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The legality of CBD is quite a complex issue as guidelines change as you cross borders. For this reason we decided to give you a complete overview of the legality of CBD in Germany. This article will tell you everything you need to know to fully understand its legal status. Let's get started right away.
There are different areas of legality that you need to look at. The easiest way for our readers to get a feel for the subject is to look at each area individually.
The history of cannabis laws in Germany
The history of cannabis in Germany goes back to the time of the Romans (800 - 500 BC). The Germans used hemp seeds as a staple food, and in the Middle Ages they started using cannabis for its medicinal properties.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the hemp plant became an important crop in Germany thanks to its strength and moisture-resistant properties.
The German fleets used hemp for ropes, sails, nets, uniforms and ships' flags. Shortly after its boom, hemp cultivation declined because cotton came to the fore as a new textile plant. This is due to the fact that growing hemp required more labor and higher costs at the time. Due to the technical improvements in cotton processing, many textiles have been replaced by cotton.
In the 19th century, Germany introduced new materials like sisal and jute and began importing hemp from Russia to avoid labor costs. During the world wars, Germany was denied access to cotton, jute and sisal, and the country had to reintroduce hemp cultivation - but there was a lack of available acreage.
After the Second World War, Germany started growing hemp again, but was only able to meet 20% of domestic demand and had to import the rest from neighboring countries such as Italy.
Only small quantities of hemp were grown in the 60s, and following the amendment to the Narcotics Act in 1982, its cultivation was banned in West Germany unless it was used for scientific research.
After a decade of non-use, hemp became one of the most discussed and researched crops in the 1990s - thanks to the bestseller The Rediscovery of the Crop Hemp by Bröckers and Herer. However, the cultivation ban was still in effect and hemp was only grown for research purposes.
While most European countries legalized hemp in the 1990s after the European Union introduced its subsidies for hemp cultivation, Germany delayed approval and only legalized hemp cultivation in 2017. The amended Narcotics Act only allows EU-certified hemp varieties with less than 0,2 % THC. Recreational marijuana use is still prohibited, but patients can purchase medicinal cannabis with a prescription.
Is CBD legal in Germany?
Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that contains traces of THC. With proper processing, the THC can be completely removed. Products made from hemp contain pure CBD, which makes them very safe. In fact, most of the commercially available CBD products like topicals, e-liquids, CBD oils, edibles, wax, extracts, leaves, buds, etc. are made from hemp.
These hemp-based CBD products (including CBD oil) are 100% legal and can be bought in Germany in shops and pharmacies without a prescription.
Buy CBD legally online in Germany?
When it comes to buying CBD online, it is actually completely legal in Germany, regardless of whether it is CBD oil, CBD flowers or CBD Crystals acts. In fact, Germany was a pioneer when it came to legalizing CBD. So it should come as no surprise that trading CBD online is not only allowed, but accepted by the majority of society.
Since when can you buy hemp products legally in Germany?
Germany was one of the first countries in the EU to legalize cannabis (without THC). In March 2017, the government kicked off legalizing the sale and use of THC-free cannabis and its derivatives such as CBD oil, flowers and cannabis extracts.
Buying CBD legally in the store?
If you want to buy CBD the old fashioned way then don't worry because selling this beneficial substance offline is just as legal as online transactions. Other extracts from the cannabis plant are also available in various health stores across Germany. It's worth noting that the law only allows the sale of processed products, not raw cannabis itself.
Is it legal to plant hemp for CBD in Germany?
Growing is a little different from selling when it comes to German law. In order to be able to grow hemp legally in Germany, you have to comply with various rules and regulations of the European Union. That said, if you are on the right side of the law you should be able to grow hemp with no problems within Germany's borders.
Cannabis according to the Narcotics Act
According to the Narcotics Act, cannabis belongs to Annex III of the Narcotics Act - drugs that are neither too safe nor too dangerous. That's why companies can grow and trade cannabis. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) - part of the Federal Ministry of Health - was founded after the legalization of medical cannabis to monitor the cultivation, processing and trade of medical cannabis and CBD products in Germany; for both recreational and non-recreational consumption.
Is it legal in Germany to buy products with more than 0,2% THC for medical purposes?
Doctors in Germany are allowed to prescribe cannabis products for medical use as long as the THC concentration in the products is below 0,2%. Anything above that exceeds the legal limit and you could face some consequences when purchasing such products.
Permits to grow cannabis
Originally, companies were able to apply to the BfArM for a special cultivation permit within the framework of a tender, in which they had to prove their experience and qualifications in cannabis cultivation. If they didn't have enough experience, they could team up with established cannabis growers from across the EU and take part in the tender.
However, this procedure became difficult to use and the BfArM changed the application rules. Now every German company that has experience growing plants that require special care and processing methods can apply for a cannabis cultivation permit.
Is it legal in Germany to buy products with more than 0,2% THC for personal use?
The recreational consumption of THC is currently not legal in Germany. However, it would not be surprising if Germany were one of the first European countries to do this, as it has had progressive policies on the subject in the past. Indeed, members of the aptly named Green Party have campaigned for the immediate legalization of recreational cannabis.
Travel to Germany with CBD
The European Union has very strict regulations for the transport of cannabis and CBD products within the region. It is recommended that travelers do not fly to Germany with CBD oil.
Any CBD product that contains more than 0,2% THC is considered illegal under EU law, and the German authorities can confiscate the products and punish the traveler accordingly. The same applies if you fly out of Germany with CBD oil.
As you can see, buying CBD is largely legal in Germany. However, you need to pay attention to the THC levels in such products and the EU regulations if you want to grow hemp yourself. Overall, Germany is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to cannabis, so as long as you don't commit violations, don't worry too much.