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CBD legal situation in Austria

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This article is about the legality of CBD in Austria. From growing to selling and consuming similar cannabinoids. We explain the CBD legal situation for manufacturers and retailers, as well as from the point of view of the consumer. Also, what about driving? What regulations are there?

Here you can find our CBD products Cultivation of legal cannabis in Austria

Growing CBD hemp

Let's start with the foundation stone - the cultivation within Austria. The cultivation of CBD hemp for private individuals is only legal if the intent to obtain addictive substances can be ruled out . Possession of non-flowering cannabis plants is legal in any case - regardless of the strain. Even when cultivating EU-certified industrial hemp varieties, the THC limit of 0.3 percent is literally fully legal. All THC-free varieties are also listed in the EU variety catalogue.

However, as soon as the hemp plants bloom and the THC content in the plants exceeds 0.3%, cultivation is prohibited in any case! In our opinion, it is quite difficult for recreational gardeners to control the 0.3 percent mark, which is why we advise against cultivating your own CBD hemp. Especially with the very complicated legal situation, it would be better to leave this to the registered farmers.

However, since cultivation for private individuals in Germany is completely forbidden (regardless of the THC or CBD content), traders from Austria are well advised not to deliver hemp cuttings to Germany.

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CBD legal situation in Austria

Buying CBD products legally in Austria?

Buyer's perspective on CBD legality

The law from the point of view of the buyer or consumer is usually quite clear: Neither the Austrian Narcotic Substances Act (SMG) nor the New Psychoactive Substances Act list CBD in its pure substance as an addictive substance . Since CBD is not intoxicating or mind-altering, it can be legally bought , possessed and consumed according to Austrian law. The supply of CBD products such as CBD flowers, CBD resins and oils is permitted to persons over the age of 18 . This is different for many similar cannabinoids. In general, as in Germany, the products must not be of synthetic origin.

CBD flowers

Cultivation, possession, distribution and trade (import and export) of cannabis are strictly forbidden according to the SMG!

The problem mainly lies in the fact that even cannabis herbs, which almost predominantly contain CBD, can still contain THC. According to a romanized criminal defense lawyer from Vienna, a distinction is therefore made between cannabis plants with a high THC content and low-THC varieties (similar to those in Germany). Cannabis with a THC content of 0.3 percent or more THC (intoxicating hemp) definitely falls under the Narcotics Act and is prohibited. Pure CBD and products made from EU-certified industrial hemp that have a THC content (Delta9 - THC and THCA) of less than 0.3 percent do NOT require any additional approval.

Briefly answered: Unlike in Germany, end consumers in Austria can buy, possess and consume almost all CBD products as long as the THC content does not exceed the permissible limit of 0.3% and no intentional possession of products with more than 0.3% THC is present. A further requirement is that no narcotic drug can be obtained from it in a concentration suitable for abuse that is economically profitable .

CBD Buds: A Gray Area

Since no real methods are known with which a significant extraction of THC from CBD products is profitable or easy, both CBD pollen and CBD flowers are legally and freely available in Austria.

BUT: According to the Ministry of Health, they may not be offered and advertised as smoking goods, because the THC content can quickly exceed the 0.3% limit when burned. We are proud to say that our products do not exceed a THC content of 0.02%. So you don't have to worry that our products may cause any kind of problems in relation to this. At Davivi, we offer pure products, and our products are of course regularly checked by independent laboratories.

However, CBD flowers in the form of coffee or CBD tea can be sold legally and transparently in Austria, as these are clearly ordinary foods and therefore do not fall under the Novel Food Regulation. An easy production of addictive substances can also be ruled out, since in such cases it is not a matter of extracts.

If the worst comes to the worst, the police can order a THC check at any time. Especially with hashish and flowers, it is very possible that the police will insist on a laboratory examination if you are stopped with it. That's why we now have oil cartridges, so your product doesn't look like an illegal drug at first glance. This problem is obviously a major challenge for many judicial authorities around the world. It cannot be denied that neither laymen nor the police themselves can normally distinguish CBD flowers visually and olfactorily from flowers with THC content. We therefore recommend that you always have an invoice of your CBD or HHC at hand. Even if a proof of purchase is not legal proof of legality, you are more credible that way and you may be able to avoid the whole, tedious procedure. As a rule, the police will be happy to report you "preventively", but in the laboratory it could actually turn out to be a "successful catch". Of course, the public prosecutor's office will immediately drop this charge as soon as it can be determined how much of which substance is contained in your supposedly legal cannabis.

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CBD on the road

Driving a car is generally not a problem in Austria after normal, prescribed CBD consumption. In drug tests as part of traffic control, no CBD is shown anyway, but the illegal THC. This is mainly because cannabidiol is not a psychoactive substance. In a drug test, only the legal limit of 0.3 percent is important. Of course, also that the amount tested is always below this penalty guideline. However, since almost all CBD products contain tiny amounts of THC, you should be aware that this can become a problem during a control if you have consumed CBD (and thus also THC) in larger quantities. Products that are very close to the permitted limit should be treated with the utmost caution. This madness can be compared to alcohol-free beer, as you've probably already experienced or even experienced if you don't even get into the car after a few alcohol-free beers during your driver's license probationary period.

Of course, the whole thing also depends on the type of product consumed and to what extent it was consumed 'properly'. Unfortunately, in Austria, as in Germany, even small amounts of THC in the blood are strictly forbidden, even if you are not intoxicated by it. Due to the supposedly coming change of the federal government in the topic of drug policy, especially with regard to hemp, the topic of the measly low, allowed, concentration value of THC in our blood is always the topic. In theory, and certainly in practice, the current value can mean that even passive smoking of highly potent THC weed can produce a higher value than permitted, since this value, at least in Germany, is just one nanogram. Nevertheless, since the current occupation of the Bundestag, there has been discussion of bringing legalization to Germany, at most by increasing the THC limit in the blood to three nanograms.

Thus, to be on the safe side, you always carry the product packaging and an invoice with you, so that you can prove the legal purchase and other product information. The same applies here: Even if this does not legally represent any protection against accusations of a criminal offence, you are usually on the safe side as long as the THC quantity is not 'suspicious'. In most cases, police officers will not believe you without receipts, so the chances are significantly increased if you always carry these receipts with you as a preventive measure, insofar as you should carry CBD products with you, for whatever reason.

CBD from the doctor / Medical use

Unlike in Germany, for example, CBD is not yet approved as an official medicinal product or “functional medicinal product” in Austria. Nevertheless, in Austria you can have CBD oils or CBD capsules prescribed by doctors who have already dealt with the cannabinoid. However, corresponding CBD preparations are only paid for by health insurance companies in a few exceptional cases - e.g. in certain forms of epilepsy. Because CBD has long been recognized as a medicine at European level and thus obviously also automatically in Austria. In general, CBD is being used more and more in medicine, and there are many possible uses, especially for serious illnesses. Of course, as with pretty much any topic, opinions differ, so there are studies that believe they can prove that CBD can indeed find many therapeutic uses. In practice, for the most part only nature-related practitioners see themselves in the application for their patients. For example, there is a lot of evidence about the exercise-based use of cannabinoids. According to many reports, many professional athletes have been using products containing CBD for many decades.

Legal situation for CBD manufacturers and dealers!

What is the legal situation of HHC and CBD in Austria? The legal situation in Austria is extremely complicated to the point of desperation, especially for CBD producers, as well as CBD dealers and manufacturers: CBD products may under no circumstances be sold or sold as medicines or medical devices, cosmetics, or as food and dietary supplements. to be advertised. Anything else would "apparently" create a 'false appearance of a health-promoting effect'. It is common for traders to come into contact with the legal authorities, and even market leaders are regularly scrutinized. Nevertheless, it is amusing that the question of taxes is clearly and conclusively defined in every case of politics.

The legal background for the whole thing should be, among other things, the already mentioned Novell Food Regulation of the EU. This is the basis for the Ministry of Health’s 2018 decree, according to which the sale of food and dietary supplements as well as cosmetics with extracts containing CBD is officially prohibited. The Novell Food Regulation states that any food or additive that was not consumed to any significant extent in the European Community before July 15, 1997 must be designated as novel.

Since cannabidiol (CBD) was allegedly not consumed to any significant extent by the date mentioned and there is still insufficient empirical data for the active substance, CBD was therefore rated as novel in the European Commission's Novell Food Catalog and therefore requires approval as Food that has not previously been granted. The CBD regulation of 2018 is therefore still valid.

Since CBD products with a THC value of less than 0.3% can be sold legally, but cannot be labeled as food or dietary supplements, the conclusion drawn by the manufacturers and distributors is only logical and understandable: another loophole in the Law.

Many producers and retailers in Austria have adapted their packaging and now simply label their CBD products such as oils, flowers and teas as so-called "aroma products". Incidentally, hemp products without a significant CBD content (e.g. hemp seeds, hemp proteins or hemp seed flour) do not fall under the Novel Food Regulation. They are part of the normal food and can be bought normally in the supermarket. And why? Like other cannabinoids, CBD is mainly found in the inflorescences, leaves and stems of the hemp plant - but only to a very small extent in the hemp seeds themselves.

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Many may now describe the adaptation of packaging or labels as circumventing the Austrian legal system. We have different opinions and we are not alone in this. There are sources that show that cannabis (and therefore also CBD) was consumed in significant quantities BEFORE July 15, 1997 and is therefore NOT a NEW food.

Laboratory for certified hemp products from Austria | EU quality controls

Our conclusion:

This has been clear to us for a long time: Even if many work with the argument that there are still no or insufficient medical studies that prove a health-promoting effect of CBD (which now exists and is researched tirelessly), the same applies to the opposite side. There are also few to no studies proving the opposite or any form of health harm from CBD....

We personally and many of our customers have already had very positive experiences with CBD products. We wish for clearer legislation and more information campaigns about CBD in the future. It cannot be that the health of society is put behind the capital greed of the pharmaceutical and alcohol industries etc. again.

If you liked the article and are interested in further CBD news and product information, subscribe to our newsletter and receive exclusive benefits, or contact us personally at info@davivi.de. Of course we are also happy about a follow on Instagram at davivi_de.

Finally, a brief legal note:

At Davivi, we strive to offer our customers the highest level of transparency. This article was written in October 2022, this article will NOT be adapted to new legal changes, it is best to subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss any exciting news about cannabinoid politics. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an end consumer, you will not be the last to know important information.

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