Did you know that cannabis is the most commonly used drug in the UK? 7.8% of adults 16 to 59 years old say they consume cannabis.
But just because a drug is so popular doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s legal.
So is cannabis legal in the UK? What about other products derived from cannabis plants? We’ll give you the important details below.
Is Cannabis Legal in the UK?
Cannabis laws in the UK are pretty simple, as they haven’t really changed in a long time. Ever since 1928, it’s been an illegal drug and laws over it were tightened in 1971 with the UK’s Misuse of Drugs Act.
First, it was a Class B drug, which put it in the same class as amphetamine, codeine, and ketamine. Then, in 2004, it moved to Class C, which put it in a category with less severe punishments (other drugs in this class include clonazepam, lorazepam, gabapentin, and tramadol). But in 2009, cannabis was moved back to Class C, which it still is in today.
What this means is if you’re caught with cannabis on you, you can theoretically get up to 5 years in prison. However, many police officers will let first-time offenders off with a cannabis warning, but only if you have a small amount on you.
All of the above is in regards to the recreational use of cannabis. As for medical use, this was legalized in November 2018. You’re legally allowed to consume cannabis so long as you’ve been prescribed it by a registered specialist doctor.
Is CBD Legal?
If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you probably know of CBD, which has been quite popular in recent years. It’s a close cousin of THC, as it has many of the same benefits but without the negatives of getting “high”.
In the US, all hemp-derived products were legalized under the Farm Bill of 2018, which means that any CBD products that come from hemp plants are completely legal to take! But what about in the UK?
Thankfully, it’s pretty much the same situation. UK CBD laws says it’s completely legal, so long as it has 0% THC. There’s one exception, which is Sativex. Sativex is a lab-produced drug used to treat multiple sclerosis that has a 50:50 ratio of CBD and THC.
However, do note that if you’re an athlete, you’re subject to more stringent regulations. Click to read more about this if you’re affected.
Know the UK Cannabis Laws
So is cannabis legal in the UK? Technically, it’s not. The exception is if you’ve been prescribed it by a registered specialist doctor.
However, there are many cases where the police won’t arrest people for having small amounts on them. To be safe, you should either be careful about how you purchase and use cannabis or better yet, just don’t partake at all. Instead, consider taking CBD instead, as it has pretty much the same effects but without the illegality associated with cannabis!
To learn more about drugs and the law, keep browsing our blog articles!