Cannabis is an umbrella term used for all the plants that exist within the genus Cannabis sativa. Cannabis plants are differentiated into two main categories, marijuana, and hemp. Marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC while Hemp less than 0.3%. CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp. However, in most nations across the globe, for CBD oil to be legal, it must be extracted from hemp.

Is CBD legal worldwide?

Cannabis is still illegal in most countries but on the other hand, CBD is legal. However, because of CBD being extracted from cannabis, its legal status is regulated in lots of legislation which results in a controlled view as to who can grow, produce or purchase the product. Bringing more confusion to the table, the fact that each country has its own different cannabis laws that are ever-changing; answering questions about the legality of CBD is a bit of a struggle.

Read also: What to look for in CBD oil?


The EU regulates the sale of CBD in most European countries. However, these countries are allowed to have their own interpretations of the regulations and the same goes for punishment. Every country in Europe has a different tolerance for cannabis-related crimes and, as a result, also for how the law on CBD is policed.

South America

In South America, the CBD products market is continuously growing with the global change in perception and view of the potential of cannabis. Countries across South America are starting to recognize the medical benefits of cannabis, and this is reflected by the current laws on medicinal cannabis.


The law on production, sale, and possession of CBD isn’t available in the majority of African nations, Aside from South Africa, all other African continent nations view recreational cannabis use as illegal and medical cannabis is only legalized in Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, although the access is still limited.

In which Middle Eastern states is CBD legal?

Across the Middle East, views on cannabis vary a lot depending on what nation we consider. On one side, there’s Israel who leads in international cannabis research and medical cannabis is legal and well-tolerated there; on the other hand, there’s also Saudi Arabia where people were executed for possession.
Under any circumstances, you SHOULD NOT travel to the Middle East with any CBD, regardless of prescription or THC concentration.
CBD without any THC appears to be popular in Egypt, Israel, and Turkey, although possession may be policed heavier in some areas and it’s still not recommended.

United States

America’s federal law constitutes that CBD grown from hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC is legal for cultivation, transportation, and sale in the US. However, the individual states decide what happens within their territory, meaning that every US state has different legislation.

Read also: What does CBD oil help with?

This regulation variety across the US, calls for using a traffic-light system to order each state depending on their laws:

  • Green States – Cannabis is legal and so are all of its by-products e.g. CBD oil
  • Amber States – Cannabis products are okay under certain conditions
  • Amber Red States – CBD is okay under certain conditions
  • Red States – All cannabis products are illegal


The Australian government legalized medicinal cannabis in 2016, but due to the requirement of needing special approval from the Department of Health for the prescription, only a handful of Australians were granted access.
CBD is legal in Australia, but it’s classified as medicinal cannabis and it can only be accessed through the same special approval scheme and purchased only from approved vendors. This resulted in 100,000 Australians sourcing CBD illegally for their medical needs.
The Australian government addressed this issue, and discussions are ongoing about fully legalizing CBD.

New Zealand

CBD is legal in New Zealand, as long as CBD has been purchased lawfully through a medical professional.
Medicinal cannabis products such as Sativex are allowed regardless of THC content and traveling with up to one month supply amount is legal. Other CBD items must contain less than 2.0% of THC and possession of up to 3 months supply is allowed for travel.


Canada legalized medicinal cannabis in 2001 and recreational cannabis in 2018. Each province in Canada was given the freedom to create the specifics for the purchasing of recreational cannabis, such as age requirement and possession amount. But the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Act only specified that fresh, dried, oil or seed form are legalized, not extracts and edibles; and CBD oil is technically classified as an extract so even though it can be purchased over-the-counter in most provinces, it is still technically illegal unless for medical purposes.

Read also: How much CBD should I take?


Medical cannabis products that contain less than 1% THC are legal in Mexico, but until 2020 there’s no access to products because licenses have only just been granted for production.
CBD isn’t classified as medical cannabis and can be purchased online or from vendors without a prescription.


For anybody who took the time to read this article till the end, you will understand that the legal state of cannabis and its by-products are as diverse as the world itself. The rule of thumb is that if you are unsure about a certain country’s legislation, then opt to be on the safe side and don’t travel with CBD.