Are edibles legal in the UK?

by Laura Howarth January 08, 2024

Are edibles legal in the UK?

The CBD market in the UK is still quite young, which means we don’t yet have a fully recognised vocabulary to talk about the various products available. This leads to confusion and disambiguation, particularly when it comes to the sale of “edibles”.

For CBD brands, an edible is simply any CBD product that can be eaten, chewed or drunk. The most common edibles are CBD gummies, chocolate, paste and tea. Some brands will also extend this to include CBD capsules and pills.

The confusion comes when we consider the rise of THC/cannabis edibles. The two products are very different, with the main distinction being that CBD edibles are completely legal, while THC edibles are not. To further muddy the waters, there are also THC isomers that blur the line between legal and illegal.

Fast facts

  • CBD edibles include things like gummies, paste, tea, capsules, and chocolate
  • The CBD edibles market is expected to be worth $34.15bn USD by 2031
  • CBD edibles are growing in popularity as product ranges diversify
  • CBD edibles are completely legal in the UK, provided they do not contain THC
  • Edibles containing THC or THC isomers are a growing risk for consumers
  • Confusion about the difference between the use and impact is still very high

Are CBD edibles legal?

FSA-logo

CBD edibles are legal in the UK, provided they are manufactured to specific standards and meet UK regulations. While CBD edibles are generally legal in the UK, there are conditions sellers and manufacturers must meet. These include:

  • CBD edibles must have Novel Foods authorisation from the FSA
  • The THC content must be lower than 1mg per container
  • The THC cannot be easily separated from the other ingredients
  • It cannot be sold as a medicine intended to cure or treat any condition
  • CBD edibles cannot be sold for pets

The easiest way to confirm if your CBD edible is legal is to buy from a reputable retail outlet. All reputable sellers will include a certificate of analysis which outlines the cannabinoid content of your product.

The certificate of analysis serves two purposes. First, it confirms that the THC content is low enough to use the product legally. And second, it confirms that the CBD content is as advertised.

Are THC edibles legal?

Uk flag

The phrase “edibles” is often used to refer to cannabis or THC gummies that are illegal in the UK. Police forces are on high alert to help stop the sale of these drugs because they can appeal to children.

In the United States, the spread of medical cannabis has paved the way for THC edibles and gummies to become widespread and commonplace, they are used for many reasons including to help treat pain, nausea, and other health issues. These are not available in the UK since cannabis is considered a Class B drug. The maximum penalty for possession is five years imprisonment and a fine of up to £2,500.

Where can I buy legal edibles in the UK?

If you’re interested in buying CBD edibles, we have some advice to help you find a safe and legal supplier.

CBD edibles aren’t something you want to buy from a stranger in the pub or from a quirky artisanal market stall. In this instance, “all-natural” might not necessarily be better, and it could mean that you’re accidentally buying an illegal product. 

Instead, you should look for a high-quality product that is sold with clear labelling, is Novell Foods authorisation and comes with a certificate of analysis to confirm the contents. You can learn how to find, request and read a certificate of analysis here.

Our favourite CBD edibles

CBD gummies collection

We stock a wide range of CBD edibles, including some of the strongest CBD gummies in the UK. These are just a few of our favourites:

  • Vegan CBD gummies from CBDfx offer a sweet treat with 5mg of CBD in every serving. The natural broad-spectrum formulation contains a mixture of CBD, CBG and CBDV.
  • Another hugely popular form of edibles is the humble capsule. These 10mg CBD capsules from CannabiGold offer an easy way to enjoy a consistent serving size without the sugar rush. As they’re made by CannabiGold, you can be confident the full-spectrum CBD contained within is premium quality.
  • CBD paste is typically offered in high concentrations. If you'd like to make your own CBD edibles, CBD paste is a very versatile base. This Purple Edition paste by CBD Brothers offers a whole plant extract made from an Indica-dominant strain.
  • Finally, although it would be more accurate to call this a drinkable, CBD tea offers a simple way to wind down while enjoying your daily CBD. This hemp flower tea from BioBloom is a great introduction to loose-leaf CBDa-rich hemp tea.

Closing

CBD edibles are often sold as a simple, tasty, and effective way to enjoy CBD without the need to measure out the serving size. They are compact, portable, and often delicious. However, there is the danger that the term “edibles” could be misunderstood, and the product could contain illegal levels of THC.

To avoid accidentally consuming illegal products, we recommend purchasing your CBD edibles from a reliable and reputable source. You can see a list of CBD products linked to Novel Food license requests here.

Another simple way to confirm that your CBD edibles are legal is to request a certificate of analysis. If the seller can’t provide one, then they have no way of knowing if the product they are selling is legal, and you should steer clear of them.

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Laura Howarth
Laura Howarth

Author

Laura Howarth is a specialist CBD author based in Manchester, UK. She is passionate about sharing her love for CBD through educational articles and in-depth guides.


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