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The EU Ruled That CBD Is Not a Narcotic

The EU Ruled That CBD Is Not a Narcotic

With vaporizers becoming more and more popular in Europe and around the world, the European Union (EU), through the European Court of Justice (ECJ), has given these devices as well as vaping a boost after the court announced in a landmark ruling that cannabidiol (CBD), one of the main component of cannabis or marijuana is not a narcotic. This ruling will change individuals’ perception of CBD, and significantly alter vaping as a way of recreation. The vaping industry is probably going to grow significantly with the dry herb vaporizer being among the popular devices whose sales are going to shoot. Here are the details of that particular ruling.

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CBD Not a Narcotic

The court in its ruling stated that CBD is not a narcotic since it does not have the psychotropic or harmful effects present in the other cannabis extract tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While making this ruling, the ECJ cited the United Nations 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. According to the definitions of narcotics contained in these conventions, CBD does not meet the criteria of being a narcotic. ECJ noted the discrepancy in the literal interpretation of what CBD is and could place it as narcotic, but that would be defeating the purpose of that convention which is to protect and promote the health and welfare of all.

Marketing and Distribution

Following this ruling, the CBD industry and by extension, the vaping community is set to grow significantly. The decision overruled a French criminal court in Marseilles that had convicted the directors of a particular company whose electronic cigarette contained CBD. ECJ held that all EU member countries must respect the principles of the free market and free movement of goods within the union. Now that CBD is no longer classified as a narcotic, the principles of free movement will supersede those of member nations’ national legislation. It follows then that individuals or citizens within the EU will be free to market and distribute CBD in any other EU member state as long the CBD in question is extracted from a whole cannabis plant.


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Even with the momentous ruling, there still will be some restrictions on the production, distribution, and marketing of this product. ECJ noted that a member country can restrict the free movement of CBD through national legislation if it is a matter of protecting that state’s public health. It further clarified that such a ban on CBD’s free movement shall be justified through a comprehensive assessment of the health risks identified, and must be based on verifiable and reliable scientific data. Such data shall be subjected to international research to confirm its reliability. The national court or courts involved will have to verify the scientific data in question to ensure the risk to public health is a result of serious scientific research rather than mere speculation.

The United Nations might follow suit after the WHO recommendation in 2019 to reclassify cannabis in the UN Single Convention. This could be a further achievement in CBD recognition and industry as a whole. It is only a matter of time. 

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