First safety warning issued over CBD products

PREGNANT women, breastfeeding mothers and people taking medication should not eat foods containing an ingredient derived from the cannabis plant, a regulator has warned.

In its first ever safety advice to consumers on CBD (cannabidiol) products, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) also cautions others who might eat such foods not to have more than 70mg a day.

And in a warning to CBD businesses, the regulator said goods could be taken off the shelves if those in the industry fail to give more information about the safety and contents of their products by the end of March next year.

Producers are being asked to apply to the FSA for “novel food authorisation” which, the agency said, will reassure the public about the safety of CBD products.

Extracts of CBD, a chemical found naturally within the cannabis plant, are contained in a range of products including oils, confectionery, and drinks.

FSA chief executive Emily Miles said while such products are “widely available on the high street” they are not properly authorised.

“The CBD industry must provide more information about the safety and contents of these products to the regulator before 31 March 2021, or the products will be taken off the shelves,” she said.

“Also today, we are advising that CBD could be risky for vulnerable groups, and suggesting an upper limit of 70mg a day for everyone else taking the product.

“The actions that we’re taking today are a pragmatic and proportionate step in balancing the protection of public health with consumer choice. It’s now up to industry to supply this information so that the public can be reassured that CBD is safe and what it says it is.”

While the FSA has issued guidance, which applies only to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is local authori


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