Cannabis legalisation is happening in many places around the globe. Canada, Mexico, and the majority of the United States of America have witnessed cannabis legalisation over the past few years. Cannabis legalisation is happening at a slow pace. It can get a little confusing trying to keep up with it. Also, the terminology surrounding the industry can become confusing. For example, when we say cannabis is illegal in the UK, we don't mean all cannabis. Cannabis products in the UK are legal as long as THC is not present in concentrations exceeding 1mg within a single closed container. This is per the regulations of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
See where the confusion can start? Cannabis is illegal in the UK when it contains more than 1mg of THC within a single closed container. Typically this would be greater than 0.2% THC and or from hemp that is not produced using EU-approved cultivars. Industrial Hemp is a member of the cannabis family. But as long as that Industrial Hemp comes from EU-approved hemp cultivars with 0.2% THC or less, it is legal in the UK. Any amount of THC above that requires a prescription from a senior clinician and is only set to apply to patients with "exceptional clinical need." So, the short and skinny of it all is cannabis is against the law in the UK unless it is hemp or you have a medical prescription.
In part, this is helping to drive a multi-million-dollar CBD industry to achieve a 1-billion-dollar amount in an amazingly short amount of time. Back in 2019, the legal CBD industry in the UK was worth an estimated £300 million. Today that number has grown to over £600 million, and projections put it on the path to hit £1 billion by as soon as 2025. This makes the CBD industry in the UK worth more than the vitamin D and vitamin C markets combined.
In retrospect, the vitamin D market in 2019 for the UK was estimated at £145 million, and the vitamin C market was estimated at £119 million for a total of £264 million compared to a £300 million UK CD market. If the market is growing to the point of hitting the 1 billion mark by as early as 2025 for just hemp products, imagine what it would be capable of should broader cannabis legalisation occur, opening the door for THC products as well.
Unfortunately there is a black market in the cannabis industry within the UK. This makes it quite difficult for anyone to tell the difference between THC oil or CBD oil other than noticeable intoxicating effects associated with high levels of THC. By then it would be too late. The best alternative to THC Oil in the UK is full spectrum CBD Oil. But you may now ask the question, Is CBD oil the same as THC oil?
THC oil is produced by extracting the compound from marijuana, AKA cannabis. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is considered to be the main psychoactive compound present in the cannabis species. It is responsible for the intoxicating effects or buzz associated with cannabis. It is only one of an estimated hundred and thirteen cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
It has also been the centre focus of growers who cultivate the plant. Achieving high levels of THC has changed cannabis from what it used to be. The marijuana of the past had a relatively low potency of around 8 to 12% on average. Today's marijuana can average 20 to 30% or higher and Cannabis concentrates can have THC levels as high as 70 to 90%! Therefore it is of absolute importance that as a consumer you are aware of exactly what you are buying and who you are buying from. You want to ensure lab reports are available that prove there is no THC or the levels of the controlled substance are so minute that they are not considered illegal. Hence we recommend full spectrum CBD Capsules or full spectrum cannabis that is legal.
A lot of these folks find that CBD is just the thing they need. By utilising full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil instead of THC oil, consumers remove many risks associated with the dangers of THC oil and THC Vape pen. For obvious reasons, this makes CBD oil a much smarter lifestyle decision than THC oil.
There is also a type of THC oil called RSO or FECO (full extraction cannabis oil). This product is made by extracting THC along with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and terpenes from marijuana. The alcohol is then used as a tincture or reduced over low heat and turned into a thick sticky oil. This oil ends up producing high levels of THC and is also illegal in the UK
When it comes to the legality of cannabis in the UK, it has been illegal for quite a while now. The UK first saw cannabis become illegal in 1928. Similar to the United States and the Nixon Administrations Controlled Substance Act, the UK saw plant cannabis added to the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act as a class B drug. Current regulations on cannabis in the UK still make it illegal.
If you are caught with cannabis in your possession, you could face up to five years in prison or a fine of an unlimited amount. Even worse yet, you could face both prison and an unlimited fine. These laws have helped deter those who may be tempted to partake in illegal cannabis in the UK. Instead of risking fines and jail time, a lot of people prefer to play it safe.
When it comes to cannabis, they choose the route of the legal CBD industry in the UK versus the illegal cannabis black market. Black market cannabis poses all kinds of threats. Beyond jail time and fines, you run the risk of endangering yourself by putting yourself in an environment with drug dealers and other criminal elements.
Another concerning factor is that without proper lab tests, there is no way to determine whether the cannabis you are purchasing from a ‘street dealer’ or black marker is safe for consumption. You're going on the word of somebody whose job is to hustle drugs on the street to make as much money as they can.
The best advice when it comes to consuming cannabis is to stick to the legal CBD industry in the UK. There are many different high-quality CBD products to choose from. Products like CBD Vape Juice, CBD e-liquid, CBD edibles, CBD topicals, CBD oils, CBD tinctures, CBD bath bomb, and more. The world of CBD is at your fingertips in the UK, opening the doors to safe cannabis consumption.
The process first starts by extracting the plant material to remove the THC from the plant. This is done using several different techniques such as butane, propane, ice water, or CO2 extraction. The new gold standard is supercritical CO2 extraction. This is the same extraction method that in implored in industries such as extracting essential oils or creating additives for foods and beverages. Other solvents such as butane and propane can be used but offer more risks to the extractors and consumers. There are natural solvents such as olive oil but they are not used commercially as they offer a very low return rate.
Once the cannabinoid has been extracted, it then takes different routes depending on the end use/product.
For vapes, low temperatures are applied to help melt the concentrate before mixing it with a combination of PG, VG, or natural cannabis terpenes in order to keep it at a vape-able consistency.
For oils and other ingestible products the extract is refined through a process to create the cannabis distillate. This is a multi-use versatile form of cannabis oil that can be added to food or beverage.
In some instances there is another process to then isolate a single cannabinoid such as CBD. This is usually in crystal or powder form which then is usually combined with a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil, avocado oil and others. This is how CBD isolate oils for CBD Vape pen are made.
When it comes to THC oil or CBD oil in the UK, make the smart choice and choose to use CBD over THC. When it comes to choosing your CBD products, we highly recommend the full range of Orange County Full Spectrum CBD oils.
This article is authored by Dr Casey Abrahamsmen. Dr Abrahamsmen is a board certified physician with over 13 years of experience in internal medicine and pain management. He practises Palliative care at a hospital in Venezuela and is a strong advocative for CBD and believes CBD has a major role to play towards healthy non addictive pain management habits. You can read more about Dr Abrahamsmen here.
This article was peer-reviewed by Dr M Mansoor Siddique (PhD). Dr Siddique has over eight years of experience working with CBD and CBD products.
Disclaimer: All of our products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is recommended to check with doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program. All CBD products sold have less than 0.2% THC content and abide by both EU an UK law.