Is CBD legal in Sri Lanka?

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Understanding CBD

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike its cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it doesn't cause the "high" associated with cannabis use. Instead, CBD has been lauded for its potential therapeutic benefits, which include pain relief, reducing anxiety and depression, and alleviating cancer-related symptoms, among others.

The Global CBD Market

The CBD industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, especially in countries where its use has been legalized. Its wide range of applications, from health supplements to cosmetics, has contributed to its increasing popularity. However, the legal status of CBD varies greatly from country to country, and it is crucial for potential users and traders to understand the legal framework governing its use in their specific regions.

Legal Status of CBD in Sri Lanka

When it comes to the legal status of CBD in Sri Lanka, it is important to note that the country has a strict stance on drugs. The Poisons, Opium, and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, which governs the use and possession of drugs in Sri Lanka, lists cannabis as a dangerous drug. The law does not differentiate between different compounds of the cannabis plant, meaning that both THC and CBD are considered illegal.

Under this ordinance, the unauthorized possession, trafficking, and cultivation of cannabis can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment. Therefore, bringing CBD into Sri Lanka or purchasing it within the country can be considered a criminal offense.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. The Ayurveda Act allows for the use of cannabis in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. However, this is strictly regulated, and the cannabis used must be sourced from government-approved cultivations and used under the supervision of a registered Ayurvedic practitioner.

Traveling with CBD

For those considering traveling with CBD to Sri Lanka, it is strongly advised against. The country's strict drug laws mean that even small amounts of CBD could lead to criminal charges. If you require CBD for medical purposes, it is recommended that you consult with a medical professional and explore other legal alternatives available in Sri Lanka.


In conclusion, the possession, use, and trade of CBD are currently illegal in Sri Lanka under the Poisons, Opium, and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. While there are exceptions for the use of cannabis in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, these are strictly regulated. Therefore, it is strongly advised against bringing CBD into Sri Lanka or purchasing it within the country. Always ensure that you are aware of and comply with the local laws and regulations regarding CBD in your specific region.

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