Is CBD Oil Legal in UK

Is CBD Oil Legal in UK

Published: 22/06/2018

Cannabis Oil, CBD Oil or Cannabidiol? What exactly are they and why has it been a hot topic in the UK news over the last few months?

So what is it?

The term Cannabis Oil is often a misnomer, used purely for marketing, and to increase sales. Cannabis oil containing THC is illegal. It is highly likely they are talking about CBD oil and this comes from the sister plant to Cannabis called Hemp, which has extremely low levels of the active ingredient THC.

CBD oil is created by crushing a large quantity of the hemp plant, and then extracting the “oil”. This oil then has to pass strict EU guidelines and be below 5% CBD concentration and also below 0.05% THC concentration to be allowed for general sale. This super low level of THC ensures that someone would need to consume a very significant quantity of the oil to have any impairment what so ever or to be detected during screening. CBD is not detected by good quality screening devices such as DrugWIpe.

THC and CBD, Psychotic and Anti-psychotic.

The Cannabis plant has over 100 compounds within its makeup. The obvious one is THC (Tetra Hydro Cannabinol) which is the active impairing compound in Cannabis, that makes you feel ‘high’. However, THC is also psychotic. Cannabis of old, available in the sixties and seventies, was referred to as Marijuana and had a balance of THC and CBD. This meant that the psychotic effect of THC was suitably balanced by the anti-psychotic Cannabidiol or CBD.

Today more than three-quarters of Cannabis consumed in the UK contains a very high level of THC, which is known as Skunk. The make-up of this drug means that the two elements, the THC and CBD are not sufficiently balanced, which leads to the potential for psychotic episodes from people who smoke the high concentration THC Skunk.

What are the alleged benefits of CBD Oil?

For some time, people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have reported that consuming Cannabis relieves their symptoms. It has also been widely reported that it is not the THC component that gives this relief!

Recent news articles in the UK have covered some of the other effects of consuming Cannabis, such as reducing pain and epileptic fits. Once again reports signify that it is not the THC compound within the cannabis which provides the relief. They do not need to take “Cannabis” but could take preparations of the compounds found within it that are beneficial to their problems.

The BBC has a very interesting video available which delves into this subject 

The Guardian also did an excellent article on the medical use of cannabis oil, which you can find here

An example of this is the drug Sativex, which has been dispensed in the UK for a number of years to alleviate the symptoms of MS. Sativex is a spray that contains CBD but no THC, and is also marketed to relieve the pain associated with cancer.

Another new medicine was passed by the very influential US Food and Drug Administration earlier this year, which is reported to alleviate very rare types of epileptic fits in children. Similar requests are reported in our own press, where parents are requesting the Home Office to issue special licences to medicate children who suffer from several fits every hour.

There has been one case about a young boy, Billy Caldwell, which has been widely reported by the UK Press. You can take a look below.

The Home Office minister Nick Hurd told the House of Commons that cases of children like Billy and Alfie Dingley had “highlighted the need for the Government to explore the handling of these issues further”.

He announced that Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies will take forward the establishment of the expert clinicians’ panel to advise ministers on any individual applications to prescribe cannabis-based medications.

These medicines are very tightly controlled and will continue to be so, but progress is being made.

As of 27th June 2018, the Home Office will review medicinal cannabis. Once again, this is not looking at the impairing and illegal THC, but at the medicinal CBD.

The review is in two parts and looking both at the potential benefits and the potential harms.

It is very clear that this does in no way, extend to THC which remains illegal as a Class B Drug, hence any form of Cannabis or marijuana will still be subject to the full effects of the law.

As for the potential medicinal and therapeutic benefits, in the interim, there will be an expert panel who will review applications from clinicians/GP’s in exceptional circumstances and consider each case individually. They will present their finding to the Home Office who will swiftly decide if a licence can be granted for medicinal use.

In my opinion this is a sensible route to handle immediate needs and hopefully improve any future needs.

 In the same week, the American Food and Drug Administration has approved for the first time a medicine made from cannabidiol (CBD) called Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare and very specific types of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, that have until now been resistant to conventional treatment.

So what does this mean for Companies and Police?

There are a number of reports of employees or drivers asking if taking Cannabis Oil as sold by leading retailers such as Holland & Barrett, will affect the company drug and alcohol screening. Remember, it isn’t Cannabis oil, that is illegal, but it is CBD oil which is not illegal. The correct consumption of these medicines or CBD Oil will not affect a test using DrugWipe.


However, if someone has taken a large dose of CBD Oil a matter of just one minute before being screened, this may cause a drug test including DrugWipe to create a false positive. So, if you have just tested someone and they have a non-negative screening result for Cannabis, and they claim that their use of CBD Oil or Cannabis Oil is the reason for this result, don’t worry, make a note of the time you took the saliva sample for the start of the test, add 10 minutes and just repeat the test.

If the second DrugWipe result is positive (non-negative!), it is indicating the use of real Cannabis.

If you are wondering if our services at D.Tec can help you protect your business and staff, please take a look at Our Experience to see the wealth of other businesses we have supplied, including every police force in England.

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