Is CBD flower legal in the UK?

by | Oct 25, 2022 | CBD

Is CBD Flower legal in the UK?


Is CBD flower legal in the UK?

CBD laws are continuing to evolve in the UK and globally. Which is creating confusion amongst consumers looking to try different forms of CBD. It is not a straight forward answer which is why there is a lot of anxiety being caused by many users that depend on CBD for pain relief, anxiety and sleep to name a few reasons people may use CBD products. So we explore what is CBD flower, aka CBD bud, or CBD weed? Could it get you into a spot of bother?


What is CBD flower?

CBD flower is the ‘bud’ part of the cannabis or hemp plant which holds the highest volume of cannabinoids. There are many cannabinoids, and we don’t currently know what the effect of all of them are, but we know the most about two, CBD and THC. You can find out more about these two cannabinoids in their own dedicated blogs.

Like most plants the cannabis and hemp plants go through a life cycle which culminates in flowering towards the end of the season once sunlight starts to be less than 12 hours a day. Yes, that’s right as soon as the days get shorter than 12 hours of sunlight, this plant knows to start producing its high cannabinoid content buds. This period can last anywhere from 8 to 13 weeks depending on the strain. Typically, indica strains take longer, and have a higher THC content. THC being the psychedelic and hallucinogenic in some instances, compound in the plant. You will not find any more than 0.2% THC content in legal CBD products in the UK. Sativa strains take less time and are typically higher in CBD content. Both cannabinoids have their therapeutic advantages.

Once the cannabis or hemp plant is at its peak of flowering, when it is coated in resin crystals which is the point of the highest concentrate of CBD and THC on the plant. It is harvested, dried by hanging and cured for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years in humidity controlled containers or rooms. Largely to allow chlorophyll to leave the plant (this is what gives it its grass smell, and nickname ‘grass’). Chlorophyll is also not a chemical that would be inducive to achieving wellness from the hemp buds.

How is CBD flower administered?

Once cured and dried, it is typically smoked, in various ways, but the suggested way by private medical clinicals is in dry herb vapes. Which heats the ground up CBD herb until it releases a vapor but not enough for it to burn. Current literature on the subject states that dry herb vaping is a much healthier way than combustion smoking.

CBD flower or CBD bud refers to the flower generally found more on the hemp side of the family, which is grown for its almost zero THC content and high CBD content. It therefore, when vaped, is a quick and high strength way of administering CBD.

But, is CBD flower legal in the UK 2022?

Unfortunately for brands that want to be able to support local farmers, under current confusing laws, CBD flower is not legal in the UK. Even if it comes from cannabis or hemp plants with less than 0.2% (EU guidelines) THC content, it comes from part of the plant (the buds) which are still illegal. This means, it cannot get you high.

With an annual license from the home office, you can grow hemp in the UK, but you must destroy the flowers and buds of the plant. They cannot be sold. But they can be imported, CBD oil derived from the CBD flowers can be imported in which ever quantity you would like. But UK farmers must destroy their own CBD plants. We did say it was rather confusing!

It is increasingly frustrating for hemp farmers and CBD companies, like The London Dispensary, who want to be able to support UK farmers, and use the highest concentrated part of the plant to create wonderfully high strength CBD products. That have been shown to naturally aid pain relief and target inflammation for just a few examples. Being able to buy CBD buds in London or other parts of the UK would also put CBD companies much closer to their local suppliers. This would allow them to be able to monitor every element of the supply chain. Which would bring much greater visibility and inevitably quality to the consumer of CBD products.

Can I travel with CBD flower or hemp buds?

Some travellers believe that they can buy CBD flower in London, but those hemp bud shops in London and any other area in the UK, are not really staying within the law. You could be very mistaken otherwise with openly seeing signs stating ‘buy CBD bud London here’ or ‘CBD flower shop UK’ but not only are these shop owners putting themselves at risk, they are putting those that are buying the buds as risk also. This is due to generally low quality CBD flower finding its way into the supply chain. Maybe another argument why legalising CBD flower might be a positive step in the right direction. But time will tell.

What are the legal ramifications of being found with CBD flower in the UK?

CBD flower, just like all forms of cannabis or hemp buds, is illegal to possess in the UK. It does not matter if it has no THC content, the law dictates it is the flower that is illegal as a whole. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD flower is seen in exactly the same way as cannabis with huge THC content. Now its easy to see why there is so much confusion!

Both hemp and cannabis flowers or buds, can land you in legal trouble. Either with a fine, or even as harshly as a prison sentence. The best thing to do is avoid it at the moment, and hope for the possibility of future laws changing with public opinion. Our advice is to stick to legal CBD products like the ones from The London Dispensary.

CBD’s legal status in the UK

We have covered the legal status of CBD flower, either hemp or cannabis types. But, as CBD can be found in so many other types of products such as, CBD drinks, CBD topicals, CBD vapes, CBD oils, the list goes on. As long as the product contains under 0.2%  THC content, reputable CBD companies will allow you to view lab reports to show this, and its not in flower form. In the whole its much more legal to use than CBD flower.

If you are looking to try CBD for the first time The London Dispensary’s 5% CBD Oral Drops are a great and effective way to supplement your lifestyle with CBD wellness.

When will CBD flower be legal in the UK?

Currently there is a huge social movement happening from CBD users who swear by their hemp supplements. Many institutions are reviewing policy and making recommendations to the government regarding the future of cannabis as a whole. But there is no clear date or road map as to when CBD flower might be legal in the UK.

What about buying CBD flower online in the UK?

There is a bubbling black market for buying CBD flower online, these merchants are trying to use a law stating that it is legal given it has under 0.2% THC content. But this is reserved for specialist pharmacies to sell the product under, normally with a prescription from a consultant.

But this does highlight that there is a huge market for CBD of all forms, due to so many people feeling and seeing the benefits it brings to their overall wellbeing. Many using is for their anxiety, stress, sleep, muscle pain etc.

What is the best CBD that’s legal in the UK?

That would depend on what you are looking to achieve, and how you would like to administer it. It is generally best to shop around with reputable premium CBD brands, as you then know their products are trial and tested and legal. Try a few options and see what works best for you.

CBD balms – are a great entry way into the world of CBD and you can locally administer the balm at the location giving you the most trouble.

CBD oils – quick and very effective, taken by placing under the tonged, CBD oil gets into your system faster than most other forms.

CBD gummies – another quick and convenient way to administer CBD if you are on the go.

Any there are many more CBD products out there, have a browse of The London Dispensary’s online store, who specialise in eco-friendly, natural, and high strength CBD for maximum effectiveness.

Summing up

There are thousands of CBD products out there, but CBD flower is currently one that should be avoided due to having some serious legal challenges if found with it. There are still tonnes of effective ways to use and administer CBD. Look out for reputable CBD brands and if you haven’t already, give it a try!


The above blog is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advise. 
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