CBD : regulatory


During a short collaboration with STH Biotech company, Science 2 Food had to understand the complexity of CBD and CBD Rich Hemp extracts market. The general learning could be of interest for sharing.

Since end 2021, CBD legal status seems to reach some clarification. This was particularly true after European Commission statements and, at French National Level, after the publication of a French decree of December 30th, 2021.

CBD based product market has been strongly growing in the last years and particularly in the last months. Even if many areas are still unclear or sometimes differently interpretated, a summary of the following point can be done: 

  • The only hemp parts allowed for sales in food products are hemp extracts such as fibers, grains oil (for instance, obtained through cold pressure). This is only applicable to variety of Cannabis Sativa (cultivated hemp) containing less than 0,3% THC and included in European registers.
  • Regarding extracts destinated to sales, only authorized farmers proprietary of a special license have right to grow and produce these specific cultivars of Cannabis Sativa through traditional cultural methods. However, for scientific research or more broadly, R&D, there is no need for an authorization, provided that a notice of hemp growth and use has been issued to local authorities.
  • When it stands to CBD itself as a pure extracted molecule, this is a Novel Food for European Commission. E.U Commission received hundreds of novel food authorization request for CBD and CBD related process and methods of extraction or synthesis. Today, only few of them (about 15-20 max) have been retained, hold for a while, and finally, send in 2020 to scientific evaluation by EFSA after a new judgement from European Court of justice recognizing CBD as an edible food (Novel Food). In a recent statement (June 7th 2022), EFSA Scientific Committee concluded that due to many uncertain parts in the dossier, food safety for Cannabidiol was not today established (source: Nutraveris Newsletter)
  • European Food law and regulation is known to get various interpretations depending on the member states. These are always minor and not so frequent. But in case of CBD, we can already see some disparities. Off course, the situation is even more different in other countries outside Europe with their own regulation.