Countries Where CBD Usage is Legal


The word “legal” is a strong term that can make or break philosophies… sometimes. For example, not every country is in agreement with the safety and handling of CBD. Some countries have banned CBD as harshly as the psychoactive drug, THC, while others allow for recreational use. Cannabis is considered dangerous in many countries, leading to many acts and laws being created to ensure the substance remains illegal or very difficult to purchase. 

Read below for more details on what hemp oil vs. CBD oil is and 10 commonly-traveled-to countries and their laws.


What’s the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

Although both substances are derived from the same hemp plant, hemp oil has no CBD in it and comes directly from hemp seed. CBD oil, on the other hand, contains mostly CBD and comes from the entirety of the hemp plant.

CBD oil, more specifically, is said to help with pain management, certain medical conditions, and stress relief. Hemp oil is best used for hygiene, anti-bacterial measures, and a reduction of inflammation.

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CBD oil, generally, is far more guarded and outlawed than hemp oil. Due to the typically unprofessional extraction of CBD, trace amounts of THC can sometimes be found within the finished product.


A Few Countries with CBD

United States of America

Status: CBD is legal, conditionally legal between certain states, depending on the THC amount.

In 2018, the US legalized the usage of CBD derived from hemp. Some states allow recreational use, some only allow use through a medical cannabis license. The THC amount in most states must be below a certain level, most commonly 0.3% THC or less.

CBD legalization depends from state to state. In Illinois and New York, for example, CBD use is free for recreational and supplemental use. A doctor does not need to prescribe CBD nor does the CBD need to be bought at a pharmacy.


Status: CBD is medically legal between all provinces, and conditionally legal for recreational use between provinces.

Canada legalized CBD for medical use in 2018 and has held fast to the belief that phytocannabinoid use must be strictly enforced. The unlicensed possession, production, distribution, and sale of CBD can lead to up to 14 years in prison.

Canada allows for the usage of marijuana-based CBD for federally licensed medical use under the Cannabis Act. The sale of CBD is authorized only for medical professionals and scientific purposes. Hemp-based CBD with no trace THC is fully legal and exempt from the Cannabis Act.


Status: CBD is medically and conditionally legal.

Within Mexico, full recreational use of CBD oil has been allowed since 2017. Up to 1% THC is permitted as well, making Mexico one of the more lenient countries on this list. 

However, the way to access CBD is a bit tricky, since the production, import, and sale of Cannabis is still considered illegal. The use of CBD is legal, so the conflicting laws between having cannabis and obtaining cannabis can create a dangerous situation for any user who hasn’t read up on the laws.

The United Kingdom

Status: CBD is medicinally-legal only.

In 2018, the United Kingdom legalized CBD for medicinal purposes. And, cannabis-based products are still illegal to purchase online. 

As far as getting a prescription for medical cannabis, only people with severe pain through MS, chemotherapy, or epilepsy can get one, and through a specialist hospital doctor at that.


Status: CBD is medically legal only.

Germany allows for the cultivation, import, and sale of Cannabis for medical use. CBD, although not the same as cannabis, is still viewed as a threat and has been considered to be illegal in German courts.


Status: Medically legal

Brazil allows for the use of CBD medically. Personal production is illegal.


Status: CBD is conditionally legal, between provinces.

Australia, like Canada, is a large area with many different provinces/territories linked together by landmass. That being said, different parts of Australia have different rules regarding CBD use.

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), CBD is legal to grow and ingest (within limits) recreationally.

For more details about cannabis and all AU provinces’ rules, check out this hub for more answers.

South Korea

Status: CBD is medicinally-legal.

South Korea has a very strict CBD policy but is one of the few countries in Asia that no longer has CBD as an illegal substance.

As of 2018, a very specific application must be submitted to gain access to imported, CBD-based medical marijuana (that has no trace amounts of THC).


Status: CBD is generally legal.

Switzerland has generally legalized CBD for recreational use, however, any cannabis with 1% or more THC qualifies as a narcotic and all recreational use, importation, and sale is not allowed.


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