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British government publishes guidance on CBD sector as FSA process rolls on

A new Government paper aims to clear up ‘confusion’ around cannabinoids as novel food regulations come into force.

Government Chemist has published a tutorial review of the principle cannabinoids, to assist regulators and trade in novel food enforcement action.

CBD edible products are now regulated as novel foods and must be compositionally safe and correctly labelled.

Announcing the paper’s publication the department said, ‘wide variation in compliance with CBD label claims has been recorded’ and the presence of controlled cannabinoids is a ‘known risk’.

The report includes abbreviations, common names and chemical structures for 16 cannabinoids, as well as psychoactivity and analytical methodology.

The author’s concluded: “It is to be anticipated that surveillance and, if necessary, enforcement action will take place against any non-compliant CBD products on the market after 31 March, 2021.

“It is timely therefore that this review should be available.”

The FSA confirmed to Cannabis Wealth last week that it had received applications for 803 different CBD products – but at the time only 42 had been advanced to the next stage.

More than half of all applications were ‘incomplete’ and a further 41 have been withdrawn altogether.

The regulator believes there ‘could potentially be hundreds of products’ on the final list, but the process is expected to significantly reduce the range of options available to customers.

Lead author, Dr Michael Walker commented: “There is confusion about cannabinoid names, CBD, THC, CBG and so on, what do the abbreviations mean, are they related, which of these are psychoactive, and what levels of controlled cannabinoids might be tolerable in regulated CBD-products sold as foods or supplements?

“This paper reviews and explains these and many other aspects. We hope it will be of help to food businesses, those who regulate them and anyone with an interest in this fascinating topic.”

Government Chemist is part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

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