Laws and Regulations

Is CBD Legal in Ireland?

Written by Robert Hammell

Cannabis legalization may be coming to the European Union. Malta was the first member state to legalize recreational use and Germany has already announced plans to do the same.[1][2] Because of this, many other EU members are starting to reconsider their stance on whether to
do the same. In Ireland, cannabis remains illegal, but could CBD be the first step towards cannabis acceptance?

CBD in Ireland and the EU
Because may CBD products are typically hemp derived, they are legal in most European Union member states under the Novel Food and Drug act.[3] Because hemp is legal in Ireland, CBD products are also permitted if they are primarily advertised as food products and contain less than .2 percent THC.[4] However, CBD legalization has been challenged before on the grounds that several products available in Europe are advertised as products meant for smoking or vaping, not as food. While the CJEU ruled in favor of continued CBD allowance, there may be more lawsuits challenging this classification in the future.[5]

Cannabis in Ireland
Cultivation, production, possession, importation and exportation of cannabis is illegal in Ireland according to the Misuse of Drugs legislation.[6] However, according to a 2019 study, 87.1 percent of people surveyed in Ireland said they could easily obtain cannabis in under 24 hours.[7] The same study also found that most cannabis users consume their cannabis through inhalation. Since CBD products are only permitted as food products, this indicates a discrepancy between legal standards and market realities. Though hemp based CBD is legal, most users prefer to turn to the black market for illicit cannabis. Legalization and regulation may be the simplest way of closing the gaps between the legitimate and underground markets.

Reference List
1. Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis Bill. (2021, October 8). Parliament of Malta.

2. Deutsche Welle. (2022, October 26). Germany: Lauterbach outlines cannabis legalization plan. dw.com

3. Novel Food. (n.d.). Food Safety.

4. CBD Oils and Hemp Oils – Legal Status | FAQ | The Food Safety Authority of Ireland. (n.d.).

About the author

Robert Hammell