Despite the regulatory CBD landscape becoming clearer with the Novel Food Authorisation (NFA) process, there are still many questions that consumers and businesses alike need answers to.

One of the most common questions that consumers are asking is about synthetic CBD, its legality and the differences it has to natural CBD. Were you actually aware that companies can now market and sell synthetic CBD, without labelling it any differently to natural CBD extracted from the cannabis plant?

In this post we will aim to answer some of the questions that you may have and shed light on the confusion around synthetic CBD.

What is Synthetic CBD?

Synthesized bio-identical CBD is considered to be chemically identical in every way to naturally occurring CBD extracted from the cannabis sativa plant and both synthetic and natural CBD have identical chemical structures.

Synthetic CBD is created in a lab using base materials, rather than being extracted from the cannabis plant.  The manufacturing of chemically synthesized CBD occurs in regulatory-approved facilities much like other pharmaceutical drugs, and the products produced are stable, soluble, and consistent.

As the production of synthetic CBD is all done in a lab, it is cheaper to produce, being relatively easier to manufacture in a shorter time frame, whereas natural CBD comes from hemp plants which have to be grown, harvested and then have the CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from the plants to use.

Is Synthetic CBD legal?

For the first time, companies selling synthetic CBD products are now legally allowed into the UK CBD market if they have an approved NFA for their products. The NFA is designed to ensure that products being sold in the UK are safe to consume and contain what their ingredients list claims they do. 

A lot of consumers of CBD are not aware that synthetic CBD is coming into the market alongside natural CBD, and the companies selling synthetic CBD do not have to explicitly state on their packaging that their products are made from synthetic CBD and not natural CBD. 

As the law and regulations currently stand, when you go into a retailer to buy CBD products, the natural and synthetic CBD products will stand side-by-side on the shelves with no clear indication as to which is which. Synthetic CBD companies can still market their products without having to identify them as not being sourced from ‘natural’ origins. Unless you know this and then thoroughly read all of the packages, ingredients lists and lab reports of each product, you would most likely be unaware of this fact.

A recent consumer survey conducted by prominent UK trade groups, found that 95% of consumers would prefer that CBD companies have to state explicitly on their packing and products that they are made from synthetic CBD so that consumers can clearly see what is naturally sourced and make an informed decision based on that.

Natural CBD vs Synthetic CBD

Using naturally sourced CBD has many benefits including the entourage effect, which is described as the synergistic physiological effect that takes place when consuming multiple cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant together. This means that you get a greater benefit from using the naturally occurring cannabinoids together (in a broad-spectrum solution for example) than using just CBD on its own.

Using synthetic CBD means that you only receive the benefits of using CBD on its own as no other cannabinoids or terpenes will be present in it. This can be useful for people such as athletes who have strict drug tests and parameters to meet, but for a standard user of CBD, they will likely feel less benefits from using synthetic CBD than natural, broad spectrum CBD.

At Herbotany Health we only use naturally sourced CBD from organic hemp broad-spectrum CBD solution in all of our products. We believe in the natural properties and benefits of the hemp plant and are dedicated to pushing the industry on through research, development and education and believe that every consumer should be insisting on organic natural plant-based CBD in their products.


As consumers, we should ask ourselves if we feel comfortable with the thought of regularly taking synthetic CBD being produced in a lab to replicate the properties and effects of natural CBD from a plant the way nature intended.

At Herbotany Health we believe completely in the organic hemp plant and the natural properties every consumer should be insisting on.