Is CBD legal in France?

In recent years, many shops offering CBD-based products have appeared in France. Present in the cannabis plant, this active ingredient has relaxing effects that are highly appreciated by patients with chronic diseases such as cancer or multiple sclerosis. It is also considered by some people to be an excellent antidepressant. However, it does not produce any euphoric or psychotropic effects on the brain, unlike THC, another substance found in cannabis. Foods, oils, cosmetics or any other element containing CBD are therefore perfectly legal since they do not modify the state of consciousness of the consumer. Their marketing must however respect drastic rules which have led to the closure of several points of sale in recent times. Let’s take stock of this little-known legislation in perpetual evolution.

The difference between THC and CBD

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the main molecules of cannabis. They are found in more or less high doses depending on the variety grown. THC is responsible for the psychotropic effects of marijuana. It is obtained by drying the flowers of the plant or by recovering the resin present on it. This material is then smoked, ingested or inhaled to achieve the euphoric state sought by recreational cannabis enthusiasts. CBD is very different. Much less powerful, it helps relieve pain and soothe body tension. It is extracted by mixing hemp with CO2 at high temperature or with certain solvents. Hemp is the ideal variety for this type of operation because it contains almost no THC. The law requires CBD sellers not to exceed a rate of 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol in the goods they intend to market. This protects customers against the dangerousness of this addictive element which can cause irreversible damage to the brain.

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Where can you get CBD

Having become widely democratized in France, CBD is available almost everywhere. It is very likely that you have a store specializing in this sector within walking distance of your home. You will find it in various forms such as infusions, cookies, candies, massage oils or even in liquids for electronic cigarettes that you can also order online. If you are sensitive to its properties, CBD could help you relax while immersing you in a pleasant state of plenitude. On the other hand, if you are a regular cannabis smoker, you may find it difficult to find interest in this innovation. The low THC content will undoubtedly rob you of the key element that keeps you buying more classic soft drugs.

CBD as medicine

This aspect in particular remains the most unclear point of CBD regulations. Indeed, the shops that market this molecule are strictly prohibited from presenting it as a drug because only pharmacists are authorized to position themselves on this market. Thus, merchants cannot announce that their CBD has painkiller properties or any impact on health or risk being condemned to have to lower the curtain permanently. The problem is that apart from medical reasons, taking cannabidiol is not really relevant. The players in this business are therefore forced to find new marketing strategies to succeed in retaining their customers.

Hope for the sick

On October 25, 2019, the National Assembly endorsed the implementation of a two-year experiment to study the benefits of therapeutic cannabis on patients suffering from serious pathologies. Since 2014, Sativex, a spray medicine containing CBD and THC has been authorized in France but is only reserved for patients with multiple sclerosis. The program which will begin in 2020 is intended to be much more open and will concern more people such as epileptics or individuals facing cancer and severe neuropathic pain. This progress is a huge breath of fresh air for all those who have been waiting for a law on this subject for years and who have until now been obliged to obtain supplies on the parallel market, knowing all the risks that this approach made them run on a daily basis. In a context where the countries which agree to put them into circulation are constantly increasing, the legalization of treatments containing CBD seems to have finally been relaunched in a France which, despite everything, is still very late in this area.

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