Many products presented as containing CBD have recently appeared in the UK market. The UK govermentled an inter-ministerial working group to publicize legal and technical information validated by all concerned authorities.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the major active compounds of cannabis, otherwise known as hemp, as is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Tetrahydrocannabinols are substances on the Narcotic List3. Their use is therefore strictly regulated. Many products presented as containing CBD have recently appeared in the UK market. These are essentially e-liquids for electronic cigarettes, cosmetics or capsules. Therefore, the health authorities wish to clarify the regulations applicable to these products. The UK regulations provide that all operations concerning cannabis are prohibited, including its production, possession and use. Therefore, any product containing cannabidiol extracted from the cannabis plant is prohibited unless it falls within the scope of the derogation mentioned below. This derogation from this prohibition principle exists in order to allow the use of hemp for industrial and commercial purposes, in particular in the textile, automobile, building, paper, poultry and garment industries. fishing, cosmetics, food, gardening.

Thus, certain varieties of cannabis or hemp, devoid of narcotic properties, can be used for industrial and commercial purposes under three cumulative conditions:

  • the authorized varieties of hemp are on a list2;
  • only seeds and fibers can be used. The use of flowers is forbidden;
  • the plant must have a content of less than 0.2% THC.
  • The level of 0.2% THC is not a threshold for the presence of THC in the finished product but in the plant itself. However, controls carried out in some products presented as containing CBD revealed the presence of THC.

The presence of THC in finished products, regardless of its rate, is prohibited.

Products, and in particular e-liquids based on CBD are prohibited if they contain THC regardless of the rate and if they are not obtained from varieties and part of authorized plants.

Furthermore, it is recalled that in the UK, the only products containing tetrahydrocannabinols and CBD that can claim therapeutic claims are the medicines authorized by the ANSM or the European Commission on the basis of a dossier evaluated according to scientific criteria. quality, safety and efficiency. Failure to comply with these regulations is punishable by criminal penalties.

Finally, some advertisements in favor of products containing CBD cause confusion between cannabis and CBD and thus promote cannabis. This practice is likely to constitute the criminal offense of provocation to the use of narcotic drugs.

What you must remember :

• Hemp varieties authorized for industrial and commercial purposes are regulated and included in the Public Health Code;

• The use and marketing of hemp flowers or leaves, or products obtained from these parts of the plant, are not allowed, regardless of the variety;

• E-liquids and other CBD-based products are prohibited if they contain THC regardless of the quantity and if they are not obtained from authorized varieties and parts of plants;

• No therapeutic value can be claimed by manufacturers, sellers of products containing CBD.

• All advertisements bearing therapeutic claims are prohibited (with the exception of medicines with a Marketing Authorization


No, as stated above. They do not have the authority to impose a blanket ban on CBD.

They can however make determinations on a case by case basis and subsequently conclude that a product  is a medicine and would require authorisation.

But until they have assessed each case and issued a final determination..  They can not lawfully impose any restriction on the sale of a product or enforce any action with regards a breach of the medicines act.

A new case would be required for each specific product and for each product  they would have to take in to account of all of the characteristics, in particular its composition, its pharmacological properties, the manner in which it is used, the extent of distribution, its familiarity to consumers and the risks which its use may entail.

Following our meeting with the MHRA on 3rd November they indicated this is a process that could take 6-8 months.

So there is currently no immediate threat to consumers or suppliers of CBD products in the UK