France has approved the marketing of CBD products since last year. This is a compound extracted from cannabis. The Pyrenees Orientales is home to many shops selling CBD. Despite the mounting evidence, there is still debate on whether CBD has therapeutic properties.
There are good things in the cannabis world right now. France, Europe’s largest producer of hemp, should allow the sale of CBD products. This is to align with European laws. The country is required to comply in any event, as the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that French regulations were contrary to European law in November 2020. This was in the name of the freedom of movement of goods.
Businesses that specialize in selling cannabidiol have thrived since then. Two CBD shops opened in Perpignan in the Pyrenees-Orientales. Others have also opened in Thuir and Canet-en-Roussillon, as well as Elne.
It can be difficult to trace where CBD comes from
Legal eclecticism forces CBD traders to be extremely vigilant about where their products come from, or risk being charged with drug trafficking. Managers of Le CBD de Papa, an Elne store that opened in May 2021, have raised the issue. Mickael Surget, one of the managers of the Le CBD de Papa store in Elne, explains that they do a “counter analysis” on the CBD flowers they purchase in order to “have the assurance of selling legal products in France”.
Regis Bouquie, director of Thuir hospital’s laboratory, said that CBD’s origin is a major danger. This requires careful quality control. “CBD has virtues for pain and anorexia. However, this evaluation was done on standard drugs, and not products that are available in stores,” says the pharmacologist who specializes in drugs and their derivatives.
Smoking CBD in France
Doctor Regis Bouquie warns against smoking CBD. Instead of infusing CBD tea blossoms with herbal tea, some consumers smoke them mixed in tobacco. The pharmacologist warns against this because of the “harmful effects of combustion”. But regardless of the health risks involved, French law prohibits consuming CBD this way.
CBD is not a recreational drug
CBD is not psychotropic, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule from hemp that in France, is illegal and considered harmful. However it is extracted from the same cannabis flowers and leaves as THC. THC is the chemical in cannabis that gets you high and the reason people smoke it recreationally.
The CBD-derived goods suppliers must separate the wheat and chaff during production to ensure that the products at most, contain only traces of THC when they are sold. Problem is that the European legislation on this subject is not uniform. The European Union allows THC content less than 0.2% in finished products. However, Switzerland permits a concentration of 1%.