Consumer advice on cannabidiol (CBD) extracts.
CBD is one of many chemicals called cannabinoids. It is found within hemp and cannabis plants and can be produced synthetically.
CBD extracts can be derived from most parts of hemp or cannabis plants. They can be selectively extracted, which can concentrate CBD. Some processes can alter other chemical components.
CBD products are being sold as foods, often as food supplements, in the UK. They are widely available in shops, cafés and online.
CBD sold as food, or as a food supplement, includes:
- drops, tinctures and sprays
- gel capsules
- sweets and confectionery
- bread and other bakery products
CBD food products, as novel foods, must be authorised before they are put on the market. This is to ensure they are safe. There is still a lot unknown about CBD as a food, but the research is developing as CBD novel food applications progress through our risk assessment process.
England and Wales
List of CBD products
We published a list of CBD food products to help consumers make informed choices about the products they buy. Products on this list are not formally authorised for sale. They have not yet been fully assessed for safety, but they are linked to applications which are moving through the novel foods process. The FSA is not endorsing these products and inclusion on the list is no guarantee that they will be authorised. Products not on the list should not be on the market in England and Wales.
Advice for vulnerable groups
Based on the information we have, we advise consumers to think carefully before taking any CBD products. As a precaution, we do not recommend CBD for people in vulnerable groups, unless under medical direction.
These groups include:
- children (those under the age of 18)
- people taking any medication
- those trying to conceive
- those who are pregnant or breast feeding
If you have any health concerns, please contact a healthcare professional before consuming CBD products.
Advice for healthy adults
In October 2023 we issued updated precautionary advice on CBD, recommending healthy adults should limit their consumption of CBD from food to 10mg per day, which is about 4-5 drops of 5% CBD oil.
This change in advice is based on new evidence from the industry and updated advice from our independent scientific committee.
The updated advice has been based on the average lifetime exposure to food products containing CBD, such as drinks, oils, sweets, bakery items or drops. Some products available on the market will have a higher level of CBD per serving than 10mg a day, therefore consumers should check labels and consider their daily intake in light of this updated advice.
The more CBD you consume over your lifetime, the more likely you are to develop long-term adverse effects, like liver damage or thyroid issues. The level of risk is related to how much you take, in the same way it is with some other potentially harmful products such as alcoholic drinks.
The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) have published advice on CBD. The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) will continue to monitor new data. If new data changes the view of the SAC, the FSA will consider impacts on consumer advice.
Published: 13 February 2020
Last updated: 12 October 2023