Is CBD Oil Legal in Canada? | NuLeaf Naturals

Is CBD Oil Legal in Canada?

is cbd legal in canada

Updated Ferburary 2024

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of CBD and seen CBD products everywhere in grocery stores, gas stations, and health food stores. This popular compound is experiencing explosive growth, and the industry shows no signs of slowing.

The total market value of CBD or cannabidiol in Canada was USD 446 million in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 452.4 million by 2026.

One of the most popular cannabis products is CBD oil, which is extracted CBD diluted with a carrier oil. CBD oil is considerably more versatile and may work faster compared to other forms of CBD products.

Before you jump onto the CBD bandwagon, you might want to get more familiar with the legal status of CBD in Canada. In this blog post, we’ll explore CBD’s legal framework, how to purchase the right product, and its market trends in Canada.

CBD in Canada: A Brief History

Previously, CBD was regulated as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which covers the control of drugs and their precursors. Due to increased use and illegal sales of cannabis, the Canadian government felt there was a need to adopt a new approach to minimize its harm. A task force was formed in June 2016, which then introduced Bill-45, the Cannabis Act.

The main objective of the Cannabis Act was to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth and prevent criminals and organized crime from profiting through illegal sales. The Cannabis Act came into effect on 17 October 2018 and has gone through several amendments to include more terms concerning health and safety risks associated with cannabis-based products.

Understanding the Legal Framework

All CBD and CBD-based products are regulated under the Cannabis Act, regardless of whether they’re derived from cannabis plants or otherwise. CBD was illegal to produce, sell, import, or export unless authorized for scientific or medical purposes only. However, under the Cannabis Act, CBD products are now legal but strictly regulated in compliance with the Act and its regulations.

Health Canada watches over the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis and CBD products. Producers and sellers of CBD products will have to possess a license based on the type of cannabis activity their company performs and follow all practices described in the guidelines and requirements.

Regulatory Overview: CBD vs. THC

Although both substances fall under the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulation, CBD is different from THC. Unlike THC, pure CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties, so it doesn’t produce a high or intoxication.

In Canada, you need to obtain a processing license to produce and sell CBD products, regardless of their source. The processing license is issued by Health Canada, and you must follow the licensing application guidelines.

Before applying:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the Cannabis Act, the Excise Act, the legislation in your province or territory, and local government laws or policies.
  2. Determine the type of license you want to acquire and fulfill complimentary licenses if needed.
  3. Follow the requirements, then prepare funds to pay for the fees and send notices to your local authorities.

Provincial and Territorial Regulations

In addition to federal regulations, you should also follow the rules set by provinces and territories. They set the rules in regards to how the products are sold, where the stores are located, how stores should be operated, and who’s allowed to sell.

They also set restrictions on possession limits, minimum age, where products can be used in public, and added requirements for personal cultivation. The possession limit is 30 grams of dried cannabis or equivalent per person, and the legal age is 18 to 21, depending on the province. For example, the legal age in Alberta is 18, while in British Columbia and Ontario, it is 19. Currently, Quebec is the only province with a legal age of 21.

Where you can purchase CBD products can also be different. For example, in BC, you can legally buy them in government-operated in-person and online stores or privately licensed in-person stores. While on Prince Edward Island, you can only buy them from government-operated establishments. The PEI CMC is the government crown corporation responsible for adult use cannabis products in the province of PEI. While you can buy online from them, any other source for CBD is illegal.

Where to Buy CBD Oil in Canada

As previously mentioned, there are several different ways for you to purchase CBD oil in Canada, which includes online retailers licensed by Health Canada. To ensure you fulfill all safety and legal requirements, you must pay close attention to the products you’re buying. Legal products have:

  •     Standardized cannabis symbol
  •     Health warning messages
  •     Child-resistant plain packaging and labeling
  •     Excise stamps that are different according to province and territory

On the other hand, these are subtle signs that a CBD product might be illegal:

  •     No age verification
  •     Catchy packaging or products
  •     Ships products everywhere in Canada
  •     Have referral bonuses or other forms of promotions
  •     Requires payment by e-transfer or cryptocurrency

You can also check your provincial or territorial website for a list of legal retailers and a map of legal stores. Always purchase only from licensed sources to ensure product safety and legality. Inferior, unlicensed products can contain higher levels of THC or other additives or impurities that could do you more harm than good.

Understanding CBD Products

There are several different types of CBD products on the market.

Full spectrum – These products contain all cannabinoids and plant compounds, including THC. The supposed benefit of a full spectrum product is that there’s more possibility of an entourage effect, where the active compounds react synergistically. The downside is that although rare, you might test positive for THC.

Broad spectrum – These products have all cannabinoids and chemical compounds, without THC. You can still gain the entourage effect, but may not be as effective as a full spectrum product.

CBD isolate – These products contain only CBD. The benefits are that there’s no THC and generally cheaper, but you might miss out on the entourage effect.

To choose the right product, consider its potency and carrier oil so that it will fit your needs. If you’re still confused about the difference between the types of CBD oil, read through this guideline of Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD to help you make your decision.

Considerations When Buying CBD Oil

Before you go ahead and buy CBD products, here are some considerations.

Types of CBD oil – Decide between a full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. This will depend on your needs and whether or not you want THC in your system.

Potency: Each product will have a different concentration and potency. For beginners, aim for lower doses and increase them slowly to achieve the desired results.

Carrier oils: Carrier oils will improve the bioavailability of CBD, allowing your body to absorb it more efficiently. The choice of oil will affect its absorption level, thickness, flavor, and additional potential benefits*.

For example, olive oil might be great for additional potential benefits* as it contains vitamins and antioxidants, but it gives your CBD oil a thicker consistency and stronger scent.

Ensure the CBD products you intend to purchase have undergone third-party testing to ensure purity and potency. CBD products should all have a Certificate of Analysis that includes a cannabinoid profile. If you’d like to know more about choosing the best products, read this guide on what to look for when buying CBD oil.

Market Trends and Consumer Choices

With the massive growth of the Canadian cannabis industry, innovative products are more available than ever. Aside from regular CBD oil, you can now find CBD topical creams, balms, patches, cartridges, isolate powders, gummies, strips, and CBD-infused drinks.

Consumers are now spoiled for choice, but oil and liquid drops are still most commonly used CBD products. But no matter the form, it seems there’s no slowing down of the boom in CBD products in Canada.

Final Thoughts

CBD oil is regulated under the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulation in Canada. Still, each province and territory might have different requirements regarding possession limits, legal age, and authorized purchasing channels.

To avoid legal troubles, you should familiarize yourself with applicable regulations in your area and consult a healthcare professional before considering cannabis oil to help with your general wellness needs*. Always buy from reputable, licensed producers whose products have undergone third-party laboratory tests.

Also note that these regulations only apply to Canada, so be sure to read up on CBD legality in the States if you’re a resident of the US.

CBD Oil in Canada FAQs

Is CBD oil legal for recreational use in all provinces?

All CBD oils that are manufactured by licensed producers approved by Health Canada are legal to use both recreationally and for general wellness purposes.*To avoid legal and health issues, make sure you’re buying the right products with an excise stamp issued by the respective governing provincial authority.

Can I grow hemp for CBD production at home?

Yes, you can grow your hemp for CBD production if you’re licensed by Health Canada. A federal license is required for cultivating plants for commercial production under the Industrial Hemp Regulations.

How are CBD products regulated in Canada?

Commercial CBD products are strictly controlled under the Cannabis Act and its regulations. It covers all types of products, regardless of where they have been derived. The Cannabis Act gave the provincial authorities legislative guidance and allowed them to set their own regulations on CBD possession, production, distribution, and sale.

What should I look for when buying CBD oil online in Canada?

When buying CBD oil online in Canada, you should pay close attention to its labeling to ensure quality and regulatory compliance. A licensed producer should have an excise stamp issued by their governing provincial authority. The labels will also disclose the amount of CBD, a health warning, a nutritional facts table, and a list of ingredients.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.