Is CBD Oil Legal in South Africa? Everything You Need to Know

With so many CBD products popping up at shops and on the internet, you may be wondering if they’re legal or not. CBD does, after all, come from a cannabis plant – so how can it be?

Although cannabis has been illegal in South Africa for a long time, the laws are slowly changing. In the past few years, there have been many groundbreaking judgments and law changes that have taken place. Not only has it made it easier for us to grow our own cannabis, but now you can also get some of the best CBD products legally.

Is Cannabis Oil Legal in South Africa?

So before we can look at cannabidiol (CBD), we should first consider cannabis in general. Cannabis is classified as a schedule 7 drug in South Africa and is therefore illegal to obtain without special permission from the Director-General of the National Department of Health – which is a bit difficult for your average consumer.

Although THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in cannabis, still remains a schedule 7 drug, the laws surrounding CBD have changed considerably in the past few years.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Yes, at least if you buy the right product. CBD was first rescheduled to schedule 4. This means that all you need to do is get a prescription from a doctor and you will be able to buy any schedule 4 CBD product that you want.

The only problem is, these schedule 4 products need to be administered by a registered pharmacy. And although you may have already seen CBD oil at Dischem and some other pharmacies, these are not being sold as prescription medications.

cbd tincture bottle with cbd dropper

At the moment, the majority of CBD products on the market, like African Pure CBD oil, are just sold regularly on shelves or online, so how can this be the case? It’s all thanks to the South Africa Minister of Health in 2019, Aaron Motsoaledi.

In May 2019, Mr Mostoaledi issued an exclusion relating to CBD in the Government Gazette. While CBD still remained a schedule 4 drug, there were certain situations where CBD products could be sold as schedule 0. This opened the doors for many new products and companies in South Africa.

As long as CBD cannabis products in South Africa are able to meet these specifications, they can be sold as commonly as a packet of chips. And that’s why you can see all these CBD oils, vapes, edibles, and other similar products popping up everywhere.

Schedule 0 CBD Product South Africa

So what are the requirements for a schedule 0 CBD product in South Africa? There are two routes that you can take, either by limiting the maximum daily CBD dosage or by using hemp plants that contain especially low levels of CBD/THC. Most companies are choosing the former.

These companies just need to make sure that their products recommend a maximum of 20 mg of CBD per day. In addition to the daily CBD limit, these products can only make low-risk health claims. They can only be marketed for therapeutic purposes and not as miracle cures for various illnesses.

As long as these basic requirements are upheld, anyone can buy or sell CBD products in South Africa.

hemp cbd topical products

Limitation on Government Gazette Exclusion

Although the Government Gazette exclusion is very beneficial to businesses and consumers alike, there was a limitation. The exclusion specifically mentions that it is only valid for a year after the date of issue – so until the 23rd of May, 2020.

This date has long lapsed, but no further comment has been made by anyone in an official position. This might mean that over-the-counter CBD products are operating in a grey area, but as long as the government doesn’t come out and explicitly revoke the Government Gazette exclusion it is unlikely that businesses will stop trading these products.

Where to Buy CBD Oil?

Now that you know CBD oil is legal, you can start looking for the best product for you. CBD can be mixed into many different types of products, including oils, topicals, edibles, and even vapes, but the type of CBD that they use is the most important thing to consider.

There are two main types of CBD available, namely CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil. CBD isolate is pure CBD and therefore does not contain any other cannabinoids, including THC. This means that you know exactly what you are getting. For people who are worried about the effects of other cannabinoids, this is perfect.

Full-spectrum CBD oil on the other hand contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis. But don’t worry, you still won’t get high from these products because they all contain <0.001% THC which is safe for use by anyone (including pets). Generally, full-spectrum CBD oils are considered better as they offer what is known as the ‘entourage effect’.

cat taking cbd oil

Is Hemp Legal in South Africa

Hemp is another one of the products that is being talking about. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that contains almost no THC and can be used as a reliable source of CBD. Not only is it great for CBD, but it has also be used for hundreds of years to make paper, cordage, and building materials. But is it legal to grow hemp in South Africa?

Unfortunately, hemp was made illegal along with cannabis. However, recent changes have allowed farmers to apply for permits to grow hemp. These permits might not be easy to obtain, but as time goes by more and more are being issued.

Legal CBD Products Everywhere

With the laws surrounding cannabis changing so fast, it’s important that you stay up-to-date. Nowadays people are even legally growing their own cannabis indoors with high-powered growing lights – albeit only for personal consumption.

When it comes to CBD, you don’t have to worry about purchasing these products so long as they follow the requirements set out above. If you do want to get higher-strength CBD products for medicinal purposes, you’re going to need to speak to your doctor.

Hopefully, now you can go out and buy a CBD product without worrying about breaking the law. After all, looking after your body shouldn’t be against the law.

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