Is CBD likely to be criminalised in the UK?

July 20, 2023

Anyone who has ever dived deeper down the rabbit hole that is when cannabis will be legalised will have also spent some considerable time wondering about CBD. Now, while CBD is currently legal, there’s no reason to assume that this will remain so forever and ever. Why? Because political climates, social attitudes and the whims of world leaders can all change. What is happening now is by no means guaranteed to remain the status quo until the end of time. For this very reason we’re going to take a look at a hypothetical range of cases and reasons that would see CBD become criminalised in the UK. 

Before we dive in with both feet, we want to stress that CBD is currently safe, highly regulated and 100% legal for use right across the UK. This is something we want to get across clearly so that it never becomes conflated with the emerging issue of so-called ‘legal highs’ that were prevalent around 10 years ago. These were synthetic drugs that were legal purely because the development around them had outpaced the law. This is not the case with CBD where the substances and active ingredients involved are so heavily regulated, have been studied in detail, and proven to deliver a whole range of health and wellness benefits. You simply cannot say the same thing for any of the ‘legal highs’ from a decade ago. 

Definitely not legal highs

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at this interesting offshoot of the cannabis legalisation debate. CBD is currently legal for a number of reasons, not least of all because of the proven health and wellness benefits that it has to offer. These benefits are always going to be there, so we don’t need to concern ourselves with a hypothetical scenario in which CBD suddenly stopped working and became useless as a dietary or wellness supplement. What we instead need to look at in detail are cases in which CBD comes to be seen as an unreliable and low grade product that can’t be trusted by regulators and government authorities. 

Take our leading Londonderry CBD brand as an example: we believe in the importance, insights and intrinsic value of third party testing. Why? Because it’s fully independent, rigorously conducted, and the only way to truly understand what the products we sell are actually made up of and able to deliver to valuable customers and users just like you. This is one of the reasons why the CBD industry has been legitimised through legalisation and is increasingly becoming mainstream. If more and more brands decide to opt for third party testing, the reputation of the industry will become stronger and more well thought of. Exactly what you want to hear if you’re looking to take part in a wellness journey that allows you to rely on the supplements and materials you’re putting into your body. 

Another thing to say is that the sourcing and origins of the CBD products need to continue to be strictly controlled and measured. One of the reasons that you can’t legally build cannabis online is that there is no central body who will be able to account for the quality of the materials on sale. At our Londonderry CBD headquarters we take the time to really trace the exact origins of every last drop and gram we put into our products. It’s the only way to change the industry and make sure that standards are maintained in a way that will allow you to buy, take and improve your health and wellness with true peace of mind. 

Another thing to think about when comparing the issue of CBD remaining legal is how a cannabis prescription UK doctors can rely on would come to pass. While it’s technically possible for a UK doctor to prescribe cannabis, it’s so unlikely to happen that it may as well not have been passed into law for all intents and purposes. 

The fact that cannabis isn’t legalised is due to a number of factors, but a big part of the issue is the reputation of the industry for purity and quality. Street cannabis comes in many forms, from many illicit sources, and a lot of people can be hurt during the supply chain process. Put aside debates about the efficacy of cannabis vs CBD and you see that the social perception of the way in which the end product arrives in the hands of the user really matters. This is why we invest so heavily in making sure our distributors, stockists and end users know all about the processes and protocols we put into place to make sure nothing is missed. 

Cannabis reform is inevitable

Even though we operate in a country where cannabis is not legal yet, we believe that we need to have the strictest commitment to making sure CBD remains legal. Any industry that flagrantly disregards standards when it comes to quality and integrity can expect to fall foul of the restrictions regulators can impose sooner rather than later. This means that, as Londonderry’s CBD leader, we have a major part to play in ensuring that everything about the CBD industry remains as trusted and highly regarded as it possibly can be. 

We also want to make sure that the issue of when cannabis will be legal in the UK is not one that ends up distracting us from the need to maintain standards in the CBD industry. CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, but this doesn’t mean that the CBD industry has to operate or be run in the same manner in which the cannabis industry is attempting to legitimise itself. What we need to do is show that CBD is a supplement and a wellness product in its own right, and that cannabis would benefit immensely from following in the footsteps of our own industry. 

If you want to really think about this in a progressive way, picture something like mixed martial arts in America. It used to be known as cage fighting and was largely illegal and banned, yet today the UFC is one of the major sports leagues in the world with millions of fans and a respectable image that has led to a boom in children’s classes and clubs. As an offshoot of this other combat sports leagues and organisations have followed in the footsteps of the UFC — working hand in hand with regulators — to make their businesses legal too. 

What does this have to do with CBD and cannabis? It’s a great example of how running towards regulation, rather than attempting to sidestep or circumvent it, will allow you to make so much more progress with less money and effort. After all, it’s all about finding ways to make sure the quality, consistency and efficacy of the product you’re selling is of an acceptable standard to appease the demands of the regulators. Add in studies to demonstrate the wellness benefits and you’ll be able to change the look and feel of any industry before you know it. 

We’re committed to ensuring CBD remains legal and becomes increasingly well respected. We also want to serve as a template for cannabis businesses from all over the world so we can help change and improve as many lives as possible. 

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