CBD Product Laws in South Africa – Is CBD Oil Legal?

The laws surrounding CBD in South Africa are very confusing. Although you may have heard about court cases, parliament hearings, and other legal situations regarding the status of cannabis, it can be very difficult to keep up to date in this ever-changing industry.

In this post, we’re going to take a deeper look at the CBD product laws in South Africa. This includes whether CBD is legal, what the legal requirements are, and what it means for you as a South African consumer. This will make buying CBD oil in South Africa easier than ever. 

Is CBD Oil Legal in South Africa?

Yes, it is. But the answer isn’t as simple as that. Although you can buy CBD in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and throughout the rest of South Africa, there are still some requirements that companies need to follow before they can sell legal CBD products. 

CBD and THC are two of the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Up until recently, the entire cannabis plant has been classified as a schedule 7 substance and can, therefore, only be obtained by a permit issued by the Director-General of the National Department of Health in South Africa. 

CBD Oil South Africa Drug Classification

However, CBD (one of the cannabinoids in cannabis) has since been reclassified. CBD is no longer being grouped with its psychoactive brother (THC) as a schedule 7 drug and has in fact been rescheduled to schedule 4. 

So if you obtain a prescription, you will be able to purchase CBD oil products from an authorized pharmacy. But wait, what about the CBD oil products that you saw being sold online or at your local petrol station? Well, that’s where the classification of CBD gets a bit confusing.

The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, issued an exclusion in the Government Gazette on the 23rd of May, 2019. This exclusion specifically relates to CBD products prepared in a certain way. This means, if manufacturers can produce a CBD product that abides by these specifications, they will be able to sell them as a schedule 0 substance (in other words, like any other regular non-medical supplement). So what are these rules?

Image by Crystalweed Cannabis on Unsplash.

Schedule 0 CBD Products South Africa

These “schedule 0” CBD products are completely legal to buy online or over the counter at your favourite shops. The only requirement is that they follow the exclusion issued by the Department of Health. In order for a CBD product to be 100% legal without any special requirements, they need to abide by the following:

  1. CBD products must contain a maximum daily dose of 20 mg CBD with an accepted low-risk claim or health claim; or
  2. The CBD products must consist of processed products made from cannabis raw plant material, where only naturally occurring quantities of not more than 0.001% THC and 0.0075% CBD are present. 

Although point number 2 is a bit confusing, most companies are just sticking to the first requirement of ‘a maximum daily dose of 20 mg CBD’. As long as companies put this maximum daily allowance on their packaging, they’re good to go. These products should not make any claims that they are medical products that can cure you of certain illnesses.

Is THC Cannabis Oil from South Africa legal?

Only CBD’s drug classification was changed. THC, on the other hand, has remained a schedule 7 drug. This means you will not be able to buy any cannabis oil or cannabis products that contain THC levels exceeding 0.001%. 

You are, however, allowed to grow cannabis for your personal use – according to a judgement made by the constitutional court. So if you are looking to get your hands on THC cannabis, you can always look to your garden as a viable solution.

Is it Legal to Grow Hemp in South Africa?

Unfortunately not yet. Hemp is still classified as cannabis, so the only way that you can legally grow hemp in South Africa for commercial purposes is if you obtain a special permit. These can be obtained from the Department of Health and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. A hemp license in South Africa is not easily obtained and it can cost a lot for you to start the application process.

So how can you get CBD if you want to use it or sell it? At the current moment, cultivating and manufacturing CBD is very difficult. Although there are some stories of special facilities getting the necessary permits to grow and manufacture CBD, it is still not a formal situation.

The only way to get hold of CBD products is through a GMP(Good Manufacturing Practice),approved manufacturer, most of which are coming from countries outside South Africa. These facilities can be found in Europe and America, where CBD oils and hemp are being produced en masse.

What CBD Cannabis Products are Available?

Now that you know CBD oil South Africa is legal (in certain concentrations) and very easy to buy, you might be wondering what products are available. You’re in luck, there are plenty of great products available. 

Whether you are looking at pure CBD oil to help you sleep, CBD for your pets, or maybe you need a CBD balm to soothe your muscles after a long day hike in the Drakensberg. Whatever the reason, there is something available for you.

These CBD products, although not advertised as medical treatments, have been shown to have positive effects on your sleeping patterns, anxiety, and even your appetite. If you are considering getting a CBD product and want to air on the side of caution, you can always go speak to your local doctor first. 

Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in South Africa

Although you might not be able to get a license to sell dagga in South Africa that easily, CBD has entered the spotlight as the first legal cannabis product in the country – and it’s super convenient to get ahold of. 

All you need to do is head down to your favourite local shop or find an online store and you will have legal CBD products in no time. We hope this has put your mind at ease and that you can now confidently buy your favourite CBD cannabis oil in South Africa without needing to break the law. 


Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

About us

Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!


Recent Posts