Nowadays, it’s incredibly easy to get CBD almost anywhere in the world. There’s still a negative stigma around the compound, and that’s down to a few misunderstandings regarding CBD and its relation to the cannabis plant.
We can assure you that CBD is 100% legal in Great Britain! While the compound is incredibly common and only growing in England, we have noticed a few online threads from Northern Irish residents who are concerned whether CBD is legal there. Of course, regulations can vary from place to place throughout the UK, and so it’s natural to be cautious.
In short, CBD is legal in Northern Ireland, albeit with a few caveats. In today’s article, we will be going into more detail about CBD in Northern Ireland, including where you can buy it. Read on to find out more…
CBD Oil in the UK: What is the Law?
Although laws in the United Kingdom countries might differ when it comes to things like alcohol, the law on CBD is thankfully consistent. However, before we address the specific guidelines, we need to clear up some terminology.
Laws on Cannabis
‘Cannabis’ is usually used to refer to marijuana, which is actually just one type of cannabis plant. Scientifically, cannabis is a genus of plant species, which encompasses multiple plants including marijuana and hemp. While marijuana is a psychoactive plant that can be used as a recreational drug, hemp is completely non-intoxicating and is instead used in industries such as textiles and nutrition.
As you are probably aware, marijuana is illegal. It became restricted in Britain in 1928, but usage was probably fairly low at this point anyway. It became classified as a Class B drug in the 1960s when usage began to increase. The Class B classification under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act means that possession of marijuana can lead to up to 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
It was briefly moved to a Class C drug in 2004, which is a looser classification. However, Gordon Brown moved it back to Class B in 2008.
Despite marijuana being illegal, attitudes towards it are shifting. The substance was banned in the early 1920s as a result of intense racial propaganda against Mexicans in the United States; after the U.S. prohibited the plant, the UK followed suit. Now, people are waking up to the fact that cannabis as a whole is not at all as bad as it has been made to look.
In fact, many police forces are saying that they will turn a blind eye to cannabis use as long as it is not “blatant.” Police forces are suffering from cuts, and they have decided to focus on more serious crimes rather than minor drug use – rightly so!
Regardless, marijuana is currently illegal due to its high THC content. THC is the compound which causes a ‘high,’ and it is related to CBD. So, where does that leave our food supplement?
Is CBD Legal in Northern Ireland?
Although related to THC, CBD is completely non-intoxicating. It can’t get you high, and it has very few side effects on the human body; any side effects that do occur are very mild, for example a dry mouth. In 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared CBD to be safe and non-toxic in humans.
All of this means that CBD can be legal. A few companies clicked onto this years ago and began selling it, listing its potential medical benefits as a selling point. Since CBD can interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), many see it as a health supplement. The MHRA stepped in and declared CBD a medicinal compound, meaning that it can only be sold over-the-counter as a food supplement.
This made people scared about whether it was legal or not. But since cases came to light regarding epileptic children who benefitted from CBD oil, and suddenly everybody began to accept it. The government even licensed Sativex, a medication containing CBD – it clearly had a large impact on the medical industry.
As it stands, CBD is legal for sale in any shops and online. However, the product must contain less than 0.2% THC, and it must be made from an EU-approved strain of hemp.
Is Hemp Legal in Northern Ireland?
Hemp is a form of Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC by definition. In the UK, it can be grown with a special license from the Home Office. This means it is legal, but with some pretty heavy restrictions.
Hemp can be used for textiles, construction, and even nutrition. Hemp seeds and hemp protein are actually incredibly beneficial and pretty popular. You can buy hemp seeds in any supermarket, but CBD from hemp is a little harder to get your hands on.
Nevertheless, you can rest assured that both hemp and CBD from hemp are legal in Northern Ireland.
Where to Get CBD Oil in Northern Ireland
There are many placed where you will be able to buy CBD in Northern Ireland. Just make sure you are buying an actual CBD product rather than just hemp seed oil – the seeds don’t actually contain CBD! So, here are our top recommendations for CBD in Northern Ireland.
In Your Local Pharmacy
Nowadays, you can find a range of CBD products in pharmacies throughout the country. Although not technically a pharmacy, Holland & Barrett now stocks the Jacob Hooy range of CBD oils, capsules, and other products. Other health shops have also followed suit.
High street pharmacists, such as Boots, also stock CBD now. Boots stock Dragonfly CBD products in a few different strengths. Lloyds Pharmacy also sells Celtic Wind Crops products, made from hemp grown in Ireland.
If you’re looking for CBD in a brick and mortar location, then buying from these places is a good way to ensure that you trust the retailer. After all, we’re all pretty familiar with these chains.
The CBD Farmacy
Those in Belfast will find it particularly easy to buy CBD in a real-life location rather than ordering online. Back in May, The CBD Farmacy opened its doors on Rosemary Street in Belfast. On opening day, the shop offered 20% off all purchases and the first 20 customers received a free CBD oil with their purchase.
The shop stocks a range of different CBD products and aims to make them all affordable. Owner Brian Geraghty has said that the aim is to open a further 15 shops throughout Northern Ireland in the next 18 months.
However, even if you live outside of Belfast, you can purchase The CBD Farmacy’s products from anywhere in the UK and Ireland using the online shop. Plus, you can check them out on Facebook, too.
The CBD Shop
Again, Belfast residents will be able to benefit from The CBD Shop stand in CastleCourt Shopping Centre. The stall sells a range of CBD products from much-loved brands including Pure CBD, Love Hemp, and more.
You won’t be able to miss The CBD Shop with its big green sign, featuring a cannabis leaf emblazoned in the middle. If you were worried about the legality of CBD before, then surely the openness of this stall will assure you that there is nothing illicit about this supplement!
CBD Oil UK
If you’re looking to buy CBD from the comfort of your own home, then check out the online CBD Oil UK shop. This company sells Pure CBD, Harmony, Dutch Harvest, Cannabidiol, and Love Hemp products.
You will be able to browse quite a range of products on the site, as well as purchasing several to try out for yourself. There are oils, gummies, capsules, teas, and more. Plus, there is a customer helpline in case you need a nudge in the right direction.
Provacan CBD is widely regarded as one of the best brands in the UK. With products backed by Israeli cannabis research (leading research, by the way), Provacan sells extremely high-quality CBD.
Featuring lozenges, massage oils, high-strength CBD oils, and even more products, you will be sure to find something that suits you with Provacan. Even featured in Leafly, this brand is known for being a pioneer in the industry, pushing for better transparency.
What Does the Future Hold for CBD in Northern Ireland?
The CBD industry is expanding rapidly. A number of brands are appearing all the time, giving consumers a lot of choice. While this is exciting, it is important to remember that the CBD industry is not regulated; as such, it is easy to be scammed by expensive ‘CBD’ products that aren’t what they say they are.
When shopping for CBD, make sure you do so from a reputable company. Although it may be tempting, stay away from sites like Amazon. If you do decide to shop online, follow our simple tips to stay safe, and make sure you always look out for things like third-party lab reports.
Luckily, some Northern Ireland residents have the opportunity to buy in store from shops they know are reliable. In particular, those in big cities like Belfast will probably be able to find CBD oil nearby without much effort.
If you live in Northern Ireland and have somewhere in particular where you like to buy your CBD, let us know in the comments. We’re sure other citizens would love to hear your recommendations.