FSA publishes list of permitted CBD products
The UK has become the first country in the world to regulate the market for safe, oral cannabidiol (CBD) products with the release on 31st March of the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) public list of cannabinoid (CBD) products permitted for sale to consumers. Publication of the list represents a key step in the path to full authorisation, expected in 2023. Readers may recall that IMI presented a discussion of the issues surrounding the use of CBD products in this episode of In Discussion With.
Moyra Cosgrove, Head of Nutrition and External Affairs for Naturecan, said “This is a world first in the regulation of CBD. The FSA is the first to get to grips with this – we are providing a framework for other countries to use”.
Only those CBD products featured on the list have been given the green light by the FSA to stay on the market, in line with the UK’s Novel Food requirements. Products not included must now be removed from shelves. The products on the list have passed the first stage towards validation and ultimately to licensing. Many CBD companies’ applications were rejected as they did not meet the requirements set out in the guidelines for license applications. Some products on the list are categorised as ‘awaiting evidence’. These can legally be supplied; they are listed because the companies that produce and market them have provided sufficient safety and toxicology evidence to allow them to progress to the next stage. Ms Cosgrove explains.
Ms Cosgrove believes that the list is basically good news for consumers. She says, “We know from the Yougov poll that there was mistrust and wariness from consumers wishing to buy CBD products. The CBD list will provide a trustworthy resource for consumers to check and know that products on the list are compliant and are currently going through the UK FSA Regulatory process”.
Community pharmacists who stock CBD products now need to take action. First, they should check the FSA list to ensure their brand is on the list and in future they need to be sure that any brand they plan to stock is on the list. They can now confidently recommend products that appear on the CBD List.
Ms Cosgrove notes that interest in CBD continues to grow. She says, “Through my research, I meet a lot of health care practitioners, including nutritionists and sports coaches, who are genuinely interested in CBD. And this regulation could provide more credibility for those professionals around CBD as a safe nutritional supplement. But there is still an education gap to fill and as part of my research, I am developing a framework to provide this training on CBD. There is certainly a lot more evidence to support CBD as an evidence-based supplement now.”