Among our dear French friends, the question of the legality of CBD flowers continues to be debated, both in public opinion and in law. After years of incessant back and forth between the European Union and France, the Council of State recently annulled the governmental decree prohibiting the sale of CBD flowers. What was the origin of this ban and why did the legal authorities decide to remove it? We tell you more.
What is CBD and how is it different from cannabis?
First of all, it's important to understand exactly what CBD is. CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the many compounds found in hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol(THC), cannabidiol has no psychotropic effects and is not used recreationally. Users of this substance attribute other benefits to it, such as its effects on chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia. Consequently, the recurrent confusion between cannabis and CBD is misplaced.
What is the CBD flower?
CBD flower is the simplest form of cannabidiol. It is simply the flowers extracted from the hemp plant, without processing. They contain varying levels of CBD.
Other types of CBD products include oils, capsules and topical creams. These products are made by extracting the CBD compound from hemp plants.
Why has France banned the sale of CBD flowers?
The French government has long argued that it is necessary to ban the sale of CBD flowers for several reasons.
The first of these reasons is the difficulty of controlling the THC content of a cannabis flower. Indeed, unlike processed CBD products, whose manufacturing process is supervised, CBD flowers can easily be mistaken for cannabis flowers. The complexity of this verification has long justified the ban. Yet the sale of CBD flowers in sealed containers quickly presented itself as a solution to this problem.
The second reason given is consumer protection. Studies showing that CBD does not have harmful consequences on health would be too few to justify its legalization. A point of view that is not shared by most Western countries.
Finally, the last reason given is the way CBD flowers are consumed. Although they are often consumed vaporized, some users consume them by mixing them with tobacco. The CBD flowers would thus go against the anti-smoking policy implemented for decades in France.
The end of a long legal battle
Carried by the emergence everywhere in the world, of this new sector "natural well-being" that is the CBD, many stores have opened their doors in France in recent years.
Since then, the debate has been raging.
Indeed, it is the psychotropic properties of cannabis that have made it a narcotic product in the eyes of the law since the regulation of August 22, 1990. These psychotropic properties are linked to THC, which is practically absent in CBD plants.
However, as soon as they opened, the first stores were the target of numerous searches, provoking indignation among shopkeepers and consumers alike. But, from November 2020, these police interventions have stopped following a decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It ruled that there was no justification for CBD to be considered a narcotic product. The Court of Cassation made this ruling final in June 2021.
Despite this decision, France issued an order in December 2021 authorizing the use of CBD products, but prohibiting the sale, possession and consumption of CBD flowers. This order was directly challenged by the Council of State in January 2022, challenging the legality of this measure.
On December 29, 2022, the Council of State revoked the ban on the sale and use of CBD flowers, making them officially and definitively legal. A great relief for consumers on the one hand, but also for the many growers and merchants whose business was in peril.
How to be sure to buy legal CBD in France?
You will have understood: from 2023, if you live in France, you can buy or sell CBD legally, provided of course that it respects the regulations. This one is particularly firm: contrary to Switzerland which authorizes a rate of THC lower than 1%, the French limit is fixed at 0.3%.
In this context, how can you be sure to buy the right product? In case of control, if the CBD that you have does not fall within the law, you will be in trouble. It is therefore essential that you are sure that the CBD you buy is in compliance with the regulations of your country. This is the case with Naturalpes. Although produced in Switzerland, our CBD flowers intended to be sent on the French territory, respect rigorously the THC content of 0,3%.
The French CBD amateurs can thus be reassured: this ceaseless legal fight being finished, they are assured to be able to consume their CBD flowers in all legality. Traders can also be enthusiastic: this constantly expanding market has a bright future ahead of it. On the other hand, legalization will remove the stigma on this substance and will encourage research to look into its benefits. So many reasons to rejoice at the end of the ban on the sale of CBD flowers in France.