For us to understand Cannabidiol [CBD] regulation in the UK, we have to take a closer look at it and its origin. CBD oils comes mainly from industrial hemp [Cannabis sativa] or other strains of the cannabis plant. The industrial hemp was traditionally cultivated for its fibre, enabling it to be used in clothing, paper, and construction.
Recently, after understanding the safety and therapeutic properties of industrial hemp, it is now grown to make CBD for use in food, food supplements, and vape products which are available at vsavi.co.uk. CBD is legal in the UK. At the beginning of this year, cannabinoids [not cannabis sativa whole plant] were added to the Novel Food Catalogue of the European Union [EU].
Even though this move has a direct legal effect by itself, it generated media coverage because it may harmonise the regulations across all the European Union member states. The sponsoring states expected to lead by example and translate these rules into local law and regulation. The national regulators then decide when and how such a change is implemented.
In the UK, it is the Food Standards Agency [FSA] – an independent body but linked to the Department for Health and Social Care [DHSC] that discharge the role of regulation, take action, and communicate this to the industry.
The effect of classifying CBD as a novel food means that CBD products and from wherever they have been sourced need authorisation before they can go in the market and be sold in the European Union. Failure to get authorisation in theory, leaves any CBD retailer liable to enforcement action. He can be prosecuted or pay fines. However, this change would not impact oils and flowers extracted from cannabis sativa plants.
Since the European Union decision to regulate CBD, the FSA has not issued an updated position statement on Cannabidiol, though in some media statements, they have indicated that they intend to adopt the designation of CBD as a novel food and take action on any person selling CBD without approval.
Under British law, currently, pure Cannabidiol is not a controlled substance and it has never been. And because of that, the UK consumers have seen a massive number of products available from a number of retailers, and the CBD market has enjoyed rapid growth over the years. Classifying all CBD as novel food is a regulatory classification; it does not mean that the legal status of CBD has changed. Moreover, there is currently no indication that the UK government is seeking to legislate CBD a scheduled substance.
Until the FSA outlines their approach and clearly explain what the new requirements on CBD retailers will be, it is difficult to reach any conclusions regarding the implications of the regulations for the market in the UK and how it will affect consumers who testify that CBD has benefited their health.