Update: EC ruling classes CBD as a Novel Food

We wrote recently about the increasing number of CBD (or cannabidiol) consumers and the use of CBD in food (and other) products. At the time we highlighted that CBD may become subject to Novel Foods approval.

A European Commission (EC) ruling may mean that CBD or hemp-derived food supplements will no longer be legal within Europe. The change comes as a result of a submission by the EC’s Working Group of Novel Foods and it seems likely that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) will ask for food products containing CBD to be removed from sale. A further update is expected in March.

What the EC says

The EC’s Novel Foods catalogue now states the following under the term ‘Cannabinoids’.

“Extracts of Cannabis Sativa L. and derived products containing cannabinoids are considered novel foods as a history of consumption has not been demonstrated. This applied to both the extracts themselves and any products to which they are added as an ingredient (such as hemp seed oil). This also applies to other plants containing cannabinoids. Synthetically obtained cannabinoids are considered as novel.”

Opinion varies but the consensus seems to be that CBD will be granted an Approved Novel Food Status but the process is likely to take between 12 and 18 months.