FSA issues guidance to limit CBD consumption

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The FSA recommends adults limit their CBD consumption to 10mg a day. Image: Getty, Morsa Images
The FSA recommends adults limit their CBD consumption to 10mg a day. Image: Getty, Morsa Images

Related tags Regulation CBD and Hemp

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued new precautionary advice to limit the consumption of cannabidiol (CBD) by more than 85%.

Healthy adults should limit their consumption of CBD from food to 10mg, down from the previously recommended 70mg, which is about four-five drops of 5% CBD oil.

This updated advice was based on the average lifetime exposure to food products containing CBD, such as drinks, oils, sweets, bakery items or drops.

The FSA noted that some products available on the market can have a higher dose of CBD per serving than 10mg a day, warning consumers to check labels and consider their daily intake in light of the updated advice.

Emily Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said: “We have always advised the public to think carefully about taking edible CBD products and as with all foods, we continue to review our advice based on the evidence we gather from industry.

Implications for products on the market

“We understand that this change to our advice will have implications for products currently on the market that contain more than 10mg of CBD per serving. We will be working closely with industry to minimise the risk, to ensure consumers are not exposed to potentially harmful levels of CBD.”

Responding to the updated advice, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) acknowledged the FSA’s new recommended daily limit of CBD, but sought to understand how the organisation had come to this decision.

“Our scientific panel will examine the scientific evidence released today to better understand how the FSA have come to their conclusion,”​ said an ACI spokesman. “We will make further comments once our experts have completed their review.

“We urge retailers to take this as guidance, which it is – nothing will change immediately in terms of products included on the FSA’s public list. We highlight to consumers that this guidance demonstrates the FSA still considers CBD to be safe and their advice relates to lifetime consumption of daily high doses of CBD.

“In light of this updated advice, the ACI trusts that the FSA, after considering the implications of their announcement, will find a suitable solution for companies that have invested heavily to submit Novel Foods authorisation applications for their products.”

Pulled from store shelves

However, in spite of these reassurances, some companies have already begun to limit the amount of CBD products they sell in their stores.

Health foods and supplements retailer Holland & Barrett has pulled 31 CBD products from store shelves in response to the new FSA guidance.

A spokesperson for the company said it was acting in ‘an abundance of caution’ and were temporarily withdrawing some products where customers could not choose to only use 10mg of CBD a day.

“This is a temporary measure so we can make sure we are giving our customers the latest guidance across our website product descriptions and to make sure our colleagues have received revised training to be able to answer customer questions on this,”​ said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, a team of researchers in Thailand have developed a CBD-based coating which has shown promise in delaying rot in strawberries to keep them fresher for longer.

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