Is CBD legal in North Korea?

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Understanding CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Today, the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. It is a safe, non-addictive substance, and is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.

International Laws Surrounding CBD

Across the globe, the legality of CBD varies. In some countries, it is legal, regulated, and widely used. In others, it is banned outright. The disparity in laws and regulations can be confusing for consumers, particularly those who travel frequently or are considering purchasing CBD products internationally.

North Korea and CBD: A Complex Legal Landscape

When it comes to North Korea, understanding the legal status of CBD is particularly challenging. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), more commonly known as North Korea, is known for its strict laws and regulations, many of which are significantly different from those in Western countries.

Officially, the North Korean government has not publicly clarified its stance on CBD. There is no specific legislation that refers to CBD or hemp products, nor is there any legislation that explicitly makes the possession or use of CBD illegal. However, the country has strict laws regarding drugs and controlled substances, and it is possible that CBD could be interpreted as falling under these laws.

Furthermore, North Korea has severe penalties for violations of its drug laws. Foreigners who violate these laws, intentionally or otherwise, can face harsh punishments, including imprisonment and forced labor. The DPRK's legal system is also notoriously opaque, making it difficult for foreigners to understand and navigate.

Advice for Travelers

Given the lack of clarity and the potential risks, it is strongly recommended that anyone considering bringing CBD into North Korea or purchasing it within the country exercise extreme caution. It is advisable to consult with a legal expert familiar with North Korean law before making any decisions. It is also recommended to check with the embassy or consulate of your home country in the DPRK for the most current information.


In conclusion, the legal status of CBD in North Korea is unclear. There is no specific legislation that refers to CBD or hemp products, but the country's strict drug laws and severe penalties for violations make it a potentially risky proposition. Until the North Korean government provides clear guidance on the matter, it is advisable to err on the side of caution. If you are considering bringing CBD into North Korea or purchasing it there, seek expert legal advice and consult with your home country's embassy or consulate in the DPRK.

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