CBD Around the World

While hemp-derived CBD is legal throughout the entire United States, it is crucial to understand how other nations have responded to the astounding success of this therapeutic compound, especially if you are planning to travel abroad. Despite the non-intoxicating traits of CBD, there are still countries around the world where its possession and use is strictly prohibited. In this article, we will analyze the legality of CBD around the globe to ensure safe and legal transport.  



With 195 uniquely diverse nations around the world, combined with cannabis’ history of prohibition, it should come as no surprise that the emergence of this relatively new compound has yet to be embraced worldwide. Nonetheless, there is already a considerable amount of CBD-friendly countries in addition to the United States, including:



Canada is the second nation in the world to fully legalize the recreational use of cannabis and all of its byproducts nationwide. Before the Canadian Cannabis Act went into effect in 2018, CBD use was illegal without a medical marijuana prescription. This new law, however, legalized the recreational use of CBD in addition to “fresh cannabis, dried cannabis, cannabis oil, cannabis seeds, [and] cannabis plants” countrywide.  



In 2017, the Mexican government enacted a medical cannabis program nationwide. This measure officially labeled THC as a therapeutic compound and classified CBD-infused products as legal supplements so long as THC content amounts to less than 1%.



CBD laws in the United Kingdom (U.K.) were altered in 2016 in response to several cannabinoid-focused scientific findings. While there are clear rules and regulations regarding its use in the U.K., CBD oil is legal if extracted from a hemp strain approved by the European Union (there are currently 63), and THC levels are required to amount to less than 0.5%.



There are 44 European countries, most of which are CBD-friendly so long as its THC content amounts to less than 0.2%. Despite having the highest rate of cannabis consumption throughout all of Europe, France is one of the more recent European countries to legalize CBD.



Switzerland revised its CBD laws in 2017, allowing it to be legally utilized so long as its THC content amounts to less than 1%. Famous for its quaint villages, glistening lakes, and delectable chocolates, Switzerland offers CBD-based products in virtually every “smoke shop” throughout their beautiful country.  



Luxembourg enacted a 2-year pilot program in 2017 that permits its citizens to purchase various cannabis extracts for a wide variety of different health-related conditions. If containing less than 0.3% THC, CBD-based products are allowed in this country.



So long as CBD-infused products contain less than the legal limit set at less than 0.2% THC, it is perfectly legal in the nation of Denmark. However, CBD is viewed as a prescription medication and requires a doctor’s referral before purchase. The exception is for CBD-infused topical products such as lotions, creams, salves, and lip balms – which can be legally purchased without requiring a medical prescription.



In 2018, South Korea became the first East Asian country to legalize the use of medical cannabis. Strict rules and regulations apply only to imported CBD, and its recreational use is expressly prohibited.

A host of other countries have also enacted legislation that legalizes CBD. While specific rules and regulations vary, conditions typically involve being sourced from industrial hemp and containing less than 0.2% THC. In addition to the nations mentioned above, the following countries are also CBD-friendly:  


  • Antilles
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Republic of Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay


While a host of nations have legalized CBD for either medicinal or recreational use, it cannot yet be used freely in all corners of the world. Several countries have unclear laws regarding CBD, and many have enacted strict legislation which expressly prohibits its use and possession. If traveling abroad, avoid transporting your CBD-based products with you to the following nations at all costs:

  • Malaysia
  • Russia
  • United Arab Emirates

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