Big news for the CBD industry in the UK

The CBD industry in the UK is set for a significant transformation with the latest update from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

Research statement

The Committee on Toxicity (COT) and Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) are currently assessing the safety of CBD. They have released new scientific evidence from human and toxicological studies which has led to a revised provisional Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 0.15 mg/kg body weight per day for pure cannabidiol (CBD) in foods, which is equivalent to 10 mg of CBD per day for an average weight adult, when used at a purity of 98% or higher.

Implications of the Research

This adjustment represents a significant reduction from the previous ADI of 70mg, a limit exceeded by many products currently available in the market. The new recommendation not only establishes a lower safe intake level but also extends its cautionary reach to specific vulnerable groups. It advises against the use of CBD products by children, individuals taking medication, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those attempting to conceive.

FSA’s response

In response to this research, the FSA has taken a proactive stance. While the ACNFP/COT’s advice pertained to specific CBD product subsets, the FSA has extended its recommendation to cover all CBD products. This broader precautionary approach ensures that consumers, especially vulnerable groups, are provided with clear and consistent guidelines. By advocating for lower CBD intake levels and issuing warnings against specific demographic groups, the FSA aims to enhance public safety and awareness regarding CBD consumption.

Risk of exceeding ADI and the future of CBD products

While available data does not indicate an acute safety risk from consuming more than 10mg of CBD daily, there is evidence of potential adverse effects on the liver and thyroid with higher and more frequent dosages over time. The risk of adverse events increases with higher doses and more frequent consumption. The FSA and FFS have advised consumers to consider their daily intake in light of this updated guidance, as some products on the market may exceed the recommended ADI. In response to the update, several retailers have taken action by removing products that surpass the 10mg per day limit from their shelves.

The FSA has committed to ongoing review and adjustment of its consumer advice as it receives further assessments of the impact of CBD. For more information, visit the FSA website.

To keep up to date with food regulations, including CBD, or support with ongoing projects, contact our Food and Cosmetics Business Development Owner: Mihai Inceu at Mihai.Inceu@jensongroup.com or the general enquiry contact: business.development@jensongroup.com.
Lauren Foster
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