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CBD as A Novel Food
Categories: News cannabis

CBD as A Novel Food

Posted: March 22, 2020

Cannabidiol or CBD, as it's better known, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. Science can isolate and remove CBD, allowing it to be sold without having any other cannabinoids in it. CBD is utilized in the making of a wide range of products ranging from baked products and beverages to oils, confectionery, and more.

Have you ever wondered why CBD isolate is classified as a novel food and cannot be consumed yet broad-spectrum CBD oil can? You are not alone; many people have pondered this question around in their minds. Broad-spectrum CBD oil products are consumable because they have a history of being around since before 1996.

CBD, a compound found in the cannabis plant, was classified as a Novel Food in January of 2019. This is all about to change, though, as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recently announced. The CBD industry was issued a deadline by the FSA to submit valid novel food authorization applications by the 31st of March 2021. The FSA, of course, is the Central Competent Authority or CCA for short. They are tasked with food safety.

'CBD products are widely available on the high street but are not properly authorised. The CBD industry must provide more information about the safety and contents of these products to the regulator before the 31st of March 2021, or the products will be taken off the shelves. Also, today we are advising that CBD could be risky for vulnerable groups and suggesting an upper limit of 70mg a day for everyone else taking the product. The actions that we're taking today are a pragmatic and proportionate step in balancing the protection of public health with consumer choice. It's now up to industry to supply this information so that the public can be reassured that CBD is safe and what it says it is.'- Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, Emily Miles

The FSA is advised by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment or COT for short. COT is made up of an independent scientific committee. The committee provides advice to government departments and agencies like the FSA on matters concerning the toxicity of chemicals.

'My committee has reviewed the evidence on CBD food products and found evidence there are potential adverse health effects from the consumption of these products. We are particularly concerned about pregnant or breast-feeding women and people on medication. We don't know enough to be sure about such a risk, but I am pleased with the sensible and pragmatic approach the FSA is taking. The committee will continue to keep these products under review in the months ahead.'- Chair of the Committee on Toxicity, Alan Boobis

The announcement by the FSA will not affect anyone who is medically prescribed cannabis or CBD. The FSA provides assistance to support consistency in approach. Ultimately, it's the task of local authorities when it comes to making specific decisions regarding enforcement. Local authorities base individual cases on facts and circumstances.

The FSA is tasked with the job of regulating CBD as a novel food. The announcement that the FSA will be undergoing the process to regulate CBD as a novel food will affect Northern Ireland, Wales, and England. Scotland's concerns regulating CBD as a novel food will be handled by Food Standards Scotland.

This process of regulating CBD as a novel food does not apply to cosmetic or vape products containing controlled cannabinoids such as THC as they are classified differently. Products containing these cannabinoids would be categorized under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

These products would require additional guidance that can be found at the Home Office. Upon visiting the Home Office, you can view a fact-sheet containing information regarding cannabinoids. The deadline issued by the FSA to submit valid novel food authorisation applications by the 31st of March 2021 is official.

Once this deadline arrives, products that have submitted a valid application will be the only ones allowed to remain on the market. The authorisation process is set in place to ensure that all novel foods meet the legal standards regarding on safety and content. If you have a CBD product, it is a good idea to make sure you are following FSA regulations if you want to keep your product on the market.