Cannabidiol (CBD), European Market Definition

author: Staff

By the end of 2023, the European CBD market will grow by over 400%! According to a leading marketing and consumer intelligence firm, the CBD and cannabis industry is set to boom in the next four-years. CBD is a popular product. The varied CBD laws in Europe continue to be a problem for consumers.

Cannabidiol (CBD), European Market Definition

Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical that is naturally found in hemp and cannabis. Cannabis is also extracted from hemp because of its high concentration. It is effective in treating anxiety, seizures, and reducing pain. CBD is highly demanded for its health-promoting properties. This is driving the European CBD market. Because it does not have psychoactive properties, cannabidiol oil is used most often for therapeutic purposes. Cannabidiol oils are used for many medical purposes, including anxiety, depression, stress relief diabetes prevention pain relief cancer symptoms and inflammation. Europe is predicted to grow at a profitable rate due to an increasing use of CBD-based treatments to treat ailments. Cannabidiol-based products are being increasingly used to treat acne, wrinkles and other skin conditions. Sephora, for instance, recently introduced its cannabidiol (or CBD) skincare line. A number of new companies have also entered the market with cannabidiol infused cosmetic products.

In addition, major players and governments in the cannabinoid industry invest in research-and-development activities. In clinical trials, CBD is reported to be a treatment for epilepsy and various neurological conditions.


Market Dynamics


  • Improving CBD product approvals by European government

CBD-based product required strict approvals from the government and were only allowed to be marketed on the international market after receiving strict approvals. This restricted the growth. As time went on, the restrictions began to loosen and CBD-based products were accepted more readily. This will fuel the market’s growth.

In addition, the existence of major CBD producers around the globe has further incited the government and various regulatory bodies including the Food and Drug Administration. There are also major CBD manufacturers in Europe and the U.S. CBD and CBD based product restrictions should be relaxed.

  • CBD – Increasing demand in Health & Fitness

The European market CBD is expected to grow quickly due to increased consumer awareness about health and fitness. Increased consumer disposable revenue and legalization for medicinal cannabis are predicted to have a positive effect on the demand of cannabidiol.

CBD products also help to alleviate various conditions including: anxiety/stress; insomnia; migraines; skin care issues, seizures and joint pain/inflammation. CBD’s use in the treatment of chronic pain has increased its popularity. The demand for CBD has increased in recent years because of its wide medical application and pain relief treatment. CBD works to reduce chronic back pain by affecting a number of biological processes. CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidant properties. CBD products are able to reduce the anxiety of people who suffer chronic pain. In this way, CBD’s increasing popularity in treating chronic pain has boosted the market. This allows people to continue their health and fitness regimens while staying free of pain.


  • CBD Products are Expensive

CBD is a popular, holistic solution for people with sleep problems, pain and inflammation. CBD is still a relatively untested product, with little research and development. CBD has also been recently regulated. The price of CBD products increased in 2018 when hemp production was made legal. Various CBD products have seen some price increases as a consequence.

In addition, many farmers have switched to growing and selling hemp that is used to produce CBD products. But despite this product’s increased popularity, it still poses its own set of agricultural challenges. First, switching crops results in increased expenses. The most efficient method to harvest hemp involves using a combine harvester. Farmers who have been growing crops which don’t require combine harvesters, like strawberries, cannot afford to purchase one immediately. They have to hire harvesters to help them, and this drives up prices because the raw material has become expensive.

Additionally, the cultivation of hemp takes more time and effort and farmers must monitor their crop as it grows. Extraction of cannabidiol after harvesting is also a complex and costly process. CBD must be extracted and processed using either ethanol, or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2 extract). The long and complex extraction and refining process of CBD requires special machinery. The cost of CBD is high because it requires special machinery and takes a long time.

European CBD Opportunity

  • Increased investment in new CBD products

In order to meet the growing demand for innovative products, many manufacturers are investing in research and developing new CBD-based products. CBD products that are in high-demand include oils, tinctures concentrates capsules topical solutions including slaves, lip balms and lotions. They also include edibles such baked goods, coffees chocolates gums and candies.

As the demand increases, so will the number of studies to examine the impact of CBD in certain conditions. These trials will hopefully lead to new products that can be developed in the coming years. Moreover, many companies purchase CBD oils in bulk for the purpose of manufacturing CBD-infused products. Numerous health and wellness retail stores, such Rite Aid CVS Health Walgreens, Boots Alliance and Walgreens Boots, also offer CBD products.

Aside from the fact that the regulations are easier to follow and cannabis products have been approved, many companies are investing a lot of money into product development and upgrading their raw material production. This allows them to reduce costs, while still meeting the increasing demand in the marketplace. The European CBD market is expected to grow rapidly due to new product developments, increasing research and developmental activities and various strategic decisions that key manufacturers have taken.


  • CBD oil and side effects

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is widely recognized for its ability cure a number of diseases, including nausea and cancer-related sickness, anxiety, seizures, and neurological issues. CBD-based drugs are effective for many illnesses. However they may also have adverse effects.

The most common side effects experienced by CBD users are dry mouth, drowsiness or a feeling of lightheadedness, as well as low blood-pressure. CBD is known to cause the level of Coumadin – a blood thinner – in the body to rise. This can lead other drugs to interact and have adverse side effects. These factors may impede the adoption of CBD in therapeutic applications.

Another cause for concern is unreliability when it comes to the purity and dosages of CBD found in products like CBD oil. CBD oil in high concentrations may have adverse effects on consumers’ health. In certain cases, CBD oil used excessively can cause an increase in liver enzymes. This is a sign that the liver has become inflamed. Cytochrome P450(CYP450)is an enzyme used by the body to break down certain drugs. CBD oil is able to block CYP450. CBD oil could have an adverse effect on these drugs, causing them to work less or not at any.

In addition, dietary supplements containing CBD and a mix of herbal ingredients are not safe for everyone. Many herbs can interact negatively with prescription drugs. All these side-effects may vary from one person to another, and minor side-effects for some could prove to be serious side-effects for others. This could present a challenge in terms of the demand for CBD products on Europe’s CBD market.

After COVID-19, the impact on Europe’s cannabidiol(CBD) market

COVID-19 is responsible for a dramatic increase in demand for medical products from both healthcare providers and the public as precautionary measures. Personal protective equipment manufacturers have the chance to benefit from the increase in demand for medical supplies. COVID-19 could have a large impact on Europe’s CBD market.

Europe cannabidiol Market Scope & Market Size

Europe cannabidiol market is segmented according to source, grades, applications, product types, and nature. Growth among segments will help you determine the differences in target markets, and niche pockets that are likely to grow.


  • HEMP

Based on source, the Europe CBD market is segmented between hemp and marijuana.



Europe’s Cannabidiol Market is Segmented by Product Type. CBD Oil, CBD Concentrates, CBD Isolates and Others are the main segments.



Europe’s cannabidiol-CBD market is segmented based on its nature into organic (organic) and inorganic.



Europe’s CBD market can be segmented based on grade into food grade or therapeutics grade.


  • Tinctures
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Topics
  • Dietary supplements
  • The Other

Based on the application, Europe’s cannabidiol market (CBD) is divided into tincture and topicals.


Europe cannabidiol(CBD) Market Country Level Analyses


Germany is set to be the dominant market in 2023, and even more so in 2023 thanks to the presence and size of its largest consumer market, which has a high GDP. Germany will grow as a result of technological advancements in drug treatment.


When it comes to the online purchase of CBD, it’s actually totally legal in Germany. As a matter of fact, Germany was one of the whistleblowers when it came to the legalization of CBD which is why it should come as no surprise that the online sale of it is not only permitted but even accepted by the majority of its national society.


If you like to buy CBD the old fashioned way then you shouldn’t worry since the offline sale of this beneficial compound is just as legal as online transactions. Other extracts from the cannabis plant are also available in various health shops across the great nation of Germany. It’s worth noting that the law only permits the sale of processed products, not the raw cannabis itself.

A Key regulatory difference about Germany is how vastly the different states (or Bundestag) have varying laws for CBD sales and product registration. Don’t let one region’s laws lead you to assume that’s country wide because far from it. Please check each region independently, for CBD legality.

It is legal for customers to buy CBD products in Ireland as long as they contain less than 0.2% THC and are made from hemp extracts.

CBD may be purchased offline and there are highstreet stores selling these products. However, the same rules apply and the legality of dedicated stores is somewhat shaky. As a customer however, you are at no risk.


Since July 2018, cannabis-derived products containing less than 0.2% of THC no longer fall under the illegal drug laws. They now fall under the legal parameters for medical and food products. It is not clear, therefore, whether CBD oil that claims to have medicinal properties would be regarded as a food product or a prescription-only medical product. In Denmark, if it’s technically illegal to buy, the law punishes the manufacturer and seller of the product and not the purchaser. Legality is a bit of a gray area, and there is little chance that anyone would be punished if the product was considered a medical product rather than a food supplement.

At the moment, CBD oil is available in Denmark as long as its THC content does not exceed 0.2%.



Is it legal to buy CBD online in Greece?

Yes it definitely is. CBD oil can be purchased and imported online as long as it contains less than 0.2% of THC.

Government reports indicate a significant increase in CBD imports from 2017.

Is it legal to buy CBD in Greece online?

Yes. CBD oil is now widely available in Greece, thanks to the changes made in 2017.

The supply of goods decreases as you move away from major cities and the capital.



Italy allows CBD oil to buy and sell online, as long as the THC content is less than 0.6%. This is relatively high in comparison to other European nations. Italy allows the sale of Cannabis strains that are high in CBD but low in THC. These strains are called “Cannabis Light”. Online vendors offer both products. Italy also allows CBD oil from shops to be bought as long as it contains less than 0.6% of THC. Although there has been some debate amongst lawmakers about the legal status of “Cannabis Light”, which is a high CBD, low THC strain, it’s still legal to buy Cannabis Light in shops.

Is it legal to buy products in Italy that contain more than 0.2% THC for medical use?

Italy permits the sale of Cannabis products with THC concentrations up to 0.6%. These products, such as Cannabis Light, are easily accessible. The new Italian interior minister has called for the closing of Cannabis Light shops, but to date, no action has taken place.

Italy’s medical cannabis industry is heavily controlled. Products with a concentration above 0.6% can only be obtained through a physician. The attitudes towards medical Cannabis differ between the northern and southern parts of Italy. Medical Cannabis is more prevalent in the North but not as widely available as it is in other countries.

Is it legal to buy products in Italy that contain more than 0.2% THC for recreational use?

Yes and no. As long as the THC level is below 0.6%, it’s legal to purchase Cannabis products. In Italy, cannabis use is decriminalized, just like in Canada before the legalization of 2018. Possession of Cannabis products with 0.6% or more THC is considered a misdemeanour, or a fine.



The Opioid Act of 1911 made it illegal to use Cannabis in any form. In 1999, the law was changed to allow Hemp strains that contained less than 0.2% of THC. Hemp can now be grown in The Netherlands for use as a material. It is legal to extract hemp plant material in the Netherlands. However, CBD oil containing less that 0.2% CBD may be purchased and consumed online if made outside The Netherlands.

Is it legal to buy CBD in the Netherlands?

Yes. CBD is legal if the THC content is less than 0.2%.

Is it legal to buy products in Italy that contain more than 0.2% THC for medical use?

THC is available in many cafes for sale and to be used as medicine. The government has only sanctioned a few THC-containing products for medical use. All of these products have low levels THC. Cannabis and its associated products are widely available and tolerated if THC is used for medical purposes.

Is it legal to buy products in Italy that contain more than 0.2% THC for recreational use?

The Netherlands does not allow the recreational use of THC, but they tolerate it. In most major cities, you can find cafes and head shops that sell THC products including Cannabis. The cafes were established in the 1970s, and they have continued to operate unhindered until today. THC used for recreational purposes will not cause any legal issues, even though it’s technically illegal. Cannabis for personal consumption has been decriminalized by the Netherlands.


There is no legislated restriction to CBD use in Poland. As with most other European nations, the only stipulation is that the CBD Oil contains less than 0.2% THC.

The CBD oil business is quite robust in Poland, with several manufacturers which supply, in part, the demands of the European market. This is likely a result of low THC Hemp strains being grown in Poland for thousands of years. CBD oil is perfectly legal to purchase within Poland, being found in many health food stores and alternative medicine shops. As mentioned previously, Poland has become a manufacturing center for CBD oil and this has made is readily available for purchase.

THC for medical purposes was put into effect in November of 2017. To date Cannabis and THC products for medical use have not gained as much traction in Poland compared to other European nations; likely due to the cultural view of Cannabis smoking. THC for medicinal use is likely to increase in the coming years as recent reports conclude that recreational Cannabis use is on the rise among youth. With the rise in recreational use, it is predicted that a rise in medical use will also be observed.

No. THC is legal and not technically decriminalized in Poland. This does look to be changing though, as in 2011 legislation was passed which allowed prosecutors to drop charges at their discretion if the quantity is small and deemed to be for personal use.

There is growing support for decriminalization of recreational Cannabis use but that it appears that such a change in legislation is still a few years away.



CBD is legal to use for medical purposes. It is also legal to buy and consume CBD without prescription as long as THC (the substance that gives people the “high” effect) content is less than 0.2%.

You will need a prescription from a doctor to buy CBD at a pharmacy. Sativex is currently the only cannabis- and CBDbased medicine that can be purchased in Portuguese pharmacies. However, given the rapid growth of the industry, it’s possible this will change in the future.

GROW HEMP FOR CBD in Portugal; No. Definitely Not.

When Portugal debated drug policy changes in 2001, the Portuguese government considered decriminalising cannabis cultivation for personal use. The government has decided to exclude cannabis cultivation from decriminalisation laws.

Portugal’s government approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in June 2018. The bill stipulated that all medications must be prescribed only by doctors if and when all conventional treatments have failed. People who have chronic pain, cancer treatment, post-traumatic disorder, and other symptoms can be prescribed medicinal cannabis.

Infarmed is the Portuguese Health Ministry division responsible for the regulation and control of all medicines and health products. It also evaluates them to protect the public’s health. In 2017, the Portuguese Health Ministry authorized the creation of a medicinal marijuana plantation. The plantation’s crops are intended to be exported. In the 2018 law, it is also stated that the government should fund scientific research on marijuana and its potential medicinal benefits.

Portugal has a clear stance on selling cannabis with THC levels higher than 0.2%. Offenders can receive a prison sentence of one to five years. The sentence can be increased to between four and 12 years depending on the seriousness of the crime.

The sentence will be reduced if the drug dealer is found to have sold drugs to fund his or her own addiction. The sentence is usually reduced if it is determined that the crime was a “traffic of lesser importance”.



CBD is legal for medical use. While many stores offer CBD online, it is technically illegal to commercialize it for human consumption, other than for medical purposes, as per an August 2018 statement from AECOSAN (The Spanish food and drug agency).

This being said, medical cannabis is not regulated in Spain. One thing is clear, Spain prohibits the use of narcotic drugs as ingredients for medical use and since CBD does not contain any psychoactive agents, its medicinal use has been made legal in the country recently.

What is the legal status of online CBD?
Once again, the Spanish authorities have determined that CBD oil cannot be legally sold in shops, although it is very common to find CBD oil for sale in natural medicine and health food shops. A number of raids have been reported over the years, but it appears to be lightly enforced. However, you’ll find many CBD products for skin care and CBD treatments of different skin conditions.

Although it is illegal to buy and sell CBD oil, the Spanish government adjusted previous laws on Hemp cultivation, making allowances for 25 approved strains, and also stipulating that dried hemp products cannot contain more than 0.2% THC. As for making CBD oil from home grown plants, it is not explicitly illegal. In fact, no legal ruling has been made on this topic.

The autonomous regions in Spain have created some allowances for medical products containing above 0.2% THC, but the overall Spanish state has not. This may seem strange to some people, as Spain is both a hot spot of industrial hemp cultivation as well as one of the largest hubs for Cannabis research in Europe, not to mention the hosting country of one of a largest cannabis events in Europe, Spannabis.

It is illegal to traffic cannabis in Spain. While the law is mostly focused on selling, it can include purchasing as well. That being said, it is legal to cultivate and harvest cannabis for one’s personal use.

While it is illegal to smoke cannabis in public areas, Spain does have a legal grey area for “Cannabis Clubs” to exist, where members can get together and smoke cannabis legally. You can become a member of one of these 500 already existing clubs if you are over 21 and a Spanish citizen. Interestingly enough, these clubs exist and conduct their non-profit activity without any issues from law enforcement.



CBD oil can be purchased online, as long as it contains less than 0.2% THC. Many vendors offer oils that contain very little CBD and other Cannabis-derived chemicals, even though they are easily accessible online. It is therefore recommended that CBD oil be purchased from reputable sellers. CBD oil can be purchased legally as long as it contains less than 0.2% THC.

Holland and Barret, a large health food chain, has begun selling CBD oil. The UK CBD market has grown to 250,000 users, a result of the increase in CBD availability and the current legal status.

Hemp is not as common in France or Spain or as unregulated. The Home Office requires that those who wish to grow hemp obtain a license at a cost just below 600 pounds. As long as the hemp is grown for personal use, it is legal to grow hemp. If you want to use it for anything other than personal purposes, then you will need a license.

Is it legal to buy products in the UK that contain more than 0.2% THC for medical use? In November 2018, the UK legalized medical Cannabis. Patients report that, while this is true in some cases, obtaining a medical Cannabis license is difficult due to the lack of clarity and the amount of paperwork involved.

Cannabis products with more than 0.2% THC are available to those who have the required license. Some may find this strange, since the UK is one of the largest exporters of Medical Cannabis.

Is it legal to buy products in the UK that contain more than 0.2% THC for recreational use?
In 2003, the UK was hopeful about legal recreational Cannabis. Cannabis products were reclassified as a drug of class C. This hope was dashed in 2009, when it was decided to classify Cannabis products as class B drugs.

Since then, nothing has changed and the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal.



The Supreme Court of Sweden issued a ruling on 18 June 2019 regarding the possession of “CBD oil extracted industrial hemp”. The court ruled that although hemp production for industrial uses would not be subject to narcotic laws, CBD oil containing any amount of THC would be considered as a derivative from the Cannabis plant. Therefore, it would be illegal to sell.

The court ruled that CBD oil was legal to purchase if it did not contain THC and if it was being sold by an authorized vendor. It is not clear if there are any legal vendors.

Is it legal to buy CBD in Sweden online?
CBD was sold in Sweden’s health food stores before the 18th of June ruling. The new ruling is yet to be implemented.

CBD is still on some shelves. Remember that if there is any THC in the product, it’s not illegal.

No. In Sweden, hemp production is legal. However, the manufacture of CBD oil is illegal. Only if a license is issued to produce CBD oil with 0% THC is there a caveat.

Is it legal in Sweden to buy products containing more than 0.2% THC for medical use?
Sweden allows almost no medical products that contain THC. Sativex, a product that can be prescribed by doctors, is one of the few products allowed. Sweden is among the few countries that do not allow medical Cannabis or THC-based products.

Is it legal to buy products in Italy that contain more than 0.2% THC for recreational use?
Anything containing more than 0.2% THC, is illegal. Cannabis is still illegal and the possession of it can lead to a heavy fine or even jail time.


Competitive Landscape and Europe Cannabidiol(CBD) Market Share Analysis

This competitive landscape in Europe for cannabidiol provides information by competitor. Details include company overviews with financials. Market potential is also included. New market initiatives are also provided. Production sites and facilities as well as strengths and weaknesses of the business. The above data is only related to the focus of the company on cannabidiol products.

The CBD market is dominated by companies such as CV Sciences, Inc., VIVO Cannabis Inc., Gaia Hemp, Phoena Holdings Inc., Medical Marijuana, Inc., The Cronos Group, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, HEXO Corp., Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth Corporation, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Tilray, Curaleaf, KAZMIRA, Freedom Leaf, Inc., Koi CBD, Groff North America Hemplex, Inc

As a result, the cannabidiol market is expected to continue growing as merged companies, acquirers and other key players form strategic alliances.