Is CBD legal in Belgium? – Updated August 2018


Is CBD legal in Belgium?

Is CBD (cannabidiol) legaal in België?

There is much confusion about the legality of CBD in Belgium. Many online sellers will say it’s perfectly legal and that CBD oil and other CBD products are legal in Belgium and you can order them online.

It’s actually not so simple.

Products that contain THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis, are not legal in Belgium.

For the time being CBD oil can not be sold in Belgium. The Belgian drug law of 1921 is clear: it is forbidden to offer or purchase extracts from the cannabis plant, even if these extracts contain only CBD.

According to the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain: Federaal Agentschap voor de Veiligheid van de Voedselketen (FAVV)

“The Royal Decree of 29 August 1997 on the manufacture and trade of foodstuffs composed of or containing plants or plant preparations prohibits the use of Cannabis sativa L. in or as food including food supplements.”

Reference:  FOD Volksgezondheid

Overview of drug laws in Belgium

Sale of cannabis is a criminal offence and is subject to custodial sentences of 3 months to 5 years and fines of €1000-€100,000

Possession or cultivation of cannabis remains an offence.

The law changed in 2003 to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of cannabis,

In cases of personal use (ie possession of a quantity of cannabis which can be consumed in one time only, or at maximum in 24 hours, namely 3 grammes), the police register the offense anonymously (do not record the individual’s name) and the state will not prosecute.

Reference: The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

Legality of Industrial Hemp

Belgium is a significant global exporter of hemp. Hemp varieties must be approved by the EU and must contain no more than 0.2% THC, as per the EU directives.

Legality of Medicinal Cannabis

Since July 2001, Belgium has permitted the use of medicinal cannabis as a treatment for glaucoma, MS-related spasticity, AIDS and chronic pain by those in possession of a valid prescription from a registered doctor.

In 2015 A Royal Decree, appeared in the Belgian Official Gazette (Belgisch Staatsblad) that stipulated that clinical trials could be carried out with medicinal cannabis. However, these tests must first be reported and approved. Only doctors affiliated with a university hospital or a recognized pain clinic may carry out the clinical trials.

The 2001 legislation allowed for the sale of small quantities of medical cannabis in pharmacies. More than 750 Belgian patients now use medicinal cannabis on a doctor’s prescription mostly obtained from the Netherlands. This is very strictly controlled by the Medicinal Cannabis Office of the Dutch government.

In the context of clinical trials, medicinal cannabis is not available in Belgium to date, with the exception of Sativex. This medication is intended for Multiple Sclerosis patients who experience severe spasms and is already available in various European countries.


Legality of CBD Products

Technically all CBD products are illegal in Belgium. Even those that contain Zero THC. Whether you would be prosecuted for possession or importing them is dependant on their intended use,  the amount involved and whether it is for personal use.

The fact is many Belgians still order CBD online but risk having it confiscated by customs. Any CBD company that tells you CBD is legal in Belgium are possibly ignorant of the actual facts or misleading you to sell their products.

Belgium - Is CBD Oil Legal in Belgium -


Legal Notice

No part of this article should be taken as legal advice.

Please check with a lawyer in Belgium as to the current status of cannabis, hemp and CBD (Cannabidiol). Rules and regulations change regularly.  Please note the distinction between ‘legal’ and ‘decriminalised’ – cannabis may still be effectively decriminalised in Belgium, but as in the Netherlands, it is not legal.


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