Is CBD legal in South Africa? The confusing answer is “yes” and “no”. A recent joint statement has confirmed the latest details. So let’s take a look at the terms and conditions of selling and buying CBD.

Now that CBD products are available at just about every street corner and chemist, it may be easy to believe that it is legal. But it isn’t that simple. This once overlooked compound found in cannabis plants has become hugely popular. Producers, retailers and consumers alike are riding an economic wave. This market that began in a grey area appears to have set roots and certainly isn’t going away.

Economic and public pressure recently lead local authorities to permit the legal trade of CBD products. There has however been lots of confusion about the exact rules and regulations that would need to be followed. Or if CBD is actually legal in South Africa?

Is CBD legal in South Africa?

The short answer is yes. It is legal to trade in and consume CBD in South Africa. The long answer is that there are very specific terms and conditions. Much needed clarification came last week. The South African Police Service and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority issued a joint statement. Although the statement mostly dealt with the many cannabis franchises that would be arrested. It was also very clear about what CBD products are legal.

“CBD-containing preparations for medicinal use are excluded when they contain a maximum daily dose of 20 mg of CBD with an accepted low-risk claim or health claims, without referring to any specific disease.

CBD-containing processed products are also excluded when the naturally occurring quantity of CBD and THC contained in the product does not exceed 0,0075 % and 0,001 %, of CBD and THC respectively.

Any CBD-containing products that are outside the parameters of the exclusion notice are subject to the provisions of the Schedules and registration as a medicine.”

So what does this all mean?

  • CBD products and sellers cannot make any significant health claims.
  • Medicinal CBD oils and tinctures cannot have more that 20mg per daily dose.
  • Regular CBD products cannot contain more than 0.001% CBD or 0.0075 % THC.

This means that your would need to consume a kilogram or more of some gummie bears, beer, coffee, hemp oil, energy drink or other laced legal products to get just 1 gram or less of CBD.

While this is great for retailers who can put significant markups on products thanks to a tiny peppering of CBD on them. Or allows them to promote them as cannabis products when they are 99.999% non-cannabis. It is not ideal for consumers who are paying top dollar for practically zero CBD at the end of the day.

The mystery of where this initial pure CBD is coming from or being legally traded  before it gets cut into a million other products lingers. While an awkward question is why are so many CBD retailers so reluctant to show their independent certification? Laboratory test results and open disclosure should be at the top of any responsible retailers priorities. Yet they are nearly nowhere to be seen.

CBD is barely legal, yet thriving in South Africa. There may however be some growing pains and school fees ahead. So fierce has been the sudden saturation of CBD business, that it may well just be a race to the bottom for those who are only in it for a quick buck or for cheap marketing gimmicks.

No matter what your motivation for using CBD. Please don’t be afraid to ask your local CBD dealer for proof of their products dosages and claims.