CBD Novel Food – What’s Going On?

CBD Novel Food

In January 2019, CBD Extracts and CBD Isolates were added to the EU novel foods catalogue. The following year, the Food Standards Agency set a deadline for UK CBD companies to submit safety assessments for their products. Ever since, the whole industry has been going through a period of turbulence and transition.

But what is a Novel Food? And what impact do these changes have on the consumer? Read on to find out.


What is a Novel Food?


According to the European Commission, a Novel Food is “a food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997, when the first Regulation on novel food came into force.”

The aim of identifying and categorising Novel Foods is to ensure the safety of consumers and assess the safety of the food before allowing it to be placed on the market.

In most cases, this is a well thought out procedure with good intentions. However, in some cases, it seems that bureaucracy precedes logic.


Is CBD a Novel Food?


As you may know already, CBD can be prepared and consumed in a wide range of different ways. So this question is not a simple as it may sound.

According to the FSA, “CBD extracts can be derived from most parts of hemp / cannabis plants. They are selectively extracted, concentrating CBD and removing or reducing other chemical components. This process means the final product is different from hemp.”

Going by this description, CBD Isolate (pure CBD crystals), and Distillates (highly processed & refined CBD extracts), are definitely novel foods.

But Full Spectrum, whole-plant extracts such as our 10% CBD oil, do not fit this description. As they contain the full spectrum of compounds that are naturally produced by the hemp plant, they are not made by ‘reducing or removing other chemical components’.

So, by their own description, one can assume that whole-plant extracts, that are not made by reducing or removing chemical components are not subject to the novel foods status.

Whether this is the case remains to be seen, but clarification is certainly needed.


A Long History of Safe Consumption


The cannabis plant is widely believed to be the world’s first cultivated plant. And humans have been extracting cannabinoids from the plant for hundreds, if not thousands of years. With no reports of adverse health consequences.

In a press release from the European Industrial Hemp Association, they outline that a recipe for a health drink in the world’s oldest cookbook – ‘De Honesta Voluptate’, was almost identical to modern-day hemp extract supplements.

All of the available evidence demonstrates that there is, categorically, nothing novel about the consumption of cannabinoids.

Furthermore, a detailed review from the World Health Organisation into CBD found that CBD “does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm.”

So, if the consumption of cannabinoids is not novel. And the world’s leading health organisation says that CBD is safe, what are the motives behind the situation? One can only speculate…


Is the Novel Foods Situation Good For The Consumer?


As with any unregulated industry, there have been companies selling substandard products. Or products that contain contaminants that could cause harm to the consumer.

However, a surprising amount of UK CBD companies are incredibly responsible and have effectively self-regulated to ensure high quality and safety for the consumer.

The majority of these companies, as with BROWN’S CBD, welcome regulation. Regulation is necessary for the industry to move forward and to ensure that all products are safe.

The company that we work with to produce our products is a member of the European Industrial Hemp Association, who are currently in the early stages of submitting a novel food application. However, they still stand by the fact that whole plant extracts are not novel.

But the problem with the Novel Foods route, is that it may end up reducing the effectiveness of CBD products.

It is becoming apparent that it will be incredibly difficult to get Novel Food authorisation for full spectrum cbd products. This means that many companies are switching to CBD Isolate and highly refined distillates.

In the article Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD Oil, we outline the reasons why full spectrum cbd oils are superior for enhancing general health and wellbeing.


Future Of The CBD Industry


These are uncertain times, and it is difficult to predict how things will play out.

In the best-case scenario, we will see an industry that is enhancing the wellbeing of the human race with highly effective and safe products. Including full spectrum cbd oils.

In the worst-case scenario, the industry will be flooded with products, such as CBD Isolate, which only offer a fraction of the benefits to the consumer.

Whatever happens, BROWN’S CBD will continue to offer the most effective products, with the widest range of wellbeing-boosting compounds, at fair, and affordable prices.

Interested in checking out our product range? Click Below to head over to our online CBD store!

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