In some parts of the world CBD is everywhere: in beverages, beauty products, even in pet treats. But not in France, which has some of Europe’s strictest drug laws. French authorities have been cracking down on CBD sellers, but shops continue to pop up in what is seen as a lucrative market.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of substances in the cannabis plant. CBD cannabis is said to contain only traces of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana – what gets you high.

Proponents of CBD claim it treats ailments like epilepsy and Multiple sclerosis, and provides a calming effect on those suffering from anxiety and depression.

But in France, sellers are not allowed to make such claims.

“We are not doctors, or pharmacists, so we can’t say it helps this or that problem,” says Maxime Brunet, in his shop in Caen, in northern France. He has customers who have read online that CBD could…

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