Here’s What You Need to Know About the CBD Rules in Your Country 

To start, it might be helpful to quickly clear up the general legal situation of CBD.

Despite a plethora of scientific studies pointing towards CBD’s positive effects, regulation always remains a little slower in “catching up”. Some of you may have heard the CBD market referred to as a “legal grey zone”. Well, due to hemp’s wide-scale potential in society yet novel status in politics, its regulations are under constant review and remain, therefore, still relatively vague.

Because of this somewhat “semi-sure” state, opinions can shift quite remarkably. For instance, in France, we saw the introduction of a prohibitory hemp law – and its revocation within the same month. A few EU countries have also had to overturn court case judgements made on CBD companies because the European Court of Justice later deemed the rulings incorrect.

This “zig-zagging” in behaviour has naturally led some to question what’s really “backed up”. And just as the case is with anything new, opinions can be at a crossroads, including those of lawyers, doctors, governments, suppliers and consumers.

Whatever this market reels up, we think you deserve to know. Find the most important CBD, hemp and Cannabis news for your country, so you can keep using your favourite CBD products with your best knowledge and care.

You can find the following xx continents & xx countries so far: 

  • Europe:
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Czech Republic
    • France
    • Denmark
    • Netherlands
    • Switzerland
  • North America:
    • Canada
  • South America:
    • Uruguay

Austria

CBD oils or other hemp-derived products are allowed as long as the THC content does not exceed 0,3% nor at any stage of their production process.

CBD oils marketed as food supplements are not allowed unless they’ve been approved as a Novel Food by the EU.

Cosmetic products containing Cannabis and extracts therefrom are also not permitted.

TL/DR:

  • CBD oils or other hemp-derived products are allowed if <0,3% THC
  • CBD oils cannot be marketed as food supplements without undergoing Novel Food
  • Cosmetic products with Cannabis extracts are not permitted

Belgium

Belgium follows the Novel Food regulation, meaning that CBD products cannot be marketed as foods without prior authorisation from the EU. 

The Belgian Administration for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment also states that CBD products for aromatic purposes are not legal and for similar reasons to ‘Novel Food’: there is not sufficient evidence that points to the safe use of Cannabis Sativa L. as an aromatic or flavouring agent. Any products sold as such must therefore also receive EU authorisation before doing so. 

Some products can be exempted from these rules and thus be legally sold in shops. As a consumer, you may ask the shop’s staff for proof documenting this permit. The document should precisely note the batch numbers that have been granted this exception (which should then also be found on the product’s label). The label must also indicate that the product is free from THC.

TL/DR:

  • CBD products must first undergo the EU’s Novel Food procedure before being marketed for food or aromatic purposes (some CBD products can be exempted from the requirement and be legally sold in shops)
  • CBD products must be THC-free

Canada

In 2018, Canada legalised the sale and cultivation of cannabis for adult recreational use. 

Anyone wishing to cultivate cannabis seeds or plants for commercial purposes, or process cannabis into finished products, must first obtain a federal licence issued by the Canadian Ministry of Health.

The rules for distribution and sales differ according to the provinces and territories: the sale is ensured either entirely by authorised private stores or in whole or in part by public companies.

Except in Quebec, cultivation for personal consumption is authorised in Canada with a limit of four plants per household. Unlike in Uruguay, Canadian law does not require mandatory registration with the authorities for self-cultivators.

As for CBD, the compound falls under the Cannabis Act as with every other cannabinoid like THC. This essentially means that CBD products must be bought from one of the hundreds of licensed producers. Purchasing imported CBD products is not legal.

TL/DR:

  • Recreational use of Cannabis for adults has been legal since 2018
  • The recreational Cannabis market is run by both private and public companies
  • Cannabis cultivation for personal consumption is legal (except in Quebec) with up to four plants per household
  • CBD products must be purchased from licensed producers
  • Foreign imported CBD products are not legal for purchase

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, medical cannabis use is allowed since 2010. 

Since 2020, state medical insurance covers 90% of treatment with cannabis for up to 30g per month.

Medical cannabis can be obtained either through permission granted by the Ministry of Health which allows you to acquire medical cannabis products, or through a license issued by the State Institute for Drug Control which permits you to grow medical cannabis. Both last for 5 years, at which point, it can be prolonged upon request.

To acquire medical cannabis, you must obtain a prescription from a registered physician. This can be granted by presenting a specific condition treatable by medical cannabis such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy.

The State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) is responsible for regulating medical cannabis in the Czech Republic. The State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SAIF) oversees hemp cultivation in the country.

The Czech Republic is the only country in the EU that allows up to 1% THC in industrial hemp cultivation.

CBD products, such as CBD oil, with less than 0.3% THC are generally legal and can be sold over the counter.

CBD-infused food and dietary supplements are available in the Czech Republic, provided they comply with THC limits.

The recreational use of Cannabis is not allowed in the Czech Republic.

TL/DR:

  • Medical cannabis use is allowed. You will need a permit to acquire medical cannabis products or cultivate medical cannabis at home. Both last up to 5 years with the possibility of prolongation.
  • Recreational cannabis use is not allowed.

Denmark

Denmark’s official government websites state that after the CBD product has been ruled out as being a potential illegal drug, it is safe to fall under the categories of either Food, Cosmetics or Medical. 

As long as your CBD-containing product contains less than 0,2% of THC, it doesn’t fall under the Danish narcotics law.

Interestingly, as well, is that while the possession, sale, and growing of narcotics are prohibited, consumption is not mentioned.

Regarding CBD products in the food category, the Ministry of Food states that:

  • Hemp-derived products and extracts containing cannabinoids (including CBD) are covered by the novel food regulations. Such products are therefore not able to be marketed without prior novel food approval. The same applies to extracts of other cannabinoid-containing plants as well as to synthetically produced cannabinoids.
  • Regarding CBD products in the cosmetics category, the Ministry of Environment states that:
  • Ingredients derived from seeds and leaves are permitted to be used in cosmetic products (as they are exempt from the definition in Article 1 of the UN Convention).
  • The flowering or fruit-bearing tops of the Cannabis plant are, on the other hand, prohibited for use in cosmetic products.

Regarding CBD products in the medical category, the Ministry of Health states that:

If you’d like to obtain access to medical products containing CBD or THC, there are the following options:

  • Two approved medicinal products containing CBD and/or THC, Sativex and Epidiolex, which can be prescribed by doctors. The medicines are to be used for adult patients with moderate to severe spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS) and epilepsy.
  • An application for a dispensing permit from the Danish Medicines Agency, so that a patient can use a medicine that has been approved in other countries but is not marketed in Denmark.
  • A prescription for medicinal products containing cannabis which are prepared in a pharmacy for the individual patient.

Since January 1st of 2018, Denmark has been running a medical cannabis trial programme. Its purpose was to introduce a safe framework for patients to obtain a wider array of cannabis-based products than the two medical-grade products already legal in Denmark. This array does not strictly consist of medical-grade products. Doctors are also able to prescribe imported cannabis products to patients that have not previously been legal in Denmark.

TL/DR:

  • Products must contain less than 0,2% THC or it is considered a narcotic
  • Possession, sale and growing of narcotics is prohibited, but consumption is not specifically mentioned
  • Food-grade CBD products are required to follow the Novel Food guideline
  • Seeds and leaves are permitted in cosmetic products; flowers are not
  • Medical Cannabis is legal and can be obtained in several ways
  • Denmark has been running a Medical Cannabis trial programme since 2018

Estonia

In 2005, Estonia legalised medical cannabis. However, only one patient has benefitted from it since then until 2016. Because Estonia does not have a medical cannabis program, patients have to go through an extensive process to be authorised medical cannabis products by the government.

TL/DR:

  • Medical cannabis is legal, but the process to obtain it is complicated 
  • CBD products have a max. limit of 0,2% THC

France

On the 31st of December, in 2021, French CBD consumers and professionals received the news that Cannabis Sativa L. flowers would be prohibited from commercial sale – a product form that accounted for 70% of specialised shop’s sales revenue. 

However, just a few weeks later, news rose stating that this prior ban was to be temporarily suspended. Now, all forms of CBD extracts were, and are still, permitted – as long as they don’t exceed a THC limit of 0,3%. 

TL/DR:

  • CBD products have a max. limit of 0,3% THC

Germany

The Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety states that either an application for the approval of a medicinal product or a novel food must be submitted before products containing CBD can be placed on the market.

However, they also declare that each German state holds the authority and responsibility to determine the marketability of CBD products as food. Finally, it is also mentioned that the food business operator is primarily responsible for ensuring that his products comply with food law regulations.

In 2017, a new classification was introduced to differentiate between cannabis strains: Annex I are those that cannot be sold on the market nor prescribed and Annex III is industrial hemp (used for medical purposes). 

The Federal Institute for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products states that CBD, as a pure substance, does not fall under German narcotics law.

It’s also written that you, as a private individual, are allowed to import CBD products as long as they have been produced by industrial hemp and follow the THC guidelines. 

Products made exclusively from hemp seeds are exempt from the narcotics law provided they are not used for illegal cultivation. 

The German government has announced its intent to legislate cannabis for recreational use by the end of 2022. This will most likely not be a complete legalisation, but it will introduce a more liberal dispense model where adults can obtain recreational cannabis from licensed stores or pharmacies.

Medical cannabis products have been available for purchase in pharmacies since 2016. 

In practice, you will find that CBD products have long been sold online and even at big German retail stores across the country. More often you will see them being sold as aromatic oils, to circumvent the novel food guideline.

TL/DR:

  • The Federal Office states that CBD products must first be approved as a medicinal product or a Novel Food – however, each state in Germany holds the final authority to determine the marketability of CBD products
  • Distributors are primarily responsible to comply with food law regulations
  • In 2017, Germany split up the definition of Cannabis strains: Annex III is hemp utilised for industrial purposes and Annex I are those that cannot be sold on the market.
  • CBD does not fall under German narcotics law
  • As a private consumer, you are allowed to import CBD products into Germany as long as they are produced from industrial hemp and adhere to THC guidelines
  • The German government intends to legalise Cannabis’ recreational use within a year
  • Medical cannabis products have been available in pharmacies since 2016

Greece

In 2013, the Greek Parliament passed a law that allowed for the cultivation of certain strain variants of industrial hemp. They must all, however, have a THC content below 0,2%. 

In 2018, another law gave way to the cultivation and production of medical cannabis products under certain conditions. Among those are several licences to be obtained by companies. Although each of the licences has been issued, so far, no company has been granted all of them, essentially, making medical products unavailable in Greece. 

However, there is ongoing progress in the legislative framework in order to bring the promising and revolutionary industrial sector forth into the country’s economy. 

Today, the recreational use of Cannabis is not permitted. 

TL/DR:

  • In 2013, Greece allowed the cultivation of certain strain variants of industrial hemp; they must contain less than 0,2% THC
  • In 2018, medical cannabis was permitted to be cultivated and produced by licensed companies; thus far, no company has been granted the necessary licenses, making medical products unavailable in Greece
  • Recreational use of Cannabis is not permitted

Malta

In December of 2021, Malta became the first EU member state to legalise cannabis

Unlike the commercial model chosen by California and some Canadian provinces, Maltese law allows the cultivation and distribution of cannabis only by non-profit associations or within the framework of self-cultivation (up to four plants per household). Such associations must hold a permit issued by the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC)

TL/DR:

  • Malta became the first EU member state to legalise Cannabis in 2021
  • The cultivation and distribution of Cannabis is only permitted through authorised non-profit associations or self-cultivation (up to for plants per household)

The Netherlands

In theory, the sale and production of Cannabis products are criminal offences, but, in practice, have been tolerated since 1976. 

The Dutch parliament has authorised experiments on the sale of legal cannabis. 

subject to compliance with the directives of the public prosecutor’s office and/or the rules enacted by the cities. At the national level, the coffee shops are authorized to sell cannabis, on the condition of respecting the “criteria of tolerance” (gedoogcriteria)

TL/DR:

  • The sale and production of Cannabis products are not allowed, but have been tolerated since 1976.

Uruguay

In 2013, Uruguay became the first ever country to legalise the sale and production of Cannabis. It is prohibited except in these three cases: 

When the production is intended for sale in pharmacies. Five companies currently have a cannabis cultivation permit for recreational use, issued by the Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA). This cannabis for recreational use is then sold in approx. 25 authorised pharmacies. Pharmacies, however, only started selling it in 2017. 

If consumers come together in private clubs registered with the IRCCA. These clubs are associations that can have 15 to 45 members and cultivate up to 99 plants. As of June 8, 2022, there were 243 IRCCA-licensed cannabis clubs in Uruguay.

If adults over 18 practice self-cultivation, within the limit of six plants per household and an annual production of 480 grams. According to IRRCA, about 14,000 Uruguayans have registered as self-cultivators.

However, CBD products, although legalised in 2013, were not introduced in pharmacies until 2017. Since then there has been just one CBD brand available for purchase at pharmacies (a 500mg formula that can cost up to 200 USD). 

As a result, citizens eager to consume CBD generally revert to an unofficial market where the CBD extracts are produced by authorised home growers and are then “gifted” (selling is prohibited).

Purchasing imported CBD products can be a bureaucratic challenge for Uruguayan patients, where a special prescription and authorization is first needed from the Health Ministry. Later, patients can face significant shipping expenses. Nor bureaucratic nor financial assistance is provided by the Uruguayan government to support this transaction. 

Uruguay is also looking at significant developments in the area of medical cannabis. 

TL/DR:

  • Became the first country to legalise the sale and production of Cannabis products in 2013
  • Cannabis can only be produced if (1) intended for sale to authorised pharmacies, (2) if grown in private clubs registered with the local authorities or (3) if adults over 18 self-cultivate within a limit of 6 plants per household and an annual production of 480 grams
  • Five companies currently hold a cultivation permit that can be sold to the approx. 25 authorised pharmacies
  • Private clubs can hold from 15 to 45 members and can grow up to 99 plants; there are approx. 243 private clubs registered with the IRRCA
  • Approx. 14,000 Uruguyans are registered as self-cultivators
  • Although legal since 2013, pharmacies did not introduce CBD products until 2017; since then, there has only been one CBD product on the market, a 500mg formula costing up to 200 USD; this has led many to revert to unofficial markets
  • Importing CBD products is allowed, but a bureaucratic challenge for consumers that can involve substantial importation costs
  • Uruguay is also looking at significant developments in the area of medical cannabis

Switzerland

The Federal Council adopted an ordinance, which entered into force on May 15 of 2021, amending the federal law on narcotics to authorise the performance of “scientific pilot trials for the controlled delivery of cannabis for non-medical purposes”.

The objective is to experiment with the controlled sale of cannabis for recreational purposes, cultivated by producers authorised by the Federal Office of Public Health and distributed by pharmacies or voluntary associations, to have “a scientific base for a future legal regulation of cannabis” in Switzerland. These pilot trials are limited geographically to one or more municipalities, in time (maximum duration of five years) and number of participants (maximum 5,000 adults, already cannabis users, per pilot trial). The cities of Basel, Bern, Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne applied to conduct a pilot test.

TL/DR:

  • Since 2021, Switzerland has been undergoing a pilot trial where controlled sale of cannabis is permitted for recreational purposes; you must apply to be part of the trial programme.

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What LAYV® users say

Loes-chanLoes-chan
14:01 13 Mar 24
I bought the CBD oil on the recommendation of a friend who was very satisfied with it. I think it's a nice oil! I don't notice much of the effects, but I do sleep a little better since I started using it so I'm satisfied :)
Diewertje van BavelDiewertje van Bavel
20:41 07 Feb 24
Great product. It helps me with my pain and stress complaints. It also makes me sleep a lot better. I can really recommend this product!
Lilian DibbetsLilian Dibbets
16:28 15 Jan 24
This really is a fantastic product. I was always a good sleeper, but with this CBD oil (20%) I sleep much deeper and wake up rested. In addition, it helps to calm my nervous system and I am much calmer and focused throughout the day. I recommend this product to everyone for a calm nervous system and good health. Think of it as a nutritional supplement that should not be missing in this hectic Western world we live in.
Richard LemmensRichard Lemmens
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Fabiana FiniFabiana Fini
17:41 04 Dec 23
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Juan Calixto morelloJuan Calixto morello
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Clare La Feber-ToolisClare La Feber-Toolis
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I have been using LAYV CBD for over one year, improving my sleep quality significantly.
Maria Mora GarciaMaria Mora Garcia
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C. R.C. R.
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After trying several other CBD oils, I've found my favourite. LAYV's cbd oil helps me with sleep and menstrual pain, taste is the best I've tried, great quality flask/packaging... Support is fast, professional and very helpful for any question! Even a handwritten note when you order from them!! Solid throughout. A CBD brand that's here to stay, finally!
Loes-chanLoes-chan
14:01 13 Mar 24
Ik heb de cbd olie gekocht op aanraden van vriendin die er heel erg tevreden over was. Ik vind het fijne olie! Ik merk niet megaveel van de effecten maar ik slaap wel iets beter sinds ik het gebruik dus ik ben tevreden :)
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20:41 07 Feb 24
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Lilian DibbetsLilian Dibbets
16:28 15 Jan 24
Dit is echt een fantastisch product. Ik was altijd een goede slaper maar met deze CBD olie (20%) slaap ik veel dieper en wordt ik uitgerust wakker. Daarnaast helpt het mijn zenuwstelsel tot rust te brengen en ben ik door de dag heen veel rustiger en gefocussed. Ik raad iedereen dit product aan voor een kalm zenuwustelsel en een goede gezondheid. Zie het als een voedingsupplement die niet mag ontbreken in deze hectische westerse wereld waar we in leven.
Richard LemmensRichard Lemmens
10:44 18 Dec 23
Wat een fantastisch product. Sinds enkele maanden gebruiken wij dagelijks voor het slapen de LAYV CBD variant 20% als routine. Als jonge ouders is slaap voor ons namelijk heilig, met kinderen schiet dit er nog wel eens bij in. Door het gebruik van de 20% variant merken wij beiden dat we veel dieper slapen waardoor we meer uitgerust zijn in de ochtend.Ook wordt het middel door ons gebruikt als we een stress situatie ervaren. Door het gebruiken van een aantal druppels merken wij snel dat we rustiger worden en zo weer lekker door kunnen gaan met ons dagelijkse drukke werkleven.Voorheen producten gebruikt van overige merken maar deze geven niet een prettig mondgevoel en de smaak is niet zo mild als de LAYV variant.
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Tom
@tomdima0711
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We (my wife and I) love this product. We use it to relax and unwind in the evening for a better night's sleep. We both noticed that our stress levels dropped significantly.....
Ferdinand van der Neut
@ketschi.a
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LAYV's CBD oil provides more structure to my thinking throughout the day. In the process, it greatly improves the quality of my sleep with just a few drops a day. Can't say anything but highly recommended!
Sophie
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I really love this product! It helps me with anxiety, confidence, relaxation and pain relief. My advice would be to take a few drops every day so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and you can enjoy the long-term benefits. 1000% recommended!
Kas van Vliet
@kasvanvliet
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Calming without the risk of paranoia. I used to reach for cannabis on very sporadic frequencies to unload from a busy existence as an entrepreneur and journalist, but smoking weed or hash was always a gamble for me: 50/50 chance of a slightly paranoid experience that exacerbated stress rather than reduced it. For me, this is a good substitute that allows me to relax physically and mentally, but sin negative high. But don't think of it as a panacea; you have to create a peaceful environment for it to really come into its own.
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I bought a bottle at Jumbo today, because I am always very cramped and tense, and suffer a lot from headaches and stress..... i must say i am pleasantly surprised, that t is sold by jumbo, and that t works! Definitely worth a try! Am curious if there will be more products from you.
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Have been using this for months for chronic pain in my shoulder, and it just works!
jl_arellanocamacho
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The product has a good taste despite its high concentration (500 mg). It helps me with stress, sleep and pain.
Willem Spoor
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Helps excellent against osteoarthritis pain
Maria
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Good product and good minty taste
J.A. Worskasan
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Layv Cbd oil makes me calmer, it helps me with livedo reticularis on my legs, after using it my legs become normal again. I used CBD from other brands and Layv Cbd oil is definitely the highest quality product.
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