If you are a CBD user looking to spend some time abroad, you may be interested in knowing where in the world CBD oil is legal. Many countries have already legalized this non-intoxicating hemp extract, but the topic is still controversial around the world. Traveling with CBD is also tricky — you need to look into each countries’ specific regulations. Even locations that allow the sale of CBD, like Canada, often heavily limit what kind of products can be brought into the country.
Here are fifteen countries where CBD oil is legal in one form or another.
1. United States
The 2018 Farm Bill made the sale of hemp and hemp products legal at the federal level in the United States. That, however, didn’t automatically make CBD legal, as citizens still had to follow their states’ laws.
Today the legal status of CBD in the United States needs to be examined on a state-by-state basis. All 50 states have legalized CBD in some form, but many only allow medical use of the substance with a doctor’s approval. Adding CBD to foods and beverages is also banned in many states, even when the sale of oil is legal.
Canada legalized both CBD and marijuana use back in 2018. However, the production and sale of cannabis and hemp products are heavily regulated in the country. CBD producers need to get all sorts of governmental approvals to operate, and buying any of these from the black market can land you in serious trouble.
You also cannot travel to Canada carrying any cannabis product. To quote the government’s website:
“Cannabis is legal for adults in Canada. However, it is still illegal to transport cannabis and products containing cannabis – including edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals – across the Canadian border”. They go on to list CBD as expressly forbidden. If you want to use CBD in Canada, you need to buy it there after you land.
Japan is one of the few countries in Asia to have outright legalized the use of CBD. They have a zero-tolerance rule for THC, however. Products that are sold in the country must contain no traces of THC, which limits the type of CBD product that can be obtained in the country.
4. South Africa
At the time of writing, South Africa is the only African nation to have outright legalized the sale of CBD products. You can find it mainly in pharmacies around the country, many of which double as convenience stores. The country’s laws related to this are still in flux. The sale of the substance was first allowed in 2019, and the decision was reaffirmed in 2020. You should double-check the legal status before you visit the nation carrying CBD.
CBD is only legal for medical use in Brazil, and you must have a prescription to obtain it legally. Only one company produces this type of medication in the country, and even with governmental approval, imported medication may only have as much as 30mg of CBD.
The South American nation of Uruguay is one of the two countries in the continent that allows the sale of CBD medication over the counter. The other country that legalized CBD is Colombia.
7. United Kingdom
It is legal to buy and sell CBD oil in the UK, as long as it contains less than 0.2% of THC.
8. Czech Republic
The EU exists in a situation similar to the US when it comes to CBD. According to EU regulation, the sale of hemp byproducts is legal as long as said products contain less than 0.2% of THC. That’s even more strict than the United States’ regulation, which allows for up to 0.3% THC. Neither amount will get you high or stoned.
That said, each country is still free to set their own rules regarding CBD usage. In the Czech Republic, not only is CBD legal, but it may contain as much as 0.3%, just like in the US.
CBD oil is presently legal in Germany and may be purchased without the need for a license or a prescription. You can find it for sale in coffee shops, pharmacies, and supermarkets across the country.
CBD oil is allowed in the country as long as it meets the EU standard. Meaning it may only contain as much as 0.2% THC.
It is illegal to prescribe CBD oil as a medication in Ireland. But the substance can be purchased and used by citizens across the nation. It’s just not a recognized medical treatment.
It’s illegal to buy CBD without a prescription in Finland. According to local law, you need a doctor’s recommendation to buy and use the substance. Yes, it is the exact opposite of the situation found in Ireland — it has generated plenty of contradictions around the world.
CBD products were widely sold and consumed in the country up to June of 2019 when a supreme court decision threw the substance into legal limbo. It technically is still legal, but you should double-check before you visit. The situation is still developing at the time of writing.
Bulgaria was the first EU country to allow the sale of CBD. Growing hemp and cannabis is also allowed in the country, with several restrictions.
15. The Netherlands
Producing CBD is illegal in the Netherlands, but personal use is allowed. To use it in the Netherlands, you’ll need to order it from a foreign manufacturer, like the Swiss company Cibdol.