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  • by Nicola Boulton September 28, 2022 5 min read

    Is CBD Balm and Cream Legal in the UK?

    As CBD continues to conquer the medical and cosmetic industry, the legality of CBD and its products in the UK has been in question. Keep yourself updated with the UK's legality of CBD creams and balms, as discussed below.

    Cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis. Unlike the more well-known THC, CBD does not make users' high'. However, early research suggests that it may have various health benefits, including reducing inflammation and pain. A new type of CBD product is becoming popular in the UK: balms and creams. CBD balm is a topical product made with CBD-rich oil, while CBD cream is a thicker ointment containing CBD oil. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is thought to have several potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety, inflammation, and pain.

    The Legality of CBD Balms and Creams in the UK

    According to McGregor et al. (2020), CBD oil is legal in the UK, provided it contains no more than 0.2% THC and is not advertised as a medicinal product. CBD products can be sold as either food supplements or cosmetics but cannot be marketed for therapeutic or medicinal purposes. CBD products also help with pain relief and inflammation, although more research is needed. Due to its relatively low level of THC, CBD oil is considered safe for most people to use.

    The Uses of CBD Balms and Cream

    These topical products can be applied to the skin and absorbed directly into the body. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support the medical claims about CBD balms and creams.

    According to Baron et al. (2018), CBD oil has many benefits, including reducing muscle and joint pains. Furthermore, some claim these products have helped them with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and acne. However, there is currently no regulation around CBD products in the UK. Therefore, there is no guarantee of their safety or efficacy. However, some manufacturers are starting to undergo voluntary testing to ensure that their products meet certain standards. If you are considering using a CBD balm or cream, you must speak to a healthcare professional first. They can advise you on whether these products suit you and help you choose a reputable brand.

    The History of CBD Balms and Creams

    CBD balms and creams are products that have been used for centuries in the UK and other parts of the world. The history of CBD balm and cream can be traced back to when people first started using cannabis to treat various medical conditions. CBD balm and cream were originally designed to help people with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. However, the healing properties of CBD balm and cream soon became known to people suffering from other conditions such as anxiety and pain.

    In recent years, CBD balms and creams have become increasingly popular in the UK to relieve pain, anxiety, and other medical conditions. Although CBD products are legal in the UK, according to Davis (2018), there is still some confusion about their exact legal status. This is because CBD is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. However, the Home Office has recently clarified that CBD products are not classified as controlled drugs. Therefore, they can be sold freely in certified local and online stores.

    How CBD Creams Work

    CBD is thought to work by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system. This system helps regulate various body functions, such as mood, pain, and appetite. The ECS comprises various receptors, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. For example, CB1 receptors are found in the brain and spine, while CB2 receptors are found in the immune system, the spleen, and various body parts such as the skin. Therefore, CBD binds with CB2 receptors, leading to the transmission of electric signals that reduce inflammation and pain.

    How Are CBD Balm and Cream Made?

    CBD oil is blended with other natural ingredients to create a balm or cream. CBD products with higher THC content are available in some countries but are not currently legal in the UK. There are many different types of CBD balms and creams on the market, and they all have different effects and uses. Some CBD balms and creams are designed for use on the skin, while others are meant to be ingested. Some are designed for both internal and external use. The different types of CBD balms and creams available include:

    CBD Balms

    CBD balms are typically made with beeswax or coconut oil and can be used for various purposes. Some people use them as a moisturizer, while others use them to relieve pain or inflammation. Some CBD balms contain anti-aging properties.

    CBD Creams

    CBD creams are similar to CBD balms but often contain additional ingredients like shea butter or aloe vera. These ingredients can help to soothe the skin and reduce inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Furthermore, the cream effectively relieves arthritis pain.

    CBD Salves

    These salves are similar to CBD balms and creams but often contain additional ingredients like essential oils or herbs. These ingredients can help improve the salve's efficacy. CBD salves can be used for various conditions, including muscle pain, joint pain, and inflammation.

    The Side Effects of CBD Balm and Cream

    CBD balms and creams are legal in the UK. However, there are some potential side effects.

    According to Manini et al. (2015), CBD can interact with other medications, such as antihistamines, blood thinners, and antidepressants. Therefore, speaking to a doctor before using CBD products if you are taking any other medication is important.

    CBD can also cause dryness, redness, and irritation of the skin. If you experience these side effects, stop using the product and speak to a doctor.

    CBD Balm and Cream – Should You Use It?

    CBD balms and creams can be used as long as they meet the required manufacturing standards. However, speaking to a medical professional before using CBD oil is important. If you're thinking of using CBD balm or cream, buy it from a reputable source. This will ensure that you are getting a product that is legal and of good quality.


    CBD balms and creams are legal in the UK as long as they contain no more than 0.2% THC. Therefore, you can buy and use these products without a prescription. However, it is important to note that the UK government does not currently regulate CBD, so it is important to do your research before buying any CBD products. Many reputable brands sell high-quality CBD products, so you should have no problem finding one that suits your needs. While purchasing CBD creams, read the customer reviews, and confirm the hep source and the extraction method.


    Baron, E. P., Lucas, P., Eades, J., & Hogue, O. (2018). Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort. The journal of headache and pain, 19(1), 1-28.

    Davies, S. (2018). Cannabis scheduling reviews part 1: the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis-based products—a review of recent evidence. London: Department of Health and Social Care.

    Manini, A. F., Yiannoulos, G., Bergamaschi, M. M., Hernandez, S., Olmedo, R., Barnes, A. J., ... & Hurd, Y. L. (2015). Safety and pharmacokinetics of oral cannabidiol when administered concomitantly with intravenous fentanyl in humans. Journal of addiction medicine, 9(3), 204.

    McGregor, I. S., Cairns, E. A., Abelev, S., Cohen, R., Henderson, M., Couch, D., ... & Gauld, N. (2020). Access to cannabidiol without a prescription: A cross-country comparison and analysis. International Journal of Drug Policy, 85, 102935.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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