The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued its first safety advice to consumers of cannabidiol products as part of a wider effort to enforce regulation on the growing CBD industry in the UK.
In a statement released 13th February, the FSA advised pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and people taking medication not to eat foods containing CBD.
FSA chief executive, Emily Miles, said: “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 31 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.”
The FSA also issued a warning to businesses selling and manufacturing CBD products, stating that goods could be taken off the shelves if those in the industry failed to give more information about the safety and contents of their products by the end of March 2021.
As CBD has risen in popularity, the industry has failed to self regulate. Trials have found that some CBD products may contain unlisted and potentially hazardous ingredients, or higher than legal levels of THC. Some products billed as CBD contain little to no levels of the active ingredient, leading the FSA to step in to attempt to regulate the market, making it safer for consumers.
After 31st March next year, only products which have submitted a valid application will be allowed to remain on the market. The authorisation process ensures novel foods meet legal standards, including on safety and content.