CBD is about to hit the headlines, once more, as the Daily Mail have released the following article:
And, more recently, the Express:
Let us explain what is really going on.
The European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) have reclassified cannabinoids as a Novel Food.
This means that the EFSA believes that there is not enough evidence to show that it has been consumed as a food since before 1997.
To reclassify something as a Novel Food, a period of investigation must take place. This can usually take around 12-18 months.
As a novel food, it would then require a licence for companies like us to sell it, the process of this application taking around 9 months or more.
For more information on Novel Foods CLICK HERE.
Does this mean that CBD isn’t safe?
NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT.
The World Health Organisation consider CBD to be a safe food
“At its November 2017 meeting, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) concluded that, in its pure state, cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm. As such, as CBD is not currently a scheduled substance in its own right (only as a component of cannabis extracts), current information does not justify a change in this scheduling position and does not justify scheduling of the substance.” (World Health Organisation Website 2019)
For more information on the stance of the World Health Organisation CLICK HERE.
The new classification is solely for regulatory purposes, not for safety reasons.
Can I still buy it?
At the moment, yes.
The Food Standards Agency confirmed (in an email to the British Hemp Association – of which we are members) that they intend to follow the European Food Standards Agency Directive to implement the reclassification and are releasing further information over the next few days.
This means that during the period of Novel Food Assessment it is possible that you will be unable to purchase CBD from any UK retailer including ourselves for 12-18 months.
Will it be legal to use?
Yes. The change in classification and Novel Food Assessment effects how it is sold, not how it is used.
So, what’s next?
The Food Standards Agency have this afternoon published the following tweet on Twitter.
There has been a recent change to the EU Novel Food Catalogue which affects some cannabidiol (CBD) products.— FoodStandardsAgency (@foodgov) January 30, 2019
Food businesses have not been able to show there was a significant history of consumption of these products in food and food supplements prior to May 1997 in the EU. pic.twitter.com/FEgv234mg2
We are considering the way forward in light of this clarification at EU level. We are meeting with relevant industry representative bodies, local authorities and other stakeholders to clarify how to achieve compliance in the marketplace in a proportionate manner.— FoodStandardsAgency (@foodgov) January 30, 2019
We will keep you updated as the situation develops.
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