For a long time, Cannabidiol (CBD) has been misunderstood due to its origins in the Cannabis Sativa plant and its relationship with THC (the intoxicating compound obtained from the same plant).
Regardless, in recent years CBD has continually gained traction across the world. In many countries where it was initially outlawed it is now perfectly legal.
Nevertheless, the legality of CBD is still questionable in many places. If you are uncertain you should always check local regulations to be sure that you are on the right side of the law.
If you are a CBD user moving to Scotland, or an existing resident who wants to start using this product, you might be wondering exactly how legal it is.
We have done the legwork for you and gathered all the information you’ll need to know right here.
THE FSA & FSS
In the UK, the law requires anyone who manufactures CBD products to register their products with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) before they are allowed to begin distribution and trading.
These manufacturers must provide product information such as the specific ingredients and proven contents of their products, particularly THC levels, as well as proving that they meet general product safety standards.
The FSA then reviews the information provided and makes a ruling. Local authorities are required to use the guidelines given by the FSA to help them determine the products that should be allowed in the market.
Authorities have the right to pull products off the market if they do not meet these guidelines or the established trading standards.
The FSA guidelines apply to Wales, Northern Ireland, and England. However, CBD product manufacturers in Scotland provide product information to the Food Standards Scotland (FSS).
This is a different agency and only has jurisdiction in Scotland, however its operations and procedures are similar to those of the FSA.
CBD products that fail to meet the FSS standards also risk being banned from the market.
CBD Laws In Scotland
The production, use, and sale of CBD is legal in the United Kingdom and Scotland. As mentioned earlier, CBD oils, CBD edibles, CBD e-liquids and CBD skincare products should contain only trace amounts of THC.
Any level higher than that is considered illegal.
It is worth remembering that, although CBD is legal in Scotland and the UK, marijuana is not.
Marijuana is classified as a controlled substance under the 1971 misuse of drugs act. If you are found in possession of it, you could face either significant fines or potentially even jail time.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency view CBD as a medicinal compound that can be considered for use as medicine. Today, doctors in Scotland can prescribe CBD to their patients, however, CBD is also available for recreational use.
According to UK law, all CBD manufacturers in the United Kingdom are required to register CBD oil and any other CBD product with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) before distributing it in the market.
The recent Novel Foods Act has placed further restrictions and regulations on the production and distribution of CBD, requiring manufacturers to obtain a Novel Foods License in order to continue operating legally.
The manufactures have to provide information about their products, particularly their specific contents, and THC levels to the FSA. After reviewing the products, the FSA makes a ruling and either issues a Novel Foods License or charges the manufacturer to withdraw their products from trade.
Local authorities can only ban products that do not comply with these required standards.
These guidelines apply to Northern Ireland, England, and Wales. CBD oil manufacturers in Scotland must provide product information to the Food Standards Scotland (FSS), a separate agency from the FSA.
However, just like with the FSA these products have to meet stringent safety and quality standards or risk being pushed from the market.
CBD Products & Contents
CBD products can contain a wide variety of ingredients, largely due to the broad and varied nature of the CBD market.
Many legitimate manufacturers exist, offering products that can vary greatly in form and content.
Our primary concern today is the contents of the CBD itself.
Cannabidiol or CBD is usually extracted from the hemp plant for commercial use. Unlike marijuana, which contains high levels of THC, hemp contains far more CBD than THC.
The resulting CBD extract will contain little to no THC, depending on the extraction method. It is therefore non-psychoactive.
According to UK law, any CBD product must contain only trace amounts of THC.
Marijuana or weed is illegal in several countries including Scotland, as are products that use marijuana as their source of cannabinoids.
It is because of the psychoactive and intoxicating effects induced by its THC content that this illegality is in place.
No legally purchased CBD product in Scotland will use marijuana as the source of its cannabinoids.
Where To Buy CBD Products
Since CBD oil is legal, it is easily available in many drug stores and health shops.
Alternatively many manufacturers and brands have an extensive online presence with support for home delivery. You do not need a prescription to buy CBD oil in Scotland.
When you buy CBD, you must know the correct dose to take. The FSS advises that a person should not consume more than 70mg of CBD a single day.
They also warn against using CBD alongside other medications, as there is a chance a dose of CBD may interfere with any regular medication.
If you are on any other medication or treatment, consult with your doctor before taking CBD.
With so many CBD products available in the market, you should also know where to go to get something reliable.
Although the FSS regulates all CBD products available in the market, it is important to only buy CBD oil from a trusted and reputable source.
This will help to ensure that you get a high-quality product that meets appropriate standards. Remember, though they are mild CBD does have some side effects such as fatigue and nausea.
These are only worsened in low-quality products. To stay safe, avoid low-quality or illegal products that can have an unexpected impact on your health.
It is also possible to order CBD oil and other CBD products from outside the UK. However, you will have to ensure that the products you order contain only trace amounts of THC.
Most reputable CBD manufacturers will have lab reports for their products available on their website for you to be sure.
How To Use CBD
If you are new to CBD then you may be unsure about how exactly to use it. CBD is a versatile compound, maintaining its effectiveness through various different forms.
As such the modern CBD market is overflowing with a wide range of different products.
CBD itself can be taken in several different ways, mostly through being ingested, applied sublingually or applied topically. Ingested CBD like edibles or capsules are simply eaten, passing through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream.
Sublingual CBD is the most common form of CBD oil, being dropped under the tongue. This allows the CBD to directly enter the bloodstream through capillaries in the mouth, taking effect much more quickly than ingested CBD.
Topical CBD meanwhile is external, being applied to the skin or scalp. This CBD uses hair follicles in the skin to enter the body, but will not penetrate as deeply or as thoroughly as ingested or sublingual CBD.
Its effects will also be limited to the area where it was applied.
Topical CBD can take the form of rubs, balms, creams and even shampoo, but many CBD oils can also be applied topically.
Due to the nature of CBD and the various products it can be infused into, we always recommend following the specific instructions relating to your CBD product.
If you’re unsure about how much CBD to take you may find yourself going through a period of experimentation. In these cases we advise you to start small and work your way up to a comfortable dose.
Whatever you settle on be sure not to exceed the FSS recommended limit of 70mg of CBD in a single day.
If you are in Scotland and want to try CBD, there’s no need to worry. CBD products are readily available from many local health stores and online, with most brands offering discounted or free delivery to UK addresses.
Although buying and using CBD oil is perfectly legal in Scotland, the individual products you use may not be.
It’s always a good idea to be careful who you source your CBD oil from. For peace of mind you should make sure that you’re buying from a reputable supplier offering legitimate products.
The best way to do this is to stick to well established retailers and larger brands with a good standing in the CBD community.
Most brands will display their lab results on their websites, allowing you to confirm the cannabinoid content of the products you buy.
When you know where your products are coming from you’re making sure that you can enjoy your CBD with confidence.
CBD has had an interesting past when it comes to legality, but with better industry practices and updated legislation coming every year more and more people are able to safely make CBD part of their lives.