Is CBD legal in Austria & Where to Buy it

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll walk you through some of the most reputable CBD brands available in Austria. We’ll also explore how Austrian legislation affects CBD buyers, and offer you some of our top tips for purchasing CBD in store or online.
Written by 
Emma Francis Stone, Ph.D.
|Last Updated:

Here are our key findings

  • Products containing flowers or fruits from industrial hemp are legal if their THC content does not exceed 0.3% before, during or after the production process.
  • Austria adheres to Europe’s Novel Food Regulation, which means that CBD extracts cannot be used in foods, dietary supplements or beverages.
  • Austria also prohibits the use of synthetic or natural narcotics in cosmetic products. As CBD is derived from cannabis, it falls under this legislation.
  • CBD retailers in Austria must adhere to strict rules. Products that market themselves as ‘dietary supplements’ or ‘promoting health’ are prohibited. Most retailers advertise CBD products as “aromatic products” to sidestep the legislative restrictions.

Up until 2018, Austria was one of the most open, unregulated CBD markets in Europe. Austrians were able to purchase and consume a wide array of CBD products in diverse delivery formats. The passage of the EU’s Novel Food Regulation in 2018, however, saw Austria shift its stance significantly. Since then, Austria has prohibited the sale of CBD edibles, beverages, health supplements, and cosmetics.

While this legal change has significantly inhibited Austria’s CBD industry, CBD retailers have found creative ways to circumvent the restrictive bans. Many stores market and sell CBD oils, tinctures, and extracts as ‘aromatic’ products. This is possible because CBD oils and extracts derived from industrial hemp are not prohibited under Austrian law if the THC content doesn’t exceed 0.3%.

In this Leafreport guide, we’ll explore some of the highest quality CBD brands available to Austrians. We’ll also provide a complete list of all the brands that ship to the region, and clarify some of the intricacies of Austrian legislation governing the sale of CBD. Lastly, we’ll give you insider tips on shopping for CBD in Austria.

Austria has an extensive history of hemp cultivation which peaked during World War II. Hemp was reintroduced in Austria in the nineties, and cultivation of the plant is legal nowadays with a license. Cannabis is legal for scientific research and medical purposes, and personal cannabis use has been decriminalized since 2016.

When it comes to CBD legislation, Austria’s laws on CBD changed significantly in 2018 after the EU released its Novel Food legislation.

CBD products containing flowers or fruits from industrial hemp are not considered addictive substances under Austria’s Addictive Drugs Act, provided their THC content does not exceed 0.3% before, during or after the production process. Similarly, pure CBD isolate is not defined as an addictive drug and is not subject to the legal provisions of the Addictive Drugs Act.

Edibles, dietary supplements and beverages are currently prohibited. The Austrian Federal Ministry for Health issued an Opinion declaring that food containing CBD extracts are considered as novel food in line with the EU Novel Food Regulation of 2018. Only authorized and registered novel foods may be placed on the market or used in and on food, and no CBD extracts have yet been authorized by the EU Commission. CBD products are not permitted to display packaging advertising any dietary or health-boosting benefits.

At present, natural and synthetic narcotics are also prohibited in cosmetic products. According to the Austrian Federal Ministry for Health, cannabis and its extracts are considered to be narcotics. Cosmetics containing cannabis extracts such as CBD may not be placed on the market. However, there’s evidence that the Federal Ministry for Health may shift its position on edibles and cosmetics in the near future, so watch this space.

Lastly, individuals who choose to import prohibited CBD products into Austria may encounter penalties. Customs may seize and confiscate packages, so to reduce the likelihood of this happening, it’s best to opt for products with minimal THC content.

The best CBD products in Austria

A confusing combination of rules controls the sale of CBD products in Austria. Nonetheless, this doesn’t deter some of the most reputable CBD brands in the world from shipping to the European nation.

We’ve evaluated the full list of CBD companies available in Austria using the Leaf Report rating system, and selected our pick of the five best CBD companies. Each brand is detailed comprehensively below.

Firstly, here’s a brief breakdown of the five categories we judge.

Leafreport’s scoring categories

Our rating system calculates scores according to the five central criteria listed below. We add the scores across the categories 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 with which consumers can access these results. We also evaluate the brand’s reputation, customer reviews, and whether details regarding their hemp cultivation and manufacturing processes are readily available.
  • Hemp quality analyzes if the ingredients used in the CBD formulations are vegan, non-GMO, USDA organic certified, or derived from sustainable sources. We’re particularly interested in learning about how the brand cultivates and processes its hemp.
  • 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 assesses how easy it is for customers to navigate the brand’s website, ask and receive answers to questions, make a purchase, and learn about products and CBD in general.
  • Price and discounts analyze value for money. We’ve averaged the price per milligram of CBD across all CBD brands, so we can compare the brand’s price point against the wider industry. We also verify if the brand offers any special discounts.

CBDfx

CBDfx

Transparency & Accuracy
4.5
Hemp Quality
4.4
Variety of Products
4.7
Customer Experience
5.0
Price & Discounts
5.0
Ranking updated:

Transparency & AccuracyIcon

Transparency & Accuracy

4.5

It’s easy to find information about the CBDfx founders on the brand’s website. The team behind the brand includes a well-rounded medical advisory panel. Each CBD product batch is third-party tested for purity and potency.

Hemp QualityIcon

Hemp Quality

4.4

According to the brand’s website, CBDfx uses CBD extracted from US hemp farms that adhere to organic farming methods and are free from pesticides and GMO. It’s unclear whether or not the hemp, or any of the brand’s products, are certified organic. A CO2 extraction process is used to create CBD oil.

Variety of ProductsIcon

Variety of Products

4.7

CBDfx has a diverse range of products containing CBD, other minor cannabinoids, and even mushroom extracts. Unlike many brands, they also offer vape oils, vape pens, and vape kits. There is a range of potencies and flavors available for most product types.

Customer ExperienceIcon

Customer Experience

5.0

CBDfx makes it straightforward to contact their customer care team via their email, phone number, or a webform. The CBDfx website is saturated with information, and there’s a range of resources for customers who want to learn more about CBD and the products the brand has on offer. There’s also a sixty-day money back guarantee on purchases.

Price & DiscountsIcon

Price & Discounts

5.0

The brand’s price point is extremely reasonable compared with other CBD brands.Their tinctures are priced between $0.04-$0.06 per mg of CBD. Most CBD tinctures are priced between $0.08 to $0.12 per mg of CBD. The brand also offers deals on bundles, and often has specials available on their website.

CBDfx currently holds the claim to fame as the second-largest private CBD company in the world. The brand is based in California and ships its products all over the globe, including Austria. The brand has developed a reputation for creating CBD products of high quality, and there are more than 23,000 customer reviews on their website. In Leafreport brand rankings, CBDfx consistently features among the top five spots.

All CBDfx products are produced in Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) facilities adhering to clinical-grade standards. Products are subjected to both purity and potency testing to assess their safety and their quality, with the lab reports easily located on the brand’s website. CBDfx has a vast array of CBD delivery formats, which is helpful for Austrian consumers who cannot purchase edibles, cosmetics or dietary supplements. The brand has a range of tinctures on offer that have distinct therapeutic purposes: there’s a sleep-enhancing tincture, for example, a chill blend, and an energizing blend.

If there are any drawbacks associated with CBDfx, it’s that the sheer volume of information available on the website could be overwhelming for those new to CBD. The website is very informative, but the information is often structured in a disorganized manner, rendering it challenging to navigate the website at times.

PureKana

Pure Kana

Transparency & Accuracy
4.8
Hemp Quality
4.4
Variety of Products
4.4
Customer Experience
4.7
Price & Discounts
4.2
Ranking updated:

Transparency & AccuracyIcon

Transparency & Accuracy

4.8

The PureKana website has an abundance of information available for consumers interested in learning more about the team, their mission, and their cultivation process. Third-party lab reports for both purity and potency can also be easily located on their website by batch number.

Hemp QualityIcon

Hemp Quality

4.4

All PureKana hemp is grown in Kentucky. According to the website, the hemp is GMO-free and pesticide-free – but it’s not certified organic. There’s a lack of detail regarding the brand’s farming practices in general. PureKana prides itself, however, on creating natural formulations that are for the most part vegan and free from synthetic ingredients.

Variety of ProductsIcon

Variety of Products

4.4

For consumers who appreciate choice, PureKana offers an impressive array of CBD products including gummies, edibles, topicals, vape pens, pet products and more. The brand also sells other minor cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp, such as Delta-8 products.

Customer ExperienceIcon

Customer Experience

4.7

The PureKana website is clear and easy to navigate. There is a range of customer resources, including educational blogs about CBD and its effects on the body.

When Leafreport approached PureKana with some questions regarding their sustainable farming practices, however, we didn’t receive a response.

Price & DiscountsIcon

Price & Discounts

4.2

PureKana products average in price from $0.06 per mg of CBD to $0.15, depending on the product in question. This makes PureKana comparable to similar competitor brands. Veterans, individuals with disabilities, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds can access discounts.

PureKana is based in Scottsdale, Arizona and ships across the globe, including European nations like Austria. The brand states on its website that it prides itself on using the highest quality CBD free from pesticides, solvents, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. However, there’s little detail supplied about whether the hemp that the CBD is derived from is organic, or how the brand manages its sustainable farming practices. The CBD is extracted from hemp using CO2 extraction, a method that is both clean and safe. The management team behind Pure Kana largely hail from entrepreneurial backgrounds.

PureKana offers a range of isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD products that help cover diverse needs and preferences. All products contain 0.3% THC or less, which is compliant with Austrian law. What’s more, the brand makes it easy to access third-party lab reports on their website using their certificate of analysis search tool. PureKana also helpfully offers a number of insightful resources on CBD on their website, including information about health and laws regarding CBD (though these tend to be more relevant to US customers).

PureKana doesn’t always clarify whether products are broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD, so you have to check through the ingredient list to find out. A brief glance at their BBB accreditation suggests that some customers have found it hard in the past to reach out and receive customer support with respect to returning products.

Purelix Wellness

Purelix Wellness

Transparency & Accuracy
4.7
Hemp Quality
4.4
Variety of Products
3.9
Customer Experience
5.0
Price & Discounts
5.0
Ranking updated:

Transparency & AccuracyIcon

Transparency & Accuracy

4.7

The Purelix Wellness website doesn’t provide much background about its founders, nor does it provide many insights into its hemp cultivation manufacturing process. Purelix products are third-party tested for purity and potency, but the lab results can only be accessed using the batch numbers on the products.

Hemp QualityIcon

Hemp Quality

4.4

According to the website, Purelix Wellness derives its CBD from USDA certified organic hemp. There’s no evidence of the USDA Organic Certification logo on the website, however. Many of the ingredients used in the product formulations are also organic.

Variety of ProductsIcon

Variety of Products

3.9

The Purelix range of products predominantly falls into three categories: topicals, ingestibles and pet products. The ingestibles category includes gummies, capsules and tinctures. There are also sampler packs offering a combination of the three delivery methods. All products are free of THC.

Customer ExperienceIcon

Customer Experience

5.0

The website is super user friendly, with a clean, minimalist aesthetic. There’s a helpful blog with abundant information for consumers interested in learning more about CBD and how to optimize their use of the cannabinoid.

Price & DiscountsIcon

Price & Discounts

5.0

Purelix prices have an average price point of $0.12 per milligram of CBD, which is average compared to other CBD brands on the market. There are a number of ways consumers can enjoy discounts. Sampler packs, recurring subscriptions, first-time purchases and newsletter subscriptions all allow consumers to access discounts on product prices.

Purelix Wellness is a CBD brand based in Wilmington, North Carolina, that creates CBD formulations that are free of THC. The brand ships all over the world, including Austria. While the website provides little insight into the faces behind the brand, it’s clear that the company prides itself on creating CBD products that meet quality standards. All Purelix products are all manufactured in a laboratory that is GMP certified, which means the facility follows the FDA guidelines for good manufacturing processes. Products are also subjected to potency and purity testing by independent laboratories, with the lab results accessible via batch numbers on the product labels. When Leaferport checked the potency of six Purelix products, the results were excellent– six checked products tested below the acceptable 10% potency variance limit allowed. Purity tests results also revealed that none of the products had harmful levels of pesticides, microbes, or other contaminants. Austrian consumers will likely appreciate the range of potencies and flavors (lemon, mint and orange) available in the tinctures.

While the website states that Purelix sources hemp grown in USDA certified organic conditions, there’s no evidence of USDA organic certification on the website. Nor is there any detail provided about where the brand’s hemp is grown, or the conditions under which it is cultivated. It would also be great to see a centralized lab test results hub on the website–accessing lab results by the product batch number is less than ideal for consumers who are buying online.

HempMeds

HempMeds

Transparency & Accuracy
4.5
Hemp Quality
4.4
Variety of Products
4.2
Customer Experience
4.3
Price & Discounts
4.2
Ranking updated:

Transparency & AccuracyIcon

Transparency & Accuracy

4.5

HempMeds upholds a rigorous testing process – its products are subjected to three separate lab screenings in accredited independent facilities to verify potency and purity. All lab results are posted on their website.

Hemp QualityIcon

Hemp Quality

4.4

According to the brand’s website, HempMeds products are formulated using CBD derived from hemp that is free from herbicides, pesticides, or chemical soil amendments. It’s unclear, however, if the brand has received organic certification. The hemp is grown in Europe and the products are formulated in California.

Variety of ProductsIcon

Variety of Products

4.2

HempMeds have a staggering array of products on offer, including capsules, tinctures, liquids, powders, and topicals. For Austrians who are restricted in their choices, the range of tinctures and oils fall within the boundaries of what is permitted by the government.

Customer ExperienceIcon

Customer Experience

4.3

The website, which is saturated with information and product categories, could definitely be overwhelming for a novice CBD buyer. There’s a phone number provided for inquiries, and an email address so consumers can reach out with questions. Returns are accepted within a 2 week period, but with quite rigid restrictions.

Price & DiscountsIcon

Price & Discounts

4.2

HempMeds prices vary dramatically, ranging from $0.03 to $0.21 per milligram of CBD. This price variance is due to the diversity of products on offer. Overall, however, their prices are reasonable, and competitive when compared with other well-known CBD brands. HempMeds also offers special savings for veterans.

HempMeds is a pioneer in the CBD industry. The brand first made its debut in 2012, with CBD products formulated from hemp farmed in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Mexico. HempMeds is now a global force that ships all over the world, including Austria. The company grows its hemp on farms in the Netherlands and ships it to California where the CBD products are formulated in GMP-certified factories. CBD is extracted from hemp using a supercritical CO2 extraction method, a gold standard extraction process used in the industry.

For CBD-savvy consumers who appreciate a diversity of choice, HempMeds specializes in a smorgasbord of CBD products. Products are organized by different ‘labels’: the green label, for example, designate CBDa-rich products. Within these different product categories there’s a vast range of options, including oils, capsules, tinctures, and tubes containing high-dose CBD. Each product comes with helpful information on use and dosage.

For those who are not so well-versed in CBD, the HempMeds shopping experience could be overwhelming. Some of the product categories, such as ‘decarboxylated’ or ‘filtered’ may be confusing to novice shoppers. There is a guide available demystifying each product line, but it’s not very easy to find.

MaxCBD Wellness

MAXCBD Wellness

Transparency & Accuracy
4.7
Hemp Quality
4.4
Variety of Products
2.5
Customer Experience
5.0
Price & Discounts
3.3
Ranking updated:

Transparency & AccuracyIcon

Transparency & Accuracy

4.7

The founders and background of MaxCBD Wellness is very obscure–very little information is supplied. In addition, the website doesn’t have a centralized lab testing results hub on the website. However, individual lab test results are added to the pictures of each product. When Leafreport checked some of these reports, two products tested below the acceptable 10% variance limit, and one product tested above the potency variance allowed.

Hemp QualityIcon

Hemp Quality

4.4

The brand states on its website that it derives its CBD from broad-spectrum organic hemp that is free of solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides. However, there’s a lack of detail about farming practices or manufacturing processes, and no evidence of organic certification.

Variety of ProductsIcon

Variety of Products

2.5

MaxCBD has 16 different CBD products in total, however, this handful of products cover a range of different delivery formats. The formats on offer include tinctures, salves, gummies, capsules, and some more specialized products such as a DNA testing kit to provide customized advice on CBD dosing.

Customer ExperienceIcon

Customer Experience

5.0

The MaxCBD Wellness website has a live chat option so common customer questions can be answered quickly. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on all products, and free shipping worldwide is offered if you spend 50USD or more.

Price & DiscountsIcon

Price & Discounts

3.3

The brand’s products average $.34 per milligram of CBD, which is significantly higher than comparable brands. However, this price average is likely driven up by some of the more unique products in the brand’s limited range, such as the DNA testing kit or collagen-infused face cream. There’s a spin-to-win discount option that offers buyers a discount before they purchase.

MaxCBD Wellness is a Florida-based CBD brand that ships to countries all over the globe, including Austria. In the select range of products offered by the brand there are some innovative options, including a dedicated pain relief line of tinctures, cream, salve and capsules. These are available in full spectrum and isolate formulations, so consumers can choose whether they consume CBD with or without the effects of THC. There don’t appear to be any broad-spectrum formulations available at present.

The main drawback associated with MaxCBD is that the website is generic, making generalized claims that aren’t supported with robust evidence. The brand states that it cultivates hemp according to the highest organic standards in line with US guidelines before extracting CBD using a proprietary extraction method. While these claims are impressive, there’s a lack of substantive detail to clarify what this entails. It’s unclear where and how the hemp is grown, or what the proprietary extraction method is. What’s more, there’s no evidence of USDA organic certification. There’s also a lack of detail about the faces behind the brand. On the “about” page, a panel of experts are pictured who are ready to answer questions from consumers, and provide a “free consultation”. However, there’s no detail supplied about what their particular expertise is, or how they are qualified to provide guidance on using CBD.

CBD brands that ship to Austria

Austrians who wish to access CBD products from North America and Europe have a range of options available. Listed below are all the brands that are currently shipping to Austria.

If you’re curious about accessing independent reviews of these companies and their products, take a look at our brand search tool.

Where can I purchase CBD in Austria?

Despite the confusing rules that govern the sale of CBD in Austria, it’s still possible to access CBD in stores throughout the country. CBD is widely available in major cities. Vienna, for example, has diverse CBD specialty shops, including well-known names such as Magu CBD, Maren CBD, Leafs Austria CBD Shop, Evergreen Hemp Shop, and many others.

One of the benefits of purchasing CBD in store is that there’s usually expert help on hand. If you’re new to the world of CBD and not sure what you’re looking for, staff in shops usually have helpful pointers to share, and are generally knowledgeable about brands and products.

However, online shopping is also accompanied by its own benefits. Online shoppers have access to a more diverse range of brands and products that are often priced very competitively. There’s also more opportunity to take your time browsing and compare products, prices, and customer reviews. Additionally, it’s likely that Austrian shoppers will have access to greater diversity by shopping online due to the government’s restrictions.

No matter where you buy CBD, it’s vital to always check the safety and quality of products before you purchase. Look for third-party purity and potency lab reports, which are often displayed as certificates of analysis (CoA). Potency tests evaluate whether the item contains CBD and other cannabinoids within the accepted variance levels, while purity tests reveal whether the product contains harmful levels of microbes, heavy metals, or other contaminants. It’s also advisable to check for official certifications. Brands that hold USDA organic certification, or GMP certification, are likely to produce cleaner, safer CBD products that have been manufactured in FDA-compliant facilities.

Independent customer reviews are also invaluable for gaining insight into whether products actually work. Check out Leafreport’s brand search tool, where you can access comprehensive data about diverse CBD brands to help inform you before you purchase.

Summary

Since 2018, shopping for CBD in Austria has been complicated. Consumers can no longer legally access edible CBD products or cosmetics. Products manufactured from industrial hemp that contain 0.3% THC or less are legal in Austria, but cannot be advertised as offering any health benefits. For this reason, many CBD retailers in Austria market their products as “aromatic” or “aroma” products.

Austrian consumers looking to access a greater range of CBD products can order online from a select range of American and European CBD companies. However, products ordered online may be seized by customs. If you’re planning on ordering CBD products from abroad, it’s advisable to opt for products free of THC to minimize the likelihood of problems.

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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.

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