Categories
BLOG

cbd oil france

CBD is not a narcotic, says EU court as it rules French ban is illegal

Court rules that French ban on marketing hemp-derived CBD products contradicts EU law

A bottle of oils containing CBD on display in a shop in Paris. Under French law, only the fibre and seeds of hemp may be put to commercial use, not the flower. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

A bottle of oils containing CBD on display in a shop in Paris. Under French law, only the fibre and seeds of hemp may be put to commercial use, not the flower. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Last modified on Thu 19 Nov 2020 16.20 GMT

The cannabis-derived compound CBD is not a narcotic drug because “it does not appear to have any psychotropic effect or any harmful effect on human health”, the EU’s highest court has ruled.

The decision by the court of justice of the European Union deals a severe blow to efforts by some EU countries to limit the sale of CBD, while simultaneously giving the CBD industry a boost. Many products are currently sold in the EU in a legal grey area.

The ruling was made in relation to the prosecution in France of KanaVape, a company that exports CBD oil made from whole hemp plants.

Under French law, only the fibre and seeds of hemp – a variety of the cannabis plant containing less than 0.2% of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC – may be put to commercial use, not the flower.

The court ruled that the French ban on the marketing of hemp-derived CBD products contradicted EU law on the free movement of goods.

“The national court must assess available scientific data in order to make sure that the real risk to public health alleged does not appear to be based on purely hypothetical considerations,” the court wrote.

“A decision to prohibit the marketing of CBD, which indeed constitutes the most restrictive obstacle to trade in products lawfully manufactured and marketed in other [EU] member states, can be adopted only if that risk appears sufficiently established.”

It noted that two key UN conventions classifying illegal drug do not specifically mention CBD, although they mention “cannabis extracts”.

The ruling also highlighted that France had not banned synthetic CBD, which has the same properties but is not produced using the entire cannabis plant.

Antonin Cohen, who faced the charges along with his fellow KanaVape co-founder Sébastien Béguerie, said the lack of clear regulations on CBD prevented safe market development.

“It is fundamental to develop strict quality standards in the interests of consumers in order to avoid the circulation of dangerous products,” he said. “My goal is to improve access to the benefits of plants, in a legal and secure environment.”

Robert Jappie, a partner at the law firm Ince, said the ruling was “a big win” for the CBD industry.

“By confirming that there was no scientific evidence to suggest that CBD has a harmful effect on the human body, the court has made it very difficult for the European commission to pursue their proposed classification of CBD as a narcotic,” he said.

The World Health Organization says CBD is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile” and that there is no evidence “of any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”.

In recent years there has been a marked growth in the use of CBD oils, tinctures, creams and other products by people seeking to relieve stress and anxiety and to reduce inflammation. A study in the European Journal of Pain suggests that skin-applied CBD can help lower arthritic pain, but there is a lack of clinical evidence for its overall efficacy, and concern over the unregulated nature of the CBD market.

Epidyolex, a CBD-based drug known as Epidiolex in the US, has been approved by US and European health authorities to treat two rare and severe types of childhood epilepsy – the only such drug to receive the status so far.

Court rules that French ban on marketing hemp-derived CBD products contradicts EU law

Is CBD Oil legal in France?

Status: Legal

It is important to know exactly what is and what is not legal in regards to Cannabis and Cannabis products in France. Lets answer some basic questions.

This article is also available in French: Le CBD est-il légal en France?

The legal status of Cannabis and Cannabis related products differ greatly between different countries, even ones part of the European Union. France, although having a very liberal and open stance on Cannabis use, both recreationally and medically does not necessarily have the same legal viewpoint on the matter.

It is important to know exactly what is and what is not legal in regards to Cannabis and Cannabis products in France. Lets answer some basic questions.

CBD’s Legal Status in France

Is it legal to buy CBD in France online Yes

While France does allow for CBD oil (french: Huile de CBD) to be sold, there are strict rules as to what claims vendors can make about the product. Sellers can not make medical claims, and must state that CBD oil is not for consumption, although there is no legal ramification for consuming it. The CBD oils must contain less than 0.2% THC to be sold legally.

Is it legal to buy CBD in France offline Yes

CBD oil can be found in many health and natural medicine stores throughout France and is often advertised as a CBD tincture. As with buying online, vendors are prohibited from making claims about any potential medical benefits that CBD oil consumption may have.

Several stores have been closed down in recent years for advertising claims that the French government believes to be unsubstantiated.

As with online purchase of CBD oil, the oil must contain less than 0.2% THC to be considered legal.

Is it legal to grow hemp for CBD in France? Yes

Interestingly enough, France is the only wetern nation to have never banned Hemp cultivation and thus the practice is entirely legal. While most Hemp cultivated is used, oddly enough, to make high quality paper for bibles as well as rolling papers, hemp cultivation for purposes of personal CBD oil production has risen in popularity as more people begin to experiment with the medicinal properties of CBD oil.

Is it legal in France to buy products containing above 0.2% of THC for medical use Yes

Cannabis products containing 0.2% THC and higher is illegal in France, this includes recreational Cannabis. Although France has made efforts to decriminalize and legalize Cannabis for recreational purposes, possession is still punishable with a 200 euro fine.

That being said, Cannabis products containing more than 0.2% THC for medical use is highly regulated but on the rise in France. This began in 2013, when certain Cannabis derived products were cleared for medical use.

Is it legal in France buy products containing above 0.2% of THC for recreational use No

Cannabis products containing more than 0.2% THC is illegal in France, with a 200 euro fine given to anyone caught with the substance.

Conclusion

Although recreational Cannabis is illegal to buy and posses in France, CBD oil is legal and readily available, as long as the vendor refrains from making any claims about the medical benefits of CBD oil and as long as the THC content is less than 0.2%

Those looking to purchase CBD oil France should have no issues as it is commonly sold in health food and alternative medicine stores around the country but usually the highest quality products with 3rd party lab test results you can find online. If you are living or travelling to France you can place an order in Eir Health French CBD Store or General EU CBD Store. Delivery is free for every order over €80 and you can find 3rd party lab results for every product on the product page.


Although recreational Cannabis is illegal to buy and posses in France, CBD oil is legal and readily available, as long as the vendor refrains from making any claims about the medical benefits of CBD oil and as long as the THC content is less than 0.2%