According to information released by CosmeticOBS , France intends to ban the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in cosmetic products in Europe.
But, isn’t CBD already legal in cosmetics?
CBD, in its natural and synthetic forms, is included in CosIng, the European database of all cosmetic ingredients approved in Europe, for anti-sebum, antioxidant, moisturiser and skin protectant uses.
However, two regulations can go against its regulation.
Classification, labeling and packaging
The first is the European regulation n° 1272/2008, known as CLP for classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures, which is carried out by the harmonised classification and labeling (CLH). The CLP regulation thus has an impact on a certain number of European regulations, including that of cosmetics.
On June 7, 2023, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published the intent from France of CLH for CBD, for its reproductive toxic potential. The beginning of a process, which, if it comes to an end and as CosmeticOBS explains, would end up listing CBD as a carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction (CMR) substance and therefore prohibited in cosmetic products in Europe.
The ECHA platform invites anyone with relevant information on the identity or hazard properties of a substance to provide this information.
A second regulation could also threaten the use of this ingredient in cosmetics.
European cosmetic regulation
CBD is not regulated by Cosmetic Regulation 1223/2009 on cosmetic substances and ingredients. As CosmeticOBS informs us, it is currently the subject of a consultation by the European Commission (EC), which launched a call for data in early June in preparation for the work of a Scientific Committee (CSSC) which will rule on the safety of CBD in cosmetics.
The call for data first of all takes up the conclusions of the Kanavape judgment which on the one hand rules definitively that CBD cannot be considered as a narcotic within the meaning of the United Nations Single Convention, and which on the other hand adds that legislation restricting the marketing of CBD might be appropriate to ensure the achievement of the objective of protecting public health, as long as it does not go beyond what is necessary for that purpose. For clarification, CBD was added to CosIng after the Kanavape judgment, pursuant to its conclusions and at the request of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA).
The call for data then cites a statement from EFSA relating to the classification in some cases of CBD as Novel Food. On April 26, 2022, EFSA published a statement summarising the state of knowledge on the safety of CBD consumption and highlighting areas where further data is needed:
“The effect of CBD on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system and psychological functions needs to be clarified. Animal studies show significant reproductive toxicity, and the extent to which this occurs in humans in general and women of childbearing age in particular needs to be assessed. Considering the significant uncertainties and data gaps, the Panel concludes that the safety of CBD as a novel food cannot be established at this time.”
The relationship with cosmetics seems tenuous but interested parties can submit their information to the EC for a period of 15 months, until September 30, 2024.
We have contacted various French authorities, who generally deal with CLH declarations or sit on the European working group on cosmetics, and are awaiting their responses.