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  • by Nicola Boulton August 26, 2022 4 min read

    Is CBD Legal?

    Have you heard about CBD? There have been encouraging debates about these products and their ability to cure, treat and prevent different conditions. You might have read this information on various websites or heard from multiple people who have used CBD.

    This might have made you consider including it in medicinal treatments. Online shopping allows you to get it in dispensaries, pharmacies, and homes. Moreover, it has different methods of use. CBD can be vaped, smoked, chewed, or applied. All the boxes are checked, but it is derived from cannabis. Are you in doubt whether this is a clever choice of treatment? Are you unsure whether using CBD in your country is legal? This article will hopefully help you tick this last box.

    What is CBD?

    CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is derived from the cannabis or marijuana plant. The cannabis plant has two main compounds—CBD and THC. CBD is a non-psychoactive part of the plant. Babalonis et al. (2021) clarified that CBD products do not leave you with high effects like euphoria when ingested. The cannabis plant also has two primary species. That is hemp and marijuana. They both have CBD. Murray et al. (2016) revealed that it is contained in a higher percentage in hemp, though opposite to its percentage of THC. It is important to note that THC is the compound that leaves people with a high feeling after use. This quality has made CBD a comfortable option for various people who are looking for pain relief or any other symptoms without the mind-altering effects.

    Is CBD Legal?

    In American Countries

    Cannabis has been put into the same category as heroin until recently. However, Americans are just now understanding the different ways cannabis-derived products help the human body. According to federal laws, CBD is predominantly illegal but with exceptions. Its legality depends on two important aspects. As defined by the federal government, cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC is legal, whereas marijuana is any cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC by weight which is illegal. Potter et al. (2018) noted that CBD derived from hemp has a lower percentage of THC than CBD derived from marijuana. Therefore, the federal government finds legal CBD oil from hemp and illegal one derived from marijuana. This said, different states in America have different laws for the different forms of cannabis. Therefore, it is important to research the specifics of the state you are located in. CBD companies have made these products readily available in America but in some states that have recently legalized medical marijuana, buying and possessing it is still underway.

    In African Countries

    In most African countries, hemp and marijuana are still being used differently. People from Mozambique and Madagascar used hemp to make medicine. While in most countries, the primary use of cannabis is for smoking. Due to that, cannabis laws in African countries differ. Some allow hemp cultivation only for its fiber and seeds, while others permit using hemp and marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, South Africa has its regulations. In this country, CBD products have been legal. The new law from September 2018 allowed the use of the products if they met three criteria. These supplements contain 20 milligrams of CBD; second, if the supplements are made from marijuana, they should contain no more than 0.001% THC and 0.0075% CBD. CBD products were not to be advertised to cure any disease or condition. The ban is still ongoing in other African countries except for Swaziland, Ghana, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe. In the countries where the products are legal, there are specific regulations. It is certainly better to do more research in that area. Countries that have progressed in raising the ban have made it available for these products to be purchased under specific criteria. In some other countries, the laws are rarely enforced. But as CBD is relatively new in the market, the countries where it is considered illegal laws have not yet defined product regulations; it is, therefore, possible to purchase these products safely wherever you are. South Africa has pushed lots of African countries to look into petitions and propositions in different African countries to make CBD legal. We, therefore, have a good chance in the future that the legalization of CBD might be sooner than we think.

    Guidelines to Consider

    • Check the CBD ingredients to ensure they came from a hemp plant and are pure.
    • There might be restrictions other than using hemp-based CBD products, like buying and possessing CBD only if you have a prescription. Take into consideration to follow up on these regulations in the place you are situated in.
    • If you are looking to purchase these products, especially as a first-timer, make sure to ask questions and be knowledgeable about the products you are just about to purchase. If online, check the reviewers’ opinions and read the company’s website about their products.
    • Hazekamp (2018) established that CBD grown through organic processes is most effective and safe; therefore, if you would love to purchase a product, opt for the organic CBD product.
    Take Away

    Various people in different countries use CBD. Due to its online availability, most people ignore to checkout its legality in their various countries. This article has brought to light a summary of its legality in Africa and American countries. This has left specifics about other specific countries. Around the world, in the countries mentioned, CBD is legal but has various prohibitions. Online sites have made information on these guidelines available. Make a point to visit and check the special criteria of your state or country. In countries that consider it illegal, purchasing and selling these products have not been mentioned in most regulations; it is, therefore, difficult to conclude whether it is safe for a consumer to get these products.


    Babalonis, S., Raup-Konsavage, W. M., Akpunonu, P. D., Balla, A., & Vrana, K. E. (2021). Δ8-THC: Legal Status, Widespread Availability, And Safety Concerns. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research, 6(5), 362-365.

    Hazekamp, A. (2018). The Trouble With CBD Oil. Medical Cannabis And Cannabinoids, 1(1), 65-72.

    Murray, R. M., Quigley, H., Quattrone, D., Englund, A., & Di Forti, M. (2016). Traditional Marijuana, High‐Potency Cannabis And Synthetic Cannabinoids: Increasing Risk For Psychosis. World Psychiatry, 15(3), 195-204.

    Potter, D. J., Hammond, K., Tuffnell, S., Walker, C., & Di Forti, M. (2018). Potency Of Δ9–Tetrahydrocannabinol And Other Cannabinoids In Cannabis In England In 2016: Implications For Public Health And Pharmacology. Drug Testing And Analysis, 10(4), 628-635.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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