USA vs UK for CBD standards

Cannabidiol (CBD) is now legal in the United States. This means that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is starting to set rules and standards for the CBD industry. That is all well and fine for Americans, but what is going on across the pond. What kind of CBD standards are there for the United Kingdom?

Going over CBD Standards

If you are heading into CBD as a newbie, it can seem a little overwhelming and intimidating. So, it is best to start with some of the basics. Specifically, defining what CBD actually is.

CBD is a cannabinoid. That is a chemical compound found in Cannabis plants, plants like hemp and marijuana. There are a lot of cannabinoids out there. In fact, there are 113 of them found in Cannabis plants. There is a rather famous cannabinoid that you likely have heard of. That is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is so well-known because it is the cannabinoid that has a psychoactive effect. That means that it creates the high that is so often associated with Cannabis. It is important to note and remember that CBD does not have any psychoactive effects; it does not make you high.

CBD manufacturers normally extract their CBD from hemp, rather than marijuana. The main reason for this that hemp has much higher levels of CBD than THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, has high levels of THC. Since most CBD products have little to no THC in them, higher levels of THC would make extracting the right amount of CBD difficult.

As CBD has gained in popularity, the number of studies on it have increased. These studies have had some interesting findings. For example, this study found that CBD was able to help sooth test subjects that were about to engage in a stressful activity (public speaking). This and other studies suggest that CBD may be able to help create a greater sense of calm. Other studies, like this one, have found CBD is helpful for calming epileptic seizures. These are just a couple of examples of the research being done on CBD. There is a lot more out there suggesting that CBD may be able to help with many issues.

Now that we have a better idea of what CBD is, let’s go over how it is regulated in the United States and the United Kingdom.

CBD in the USA

Cannabis, in all of its forms, was federally illegal in the United States for a long time. This changed in 2018 when the Legislature passed what is known as the Farm Bill (we talk about this bill in deeper detail in this article). This is a bill that gets passed every five years and effects all things agricultural. This time around the bill included something that had never been included before; it legalized industrial hemp.

To be more specific, it defines hemp as Cannabis that has less than 0.3% THC content. As mentioned above, hemp not only has low levels of THC, but it also has high levels of CBD. This meant that the 2018 Farm Bill was a big deal to those interested in CBD. It made the plant with a lot of the cannabinoid more accessible to the public.

That does not mean that people can sell and make CBD products with impunity. There are regulations. However, the industry is new enough that the FDA is still working on those regulations. As of right now, they are depending on the manufacturers to do proper testing to ensure their product is safe. For example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released a report saying that synthetic CBD has some real potential dangers. As a result, most manufacturers only use organic CBD and test to be sure that there are no synthetic materials in their product.

It is important for CBD manufacturers and users to pay attention to any news the FDA may release on CBD, as the regulations start to really take shape. The FDA does have one approved CBD-derived medication called Epidiolex which is for the treatment of certain seizure disorders.

CBD in the UK

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), the British equivalent of the FDA, is in the process of trying to layout their own guidelines for CBD. This has involved CBD manufacturers submitting their products for authorization. Once it is authorized, the product can be sold by the company submitting it of approval. Some of the main requirements for authorization include being a safe product and not making misleading claims to the consumer. 

The FSA has yet to authorize any CBD products. This is main because it has only just recently started this process. In early 2019 CBD earned the classification of being a “novel food.” This means that it is new enough for there to be a need for studies to understand it properly.

Those looking to sell CBD products in the United Kingdom need to apply for authorization by the end of March 2021. If they do not apply by then, their product can no longer be on the market.

What to look for in a CBD manufacturer

This is a reasonable thing to wonder about, as the CBD industry is still in the process of trying to be regulated. But it is not difficult to avoid the sketchy CBD manufacturers, you just have to be willing to read.

Any CBD manufacturer worth your time will be open about their extracting process. They should have it somewhere on their website. They should also test their products through a third party. This way there is not a bias within their testing. If a manufacturer’s website does not include information about that, you may want to avoid them.

The other thing to look for is reviews. This includes ones on their site and on other third-party sites. This way you get a better idea of what others have experienced with their products. If you only read reviews on their site, you may not get the full picture. They might keep negative reviews from being posted on their site.

You should also check to see if their CBD is organic. As mentioned before, synthetic CBD can be dangerous. Trustworthy manufactures will have organic CBD extract.

All of this research does take some time to do, however it is worth it to be sure that you are not only getting a quality product, but a safe one as well.

Available CBD products

CBD is a very versatile extract. As a result, there are many different options out there for people to pick from. Let’s go through what ones are out there and what benefits they have, starting with the kinds of CBD.


Different kinds of CBD extract depend on what other things are in the extract with the CBD. Full-spectrum has the most other things in the extract. It has all of the other compounds and cannabinoids that come out of the hemp plant with the CBD. This includes THC. However, full-spectrum only has 0.3% THC content (as talked about in a section above), which is not enough to get anyone high.


This version of CBD is similar to full-spectrum. It has one big difference though. It does not have any THC. It has pretty much every other cannabinoid and compound found in hemp, but THC is not one of them. The appeal of this and full-spectrum is a thing called the entourage effect. It is when compounds work together to create a stronger effect (we have an article that goes into deeper detail about the entourage effect here). Broad-spectrum gives people the opportunity for the entourage effect without the worry of a potential (but very unlikely) high from the THC.

CBD isolate

CBD isolate is how it sounds. It is CBD extract with nothing else in it. It is the purest version of CBD extract that you can find. CBD isolate provides you with a clearer CBD experience without the presence of the other compounds. However, it may not be as strong as the others.

Now that we have those covered, let’s go over what products you can find these kinds of CBD in.

Oils and tinctures

CBD oils and tinctures are the more traditional product for the cannabinoid. These are CBD extract mixed with a carrier oil, like palm oil for example. You have a couple options for taking these. You can mix some in with food or drink and take it that way. You can also put a few drops under your tongue and let the CBD absorb into your system from there.


These are one of the more popular CBD products. They can be anything from candy to bread. Edibles are so popular because they are easy to take and taste good. The one thing to understand is that CBD edibles take a while for the CBD to start working, as they need to digest before the CBD can enter your system. 

Capsules and tablets

CBD soft gel capsules and tablets are another common form of CBD product. Soft gels are similar to other pills; however, they are easier to swallow. They also may start working faster than other pills. Tablets are a bit different. These you normally take by letting them dissolve under your tongue. These also start working faster than regular pills.


These are products like lotions and cremes. They are products that are better for more localized uses than for a more overall effect, which is what you may get from an oral product. They are used by rubbing some of the topical on the preferred area. The CBD will absorb there, but not move much beyond it.

This is just a general list what is out there. In order to find the right kind of CBD product for you may take a few tries.

How to figure out the right amount for you

There is no set amount of CBD that is the right amount for everyone. This is because everyone reacts to CBD a little bit differently. Since there are some negative side effects that come with taking too much.

These side effects are not necessarily serious. They tend to include things like nausea, fatigue and dizziness. They are not anything life threatening. But they are not fun to deal with. That is why it is so important to figure out how much CBD is the right amount for you.

The best way to do it is slowly. Start out your dosage small. After you take it, wait for a little while and see how it sits with you. It is good to remember that some products take longer to start working than others. If you are taking one of those products, be sure to give it enough time to start before you try taking any more. If the amount you take sits well with you but still does not provide you with the results you are looking for, then you can try taking more.

This process takes time. You will need to be patient to be sure that you do not have to deal with any negative side effects. This also does not mean that you should take the CBD until you get the side effects. Once you find the lowest amount that gives you your sought-after result, then you know your cut off.

Only recently have we started to understand the benefits that CBD may offer. As a result, many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are still trying to find the best ways to regulate and control it. Most likely, we will see these regulations and standards change a fair amount over the next few years. This is all for the benefit of consumers and making sure they are not being taken advantage of.

Approaching CBD can be intimidating. Luckily, we at Panacea Life Sciences are here to help you. We have a plethora of articles answering any questions you may have about CBD. We also have many high-quality CBD products. These are great for any CBD novice or savant. Our site also gives you a chance to contact a member of the Panacea Life Sciences. Or you can email us at [email protected].