CBD Product Laws in South Africa – Is CBD Oil Legal?

cbd oil

The laws surrounding CBD in South Africa are very confusing. Although you may have heard about court cases, parliament hearings, and other legal situations regarding the status of cannabis, it can be very difficult keeping up to date in this ever changing industry.

In this post, we’re going to take a deeper look at the CBD product laws in South Africa. This includes whether CBD is legal, what the legal requirements are, and what it means for you as a South African consumer.

Is CBD Oil Legal in South Africa?

Yes, it is. But the answer isn’t as simple as that. Although you can buy CBD in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and throughout the rest of South Africa, there are still some requirements that companies need to follow before they can sell legal CBD products. 

CBD and THC are the two of the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Up until recently, the entire cannabis plant has been classified as a schedule 7 substance and can, therefore, only be obtained by a permit issued by the Director-General of the National Department of Health in South Africa. 

CBD Oil South Africa Drug Classification

However, CBD (one of the cannabinoids in cannabis) has since been reclassified. CBD is no longer being grouped with its psychoactive brother (THC) as a schedule 7 drug and has in fact been rescheduled to schedule 4. 

So if you obtain a prescription, you will be able to purchase CBD oil products from an authorized pharmacy. But wait, what about the CBD oil products that you saw being sold online or at your local petrol station? Well, that’s where the classification of CBD gets a bit confusing.

The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, issued an exclusion in the Government Gazette on the 23rd of May, 2019. This exclusion specifically relates to CBD products prepared in a certain way. This means, if manufacturers can produce a CBD product that abides by these specifications, they will be able to sell them as a schedule 0 substance (in other words, like any other regular non-medical supplement). So what are these rules?

Image by Crystalweed Cannabis on Unsplash.

Schedule 0 CBD Products South Africa

These “schedule 0” CBD products are completely legal to buy online or over the counter at your favourite shops. The only requirement is that they follow the exclusion issued by the Department of Health. In order for a CBD product to be 100% legal without any special requirements, they need to abide by the following:

  1. CBD products must contain a maximum daily dose of 20 mg CBD with an accepted low-risk claim or health claim; or
  2. The CBD products must consist of processed products made from cannabis raw plant material, where only naturally occurring quantities of not more than 0.001% THC and 0.0075% CBD are present. 

Although point number 2 is a bit confusing, most companies are just sticking to the first requirement of ‘a maximum daily dose of 20 mg CBD’. As long as companies put this maximum daily allowance on their packaging, they’re good to go. These products should not make any claims that they are medical products that can cure you of certain illnesses.

Is THC Cannabis Oil from South Africa legal?

Only CBD’s drug classification was changed. THC, on the other hand, has remained a schedule 7 drug. This means you will not be able to buy any cannabis oil or cannabis products that contain THC levels exceeding 0.001%. 

You are, however, allowed to grow cannabis for your personal use – according to a judgement made by the constitutional court. So if you are looking to get your hands on THC cannabis, you can always look to your garden as a viable solution.

Is it Legal to Grow Hemp in South Africa?

Unfortunately not yet. Hemp is still classified as cannabis, so the only way that you can legally grow hemp in South Africa for commercial purposes is if you obtain a special permit. These can be obtained from the Department of Health and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. A hemp license in South Africa is not easily obtained and it can cost a lot for you to start the application process.

So how can you get CBD if you want to use it or sell it? At the current moment, cultivating and manufacturing CBD is very difficult. Although there are some stories of special facilities getting the necessary permits to grow and manufacture CBD, it is still not a formal situation.

The only way to get hold of CBD products is through a GMP(Good Manufacturing Practice),approved manufacturer, most of which are coming from countries outside South Africa. These facilities can be found in Europe and America, where CBD oils and hemp are being produced en masse.

What CBD Cannabis Products are Available?

Now that you know CBD oil South Africa is legal (in certain concentrations) and very easy to buy, you might be wondering what products are available. You’re in luck, there are plenty of great products available. 

Whether you are looking at pure CBD oil to help you sleep, CBD for your pets, or maybe you need a CBD balm to soothe your muscles after a long day hike in the Drakensberg. Whatever the reason, there is something available for you.

These CBD products, although not advertised as medical treatments, have been shown to have positive effects on your sleeping patterns, anxiety, and even your appetite. If you are considering getting a CBD product and want to air on the side of caution, you can always go speak to your local doctor first. 

Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in South Africa

Although you might not be able to get a license to sell dagga in South Africa that easily, CBD has entered the spotlight as the first legal cannabis product in the country – and it’s super convenient to get ahold of. 

All you need to do is head down to your favourite local shop or find an online store and you will have legal CBD products in no time. We hope this has put your mind at ease and that you can now confidently buy your favourite CBD cannabis oil in South Africa without needing to break the law. 

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