Scroll to top
Best CBD Company Reviews: Top CBD Oil Brands & Manufacturers [2021]

How & Where to Buy CBD Products in Belgium (Summer 2021)

Article By
Ana Topshiova , last updated on January 8, 2021

  • Belgium

    CBD Friendliness

    Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

  • Table of Contents

Together with Switzerland, Belgium was once Europe’s cannabis hub, and Brussels had some of the most well-stocked CBD stores you could find.

However, in the last few years the rapidly developing (and unregulated) CBD industry caught the authorities’ attention. After some recent regulatory changes, the Belgian government made CBD much harder to obtain.

What caused the restrictions on CBD?

Belgium is the cradle of the European Union (EU), and whenever EU regulations change, the Benelux country is among the first to experience them. In January 2018, the European Commission (EC) announced new guidance on novel foods.

The Novel Food Regulation controls the placement of novel foods on the European market, that is, foods that haven’t been regularly consumed in Europe before 1997.

Unfortunately, CBD falls under this guidance and is subject to several strict regulations.

In this article, we’ll bring some clarity on Belgian CBD laws and guide you through the process of purchasing CBD in Belgium legally. 

Summary: Buying CBD in Belgium

  1. CBD is regulated under European Union and Belgian national laws
  2. CBD in is stuck in the legal grey area in Belgium — laws are open for interpretation and involve separate implementation by the EU and Belgian government
  3. The bureaucratic mess created some double standards — some businesses were forced to shut down, others continue to operate within the legal grey area
  4. CBD is available at licensed pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription
  5. CBD flowers with less than 0.2% THC are sold as tobacco products
  6. If you import CBD in Belgium, customs may seize your product 

Best CBD Oil Belgium

Number Product Total CBD Potency Cost per mg CBD Link

1

Nordic Oil Full-Spectrum CBD Oil With Curcumin & Piperine

1500 mg

150 mg/mL

€0.10

2

Reakiro CBD Oil

300 – 1500 mg

30 – 150 mg/mL

€0.07 – €0.08

3

Hempura Full-Spectrum Original Extract

250 – 1000 mg

25 – 100 mg/mL

£0.06 – £0.08

4

Hemp Bombs CBD Oil

300 – 4000 mg

10 – 133.3 mg/mL

$0.07 – $0.17

5

Endoca CBD Oils

300 – 1500 mg

30 – 150 mg/mL

€0.08 – €0.09

6

Holistic Hemp Scotland Alpine Oil

500 mg

50 mg/mL

£0.06

7

Formula Swiss CBD Oil

300 – 2500 mg

30 – 250 mg/mL

€0.06 – €0.08

A Brief History of Cannabis Laws in Belgium

Cannabis cultivation in Belgium started hundreds of centuries ago. Many historical records indicate cannabis use in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Hemp has played a significant role in the daily life of Belgians — people used it for clothing and shoes, ropes, and eat the seeds as food.

Farmers perfected the processing of hemp fiber and seeds in the middle ages — men farmed the hemp while women wove the strands and extracted the seeds from the flower stalks.

There’s a famous museum in southern Belgium, called Gaumais, where you can experience the life of Belgian families from the 19th century and see how they grew and processed hemp. The history of hemp is documented and presented in photos, papers, and machines people used to process hemp.

Similar to many other countries throughout the world, hemp was grown legally in Belgium until the 20th century. The 20th century is known as the period of global propaganda against cannabis — primarily against psychoactive marijuana plants. Hemp merely got caught in the crossfire. 

In 1912, Belgium signed the International Opium Convention, agreeing to ban cannabis — including hemp. Following this change, hemp farms were almost completely eradicated between the two world wars.

However, after the Second World War, cannabis was imported to Belgium from Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, and India. The imports were illegal because cannabis still wasn’t allowed in Belgium. Cannabis use in Belgium increased during the 60s as a result of the cannabis culture in neighboring Netherlands.

Today, laws around cannabis remain strict, but personal possession of cannabis products is decriminalized.

As a member-state of the EU, Belgium allows the cultivation of hemp under government control. Farmers need to have a permit before they can grow hemp plants on their land.

What Is the Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana?

Hemp and marijuana are often equated — this has caused a lot of trouble for hemp farmers. Although both plants belong to the Cannabis sativa species, they differ significantly in their chemical profiles.

The most important difference between hemp and marijuana is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is known for producing the psychoactive high in marijuana users, and hemp has been associated with it wrongfully.

In Europe and Belgium, marijuana is considered to be any cannabis plants that contain more than 0.2% THC by weight. Products made from marijuana plants are illegal in Belgium.

Cannabis plants that contain less than 0.2% THC by weight is conversely classified as hemp. These plants can’t make the users high and are considered legal throughout most of Europe — except for Belgium. Here, only the fiber and seeds of the hemp plants are allowed to be processed.

Belgium surprised many when it tightened its laws on CBD products. However, it’s not that it was completely unexpected, as most of the EU’s institutions are anchored in Belgium’s capital.

Shortly after the European Commission (EC) introduced the Novel Food Regulation, Belgium authorities adjusted their laws following the new rule and banned CBD foods.

The Novel Food Regulation classifies CBD as a novel food or food that has no history of consumption in Europe before May 15, 1997.

Belgium’s new law was supposed to regulate the CBD market, but instead caused a bigger mess and positioned CBD into an awkward legal grey area. As there was no general ban on CBD products prior, national regulatory bodies decided to “complement” the law with some additional rules.

Let’s explore what happened.

Right after the implementation of the novel food regulation, The Federal Public Service Finance (FPS Finance) declared that CBD flowers with a THC content lower than 0.2%  would be taxed and sold as tobacco products. By law, you’re not allowed to use hemp flowers in teas or other edible products.

The bureaucratic mess continued with the amendments of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAHMP) — in August 2019, the health authority authorized pharmacies to sell CBD ointments, pills, and oil. Medical CBD can be purchased in pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription. 

The dynamic change shook the CBD market in Belgium. Many stores shut down, and others continue to operate within the legal grey area, selling CBD as a product “not intended for human consumption.” Online CBD stores are active on the market, but they’re not recognized as legal by authorities.

When it comes to CBD cosmetics and topicals, Belgian law doesn’t say much. Under the EU cosmetics regulation, CBD can be used in cosmetics only if it’s extracted from the hemp leaves (without the tops) and seeds.

Amidst the many laws, there’s also the International Opium Convention, signed by Belgium in 1912. This law prohibits the sale and use of hemp derivatives, regardless of the THC content. Throughout the years, the law has changed several times, creating numerous loopholes that businesses use to operate in the grey area.

NOTE: Although officials have said that they consider online shops illegal, there are no clear regulations imposed on brands that operate online. You can order CBD online but customs could seize your product.

How is Hemp Cultivation Regulated in Belgium?

In Belgium, hemp cultivation is allowed only if the plant is approved by the EU and does not contain more than 0.2% THC. Farmers can grow hemp for fiber and seeds for food, but they’re not permitted to extract CBD.

Cultivation of marijuana is illegal, and the possession of up to 3 grams of cannabis, cannabis resin, or one plant for personal use was decriminalized in 2003. Fines on possession can vary from €75 to €125 for the first offense, and it doubles subsequent offense. Selling any amount of cannabis could land you in jail for up to 5 years.

NOTE: Cannabis oil doesn’t fall under the exclusion “for personal use,” no matter how small the amount.

How to Buy CBD Products in Belgium

The Belgian authorities keep the pot boiling, and it seems the mess around CBD won’t end anytime soon. The market is extremely unregulated, which leaves both retailers and customers confused and frustrated.

Currently, the only CBD products that are entirely legal are CBD flowers — available at tobacco shops, as well as CBD oils, capsules, and ointments — available at licensed pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription.

CBD edibles are not legal, and other CBD products and supplements are hanging in legal limbo.

If you want to buy CBD in Belgium, gather some patience and try not to get frustrated. Don’t let the chaos discourage you — we’ll do our best to arm you with knowledge and tips on how to find high-quality and legal CBD.

Buying CBD Online in Belgium

Belgium’s CBD market is like a giant puzzle with many missing pieces. The laws are messy and lack transparency, and it seems it’ll take time before the government seals the deal on CBD. Until then, you can shop for CBD online, but you’ll have to follow several rules to avoid a dispute with customs:

  1. Look for CBD products that are not labeled as food. The Novel Food Regulation doesn’t allow CBD edibles, and customs will seize your CBD product if they consider it illegal.
  2. Ask your retailer to provide you with a Certificate of Analysis. Reputable brands test their CBD products for purity and quality. Before you spend money on a CBD product, make sure it’s safe for consumption.
  3. Avoid buying CBD with exaggerated health claims. CBD is not a cure for all ailments, although many retailers like to advertise it as such. If you bump into a CBD product with “spectacular” properties, they’re likely stretching the truth, and it’s not worth your time.
  4. Use a mail forwarding service if the CBD company won’t ship directly to Belgium. These companies will allow you to order CBD products to an address in the UK or USA and have it forwarded to your address in Belgium.
  5. 5. Look for products that contain less than 0.2% THC. If you can’t find the THC content, don’t order that product. Keep looking until you’re sure it has no more than 0.2% THC in total.

CBD Brands That Ship To Belgium

Nordic Oil

4.67 / 5

Reakiro CBD

4.33 / 5

Hempura

4 / 5

Hemp Bombs

Hemp Bombs reveiw

4.5 / 5

Final Notes on Buying CBD in Belgium

Until recently, you could buy CBD in Belgium without any hassle, but an overload of new laws shattered the market.

If you want to shop for CBD in Belgium, you’ll have to be patient.

The grey area in which CBD fell after the novel food rule (not that it wasn’t stuck in a loophole already) has complicated things even more.

You shouldn’t purchase CBD edibles, and if you want to buy any other CBD products, the best option is to do it online because there are still no rules that entirely prohibit this.

However, keep in mind that authorities have said they don’t consider online shopping legal (although it’s tolerated), and customs could seize your product if they decide to do so.

On the bright side, you can buy CBD flowers with less than 0.2% THC, and you can obtain a prescription from your doctor to buy CBD from a licensed pharmacy. Besides Sativex, you can purchase CBD-based magisterial preparations.

It’s a pity that one of the most relaxed European CBD markets transformed into the complete mess it is today.

We hope that things will change soon and that you’ll be able to enjoy the Belgian CBD market in its full capacity once again.

What Type of CBD Products Are You Looking For?

Check Out More Trending Topics

Check Out More Trending Topics

Find CBD Oil Where You Live

France

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Belgium

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Spain

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Switzerland

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Italy

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Poland

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Norway

CBD Friendliness

Medical Use Only

DK-Denmark

Denmark

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

The United Kingdom

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Netherlands

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Ireland

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Germany

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Austria

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Portugal

CBD Friendliness

Medical Use Only

Malta

CBD Friendliness

Medical Use Only

Greece

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Slovenia

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Bosnia and Herzegovina

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Czech Republic

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Moldova

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Albania

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Macedonia

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Azerbaijan

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Latvia

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Armenia

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Ukraine

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Sweden

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Romania

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Bulgaria

CBD Friendliness

Completely Legal

Hungary

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Estonia

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Cyprus

CBD Friendliness

Medical Use Only

Croatia

CBD Friendliness

Medical Use Only

Iceland

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Georgia

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Finland

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean

Slovakia

CBD Friendliness

Illegal

Montenegro

CBD Friendliness

Illegal

Lithuania

CBD Friendliness

Illegal

Belarus

CBD Friendliness

Illegal

Liechtenstein

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Legal Lean

Serbia

CBD Friendliness

Legal Grey Area — Restricted Lean