CBD and THC in France. Is CBD legal in France? Is THC legal in France? Is Medical marijuana legal in France? Read more! CBD is legal in France — but there are some key regulations you need to be aware of. Learn more about French CBD laws.
CBD and THC products in France
For some time, CBD products in France had an unclear legal status, which caused many hemp companies to go out of business. The reason was that the French law assumed that food products could only contain isolated cannabidiol, which made for many contentious issues in their production.
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Is CBD legal in France?
Until recently, France allowed the sale of CBD products with less than 0.2% THC content, and these were available without a prescription. However, according to Regulation 1308/2013, the law was regulated in such a way that the content of THC in hemp products was completely banned, and CBD was only legal if it was made from isolated CBD.
EU law allows hemp with up to 0.2% THC content to be freely traded, and according to the EU Court of Justice, CBD oils can be exported and imported under the free movement of goods regulation issued. Cannabis laws in France are very unstable and constantly changing, which has led to the liquidation of a number of companies involved in the production of and trade in cannabis products. In December 2021, the French government published the Order of 30 December 2021 implementing Article R. 5132-86 of the Public Health Code, on adapting French law to the objectives of the CJEU judgement.
In the decree the following information was published:
- The cultivation, import, export and industrial use of hemp are permitted if the following conditions are met: only Cannabis sativa L. variety in which the amount of THC does not exceed 0.3%, and which are included in the official catalogue of species and plants cultivated in France;
- Hemp extract can be made from the whole plant;
- Hemp extracts and retail products that contain hemp extracts may have traces of THC up to 0.3% subject to limits set by European law;
- Products with hemp that meet the above requirements may be imported from non-EU countries or exported outside the EU – each product must have documentation proving its compliance with the decree.
Outlawing dried hemp in France in 2022
The December 2021 decree also included provisions outlawing dried hemp in France. However, that ban does not apply to hemp companies and farmers – they can possess dried CBD only for further processing, such as oil production.
Dried CBD has been very popular in France so far, as approx. 70% of hemp consumers have opted for dried hemp. Under a government decree, the sale of hemp flowers or leaves for smoking, drinking or brewing is currently prohibited. The government is arguing its decision is out of concern for consumer health and an attempt at helping police who may have trouble distinguishing between CBD products and products which are illegal, i.e. marijuana. The new regulations have drawn sharp criticism from the Greens party in France, with many politicians sounding the alarm that such a change opens the way for black market dealers.
In late January 2022, shortly after the ban was imposed, the Supreme Court in France temporarily suspended the ban. It is important to note that this is a temporary suspension and it does not constitute making dried CBD legal again in that country.
Medical marijuana in France
Medical marijuana is still officially banned in France. However, in 2021, the French government decided to go easy on patients and allow the use of reimbursable medical marijuana for pain management. The pilot program for reimbursement of medical marijuana for patients started as an experiment and was supposed to cover 3,000 patients requiring treatment with dried hemp.
Although marijuana for patients is free under the experiment, it still must meet pharmaceutical requirements. Doctors and pharmacies who want to join the experiment also need to undergo appropriate training in this regard.
The introduction of medical marijuana for patients as an experiment offers hope for a breakthrough in the use of the compound in France. This is because up until now, patients in that country have not been prescribed medical marijuana for any medical condition.
What Are the CBD Laws in France? [2021 Buyer’s Guide]
CBD laws in France, like many other European countries, is complicated.
But we have some good news for you — France is one of the best places to be if you want to purchase CBD products legally.
With that being said, there are a few laws you should be aware of to remain legal — especially when shopping for CBD oils from other countries.
In this article, I cover everything you need to know about buying CBD products in France — including the laws, regulations, and offer advice on ordering CBD products online.
Summary: Buying CBD In France
- CBD products that contain no THC are legal in France
- Hemp is legal to grow as long as it has a THC content of less than 0.2%. However, all THC must be removed from CBD products in order for them to be legal.
- Although CBD is legal to possess, some shops selling it have had trouble with the authorities — in some cases, the businesses are shut down and their products confiscated.
- France produces up to 40% of Europe’s hemp and is the world’s third-largest producer — only behind China and Canada.
Best CBD Oil Brands For France (2021):
- Best CBD Oils For Pain in France — Nordic Oil
- Best Budget CBD Brand in France — Reakiro CBD
- Best CBD Concentrates in France — Endoca CBD
- Best Full-Spectrum CBD Oils France — Eir Health
- Best CBD Edibles France — Holistic Hemp Scotland
Where to Buy CBD Products in France
You can find many online suppliers that ship high-quality CBD products to France. However, some of these companies are international entities — so they may not strictly follow the regulations in place by the French government.
Therefore, it’s important that you take a few steps to ensure you’re in line with the law.
When shopping online, make sure you choose products made with CBD isolates to avoid any trouble with the authorities.
You may see CBD extracts labeled as “full-spectrum” — which means they have a variety of cannabinoids from the hemp plant, including THC. Avoid purchasing these extracts to make sure the oils you order are completely THC free to remain legal.
Most European-based CBD companies will ship directly to France. Our favorite brands are Nordic Oil, Endoca, and Reakiro.
Tips for Buying CBD Online in France:
- Purchase products made with CBD isolates — CBD isolates are completely legal in France while full-spectrum extracts contain THC — which is not permitted.
- Avoid purchasing from companies that claim CBD treats or cures any disease — these claims are not supported by the European Commission.
- Make sure the supplier can provide third-party test results — these tests can tell you if the product contains potentially harmful materials like heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents.
Is CBD Legal in France?
The marijuana plant is illegal in France. It’s classified as a narcotic drug.
However, CBD is NOT considered a narcotic in the eyes of the government — but there are restrictions that must be followed in order for it to be legal.
As we mentioned above, people are free to grow their own hemp in France.
However, the hemp must be one of the government-approved strains and only the stems and fibers can be used — using the flowers in any way is strictly prohibited.
There’s some confusion here because the hemp plant is legally allowed to have 0.2% THC by weight — which isn’t the case with CBD products.
CBD is only legal to sell, use, and possess in France if it has 0% THC. If the product contains any THC at all, it may be considered a narcotic by the authorities.
Companies selling CBD are forbidden from making any therapeutic claims not recognized by the ANSM or the European Commission. Additionally, the marketing of CBD products is limited and can’t promote the use of cannabis in any way.
With all of this in mind, customers in France should look for products made from CBD isolate in order to remain within the 0% THC limit.
CBD isolates are hemp extracts that are thoroughly processed to remove any remaining THC and other cannabis compounds.
Hemp & Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
The difference between hemp and marijuana is largely cultural — both are actually the same species, known as Cannabis sativa.
Both hemp and marijuana are rich in CBD, but produce different amounts of other cannabinoids like THC, CBN, CBC, CBG, and much more. This is all controlled by the plant’s DNA.
The law separates hemp and marijuana based on how much THC is in the plant — THC is the chemical compound in cannabis that produces the psychoactive high.
1. Marijuana — More Than 0.2% THC
In France, marijuana is defined as a strain of Cannabis sativa with more than 0.2% THC by weight. THC is the main reason why marijuana is illegal in many countries around the world — including France. It’s the primary psychoactive ingredient in the plant responsible for the high produced by marijuana.
2. Hemp — 0.2% THC or Less
According to French authorities, hemp is any Cannabis sativa with a THC content of less than 0.2%. Unlike marijuana, hemp cannot get the user high. For this reason, it’s considered a legal and abundant crop in France.
A Brief History of Cannabis Laws in France
It’s important to know that cannabis is the umbrella term for both hemp and marijuana — and the distinction is crucial to understanding the laws regarding CBD in France.
France has been growing industrial hemp for hundreds of years. By 1850, France was producing more than 175,000 hectares of hemp — this number decreased to a low of 700 hectares by 1960 .
In more recent times, France has increased hemp production once again — and is now responsible for approximately 40% of Europe’s hemp production.
However, France’s laws regarding hemp and CBD are not always straightforward. Let’s examine these laws in more detail.
Final Thoughts: Buying CBD In France
Overall, France is one of the best places to be in Europe if you’re interested in CBD products. France is Europe’s leading producer of hemp and the third-largest producer worldwide.
Under the current laws, you’re welcome to grow your own hemp on the condition that it’s one of the 20 approved strains with less than 0.2% THC and you only use the seeds, stems, leaves, and fibers of the plant.
French laws are slowly becoming more accepting of CBD products as people around the world recognize the value of cannabis extracts.
Although there are some restrictions, you should have no trouble finding high-quality CBD extracts in France as long as you purchase those with 0% THC.