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What Hemp Products Are Legal in Europe


While everyone has heard of cannabis, there is more and more talk about CBD both online and in the mainstream media. CBD is an abbreviation of cannabidiol, which is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. This is one of the compounds in the cannabis plant, the other more renowned one being THC. The key thing worth mentioning is the fact that CBD (unlike THC) is not psychoactive. However, in the CBD oil, it is possible to find small traces of THC, which is why some countries have certain reservations regarding the legality of CBD. Still, in the majority of EU countries, CBD is completely legal. Here’s what you should know about this subject matter.

  1. CBD oil and marijuana are not the same

The main reason why the majority of people ask this question is that they often confuse CBD oil with marijuana. The confusion starts with cannabis which is a plant with two primary classifications – Sativa and Indica. While marijuana can be a member of either of these two groups, hemp (which is the genus that the CBD derives from) can only be a member of Cannabis sativa. In other words, while the terms are related, they are definitely not interchangeable.

  1. Are hemp and CBD legal in the EU?

Hemp is an industrial plant and, as such, it’s legal all across the globe. Still, due to a small dosage of THC (below 0.3%), it was on the Controlled Substances Act list until 2018. Nowadays, hemp that has less than 0.2% of THC is completely legal in the majority of the EU. There are, however, some countries with a different set of rules. Some countries like Austria and Luxembourg will allow up to 0.3% of THC in hemp, while Switzerland allows up to 1%. On the other hand, you have places like France that allows only CBD isolate with 0% of THC. Lastly, Slovakia and Lithuania still regard CBD as illegal.

  1. What does this mean for the region?

When it comes to the future of the industry and agriculture in the EU due to these legislations, we can only speculate. Since CBD is a substance in great demand, it wouldn’t be that far-fetched to see how it might revolutionize the local economy in many regions. Sure, in countries like Italy or the Netherlands, it’s legal to grow small numbers of plants for personal use. So if you have a garden or a small patch of ground, you can plant some outdoor cannabis strains. However, it’s completely illegal to grow cannabis on a larger scale.

  1. Public cannabis use

In some European countries like the Netherlands cannabis can be sold and used in coffee shops throughout the country. Other countries like Finland, Hungary, Greece, and Sweden see any kind of cannabis use as a criminal offense. Except the Netherlands cannabis “friendly” countries are:

  • Portugal – where rehabilitation is more preferred than punishment, but cultivation is forbidden
  • Germany – small amounts for personal use are allowed. Depending on the state it varies from 6g-15g
  • Switzerland – Medical cannabis is completely legal, and readily available. The catch here is that the percentage of THC can’t exceed 1%. 

As you can see laws vary from country to country, and the best thing you can do to not get fined is follow the law. In countries where consumption is allowed, but under certain circumstances, see to it that you don’t attract any unwanted attention. One good way to do this is to mask the smell of cannabis. Usually people mix cannabis with tobacco for a longer lasting smoke, but there are many healthy alternatives to tobacco that can mask the smell of weed.

  1. What are the properties of CBD?

So far, we’ve discussed the legality of CBD oil but why would one be interested in this compound in the first place? Well, as it happens, CBD oil can relieve pain, as well as reduce anxiety and depression. Since the last two are the plights of modern society (and the EU is no exception), this might explain (at least partially) some of its popularity. There are some instances in which CBD is known to reduce irritation and fight acne, mostly due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Even with more serious issues like heart-related problems and cancer, this oil could make a difference.


In the end, this is a conversation topic that constantly grows in importance. People from all walks of life are using CBD and CBD-based products, which is why this legislation has a direct impact on the wellbeing of people around you and even your local economy. However, regulations and legislation are fluid things and they are expected to change over the course of years. This is why no guide, no matter how comprehensive, will provide you with all the answers you seek. So, in order to stay constantly updated, you should constantly be on the lookout for new sources.

Andrew Mcaffrey