It seems that the world is finally waking up to the medical benefits of cannabis. Cannabis has been demonised by politicians since the early 1970’s. It is still considered a ‘lazy drug’ by many – only used by young people who want to get high or stoned.
Most of the research in the past focused primarily on the psychoactive ingredient THC rather than the 48 compounds in cannabis that we know of. Thankfully, the world is now paying attention to new research and beginning to appreciate the potentially wide-ranging health benefits that strains of cannabis may have on the human body.
However, despite all this progress, there are still limitations on how people can market CBD online, especially in the United Kingdom (UK).
Is CBD legal in the UK?
CBD is legal in the UK as long as it has been grown within the EU from specific certified strains. If the CBD product doesn’t come from one of these strains, it is illegal.
This is where it can all get very grey and uncertain. Cannabis is still classified as a Class B drug in the UK. Therefore if your CBD product doesn’t come from the prescribed crop, you could be breaking the law under the intent to supply rule.
How Can You Promote CBD online?
Currently, the market for CBD isn’t well regulated in the UK. Market researchers and government agencies vastly underestimated the size of the industry in the UK – by up to 60%.
Given that they were unaware of how big the industry and demand was, they are now calling for tighter regulations. Tighter regulatory measures include cultivation, processing, distribution, and marketing.
If you are looking to promote CBD online, you need to have a good understanding of the legal strains in the UK, and where your product came from. Failure to have a clear understanding of the supply chain can result in a criminal conviction. This is where it becomes even murkier and less clear.
Plants low in THC
Cannabis farmers are only allowed to cultivate plants that are low in THC. THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol (C21H30O2). It is the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. If a substance is psychoactive, it changes brain function. It can change how a person thinks, behaves, and perceives things. It can also change cognition, mood, and consciousness. CBD is not psychoactive.
Having extensively looked at reviews of UK CBD products, it is clear that the ones that are marketed to consumers are full spectrum oils which are low in THC. However, we cannot confirm whether these products come from the specified strains that are allowed in the UK.
Whilst this isn’t a loophole, what it does show is that due to limited regulation the market currently has, people are actively marketing CBD products that match the strains that the EU has authorised for use, without necessarily being from these strains.
How Can You Apply This To Your Marketing?
If you are looking to promote CBD products in the United Kingdom, look to market either isolate products or full spectrum CBD products that have an exceptionally low component measure of THC. Isolate products are ones where everything but the active component of CBD has been removed, which addresses the legal THC issue.
Make sure that you are very clear about what type of oil you are promoting. Some people do not want full spectrum oils due to the THC component, whilst others are only interested in full spectrum.
Be very careful which oils you chose to market. If you can access a supplier that grows the specified crop, make your customers aware of this. That way you are not breaching any laws or guidelines regarding CBD and the marketing of the product.
There is a lot of work still to be done regarding the marketing limitations of CBD, especially in the UK. Remember that cannabis is illegal in the UK, regardless of form. So, if it is high in THC the chances are that distributing it is probably an arrestable offence.
Try and ensure that the products you a marketing come from the specified EU sources or at least match their chemical make-up. Look for isolate oils or gummies that are low in THC but high in CBD, and market it as a CBD product.
If you can’t access an isolate product, search for those that are full spectrum but grown from hemp, which is naturally lower in THC but higher in CBD, and mirrors the genetic makeup of the plants that the EU has authorized for cultivation.
Keep your supply chain clear and understand that whilst you are marketing an awesome product, not everyone will see it this way. You need to carry out your own research.