Of the many questions asked around CBD, the legality and safety of the compound is one of the most common questions for beginners or those new to the compound.
The legality of CBD can still be confusing, but CBD is completely legal in the UK. Here we break down some of the rules by country, and go into detail about exactly what the laws are in the UK.
So let's dive in and myth bust some of the more negative stigmas associated with CBD.
Is CBD Safe?
People often associate CBD with the negative stigma of cannabis. The important thing to remember is that CBD is known to be very safe. It doesn't provoke any intoxication or cause any of the so-called “high” associated with cannabis. Studies have shown that CBD has no addictive properties. It is therefore not accurate to compare it to any type of recreational drug that has these negative effects.
Gregor Zorn is Chief Science Officer for Cannaray and a cannabinoid therapies educator and expert.
“There shouldn't be any issues with CBD whatsoever in my opinion. Studies have shown that even with chronic and prolonged use, or at clinically trialled high doses such as 1,500 milligrams of CBD per day, subjects did not have any serious side of adverse effects."
"CBD is extremely safe. In so-called ‘novel’ foods, the doses are much, much lower. We're talking 10 milligrams or lower, which can only be beneficial for people using it. The problem lies with CBD’s negative association with cannabis".
CBD & Novel Foods
Novel Foods regulation applies to the entire CBD industry. It states that any novel foods that were not in human consumption before 1997 are to be regarded as “novel”.
CBD was in human consumption before 1997, but not in the various forms that it is now. This means that CBD has been deemed a local food that cannot be used in human consumption without the necessary Novel Foods approval. Part of this approval includes detailed safety studies, lab reports and certificates of analysis. Cannaray CBD submitted its novel food dossier in February 2021.
How does Novel Foods affect the CBD industry?
Different countries have been given different rules and time frames on how to implement the new rules.
In The United States, the laws can be even more confusing because every state has its own laws. In February 2020, Trump signed a law into the Farm Bill, containing a provision legalising hemp in order to fuel the CBD trade. 34 States in the United States out of 50 have implemented medical cannabis laws. This means that over 70% of Americans are now able to obtain cannabis for medical purposes.
On February 13th 2020, The Food Standards Agency (FSA) set a deadline for the CBD industry in the UK. They stated that the industry must submit all novel food applications by 31st March 2021.
In the interim period, CBD products may remain in the UK market provided they are safe, correctly labelled, and do not contain substances that fall under drugs legislation. After 31st March 2021, only products that have submitted a valid application will be able to remain.
In addition, the FSA provided extra safety advice to consumers, by way of recommending those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication not to consume CBD products, and that no more than 70mg of CBD should be taken a day unless under medical direction.
"Cannaray welcomes the announcement by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the ‘novel food approval process’ of CBD products. As promised by the FSA, this provides directional clarity and a proportionate response to the current disconnection between EU/UK CBD legislation and what has become custom and practice in the market." "This is good news for customers, suppliers and retailers alike to ensure all CBD products are safe, accurately labelled and fully traceable through professional supply chain operations.Cannaray CBD has committed to producing Gold Standard CBD products from day 1, with complete transparency over what is inside every batch of CBD we make. We will continue to produce CBD products of the highest quality that our customers can trust" - Clive Sharpe, Chairman of Cannaray.