Although the popularity of CBD is rising, its legality still raises many questions. Even if you are aware of your local regulations, do you know what the regulations are when you leave your state or country?
What if you are in a foreign country and you want to purchase CBD online? Or perhaps you plan to buy cannabidiol-based products from a manufacturer based abroad, but you are not sure if they are working within the laws?
In this article, we will discuss which countries allow online CBD sales. Take a look to become familiar with countries that have legalized online sales of CBD products.
The Legality of CBD in European Countries
There are 51 states on the European continent, and 28 of those countries are members of the European Union (EU). The EU is an economic and political union of countries that share similar legislation.
Each country has the right to implement their own laws, which means CBD regulations vary from one country to another. You will find very restrictive countries, such as Belarus. If you are caught selling or growing hemp or marijuana in that country, you might face a prison sentence of up to five years.
Some countries don’t apply their laws as strictly to tourists as they do to their own citizens, even when CBD is illegal. For example, you can find many reports that Albanian authorities rarely punish tourists for the personal use of CBD, even though it is outlawed. However, we still advise abiding by the regulations of the country you are in, including when purchasing products online.
Here is an overview of European countries and the legality of CBD on this continent:
- Completely illegal – Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia.
- Legal, but you will need a prescription – Austria, Brazil (New), Belgium, Finland, Germany, Malta, Portugal.
- Legal, but with THC less than 1% - Switzerland.
- Legal, but with THC less than 0.6% - Italy.
- Legal, but with THC less than 0.3% - Czech Republic, Luxembourg.
- Legal, but with THC less than 0.2% - Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Spain, Romania, Poland.
- Legal, but with no THC (0%) – France, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Sweden, Norway.
Specific regulations might vary, so it is important to know the details of the laws in the country you are purchasing in. In some countries, you might find shops that deem “CBD not for human consumption,” and sell it despite the ban.
Here are some specific examples of CBD laws in countries throughout Europe:
- Denmark – although CBD oil with no more than 0.2% of THC is legal, Denmark has harsh regulations for supplements, food products, and medicines. That is why the authorities might consider all online sales illegal.
- Ireland – while Ireland legalized CBD, the law is quite confusing. Some parts of the law seem to suggest that any quantity of THC makes the product illegal, while other parts specify that the only accepted method of extracting CBD is cold-pressing. The Irish Government is currently considering revising this policy to clarify it.
- The Netherlands – although CBD is legal, you cannot buy CBD oil because it is outlawed. The law states that you can’t isolate cannabinoids from the plant. However, you can buy pure CBD.
Can You Buy CBD Online in South America?
South America is an expanding CBD market. Like Europe, the situation varies from one country to another. Some areas have legalized the use of cannabis-based products, while others are still assessing potential medicinal effects.
Following is an overview of regulations in countries throughout South America:
- Argentina – medical cannabis became legal in 2017, and Argentinian laws also allow recreational use in small amounts. Since regulations treat CBD as a medical type of cannabis, you can get it with a prescription.
- Bolivia – it is one of the countries where CBD is completely illegal. You cannot purchase, grow, or use any cannabis-based products.
- Brazil – CBD was listed as a controlled substance in 2015, and it is legal in the drug Sativex provided it is used for medical purposes. Recreational use is illegal in Brazil. In Dec 2019 Brazil will be changing its laws for 3 years on a test project. Anvisa will approve a doctor ordered medical CBD soon.
- Chile – the authorities recognize CBD as a medical substance. It is available for personal use, and you can order it online. However, you should avoid traveling with CBD products.
- Colombia – you can buy up to 22 grams of cannabis-based products, or 20 plants and use it for recreational purposes. Colombian authorities allow CBD sales only to retailers who have a license and ensure that their CBD items don’t contain more than 1% of CBD by weight.
- Ecuador – cannabis for medical purposes is outlawed, but you can possess up to 10 grams for recreational use. The law doesn’t specifically name CBD, perhaps because the market in Ecuador is small.
- Paraguay – you can only use cannabis for medical purposes in a small number of cases. However, you can use up to 10 grams for recreational purposes.
- Peru – doctors throughout the country are reportedly eager to prescribe cannabis as a part of medical treatment. You can also buy CBD items online and in offline stores. Owning up to eight grams of cannabis for personal use is also legal.
- Uruguay – you can use and grow cannabis in Uruguay. The limit is six plants if you plan to use it only for personal use. However, CBD is not yet very popular so won’t likely find many online stores. Pharmacies offer some products, but you will need a prescription. Cannabis is not legal for tourists that don’t have Uruguayan citizenship.
- Venezuela – you cannot buy or use CBD products in Venezuela.
Can You Buy CBD Legally in Africa?
We were unable to find African laws that specifically mention CBD possession, sale, manufacturing. Here is the information that we know:
- South Africa considers CBD legal, although the market is still expanding.
- Zimbabwe and Lesotho have laws that consider cannabis legal for medical purposes.
Depending on which country you are in, the law may have different levels of enforcement. However, some states have heavy penalties, so purchasing CBD online or offline is not recommended.
What About CBD Legality in the Middle East?
As in other parts of the world, the law varies from one country to another. Here is an overview of cannabis status in this region:
- Israel – Israel allows cannabis use for medical purposes. They are also researching the effects of cannabis so medical use may expand. As for CBD, you might be able to purchase these products provided they do not contain THC.
- Turkey and Egypt – these countries also seem to allow CBD products with 0% THC.
- Saudi Arabia – possessing CBD is not in accordance with the laws of this country.
It is vital to note that different regions of these countries might have different policies so possession is not advised overall, and the same applies when purchasing the products online.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia and New Zealand?
Australia has considered medical cannabis legal since 2016, but obtaining a prescription is difficult because Department of Health approval is required. The law considers CBD as medical cannabis, so you can only purchase it legally from several vendors, although you can find some shops selling CBD illegally. That is a problem that the country wants to deal with, which is why we might see the law changed soon.
CBD can be used for medical purposes in New Zealand and must be purchased via a medical professional. The THC content is not mentioned for drugs like Sativex. However, you must honor the restriction that other CBD items cannot contain more than 2% THC.
Can You Buy CBD Legally in Canada and Mexico?
Since 2001, you can purchase medical cannabis legally in Canada. In 2018, the country allowed recreational use of cannabis as well. However, each province has the freedom to adjust details of the policy, such as possession and age restrictions. You can find many stores offering CBD oil online in Canada.
As for Mexico, medical cannabis with no more than 1% THC is legal. CBD contains THC levels less than this threshold, so you don’t need a prescription to buy it online. That makes Mexico one of the countries that allows CBD sales online.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the United States?
Finally, here is an overview of CBD legality in the United States:
- The use of medical and recreational cannabis is legal – Washington D.C., Washington, Vermont, Oregon, Nevada, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, California.
- CBD oil and medical cannabis are legal, but you might need a prescription – West Virginia, Utah, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, Maryland, Louisiana, Illinois, Hawaii, Florida, Delaware, Connecticut, Arkansas, Arizona.
- CBD oil might be legal with low THC quantity or for certain medical conditions – Wyoming, Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama.
- CBD is illegal – South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho.
Farm Bill 2018 legalized hemp and hemp extracts at a federal level, provided THC levels are not higher than 0.3%. This might indicate that some states may adjust their laws soon and further relax the use and purchase of CBD products.
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