Is CBD legal in Ireland?
You have probably noticed that CBD products have been gaining influence around the world. This rapid rise in demand is primarily attributed to extensive research in this area. This research shows many possible benefits of CBD and its related products. As a result of this rising demand, a lot of people are setting up CBD-related companies. This can be a wonderful opportunity, but it also presents some challenges. Countries are taking different paths in regulating CBD products. Logically it is thus crucial for you to have a detailed understanding of the most important regulations of the country where you are setting up a business.
The European Union (EU) is actively responding to the growing trend of CBD. In the last couple of years, it has tried to harmonise the rules regarding CBD and its related products in its member states. The process has had some success. Nonetheless, if we want to ensure a thriving business community in the EU, more needs to be done.
This is why Essentia Pura tries to provide its customers with up-to-date information regarding CBD regulation in the countries in the EU. So far, we have created a comprehensive article about the whole of the European Union. In addition to this, we have prepared detailed articles about Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Poland, and Austria.
If you want to learn more about the regulation of CBD in these countries, please follow the above links and read the articles.
We are determined to continue with this series of articles. This one is going to explore the regulation of CBD products in Ireland. Hopefully, we will be able to answer all of your questions regarding CBD regulation in the Emarald Isle.
In the introduction, we will explain the basic terminology of CBD. In the next section, we will focus on the history of CBD regulation and explain the current legal status of CBD products in Ireland. We will explore the possible future for CBD and health products in Ireland. Finally, we will offer some advice on how to legally buy and sell CBD products in Ireland.
If you are interested in CBD laws in Ireland, please read on.
CBD is derived from the cannabis plant. In order to understand the regulation, we must first look at how Ireland regulates and classifies this plant.
Marijuana and hemp
Cannabis is undoubtedly famous. Almost every person on the planet is familiar with the herb. Some know it for its health benefits, some treat it as a fun way to relax, while others view it as a dangerous drug. All three options can be true. Sadly, authorities around the world usually focus on the last one. Ireland is, at least at first glance, no different.
The main cause of fear and prohibition is THC. This is the part of the cannabis plant that is responsible for the user feeling “high”. You know, the famous intoxicating feeling the plant can provide. The version of cannabis with THC content is known as marijuana. Marijuana is considered an illegal drug under Irish law. Selling, buying, and possessing the drug is a criminal offence.
There were some efforts in 2016 to legalise medical marijuana. The plan, however, was not entirely successful. Medical marijuana is still technically not legal in Ireland. Medical use is decided on a case-by-case basis, but this has not lived up to its expectations. Medical practitioners are often unfamiliar with the latest medical research on the plant. As a result of this, they are reluctant to prescribe treatment with marijuana.
There is, however, a second “version” of cannabis. The plant with virtually no THC content is known as hemp. Humans have known and used it for millennia. It is still popular around the world in many different areas, from food, to clothing and other industries. The usual permissible content of THC in hemp is 0.2%. The same trace amounts of THC are the legal threshold in Ireland.
Does this make hemp legal in Ireland? Yes, but it is not quite that simple.
Industrial hemp is treated as a controlled drug under the Irish legal code. If you want to grow your own hemp you need to obtain a permit from the Irish authorities – governmental department of health. Despite the bureaucratic machinery, hemp is making a strong comeback in Ireland.
Both versions of the plant are rich in CBD. But what exactly is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 cannabinoids that come from cannabis. CBD can be extracted from the plant in such a way that it can be isolated from other cannabinoids. Most importantly, it can be separated from THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis.
This means that it does not get you high, calming the fears of some people. It is also a major reason why CBD is gaining in popularity. Once CBD is isolated it is then added to a carrier oil to make CBD oil, as well as numerous other products.
If you want to learn more about the process of isolation or making CBD oil you can read about it here.
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Regulation of CBD in Ireland
As we stated in the introduction most countries regulate CBD products. Ireland is no exception.
CBD is not illegal under the Irish Misuse of Drugs law. But it is also not recognised as a medical product by the Irish Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).
What does this mean in practice? Essentially, it means that you cannot make any health claims regarding CBD oil and other related products. It does not mean that it is illegal. Do not worry, CBD oil is perfectly legal. You just have to label it as a food supplement or food flavouring product.
It is crucial that you stay far away from health or medicinal product claims. On top of this, you have to make sure that CBD oil is produced from hemp and not marijuana and that it is extracted in a way that is permitted by the EU.
However, importing and selling CBD shouldn’t be taken lightly, as there are many other things to keep in mind. CBD laws are continually evolving. Experience shows that importing and selling CBD products that contain THC in Ireland is still challenging. This is generally due to how various regulatory bodies interpret laws.1
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) allows the sale of cold-pressed hemp oil that contains THC within the permitted limits. However, most CBD oils are not cold-pressed these days.1
When searching the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) database, we found that high THC content is the number one reason for product recalls. It means that THC-free or low-THC products are least likely to get into legal issues. Therefore, selling CBD oil with permitted THC limits is advised.2
It is worth noting that apart from THC, some other cannabinoids are also controlled substances. Thus, CBD products in Ireland must not contain CBN (cannabinol) above 0.2%.3 This only underlines the importance of sourcing CBD products from reputed manufacturers. In other words – all CBD products must also be analyzed for minor cannabinoids.
Besides all this, there is some good news, too. Ireland is in the process of legalizing recreational marijuana. It has already started amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. It has introduced the Cannabis Regulation Bill 2022, which may result in the legalization of recreational marijuana in the future.4,5
CBD producers always positively view the legalization of recreational cannabis since it means that CBD products containing THC in permitted amounts will be easier to buy and sell. Further, the chances that anyone would be penalized for CBD products become significantly lower.
All this means that CBD products are in a grey area right now and you have to properly prepare before starting your business or buying CBD oil. Generally speaking, CBD oil is legal, as long as it has less than 0.2% THC and is not labeled as a health product.
The Future of CBD in Ireland
As we explained, CBD is legal in Ireland. The issue is clearly on the mind of the government. This is evident from the above press release. Furthermore, plenty of people are jumping onto the CBD products ship, whether they are buying or selling it. Moreover, there is an increasing amount of research accumulating showing the possible positive effects of CBD oil. There is also, nonetheless, still some fear regarding the misuse of such drugs in society.
We at Essentia Pura, however, are firm believers in the bright future of CBD oil and its related hemp products in Ireland and in the EU.
Buying and selling CBD in Ireland
As promised, we will offer some advice on how to buy and sell CBD products in Ireland. We will explain where you can buy the products and if there are any special things you need to watch out for.
As stated above you can freely buy CBD oil and other similar products in Ireland. Both online and in-person sales are available, with online sales seeming to be the more popular choice. This is probably because of a wider range of products on offer.
We stress again, that CBD oil cannot be bought and sold as a medical product. You will however easily find hemp or CBD oil as dietary supplements. Usually, they appear in the form of capsules or liquids.
When you are buying CBD products online, we suggest you avoid any websites that make exaggerated health claims about their product. The chances are that they are just trying to make a quick buck, without really delivering a quality product. You should also watch out, as there might be some legal issues with online shops exclusively selling CBD oil and similar products. But if you are only thinking of buying, this does not really affect you.
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We can also offer you some advice if you are setting up your own CBD business. Always deal with accredited and trusted business partners. We recommend you check that they are in compliance with the necessary regulations. For example, you need to make sure that the CBD is derived from hemp, so from cannabis with less than 0.2% THC content. You also need to make sure what sort of an extraction process they are using, as not all of them are legal in the EU.
If you are looking for a partner to supply your CBD-related business then we recommend Essentia Pura. We are a Slovenian company specialising in the bulk sale of CBD and in hemp extraction. We are well aware of how important it is to stay up to date with all regulations and we try to provide you with a quick and professional service. If you want to learn more, please explore our website.
So, is CBD legal in Ireland? Let us quickly recap what we have explained above:
CBD is a derivative of cannabis. The plant itself is divided into marijuana and hemp. Marijuana is illegal and considered a drug due to its THC level. Hemp, on the other hand, has virtually no THC and is treated as a controlled substance. You need to obtain a permit to grow hemp in Ireland.
CBD derived from hemp is legal. Ireland does not recognise any health benefits of CBD. This means you cannot sell it as a medical product, but only as a food supplement. It can be freely sold both online and in person.
We hope this has answered all of your questions. If you would like additional information about CBD regulation in Ireland or in the EU, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you!