Home - Legal - Is CBD oil legal in Ireland in 2022? Ireland’s CBD law explained
Yes, CBD oil is legal in Ireland in 2022. Provided it fulfills certain conditions to meet its legal status. These are set out in EU law with some specific to Irish law. The main conditions are:
Looking for CBD legal and of high quality in Ireland can be a bit daunting. However, by the end of this article you will know what to look for in CBD products. That way you can buy the best CBD oil in Ireland with confidence, knowing the product fulfills the legal conditions.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is available online and throughout Ireland. You will find CBD products in healthfoods stores, Pharmacies, Vape shops, even Pet stores. From CBD gummies to CBD topicals, skincare and muscle balms. Yet, of all the many CBD formats, CBD oil sometimes called CBD hemp oil is the most widely known and purchased in Ireland.
The source of CBD in the main is found in the resinous cannabis flower buds and leaves. Cannabis Sativa L, industrial Hemp plants to be specific. A cannabis plant classifies as industrial hemp when at harvest it contains less than 0.2 THC. This threshold applies to all European crops including when farmers in Ireland grow hemp.
Cultivation of the cannabis plant with a content above 0.2% THC is illegal without a license to grow medical cannabis. There is some good news for EU farmers; the percentage level for industrial hemp is to increase from 2% to 0.3% on harvest from January 1st 2023. This will improve EU competitiveness as it increases the range of approved seeds for EU agriculture.
The 0.2 THC threshold in a final product is wrongly interpreted as a legal amount. The percentage of THC only relates to harvest and not final products for consumption. This is a common misconception. THC at any content in hemp extracts of CBD oil is currently not legal in Ireland.
∆9 Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short, is a controlled substance in most countries. How it is contained and its quantity can affect its legal status differently across Europe and the UK. THC is the active ingredient in Medicinal cannabis based products. Aswell as cannabis for recreational use sometimes called pot or marijuana it is smoked to produce a recreational high.
The Medical Cannabis Access Program became active in Ireland in July 2021. This allows cannabis products legally sold for certain medical use. Through the program the Irish government will reimburse patients directly for certain medicine. However, while this offers new treatment options, the program is only a pilot with quiet narrow scope. For example its a treatment option for spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and intractable nausea from chemotherapy. But not chronic pain for which significant evidence is still needed (opioids to be less lucrative ) to warrant medical cannabis products full medicine status in Ireland.
THC is a controlled substances in most counties. How it is contained and its quantity can affect its legal status differently across Europe and the UK.
Unfortunately, present Irish law takes its interpretation directly from the Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977. Under the act THC is a controlled substance with no defined allowance for quantity. Therefore, strictly interpreted any THC amount is considered illegal in Ireland.
This is a bit of a big deal, as most Full spectrum CBD products will have some trace amounts. Most studies indicate 2.5-5mg of THC is needed to cause measurable effects in adults, so while trace amounts are not impairing, in the strict sense they are still illegal in Ireland.
For a CBD product not to fall into the category of a controlled substance in Ireland, it must not contain THC. This can be achieved in a number of ways.
Isolate CBD can be synthetic lab manufactured rather than from a growing hemp plant, therefore it is THC free. Hemp plant extracted CBD isolate and Broad-spectrum products have THC removed.
The majority of research would indicate that cannabinoids and terpenes are potentially more beneficial together rather than isolated. Broad spectrum, which is essentially isolate added back to other hemp compounds goes some way to address this.
Another option is to select seeds that produce plants of a very low THCa content. Monitor the growing and harvesting conditions closely, then mechanically cold press the whole plant before any THCa converts to THC.
The physical process of cold-pressing ensures no chemical alteration. Therefore, THC remains undetected in the final product. This is more in keeping with the natural form of the plant and the option Seshat Botanicals have chosen, as we believe it provides the best all round CBD hemp products.
Be vigilant of a brand claiming medical benefits; such as treating seizures, curing cancers, lowering anxiety or will reduce swelling and inflammation. Some consumers desperate for results will hear what they want to believe, and marketeers know it. They will claim their products will treat or cure various health and medical conditions.
Companies selling CBD oil legally in Ireland cannot make medical claims to treat, prevent or cure medical conditions. Products that make medical claims are governed by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and must be authorised before they are placed on the Irish market (see HPRA’s Guide to Definition of a Human Medicine).
Novel food status is perhaps the biggest threat to legality of most CBD products on the Irish market. The purpose of novel food authorisation is consumer safety. CBD products for human consumption are subject to food laws in Ireland and it falls to the FSAI to enforce the legislation.
A Novel food is any food product that has no history of consumption in the EU before May 1997. Authorisation is usually considered an essential requirement for a food product that differs significantly from its plant source.
In CBD terms ‘novel’ includes synthetics, enriched or isolated products, including the isolate hybrid, Broad spectrum CBD oil. Additionally, extraction methods that enrich or alter the chemical structures of the hemp plant may come fall into the category. Physically / mechanically cold pressed CBD hemp oil does not cause chemical alteration and falls outside the scope of Novel food legislation.
Most CBD oils currently on the market require a validated novel foods application to remain in the market legally. However, at this time there are no authorised CBD novel foods in Ireland.
The FSAI are beginning to take action publishing alerts on recalls of products that are inappropriately placed on the market or considered unsafe.
Much like how high quality extra virgin olive oil is produced, using only physical / mechanical means of extraction, organic cold-pressed CBD oil is not considered novel.
The word CBD oil is less fitting, in reality it contains all the compounds of the whole hemp plant without chemical alteration. That’s full spectrum CBD oil in the truest sense.
Seshat Botanicals is one of the very few brands with a food safe notified CBD Hemp oil and currently the only Irish brand to supply Certified Organic Mechanically cold pressed CBD hemp oil. This is what clearly makes it one of the best quality CBD oil in Ireland or anywhere else.
Our product is non-impairing, 3rd party lab tests confirm THC is not detected, or is at the labs limit of quantitation. It is completely legal and safe. You can see our most recent test results here.
Our cold pressed whole plant oils are fully compliant with the food supplements Directive 2002/46/EC (S.I. 506 of 2007), the provision of food information to consumers Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011 (S.I. no. 556 of 2014) and nutrition and health claims Regulation (EC) no. 1924/2006 (S.I. no. 11 of 2014).
You may also like our article on the differences between Hemp seed and CBD oil.
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