In this buyer’s guide, we’ll provide insights into some of the best CBD brands available in Sweden. We’ll also unpack Swedish laws governing the sale and consumption of CBD, and explain what you need to know if you’re purchasing CBD from a storefront or online. Italy and Sweden: court decisions on low-THC cannabis products On 30 May 2019, Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, published a note of information on the legality of selling low-THC
Is CBD legal in Sweden & Where to Buy it
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll provide insights into some of the best CBD brands available in Sweden. We’ll also unpack Swedish laws governing the sale and consumption of CBD, and explain what you need to know if you’re purchasing CBD from a storefront or online.
Dr. Emma F. Stone is passionate about plant medicine and the potential it holds in transforming the current medical paradigm. She has written extensively for Leafly, Weedmaps, Flowertown, Psychedelic Science Review, and contributed to industry reports and fact sheets detailing cannabis medicine, dosage, and delivery methods for diverse conditions. She’s currently working on a book exploring plant medicine and its uses.
Here are our key findings
- In June 2019, Sweden’s Supreme Court clarified its stance on CBD products, adopting one of the strictest stances in Europe.
- CBD products are legal in Sweden, provided that they are derived from industrial hemp and contain no traces of THC.
- Individuals found with CBD products that contain any quantity of THC are considered to be in possession of a narcotic, and may be penalized.
- CBD products are available in Sweden from licensed CBD vendors.
Sweden is often associated with very progressive policies. When it comes to the sale of CBD products, however, the nation has one of the strictest stances in Europe.
In June 2019, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that CBD oil containing any trace of THC would be considered a narcotic, punishable under the country’ narcotic control laws. These rules apply even if the CBD product was derived from industrial hemp.The court ruled that although industrial hemp is not considered a narcotic plant, preparations made from it that contain THC are not exempt and are included in narcotic control laws.
This ruling is significantly stricter than many other European countries, which maintain that CBD products must contain a maximum of 0.2% THC or less. Swedish consumers are therefore restricted to purchasing broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products. Retailers that wish to sell CBD must obtain a license from the Swedish government. That being said, Sweden is adjusting to these new rules with CBD products available in many health stores and vape shops. Consumers looking for more exotic options can purchase CBD from a range of North American and European countries.
In this Leafreport guide, we’ll reveal our pick of some of the highest quality CBD brands available in Sweden. We’ll also share a comprehensive list of the CBD companies currently shipping to the region, and outline Sweden’s CBD laws.
Is CBD oil legal in Sweden?
Fascinatingly, hemp features prominently in Sweden’s history. Historical records suggest that hemp was used extensively throughout Scandinavia by the Vikings as a prized raw material and textile. Fast forward to today, and Sweden is tentatively exploring hemp cultivation again – albeit in a very regulated industry. Growers must obtain a license from the government before they embark on cultivating the plant. Recreational cannabis use is illegal in Sweden, and medical use is highly restrictive. CBD, a derivative of hemp, is also subject to very stringent regulations. According to Swedish law, industrial hemp strains approved by the EU are exempt from narcotic control laws. However, CBD derived from industrial hemp is subject to very strict rules.
Sweden clarified its stance towards CBD in June 2019 in a landmark court case. The Swedish Supreme Court ruled that CBD products derived from industrial hemp that are free of THC are legal. However, any product containing even a trace of THC is considered a narcotic and illegal. An individual carrying a CBD product with even a trace amount of THC may be liable for prosecution. This stance is significantly harsher than many other European countries, which allow up to 0.2% THC in CBD products. As a result, the only CBD products that are legal in Sweden are broad-spectrum or isolate formulations that have no detectable levels of THC.
The CBD retail industry in Sweden is also tightly controlled. Swedish CBD vendors must hold a government-issued license. These certified vendors sell products that have been subjected to testing and comply with Sweden’s strict regulations.
The best CBD products in Sweden
Despite Sweden’s restrictive CBD legislation, some of the most reputable brands in the world currently ship to the region. Swedish buyers can order online and choose from a range of broad-spectrum and isolate products in an array of delivery formats.
Using our Leafreport rating system, we’ve chosen the top five CBD brands available to Swedish consumers. Each brand is detailed comprehensively below.
Here’s a brief explanation of the main criteria we assess.
Leafreport’s scoring categories
The Leafreport rating system evaluates each brand on the five categories listed below. We add the scores across these criteria to arrive at a total score out of 100.
- Transparency, Accuracy & Reputation checks for third-party purity and potency testing, the results of these tests, and the ease at which consumers can access these results. We also evaluate the brand’s reputation, customer reviews, and whether the company makes information about their hemp cultivation and manufacturing processes readily available.
- Hemp quality analyzes if the hemp used in the brand’s CBD formulations is non-GMO, USDA organic certified, or derived from sustainable sources. We’re particularly interested in learning about where the brand cultivates its hemp and how it is processed.
- Product variety explores if the brand offers an array of different products and delivery formats. We also check if there are variants such as different concentrations or flavors available.
- Customer experience evaluates whether the brand’s website makes it easy for consumers to find out about products and make a purchase. We also check how responsive customer service representatives are to questions, and whether there are informational resources supplied about CBD in general.
- Price and discounts analyze if consumers are receiving value for money. We’ve averaged the price per milligram of CBD across all CBD brands to compare the brand’s price point against other similar brands in the industry. We also verify if the brand offers any special discounts or savings.
Transparency & Accuracy
The CBDfx website offers extensive information about the company’s founders and team members, including details about their medical advisory team. All products are tested for both purity and potency. The brand is also BBB accredited with an A+ rating. BBB accreditation simply means that the brand adheres to both lawful and ethical business practices.
CBDfx states on its website that it uses CBD derived from pesticide-free, non-GMO hemp in its products. It’s unclear, however, whether the hemp is organic, as no evidence of certification is supplied.
Variety of Products
If you appreciate product diversity, CBDfx boasts a diverse CBD product range that includes tinctures, e-liquids, gummies, capsules, creams, topicals, and pet products. The brand has recently expanded its range to include products infused with medicinal mushrooms, and products containing THC.
It’s quick and easy to reach out to a CBDfx customer service representative with any questions or comments. The website is well-organized with helpful resources about CBD for customers who wish to learn more about the cannabinoid.
Price & Discounts
CBDfx pricing is very reasonable. The brand’s tinctures are priced between $0.04-$0.06 per milligram of CBD. In comparison, other brands often price their tinctures between $0.08 to $0.12 per milligram of CBD, therefore, CBDfx is considerably more affordable.
CBDfx has grown to become one of the largest CBD retailers in the world. The brand is based in California’s San Fernando Valley, but ships all over the world, including Sweden. On the CBDfx website, the brand states that its mission is to deliver the finest, purest, and most effective CBD products on the planet to new and experienced users alike. The website also states that all CBDfx products are organic, formulated using a specialized CO2 extraction method.
CBDfx products are also produced in Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) facilities adhering to clinical-grade standards. The products are then subjected to thorough testing to identify if there are any impurities, imperfections, or inconsistencies. The website states that the testing process occurs eight times. After testing, each CBDfx product is tagged with a traceable QR code, leading back to its corresponding lab report, allowing consumers to see where, when, and how their products were produced.
If there are any drawbacks associated with CBDfx, it’s that it’s sometimes unclear if their products are broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or formulated with isolate. Swedish customers are restricted to products that are entirely free of THC so will need to check the product description before purchasing.
Transparency & Accuracy
Purelix Wellness maintains a commitment to testing its products for both potency and purity. The certificates of analysis (CoA)s are accessible by scanning the QR code on each product label, or visiting MyCBDTest.com and inputting the batch code provided on the packaging.
The Purelix website states that its products are USDA certified, but there is no further explanation or evidence supplied of USDA organic certification. All Purelix products are also manufactured in a lab that strictly conforms to the FDA’s guidelines for good manufacturing processes (GMP).
Variety of Products
Purelix offers a standard range of CBD products. Their offering is divided into ingestibles, pets and topicals. Ingestibles include both edibles and tinctures. While the tinctures are THC-free (ideal for Swedish consumers), it’s unclear if the other edibles are free from THC.
The Purelix webpage is concise, and offers a number of useful resources for customers interested in learning more about CBD. There’s also clear guidance supplied on how to reach out to customer service with questions or comments.
Price & Discounts
Purelix Wellness products are priced, on average, at $.12 per milligram of CBD. This pricing is comparable to other certified organic brands in the market that are also GMP compliant.
North Carolina-based Purelix Wellness ships its CBD products all over the globe, including Sweden. The vast majority of the products are broad-spectrum CBD, which means they contain an entourage of other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes while being free from THC. However, several product formulations are unclear about the nature of the CBD extract.
For example, the Purelix capsules claim to contain phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract, but it’s unclear whether this extract also has THC. Purelix also offers sampler packs. These packs represent an excellent way for curious consumers to experience tinctures, topicals, capsules and edibles in small quantities. The sampler packs are well-priced, and some even contain pet treats, which may be appreciated by customers with furry friends.
Although the brand provides links to their third-party test results, they’re not accessible on the website. What’s more, there’s insufficient information about where the brand grows its hemp, how it is produced, or extracted. Some more detail providing insights into the ‘behind the scenes’ of the brand would definitely help consumers connect more with Purelix and its vision.
Transparency & Accuracy
PureKana ensures that third-party lab reports for both purity and potency can easily be located on the website. The most up-to-date results for each product are found on the product page. What’s more, the PureKana website offers fascinating insights into the team members and the vision behind the brand.
All PureKana’s hemp is cultivated in the soils of Kentucky, free from GMOs and pesticides. However, the hemp is not certified organic. The brand extracts CBD from hemp using CO2 extraction, one of the safest and cleanest extraction methods in the industry,
Variety of Products
PureKana caters to all tastes and preferences with a diversity of products. The online store retails gummies, edibles, topicals, vape pens, pet products, cosmetic products (like lip balm) and more. As a point of difference, PureKana also retails Delta-8 products and products infused with cannabigerol (CBG). Delta-8 is an intoxicating cannabinoid derived from CBD extracted from industrial hemp. CBG is a minor cannabinoid found in hemp.
It’s easy to find your way around the PureKana website. Swedish consumers can rest easy knowing that all Purekana products offer a 30-day money back guarantee. The brand’s responsiveness is patchy, however. When Leafreport approached PureKana with some questions regarding their farming practices, however, our inquiries went unanswered.
Price & Discounts
PureKana product prices range from $0.06 per mg of CBD to $0.15. This makes PureKana comparable with competitor brands. Consumers who buy products wholesale can enjoy discounts. The brand also regularly features savings on the website, such as coupon codes that are redeemable at checkout.
PureKana is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, but has global reach. The brand ships all over the world, including Sweden. Jeff Yauck and Cody Alt, the founders behind PureKana, both hail from backgrounds in the health and wellness industry. The PureKana website states that the CBD it uses in its products is non-GMO and free from pesticides, solvents, and herbicides–but it isn’t certified organic. The brand has a satisfied customer base, however, with almost 7,000 reviews on Trustpilot and an average rating of 4.5 stars. PureKana offers three broad-spectrum products, and four products containing CBD isolate. These formulations include ingestible products and topicals, so Swedish customers have access to a range of different products that are THC-free. Some of these products are also vegan-friendly, which will appeal to those on plant-based diets. If you’re seeking a brand that’s committed to transparency, PureKana makes it easy to access third-party lab reports on their website using their certificate of analysis search tool. The brand also helpfully offers a number of insightful resources on CBD on their website, ideal for consumers interested in learning more about the cannabinoid.
If there’s one area that the brand falls short, it’s labeling. On the website, it’s not always explicitly clear whether products are isolate, broad-spectrum or full-spectrum formulations, so you have to scroll through the ingredients list to find out. For Swedish customers who are restricted to broad-spectrum and isolate products, taking the time to check the formulation is imperative.
Transparency & Accuracy
HempMeds subjects its products to triple lab testing in accredited independent facilities to verify potency and purity. All lab results are posted on their website. The brand has long been established in the CBD space, retailing hemp-derived CBD since 2012.
HempMeds products are formulated using CBD derived from industrial hemp that is free from herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. The brand’s website doesn’t state, however, whether the products are organic.
Variety of Products
HempMeds boast a diverse range of CBD formulations and product types, including capsules, tinctures, liquids, powders, and topicals. Products are organized into different categories, allowing customers to shop for preferred delivery methods or formulations (such as CBDa rich, full-spectrum or non-detectable THC).
The HempMeds website is dense with information. The layout appears to be designed for seasoned CBD users and those who purchase CBD wholesale. Novice buyers could be overwhelmed. Returns are accepted within a 2-week period, but with quite rigid restrictions.
Price & Discounts
The price of HempMeds products range from $0.03 to $0.21 per milligram of CBD, which is reasonable and competitive with other well-known CBD brands. HempMeds also offers special savings for veterans. Many of the products on the website are on sale or heavily discounted already.
HempMeds first made its debut into the CBD industry back in 2012, with products formulated from hemp farmed in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Mexico. The brand now represents one of the leading distributors of hemp in the world, and ships globally, including Sweden. The global nature of the brand is also reflected in its production process. HempMeds cultivates its hemp on farms in the Netherlands and ships it to California where the CBD products are formulated in GMP-certified factories.
One of the unique strengths of HempMeds is that the brand boasts a clearly labeled range of non-detectable THC products, known as the RSHO-X range. This range includes two products, a CBD isolate liquid in two distinct concentrations. The product is essentially comparable to a tincture, with pure CBD isolate blended with organic coconut oil. The products are eligible for auto-shipping. Auto-shipping allows consumers to sign up for a regular delivery that results in more savings.
For newbies to CBD, the HempMeds website may be confusing. The sheer range of products renders it a little challenging to navigate the website. There is a guide available that outline the product line, but it’s not readily apparent.
Transparency & Accuracy
Penguin CBD claims that it’s committed to third-party lab testing on its products and provides a centralized lab testing hub where consumers can access results. However, only one lab report is provided for each product. It’s unclear how often these lab reports are updated.
The brand states that it uses CBD grown in Oregon. According to the Penguin FAQ page, the brand’s CBD is derived from 100% organic hemp that is subjected to a CO2 extraction process to derive the CBD. There’s no explanation of the organic cultivation process, or evidence of organic certification status supplied.
Variety of Products
Penguin appears to offer just a handful of products, but closer inspection reveals that the brand has a diversity of concentrations, flavors, and delivery methods available to consumers. The tinctures, for example, are available in five distinct potencies, and five different flavors–including the intriguing cookies and cream.
Penguin’s website is incredibly easy to navigate. The user interface is visually engaging, and it’s super clear to find your way around. Each product is clearly and concisely described. Engaging with customer representatives is currently somewhat limited. Consumers can ask questions using a webform or email, but there is no phone number or live chat.
Price & Discounts
Penguin products have a slightly higher average price than comparable brands, with prices ranging from $0.15 to $0.31 per milligram of CBD. However, the brand offers discounts for military and veterans. Consumers can also save by buying bundles.
Penguin CBD is quickly emerging as a brand to watch in the CBD industry. This newcomer is based in New York, but ships all over the globe, including Sweden. Swedish customers will be appreciative that no Penguin products are off-limits, as all formulations are broad-spectrum, (with the exception of several CBD isolate products). Broad-spectrum products allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect without detectable levels of THC. Style-conscious Swedish consumers will also enjoy the brand’s colorful, engaging aesthetic. Penguin packaging deserves to be seen, rather than concealed in the depths of a handbag or desk drawer. The clean, minimalist interface of Penguin’s website can appear deceptively sparse with respect to product selection. Within the five product categories, however, there are actually diverse concentrations, flavors and variants, which appeal to all tastes and preferences.
If there are any drawbacks associated with Penguin’s offering, it would be the scarcity of information supplied about the finders behind the brand, their hemp farms, or cultivation processes. Penguin CBD is a higher-end CBD product, so there’s a need to provide more details about the provenance of the product, and what differentiates it from its competitors.
CBD brands that ship to Sweden
Given Sweden’s restrictive CBD market, many Swedish shoppers look further afield for CBD products. Fortunately, there’s a robust range of North American and European products that ship to the Scandinavian nation. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the CBD brands that are available to Swedish buyers.
If you’re curious about any of these brands, or interested in reading independent reviews of their products, check out our Leafreport brand search tool.
Where can I purchase CBD in Sweden?
Prior to 2019, CBD products were widely available throughout Sweden. The introduction of a license to sell CBD saw the number of vendors shrink. Nowadays, there is a relatively limited pool of CBD retailers, with many concentrated in the metropolis of Stockholm. The majority of these vendors sell CBD in health stores, such as Lifeland and Ortagubben. Some CBD products are also available from vape stores. More specialized Swedish CBD vendors, such as HerbMed and Hemp Shop, are available online.
There are definitely advantages to shopping for CBD in stores. For starters, you can compare and contrast the products on offer, and access assistance from staff. Another benefit is that Swedish stores retailing CBD must hold a license, so any product purchased will meet the government’s strict regulations.
However, given the lack of specialty CBD stores in Sweden, online shopping also holds many benefits. Shopping online gives Swedish consumers access to a diversity of products, and is often significantly more affordable. Online CBD retailers can undercut storefronts because they don’t have overheads such as licenses or staff.
One of the most critical things to remember when shopping for CBD is to check the provenance, potency, and purity of the product. CBD derived from certified organic hemp is preferable, because it has been cultivated under strict growing conditions ensuring it is free from pesticides, heavy metals, or other contaminants. Hemp is a phyto-remedial plant, which means it can siphon toxins from the soil it grows in. Organic hemp is more likely to be pure, and therefore better for your body.
Third-party purity tests represent another method of assessing the quality of the product you’re considering buying. These tests provide insights into whether the product exceeds the acceptable level of contaminants. Third-party potency tests are also vital. Potency tests reveal whether the concentration of cannabinoids in the product conform with what is promised on the label, or at least, fall within an accepted variance level of 10%. CBD brands frequently publish the results of these third-party tests as lab reports, or certificates of analysis. If you’d like to learn more about how to read a certificate of analysis, check out our handy Leafreport guide.
Despite Sweden’s reputation as a relatively progressive country, the nation has strict rules governing the retail and use of CBD. Swedish CBD consumers, or those visiting Sweden, should ensure they’re familiar with Swedish laws to avoid inadvertently violating the country’s laws.
The most vital rule to remember is that all CBD products must be derived from industrial hemp and completely free from THC to be legal. This means that broad-spectrum products and CBD isolate products are permissible, but full-spectrum CBD formulations are prohibited. Individuals found with products containing THC may suffer penalties. Buying CBD in Swedish stores is fairly restrictive at present, but the good news is that there’s a wide range of online retailers that ship to the Scandinavian nation.
Italy and Sweden: court decisions on low-THC cannabis products
On 30 May 2019, Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, published a note of information on the legality of selling low-THC cannabis. This followed attempts to prosecute entrepreneurs who were openly selling cannabis flower and other extracts. The products were marketed in a way to avoid the attention of law enforcement by using labels such as ‘collectors item’ or ‘not for consumption’. The sellers claimed that these cannabis products contained less than 0.2 % THC (the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis) and therefore were not controlled under the narcotics law. The Italian Law 242 of 2016 states that cultivation of certain varieties of hemp plants containing less than 0.2 % THC is permitted without any licence, and the plants could be used to produce various specified products including food and cosmetics. The court’s note of information stated that ‘the marketing of Cannabis sativa L. and, in particular, of leaves, inflorescences [flowers], oil, resin, obtained from the cultivation of the aforementioned hemp variety, does not fall within the scope of application of Law 242 of 2016’, which exhaustively lists the products that may be marketed. Therefore, sale and marketing to the public of products derived from cannabis is an offence under the Italian drug control law ‘unless the products are in practice devoid of narcotic effects’ (‘privi di efficacia drogante’). It is not yet known how this last phrase will be interpreted.
Sweden’s Supreme Court says CBD oil containing THC is a narcotic preparation
On 18 June 2019, the Supreme Court of Sweden ruled on a case involving possession of ‘CBD oil’ extracted from industrial hemp. Under Swedish law industrial hemp, defined as any variety of cannabis eligible for EU support, is exempt from the narcotic control laws. However, the oil contained THC (the concentration was not determined). THC and preparations containing it are covered by the narcotic control laws. The offender was charged with a minor case of possession of a controlled drug (a preparation of THC). The court ruled that, while industrial hemp is exempted from coverage, preparations made from it that contain THC are not exempted, and are therefore included in narcotic control laws.