Laws and regulations around CBD, hemp, and cannabis are currently in a state of rapid change all around the world.
Differences in restrictions on growing, producing, selling and using CBD products varies wildly on a state-by-state, and nation-by-nation basis.
As a result, in some cases it can be quite difficult to find out exactly which products are legal in your location, and which aren’t.
We have created this resource in order to help solve this issue, giving you a comprehensive breakdown of CBD legality across the world, which we will keep updated as laws change and develop over time.
So whether you’re in the US and want to know about local state CBD laws, or elsewhere in the world and want to know about your country’s legislation, it’s all here.
Let’s dive right in:
The United States: CBD Legality by State
Is CBD legal in the United States?
What about California? Virginia?
You might be surprised to hear that federally, CBD is still classed as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Despite this, the 2014 Farm Bill allows for cultivation of hemp for research or academic purposes, and many sellers currently hide behind this legislation.
Generally, the DEA doesn’t put a lot of effort into going after CBD users or sellers, so the question of whether or not you can sell it without getting into trouble mostly comes down to your local state laws.
Despite this, there remains some confusion about this – with CBD often being openly available in stores even in states where it is illegal or only available on prescription. This means it’s always a good idea to research local laws, and not to simply assume it’s allowed simply because it’s available off the shelf in your local shopping mall.
As of today, CBD oil is allowed in some form in the following states:
|Alabama||CBD is allowed but only to be prescribed for those with seriously debilitating conditions, and as part of clinical trials|
|Georgia||CBD oil is allowed but only on prescription. A patient is allowed no more than 20 ounces, with THC content being 5% or less, and CBD content required to be equal or higher than THC.|
|Indiana||CBD is completely legal and no prescription is required as long as THC content remains below 0.3%|
|Iowa||Iowa allows CBD oil to be prescribed to patients with severe conditions such as AIDS and cancer. It remains illegal to purchase or for therapeutic use.|
|Kansas||CBD is completely legal in Kansas and is exempt from the State’s marijuana laws. However, THC remains illegal, so all CBD products must be completely THC free.|
|Kentucky||Kentucky allows cultivation of hemp and production of CBD oil in state sponsored programs only. CBD oil remains illegal for purchase or possession, even among those who are allowed medical marijuana. Despite this, many use the 2014 Farm Bill as an excuse to keep using it.|
|Mississippi||CBD legality in Mississippi allows patients who suffer from epilepsy to use it as long as CBD content is above 15% and THC content is below 0.5%. It is also only available on prescription and cannot be legally purchased over the counter.|
|North Carolina||CBD is allowed but only for epileptic patients, and only from hemp sources.|
|South Carolina||CBD is available on prescription to those suffering from epilepsy, and cannot contain more than trace amounts of THC.|
|Tennessee||CBD is legal in Tennessee as long as it is made from hemp and not marijuana.|
|Texas||CBD remains illegal in Texas but is allowed for epileptic patients.|
|Virginia||CBD is legal in Virginia for treatment of any condition but only when prescribed by a doctor.|
|Wisconsin||CBD is legal in Wisconsin for treatment of any condition but only when prescribed by a doctor.|
|Wyoming||CBD is legal in Wyoming for epileptic patients, but only those who have failed to respond to all other treatments.|
The list of states above includes those who have made specific rules to allow CBD oil, either in all cases or in specific medical situations.
However, there are also states where marijuana itself is considered legal for medical use, and these states typically consider CBD to be legal too, as long as it is either low in THC or used for medical purposes:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
There are also the following states, where marijuana is entirely legal, even for those using it for recreational purposes and not for medical reasons. These states generally don’t ban CBD or THC at all and so CBD oil is openly available on store shelves, with the only requirement being that the buyer is over 18 years old:
Despite this, the clash between state and federal laws, and the lack of clear research on CBD, means you can expect these laws to continue changing and evolving rapidly in the next few years.
Central & South America: CBD Legality by Nation
Is CBD legal in South American and Central American countries?
While countries and laws vary a lot, the answers are surprisingly positive.
This table shows a breakdown of CBD legality in some nations in the area:
|Nation||Is CBD Legal?||Is Hemp Legal?||THC Limits|
In other South & Central American nations not listed here, CBD is generally considered illegal. However, it isn’t necessarily that simple. For example, CBD has historically been illegal in Mexico. However, the Mexican Supreme Court has ordered the government to legalise marijuana by the end of 2019. When this happens, you can assume CBD will become allowed too.
Brazil is similarly confusing, with marijuana being illegal but allowed in small amounts for personal use, and CBD allowed for treatment of epilepsy but strictly regulated.
Generally speaking, many nations are in a transitionary period when it comes to CBD and as such we can expect the list of nations where it is legal to rapidly grow.
Is CBD Legal in Canada?
With marijuana being very recently legalised across Canada, there are no differences between state and federal laws such as those found in the United States.
Not only is CBD oil readily available across the country, but there are zero limitations on it’s THC content too.
This is a very recent development and some laws are still being processed, but in general Canada is completely open to CBD oil.
Europe: CBD Legality by Country
Is CBD Legal in Europe?
Just like in any other continent, it depends where you go.
The following European countries have legalised medical cannabis, and because of this, CBD is also legally available:
- The Netherlands
- The United Kingdom
Is CBD Legal in the UK?
You might be surprised to see the UK on the above list, as it has generally been against medical cannabis. Whereas medical cannabis is very difficult to get in the UK, it does exist for a small number of patients. For example, Sativex, a medicine used to treat multiple sclerosis, contains 50% CBD and 50% THC – however it is extremely rarely prescribed, and only when other treatment methods have failed.
Despite this, CBD oil is legal in the UK as long as the following conditions are met:
- It must be produced from an EU-approved strain of industrial hemp
- It must contain less than 0.2% THC
To learn more, take a look at our guide to CBD Legality in the UK.
European Nations Where CBD is Illegal
While the following nations don’t have specific CBD laws, they have extremely strict laws around cannabis.
As a result, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to access CBD in these countries, and doing so could land you in legal trouble:
Switzerland on the other hand, has strict laws around THC, but no rules around CBD whatsoever.
As a result, CBD oil is legal in Switzerland and even very high CBD strains can be produced, as long as THC presence doesn’t exceed 1% in any case.
European Countries Where CBD is Legal But THC is Illegal
The following European countries have banned THC and mostly have strict laws around cannabis, but have no specific laws banning CBD. As a result, CBD is generally allowed in these countries as long as THC content doesn’t exceed a specific threshold:
- Czech Republic
As you can see, this is by far the most numerous situation for European nations, and this is perhaps unsurprising considering how long cannabis was illegal for.
Is CBD Legal in Australia?
CBD is legal in Australia, however all products containing cannabinoids must contain no more than 50mg of any cannabinoid per kg, including CBD.
CBD oil must also contain less than 0.3% THC.
Is CBD Legal in China?
Hemp based CBD is technically legal in China as long as THC content is very low or non existent, and China is one of the world’s leading hemp growers. However, cannabis laws are strict and breaking this THC limit can lead to serious consequences. It is also illegal to bring CBD oil into China from elsewhere as this is considered a food product.
Is CBD Legal in Thailand?
THC and CBD remain illegal for purchase at the time of writing. However, with the growing of hemp being legal, and Thailand recently passing a bill to legalise medical cannabis, it appears CBD becoming legal in the near future is likely.
Is CBD Legal in Japan?
CBD is legal in Japan, however it must contain zero THC content.
Is CBD Legal in Singapore?
CBD is a controlled substance in Singapore. While buying and selling it are not illegal, possession is.
Is CBD Legal in South Africa?
Cannabis was decriminalised in 2018 for personal use in South Africa. While CBD was already legal beforehand as long as THC stayed below a certain limit, it is now generally tolerated regardless of THC content.
Outside of nations, there are certain occupations (and age groups) for where CBD laws may vary.
Let’s take a look at some:
Is CBD legal for the military?
People who are actively serving in the military, police or similar may be concerned about drug test results, even when they are serving in a nation where CBD is legal. Drug tests do not detect CBD. However, they do readily detect THC.
As a result, CBD is generally fine for those in active service, as long as it contains zero THC content.
Taking CBD oil with THC content is always a risk no matter how small the percentage, as drug tests do not indicate where the THC came from and those organising the test cannot determine the difference between THC from CBD oil and THC from smoking cannabis recreationally.
The issue here is many CBD products that claim to contain zero THC content, potentially can contain some trace amounts due to issues around regulating CBD oil, and around the extraction process.
This means that actively serving soldiers and police officers would do well to avoid CBD, just to be safe.
Is CBD Legal for Truck Drivers?
Of course, this changes on a state by state and country by country basis.
However, roadside drug tests only check for THC.
This means as long as you are in a state where CBD is legal, and your CBD oil contains zero THC, you should be fine.
However, since THC is psychoactive, taking it before driving can be extremely dangerous, and since some CBD oils that claim to have zero THC have been found to have some – it’s potentially best avoided, or at least used after trips are finished.
Is CBD Legal for Kids?
This is worth checking as there are countries and states where CBD is legal but only for those over 18, and there are also locations where it is legal without such a qualifier.
The key is to avoid THC intake, and CBD alone is no risk to children – although there is always a risk of a small amount of THC being present, meaning it may be best to wait until your child is fully grown to explore this avenue of treatment.