD dose than 5%, you need to look for better options online.
Hempura UK CBD Oil
Hempura is another good UK CBD brand that offers an excellent range of different CBD products. Their section on CBD Oil is vast and varied in terms of available options, with strengths ranging from 2.5% all the way up to 10%, all in various sizes and price ranges. The primary irritation with Hempura is that they frequently seem to have their products out of stock due to high demand.
Whether this is because of the rising popularity of CBD oil in the UK or due to supply issues no one can say, but the irritation of finding that your preferred CBD oil variety is currently out of stock just when you need it does somewhat outweigh the benefits of the variety.
The reviews for Hempura UK CBD oil are all generally positive, though there are a few instances of shipping delays and general issues with package delivery, so make sure you order your CBD well in advance of when you need it.
However, if you’re looking to buy from a larger producer and distributor with a proven track record of hassle-free deliveries and good quality product, this is certainly a brand you can turn to.
CBD in the UK: Final Thoughts
To put it mildly, CBD oil in the UK is in a very weird spot – it’s not quite considered a medicine, nor is it really a food supplement. It’s available in retail stores, but only in small amounts. And if you buy it from an online retailer, you run the risk of running into supply issues due to the lack of legal cannabis growers in the UK.
Until the UK relaxes its cannabis drug policy (something that might very well be in the UK’s future), CBD oil is going to remain in this awkward position of being available – as well as legal – but still being hard to get hold of easily.
All things considered, make sure to shop online and compare prices, as well as read reviews for your preferred method of CBD application to ensure you’re getting the right CBD oil product you want. And if you’re looking for truly the highest-quality therapeutic tincture that the UK has to offer, no other option other than Provacan – in our opinion, they are as good (if not better) than the products you would get in a U.S. medical dispensary in California or Colorado.
Regardless of any issues with supply or governmental hypocrisy, at least it’s freely available to purchase and, as of 2019, an official medicine (at least for certain forms of intractable epilepsy). All things considered, the future of CBD laws in the UK – as well as CBD sales and education – is on the up-and-up!