Is CBD legal in Spain?

Medical cannabis is experiencing a legal break through over the last years. The list of countries legalising medical cannabis is growing constantly and rapidly. In 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) made a recommendation to reschedule the categorisation of cannabis and to withdraw it form Annex IV to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This catalogue lists the most dangerous and addictive substances like heroin, cocaine and still cannabis. In December this year the UN member countries should decide about the reclassification of cannabis.

But how is the situation with CBD in Spain? Cannabidiol is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid from the cannabis plant. It has shown its medical properties and safety in many scientific studies. It does not act intoxicating and does not cause addiction. But as CBD extracts are often derived from cannabis plants the legal situation gets complicated.

In general, CBD is legal in Spain. CBD products are freely marketable as long as their THC amount is below 0,2% and they are not intended for human intake.

In the EU CBD is listed as a Novel Food and is not allowed to be distributed for human consumption. The Spanish Agency for Medicinal and Health Products (AEMPS) confirmed this saying that CBD is not on the list of approved food supplements. This list contains minerals and vitamins which are considered safe and are allowed for human consumption in Spain.


CBD Oils

In Spain the manufacturing and selling of CBD oil is legal if their THC content is below 0,2% and they are not designed for human consumption. After an order by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) CBD oils which were sold as foods or food supplements had to be removed from stores.

CBD oil can be sold in stores inside of Spain as long as it is intended for external use only. The disposal is tolerated and there are many shops selling CBD oil.



As CBD oils can be sold for external use, the same goes for other cosmetic products like cremes, lotions or lip balms. These products need to comply to the European Cosmetics Decree and meet the THC restrictions of <0,2%. There are high quality products on the market and many pharmacies have CBD cosmetics in their shelves.



E-Liquids with CBD content for vaping are considered unproblematic as long as they comply with the narcotic laws (<0,2% THC). CBD liquids for vaping are popular in Spain and are sold in many shops across the country. They are available in all kinds of flavours and got free marketability in Spain as long as they are free of THC.


The trafficking and carrying of CBD flowers is illegal in Spain. They can be consumed legally in cannabis social clubs or at home. To understand the regulatory of CBD flowers, it is necessary to take a look into the Spanish cannabis laws.

The trafficking of cannabis and its derived products is illegal in Spain. Officially recreational and medical utilisation is prohibited too. The government does not distinguish between recreational and medical marihuana. With Dronabinol, Sativex, Epidiolex and Nabilon only few pharmaceutical cannabis products are licensed. Because the available products are limited and expensive, many patients grow at home or in associations.

In 2015 the Spanish government took a big step in decriminalising cannabis: They legalised the cultivation and consumption of cannabis in private spaces. Since then it is allowed to grow cannabis plants at home up to a certain limit under the condition that they are inside a house and nobody can see them.

This law opened the door for a unique constellation: The cannabis social clubs. In these clubs, people can unite to grow and consume together, which is considered legal. There are clubs for recreational uses and associations of patients for medical purposes. It is prohibited to take cannabis out of these clubs, because it is illegal to carry or consume cannabis in open places. As these clubs are supposed to be none profit organisations, many of them operate in a grey market area to sell their products.

But nevertheless, CBD flowers are tolerated. They are sold in many shops across the country and it is unproblematic to buy them. Just for consumption users need to watch out. CBD flowers are judicially treated as normal cannabis and it is only allowed to consume them inside of your house or in cannabis associations.



Natural and synthetic CBD

There is a difference between natural and synthetic CBD. Natural CBD extracts are derived from the cannabis plant. Synthetic CBD is produced in high technology laboratories. As the synthetic CBD is created in a laboratory, it is free of any trace of THC and has never been in contact with an illegal cannabis plant. Therefore, synthetic CBD is generally considered unproblematic and legal.

Products with synthetic CBD are a good option, because they are commonly legal. But on the down hand they do not contain the whole spectrum of phytocannabinoids, terpenes and other plant substances to create the ‘entourage effect’. In addition, the production process is cost and energy intensive.


The use and distribution of CBD products is tolerated in Spain. They are sold in many shops on and offline. For customers the purchase and use are safe. Only CBD flowers have to be handled with care, as they should be consumed only in private places. But the legal situation is only temporal until new regulations are made. Officially CBD products which are derived from cannabis plants are considered drugs. Therefore, synthetic CBD products create an exception.


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