History of CBD in China
As noted in the introductory part of the article, if you’re wondering is CBD oil legal in China, or where could you get yourself CBD in China, you’re in for some disappointment - the country in question is far from being a liberal one in this matter.
Thing is, China has always had a history of possessing some of the strictest laws towards cannabis and cannabis-derived products. That said, it’s also one of those countries that don’t really care to differentiate between hemp- and cannabis-derived CBD - if it has THC in it, it’s out of the question.
Things aren’t as simple as that, though - while CBD isolates are completely THC-free, you’d still get yourself into trouble using or carrying such CBD in China. You see, those who are asking “is CBD legal in China?” should also note that only THC-free skincare products fall into the “legal” category.
Ya… That’s not ideal. It’s also one of the main reasons why, when it comes to CBD China, the country is seen as an Amber-Red or a Red one.
China - An Amber-Red / Red Country
Each state in the US has a color prescribed to it by the CBD enthusiasts living in the country. There are 4 colors in total, and each of them represents a specific type of outlook that a state could have towards the topic of CBD. While the system was created with US states in mind, we can actually use it while talking about questions such as “is CBD oil legal in China?”, too.
The purpose of the color-coding system is pretty simple - it’s there to help people distinguish just how strict or liberal a specific state or country is towards CBD. Naturally, the colors don’t tell the full story, but they do serve as a good “first impression”. They are, as follows:
- Green countries. All types of CBD products are legal, for all types of purposes.
- Amber countries. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal, and the country has a favorable outlook on cannabis-derived products.
- Amber-Red countries. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal for a specific type of use, and the country has a negative outlook on cannabis-derived products.
- Red countries. All CBD products are illegal.
So, those are the main colors that people mention when discussing the legalities of CBD in different countries around the world. But what answer does it provide to the question “is CBD oil legal in China?”, though?
Well, to be honest, as far as CBD China goes, the country is somewhere in the middle of Ambre-Red and Red countries.
At first, it looks like a no-brainer, right? I mean, practically nothing relating to CBD is legal in China, so it’s a definite Red country!
Well, this is actually where it gets a bit tricky. You see, there is a single type of products that are, in fact, legal within the country - those that are completely free of THC, and that relate to skincare.
Hemp Seed Oil - Don’t Get Tricked!
One of the biggest aspects with which you might get tricked (either intentionally, or not) if you do look for CBD oil China has to do with hemp seed oil.
The thing that you have to keep in mind here is that hemp seed oil is not the same as hemp-derived CBD oil. The two types of products are often marketed in some very similar fashion, but that’s simply misleading.
Hemp seed oil (or simply - hemp oil) is extracted from the seed part of the hemp plant - it has very low concentrations of actual cannabidiol inside of itself. Even if you were to find and buy yourself hemp seed oil, it would be the same as if you’ve just bought coconut oil.
This is something that many people asking “is CBD oil legal in China?” overlook, or simply are not aware of. As you can probably tell, it only adds to all of the confusion and misunderstandings.
Medicinal VS Recreational
One more topic that we should probably cover before moving on and talking about CBD acquisition in China is the differences between using CBD for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Using CBD for medicinal purposes is often considered to be the “right way” to go about it. Since CBD is proven to have some positive effects on the human body and mind time and time again, in some countries (especially the US), using CBD for medicinal purposes is actually a very popular concept.
This usually involves a doctor’s prescriptions, marijuana programs, and so on. A completely different situation would be using CBD for recreational purposes, though.
If you’re using CBD for recreational purposes, you’re basically doing so without the interventions of doctors, physicians, or anyone in between.
In any case, for anyone wondering “is CBD oil legal in China?”, the unfortunate reality still remains the same - you won’t be able to use CBD products in this country for neither medicinal, nor recreational purposes.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in China?
Granted that we’ve already figured out that the answer to the question “is CBD oil legal in China?” is a strongly negative one, it’s safe to say that you can’t really buy CBD products in the country. There are a few very minuscule exceptions, but the general idea is still the same.
That being said, if you ever travel abroad, or if the laws in China change and you receive some more positive answers to questions like “is CBD legal in China?”, it’s worth to at least mention the different options that you might have in this regard.
Generally, you could buy yourself CBD products via two different methods - from a local shop or pharmacy, and online. While most people do naturally go with the latter option, let’s take it a step at a time and discuss the offline route, first.
Buying CBD Offline
While you can’t buy CBD oil China from your local shop in the country, you are, in fact, able to purchase other CBD products that belong to a very specific niche.
As mentioned earlier in the article, when we were discussing the question is CBD legal in China, residents of the country are able to buy CBD skincare products within the country’s multiple shops. That said, the products have to be derived from the industrial hemp plant, and contain no traces of THC.
In general, though, buying CBD offline, from a shop, isn’t the best way to go about it - most people prefer to take the alternative, online approach.
Buying CBD Online
So - the online alternative.
If the laws within China become more accepting of foreign brands selling their CBD products here, there’s the potential for Chinese citizens to have a huge industry open up to them. Naturally, it will always be a better idea to buy your products from trustworthy and reliable online brands than from some shady local stores.
If you buy CBD oil China online (when and if it becomes legal, that is), you’d get great quality products for some rather affordable prices. Remember - you’d be purchasing the CBD straight from the providers themselves!
Now, in the event that CBD products in China do become legal, let me quickly tell you about some of the leading CBD industry brands - perhaps you’ll be able to check them out?
Charlotte’s Web - Potent Products and Isolates
Charlotte’s Web deals in some of the more potent CBD oils - full-spectrum ones. That said, the brand also sells CBD isolate oils, too - these are going to be products that do not contain any THC in them. If the answer to the question “is CBD oil legal in China?” does become a positive one, it’s definitely a brand worth checking out!
Charlotte’s Web CBD oil prices go from $74,99 up to $188,99.
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CBDistillery - MCT Carrier Oil
CBDistillery is a high-end CBD brand. The company is very respected in the industry, and that’s not without reason, either - it sells top-tier CBD products that are made from US-grown hemp, and independently tested by third-party labs. Also, the company uses MCT coconut oil as the carrier oil for the CBD - arguably, it’s the best carrier oil around!
CBDistillery CBD oil cost from $30 up to $260.
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cbdMD - Broad-Spectrum CBD
cbdMD provides customers with broad-spectrum CBD products. They are going to be quite potent, since they’ll be filled with multiple other cannabinoids, and not just CBD. That said, the oils are also going to possess no more than “undetectable” levels of THC. A very interesting option indeed!
The costs for the cbdMD oil ranges from $29,99 up to $339,99.
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So, to recap, it’s important to keep in mind that, as of writing this article, the answer to the question “is CBD oil legal in China?” is a definite “no”. You can’t use or possess any CBD products within the country, unless they are approved by the government, and contain no THC - currently, this would only encompass skincare products.
If you’d like to try out CBD when (if?) it becomes a bit more legal in the country, do make sure that you purchase the products from only the most reliable brands in the industry!
1. Mélissa Prud’homme, Romulus Cata, and Didier Jutras-Aswad: 'Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence'
While every effort has been made to make sure this article is as accurate as possible, it is not intended to provide legal advice. Since legal situations might rapidly change, we advise you to discuss any legal concerns with an expert, lawyer or relevant legal advisor in your local jurisdiction, or visit your state's .gov page for the most up-to-date information.