From May 2019
What is the legislative situation for products containing cannabidiol?
With increased media coverage and social media interest
leading to growing consumer awareness of hemp
derivatives, in particular cannabidiol (CBD), many in the
food and drink industry are looking to develop new
products containing this compound. However, the
legislative situation for such products is complex.
On 1 February 2019, the European Commission
amended the entry for CBD in the EU Novel Foods
Catalogue. Food businesses have been unable to prove
that there is a significant history of consumption of CBD
in food prior to May 1997 in the EU. Under the EU
Novel Foods Regulations therefore, extracts of Cannabis
sativa and derived products containing cannabinoids
(including CBD) are considered novel foods and need to
be evaluated and authorised before they are permitted
to be placed on the market in the EU. This applies to the
extracts, products to which they are added, and extracts
of other plants containing cannabinoids.
does not affect some products derived from the
Cannabis sativa plant, or plant parts such as seeds, seed
oil, hemp seed flour, defatted hemp seed, which have a
history of consumption in the EU and therefore are not
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is considering a way
forward to achieve compliance.
Contact: Helen Arrowsmith
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