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Update for businesses on CBD novel food applications

England and Wales specific
The FSA has issued a provisional list of CBD products on sale in England and Wales that can remain on the market because an application for safety assessment has been submitted to the FSA. These applications are making initial progress through the novel foods authorisation process and can therefore remain on sale until a decision on their authorisation has been made.

This list of CBD products is subject to change and will be updated on a weekly basis with further products as the FSA processes applications. The final full list is expected to be complete in June 2021. Products that do not appear on the final list should be withdrawn from the market.

CBD products on this list were on sale on 13 February 2020 and are linked to applications submitted to the FSA before 31 March 2021. The list will be split into two sections that are made up of products associated with applications which either:

  • have been validated
  • are ‘on hold’, with applicants having set out robust plans to complete the risk assessment but yet to supply all the information needed to continue on in the process 

Emily Miles, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, said:

‘This is about bringing the CBD industry into compliance with the law. Consumers need to be able to trust that these products are safe and are what they say they are. Companies were given until the end of March  to submit their applications for safety assessment. Those who haven’t done this should take their products off the market.

‘Products on the list that have been linked to a validated or on hold application will now undergo a full safety assessment so that a final decision can be made.

‘When complete, the list can be used by suppliers and retailers to confirm the status of particular products and to help local authorities inform their enforcement decisions.

‘The FSA is not endorsing the sale of any of these products, regardless of whether they are on the list or not and inclusion on the list is no guarantee of eventual authorisation; that will be determined on the strength of evidence of safety submitted by the companies.’

Validation is the first stage of the novel foods process. Validation does not mean that these products are authorised novel foods and confirmed as safe for consumption, only that businesses have provided us with adequate information to progress their application. The full novel foods authorisation process is expected to take at least a year before a final decision is made.

The list and further guidance is available in the business guidance section of our website.

The FSA’s consumer advice on CBD has not changed. Given the fact that these products have not been through a full safety assessment, we advise vulnerable consumers to take care: we do not advise taking CBD if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications. Healthy adults shouldn’t take more than 70mg a day, which is about 28 drops of 5% CBD, unless a doctor agrees more.