However, France’s laws regarding hemp and CBD are not always straightforward. Let’s examine these laws in more detail.
Companies selling CBD are forbidden from making any therapeutic claims not recognized by the ANSM or the European Commission. Additionally, the marketing of CBD products is limited and can’t promote the use of cannabis in any way.
France has been growing industrial hemp for hundreds of years. By 1850, France was producing more than 175,000 hectares of hemp — this number decreased to a low of 700 hectares by 1960 .
2. Hemp — 0.2% THC or Less
With that being said, there are a few laws you should be aware of to remain legal — especially when shopping for CBD oils from other countries.
The difference between hemp and marijuana is largely cultural — both are actually the same species, known as Cannabis sativa.
CBD is only legal to sell, use, and possess in France if it has 0% THC. If the product contains any THC at all, it may be considered a narcotic by the authorities.
CBD laws in France, like many other European countries, is complicated.
France has one of the strictest laws on cannabidiol usage in Europe. In short, the use of CBD oil is legal in France. But, the legal status of CBD oil in France is quite ambiguous. CBD oil produced from marijuana is illegal due to its high content of THC of 14%. But the CBD oil derived from hemp is legal as the THC content is less, with only 0.2%. Recently, any trace of THC was made illegal in France for personal use.
In 2017, the presence of CBD oil in a few products for public consumption was made legal. Only products with a maximum of 0.2% of THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, was permitted.
Is CBD oil legal in France?
When you hear of Cannabis, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘illegal’ or ‘weed.’ You may be surprised to know that Cannabis has a component in it called cannabidiol that has several benefits. Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound of the cannabis plant. It is a crucial cannabinoid that is free from psychoactive properties.
Most people do not know the difference between cannabis and cannabidiol or CBD.
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Perhaps the most unanimously agreed upon fact about CBD is that is extremely sustainable to grow. Growing hemp can be hugely beneficial to farmers as it takes up relatively little space and cultivates prolifically with little water.
If looking to buy good quality CBD products, Tomlin says, you must look for organic, “full spectrum” CBD oil, which will offer a whole range of beneficial cannabinoids. For instance CBDA, CBG and CBC, rather than simply CBD “isolate” on its own, which is less beneficial and lower quality.
It is perhaps no surprise that this alleged “wonder drug” originates from hemp, as the plant has been used by humans for centuries, for numerous different functions. It is used in many commercial and industrial products including rope, textiles, clothing and shoes. Hemp oil is also used in food and beauty products, hailing from the seeds of the plant. CBD oil is extracted from the stalk, stems, leaves and flowers.
Does it actually work?
Andres Tomlin, European senior technology manager at CBD brand Elixinol, tells Euronews Living that where CBD comes from is hard to prove, as it is not yet properly regulated. This means that consumers are often being sold “unpure, low quality, unorganic CBD”, the equivalent to “buying orange juice from concentrate, as opposed to freshly squeezed orange juice.”
CBD is known for its healing properties, having entered the mainstream of late as a proposed panacea to pain for various ailments like arthritis, diabetes and nausea caused by chemotherapy. This is partly due to pre-clinical trials suggesting the oil may have anti-inflammatory properties, although the vast amount of research has only been conducted so far on animals due to CBD’s contested legal status.
“There are over a quarter of a million people using CBD products in the UK right now. We know from more developed markets in US and Canada that people are typically using CBD to help with pain, anxiety and insomnia.” He references the brand’s “EASE, CALM and REST ranges, which combine CBD with other botanical ingredients that are well known to help in these areas.”
CBD oil is legal in a vast array of countries nowadays. Therefore, despite some previous confusion, it would not show up on a drug test as it is not an illegal substance. Countries with legalisation include the United States, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Uruguay and the United Kingdom.