EFSA put on hold the Cannabidiol (CBD) novel food evaluations 
juin 14 2022

EFSA put on hold the Cannabidiol (CBD) novel food evaluations 

Aggiornamento Normativo

Cannabidiol is a substance that can be obtained from Cannabis sativa L. plants and be synthesised chemically as well. CBD is one of the two most important cannabinoid components in the cannabis plant. It is found in varying proportions in different strains; while in some it has only a negligible presence, in others it may be the most abundant component, or occur in roughly the same proportions as THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

The European Commission considers that CBD qualifies as a novel food. To date, nineteen authorisation dossiers have already been submitted for the recognition of this substance as a new ingredient.

Although eagerly awaited by operators wishing to market products containing cannabidiol (CBD), EFSA’s scientific opinion on the safety of this substance has been postponed pending new data.

EFSA scientists concluded that they could not make a decision on the safety of CBD due to gaps in the available data and uncertainties about the potential hazards associated with CBD consumption, particularly with regard to its effects on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system and psychological well-being. Studies in animals show some significant adverse effects, particularly with regard to reproduction.

The Panel concludes that the safety of CBD as a Novel Food cannot currently be established.The EFSA is therefore currently unable to make a conclusive safety assessment of CBD.

In an effort of transparency linked to the craze of operators for cannabidiol, an online information session by EFSA will take place on 28 June on this subject.

It’s important not to confuse Cannabidiol (CBD) with Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) that is gaining more and more significance in food production. Two varieties of hemp are known: drug hemp and fibre hemp which contains less THC. The cannabidiol content can be used (together with the content of the ageing product cannabinol) for the distinction between drug hemp and fibre hemp. Hemp seeds, hemp expeller and hemp oil are also approved as feed materials.

In December 2016, the EU published the Recommendation (EU) 2016/2115 on the monitoring of the presence of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, its precursors and other cannabinoids in food.where the Commission recommended  to analyse the non-psychoactive precursors delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acids (2-COOH-Δ9-THC termed Δ9-THCA-A and 4-COOH-Δ9-THC termed Δ9-THCA-B) and other cannabinoids (such as delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), cannabinol (CBN),cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9-THCV).

Our laboratories can support you to know more about the contents of THC and other cannabinoids in hemp and food. Mérieux NutriSciences provides a wide range of services (including testing) to food manufacturers for the Cannabinoids sector  and can help you to identify if the product is a food, novel food, drug or pharmaceutical and guarantee them to meet regulations and quality standards. Our laboratories are ISO17025 accredited.

(*) Click  here to see our complete Scopes of ISO17025 accreditations: Italy and Germany


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