Is CBD legal in Slovakia?
CBD has been moving upwards in the past decade. It is one of the latest trends in the health and food industry. We believe this is due to promising research that is done on CBD. We are sure that you have come across some articles describing how good it is supposed to be for your well being. Perhaps even your social media feed is full of CBD posts.
But is this all just a temporary trend or is it a thing to watch out for? Even more importantly, how are countries around the world responding to this surge in demand and production of CBD? To put it simply: Is CBD legal?
We, at Essentia Pura, understand that all of this new information can be confusing for some people. There are many sources telling you different things, some of them obviously exaggerated. We want to set the record straight.
We consider it our mission to explain in layman terms the regulation of CBD around the EU. This is why we are preparing detailed articles about CBD products, ranging from its regulation in European Union member states to CBD products for your pets and other innovations in the market.
In this article, we will take a deep look at the Republic of Slovakia and try to answer your questions. Hopefully, by the end of this article you will learn:
- What is CBD?
- The difference between hemp and marijuana.
- Some possible medical effects of CBD.
- Is CBD legal to use in Slovakia?
- Where to buy CBD in products in Slovakia?
- How to start your own CBD business in Slovakia?
If you are interested in any of these topics, please read on.
Let us start with some basic information about CBD in general. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a component of the cannabis plant.
Cannabis has been present in human society for a long time, but nowadays it is commonly associated with narcotic drugs, which is giving it a bad reputation. But this is not the whole story.
There are actually two major types of cannabis plant – marijuana and hemp. They differ significantly in chemical aspects as well as in how the law treats them.
Marijuana holds a special place in people’s minds and marijuana consumption is increasing in European countries. The debates surrounding it often end with significant disagreements. Mostly this is due to a thing called THC. THC and CBD are both components of the cannabis plant and marijuana is especially rich in THC. As THC affects your mental state it is listed on the list of psychotropic substances under the psychotropic substances act.
Essentially this means that marijuana is illegal in the Slovak Republic and is considered a drug. Selling, purchasing, growing even small amounts of marijuana can cause you serious trouble. Possession of marijuana or its personal use is not allowed according to the law.
The other thing you might have heard about is medical marijuana. It is also causing a disruption in the medical field, but Slovakia is, unfortunately, lagging behind. There are currently no active medical cannabis programs in Slovakia. There were a couple of unsuccessful pushes in the Slovak parliament to regulate marijuana and especially medical marijuana. Perhaps the Slovakian government will reconsider its stance.
The second type of cannabis is industrial hemp. The main distinction from marijuana is in its THC level. Industrial hemp contains virtually no THC, which means that, unlike marijuana, it does not affect your mental state. To say things more plainly, hemp does not get you high. It has been an important part of human society and it is used in the food industry, textile industry among many others.
Industrial hemp production is allowed under the law and is rising in Slovakia. Specifically, in the last decade, more and more Slovakians are starting to grow hemp products. Nonetheless, we believe that there is still ample room for growth.
Back to CBD in Slovakia
So CBD is a component of cannabis that does not make you feel high and might have some medical benefits. But how do scientists get CBD from the plant into oil or other products? In short, scientists extract CBD from the plant so that they isolate it from other cannabinoids. Most importantly, they separate it from the psychoactive substances (THC). They can then use the extracted substance to make CBD infused cannabis oil or other products. We also offer you an in-depth, scientific look at CBD.
There is an increasing amount of research that is showing that you can use hemp cannabidiol (CBD) for pain management, anxiety, and similar issues. Slovakian authorities do not recognize such claims, so CBD in Slovakia cannot be used for medicinal purposes.
Regulation of CBD in Slovakia
Now we know what CBD is, but what does the law say about CBD oil in Slovakia? Is CBD legal?
This is a difficult subject matter. Slovakia has not removed CBD from the list of controlled substances, despite the fact that this is not in accordance with EU and WHO recommendations. This could mean that Slovakia is the only EU country that does not allow CBD products to be sold.
Things are a bit more complicated.
Slovakia is a member state of the EU. This means that the sale and purchases of hemp CBD products are legal as part of the free movement of goods. This view was confirmed in 2020 by the European Court of Justice.
The decision of the court threw CBD products into legal limbo in Slovakia. For example, CBD is not considered to fit into the category of food supplements, neither is it is considered a medical remedy under the law. Above that, it is technically still considered to be in a ‘Controlled Substance Group 2’, this means that it is only legally sold with permission from the Ministry of Health.
But to make matters even more complicated, this regulation is only there because of the drug Sativex. Sativex however, contains both CBD and THC, so this standard is questionable.
As we mentioned above, the dominant view now is that CBD can be legally sold in Slovakia, due to its membership in the European Union and the fundamental principle of free movement of goods.
As elsewhere in the EU, CBD oil is only legal in Slovakia if the CBD is derived from hemp. This means that the THC level in CBD oil must be really low.
Furthermore, hemp CBD products cannot be advertised as medicinal products. If you are starting your own company, we recommend you seek specialist advice regarding advertising.
UPDATE MARCH 2021
As promised we are keeping you up to date with information about the development of CBD regulation in Slovakia. On the 18th of March, the government succeeded in removing CBD from the list of controlled substances in the Slovakian parliament. This means that it is following the new judgment of the European Court of Justice and the new opinion of the European Comission.
So how will this change the CBD industry in Slovakia?
Even though the law has passed the parliament and will come into force on the 1st of May, many open questions remain. Things will become clearer in the coming weeks and months, as all of the stakeholders will adjust to the new reality.
We will watch out to see how the authorities will interpret the law, this means that you should look for opinions issued by the Ministry of Health and other similar authorities. The second thing to keep an eye on is, if CBD suppliers will feel comfortable with a bolder marketing strategy with the new law. Last but not least, you should look for signs of increased demand from consumers, this means looking at surveys and yearly/monthly consumption data. If consumers will respond to the new legislation its good that you are ahead of the curve with bold and imaginative CBD products.
Two things are clear as of summer 2023: EFSA is still holding Novel Food approval applications, and CBD products have finally started selling in Slovakia.1However, there are still some limitations. Selling CBD oil for oral intake would still be an issue. However, the Slovakia government now allows the sale of CBD products as cosmetics.2,3 This means that the CBD business had already started flourishing in the nation. Some time will still have to pass before CBD products can be sold as food supplements, but the legal situation for now looks quite promising.
You can always come to us, with any questions regarding your CBD business.
CBD is unfortunately not readily available for buying in Slovakia. You can however buy hemp CBD products online. The online version usually offers a wider variety of products to choose from. We recommend you are careful and double-check that the CBD oil on sale complies with all of the rules issued by the authorities.
We are firm believers that this will change with the 1st of May 2021, as the new law takes effect and CBD is no longer considered a controlled substance. Lots of open issues remain, but at least there is a profound sense of optimism about the future of CBD industry in Slovakia.
Selling CBD in Slovakia
If you are setting up your own CBD oil company in Slovakia you have to of course strictly follow all the regulations about cannabis cultivation and production.
This can be hard, as the status of CBD in Slovakia is unclear. The government is introducing a law that will clarify the status of CBD in Slovakia. More specifically it is trying to remove CBD from the list of psychotropic substances. We will closely follow the new bill and let you know as soon as CBD legal situation is a bit clearer.
Nonetheless, it is always helpful to have a bit of a head start overbefore your competition. We will offer you some advice and some things to consider before you start making preparations.
You should first decide whether you want to work as an agent for some firm. This means that you help distribute their CBD oils. The other option is to forge your own path from the start. There are benefits to both, in the former a big part of the business is secure, whereas in the latter you are your own boss.
The second thing to consider is if you want to sell your CBD products in Slovakia only or if you want to take the e-commerce route. Usually, the e-commerce option allows you to market your CBD oil products to a wider audience. You also do not need to rent out a store, some storage space should be enough, and as the year 2020 has taught us, e-commerce is more resilient to shocks to the economy.
On top of that, please make sure that you follow all legislation regarding consumer protection regulations, data protection law, and advertising act.
We recommend that you thoroughly examine your supplier beforehand. Focus on whether they follow all essential cannabis laws so that you avoid any legal troubles. You should make sure that you work only with accredited buyers and dealers of CBD products. Your supplier should show you CBD oil that does not contain THC and is extracted from cannabis with less than 0.02% THC. Check that they follow any other guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health or other authorities.
If you are looking for a partner to supply your CBD-related shop, Essentia Pura is a Slovenian company that offers the bulk sale of CBD extracts. We take pride in ensuring strict compliance with national and EU regulations. We are a trusted wholesale partner for your CBD-oriented company with plenty of experience. If you have any questions regarding the bulk sale of CBD oil and other products, as well as any legal questions about cannabis regulations in Slovakia or other EU member states contact us at our email address.
So is CBD legal in Slovakia? Let us review what we have learned:
- CBD is derived from cannabis, but it does not get you high.
- Cannabis with high THC content is illegal in Slovakia even for personal use and is a controlled substance. UPDATE MARCH 2021: CBD is no longer considered a controlled substance and CBD products will be legal for personal use from 1st of May onwards.
- CBD oil is legal and can be purchased online, due to Slovakian membership in the EU.
- The sale of CBD oil in Slovakia is in a gray area, we will update the article as soon as more is known, UPDATE MARCH 2021: CBD is now legal
- Make sure that you are in compliance with all other legislation.
We hope this gave you an answer to most of your questions regarding CBD in Slovakia. If you want any additional information, do not hesitate to contact us, our staff will get back to you as soon as possible.
You are also welcome to read our articles about other countries: