Are U.K CBD regulations on The Way Out?

Liz Filmer
19 Jun 2022

In what would be a huge positive for the U.K. regulated cannabis industry. A parliamentary group has suggested that CBD products should no longer be subjected to Novel Food regulations. Anyone who wants to manufacture CBD-containing food products across Europe must submit applications to prove that it is not hazardous to human health.

In both the U.K and the European Union, this has been a touchy subject. In March, the British Food Safety Authority (FSA) gave 3,536 products preliminary approval before a raft of complaints caused the agency to expand that list to 6,000, with more added. 

Critics of the system say it is complex, costly, anti-competitive, and has no benefit for consumers.

The British group has suggested that the manufacturers of CBD products submit certificates of analysis (COAs)to prove that their products are not hazardous to human health. This would drastically speed up the development of this part of the industry, with implications for THC. COA analysis is industry standard in the backend of sourcing departments for medical and recreational companies. People looking to bulk buy flower, distillate, or isolate exchange COAs before sales are finalised

As a result, these recommendations are good news for the U.K., where at least the politicians appear to be listening. The situation is not looking as promising in the E.U., where they do not seem ready to negotiate.

What Is Novel Food?

For those outside of Europe, the concept of "Novel Foods" is alien. Cannabinoids are not subjected to this analysis. That is why edibles are now about half of the total U.S. market. 

CBD products in Europe have had to endure a series of regulatory hurdles because CBD-containing products have been subjected to a regulation introduced at the beginning of the European Union. The Novel Food regulation was implemented in 1997. The idea was to prevent food potentially hazardous to our health from being permitted distribution. Approvals are a very long, complicated and expensive endeavour. 

European Delays Continue

This stance from the British Parliament is even more refreshing given current events on the E.U. side, where more delays were announced this week. We have identified several hazards related to CBD intake and determined that the many data gaps on these health effects need filling before these evaluations can go ahead. It is important to stress that we have not concluded that CBD is unsafe as food."

This latest approval delay on the E.U. side comes from claims that there needs to be better data on the effect of CBD on the body, mind and vital organs such as the liver and digestive system

Liz Filmer