We might have to make this into an ongoing column where we look at the legality of CBD oil around the world. Mohammad Salah wrote to us from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and asked, “Would it be legal to use CBD oil in the UAE?”
Strictly, speaking CBD oil is not mentioned in UAE law. That’s because it became popular after the UAE’s drug laws were formulated. So, you could argue that CBD oil is legal in the UAE.
However, let’s be clear about this – we don’t think that would help you in an Emirati court and we strongly recommend that you do not take CBD oil to the UAE and that you do not buy it or consume it while you are there.
Cannabis Is Illegal
Not only is cannabis illegal in the UAE but the law has been consistently interpreted to err on the side of caution when it comes to products made from hemp, etc.
So, from the current application of the law, we have to conclude that CBD oil is for all intents and purposes completely illegal in the UAE.
Harsh Drug Laws
The UAE has some of the harshest drug laws in the world. In the Emirate of Sharjah, you may face the death penalty for possession, transport or use of illegal drugs. In the rest of the Emirates, you will go to jail if you are brought up on drugs charges.
There is a minimum 4-year sentence and the courts have been known to extend (rather than reduce) sentences on appeal. We can’t recommend 4 days in an Emirati jail cell, let alone 4 years.
If you are going abroad this year, we urge you to take all appropriate action to look at the legality of CBD oil in the countries you will visit and that you avoid any illegal activities. Your embassy cannot help if you are arrested for CBD oil possession overseas.