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Novel Food: CBD Products

Feb  8, 2021

Foods containing hemp have experienced a renaissance in recent years. While products from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa L. such as hemp seeds or edible oil derived from it have been used as food for a long time, a consumption of cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids in appreciable amounts before 15.05.1997 could not be proven so far. Both CBD extracted from the hemp plant and synthetically produced CBD, as well as foods containing them as an ingredient, are therefore considered novel under current EU law (Novel Food Regulation, VO (EU) 2015/2283).

However, before novel foods can be placed on the market, they undergo an approval procedure in which their safety for humans must be demonstrated. Applications for approval have already been submitted for CBD, but there has been no approval to date. The European Court of Justice confirmed in its ruling of 19.11.2020 (case number C-663/18) that CBD is not a narcotic. Thus, from this point of view, nothing hinders an approval as a food.

Testing CBD products

In a recent test, various CBD-containing products were tested, including CBD oils and capsules as well as aroma oils. All CBD products for oral use were classified as unsafe due to the incomplete scientific data. In addition to inadmissible health claims, elevated levels of d9 tetrahydrocannabidiol (d9-THC), the psychoactive ingredient of the hemp plant, were also detected.

Currently, no maximum levels for d9-THC in foodstuffs have been set in the EU or in Germany. Therefore, the guideline values of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) from 2000 or the Acute Reference Dose (ARfD) of 1 µg per kilogram body weight per day recommended by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are used for the evaluation of products on the market in Germany. Statistical daily consumption levels, for example from the Max Rubner Institute’s National Consumption Study II, or individual consumption recommendations are used to evaluate the ARfD value.

In order to control the safety and quality of your hemp-containing products, we perform the analysis of d9-THC and CBD as well as other product-relevant analyses. We would be pleased to provide you with an individual offer.

If you have any questions or special requirements we will be glad to assist you.

Email: info(at)
+49 (0) 421-596607-0

Source: Stiftung Warentest

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