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ITALY - LIMITS FOR THC IN FOOD AND SUPPLEMENTS

Italy

Jan 30, 2020

On January 15th, the Italian Ministry of Health published a Decree establishing maximum levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for food supplements and foodstuffs containing Cannabis sativa L. derivates. The following maximum levels apply:

  • seeds and seed flour: 2 mg/kg;

  • oil obtained from seeds: 5 mg/kg; and

  • food supplements containing Cannabis sativa L. derivates: 2 mg/kg.

On January 7th, EFSA published its scientific report on human exposure to THC. In 2015 EFSA had identified an acute reference dose of 1 mcg/Kg of body weight for THC. In this recent report, the authority identified exposure to THC for hemp and hemp-containing products and found that most food exceeds the acute reference dose identified in 2015. In particular, for food supplements, EFSA found that high consumers of supplements containing hemp are exposed to 10 µg/kg bodyweight of THC. However, EFSA also specified that, because of some limitations of the study made, the values found may constitute an overestimation.

In Annex III of the decree, the methods of sampling and analysis of food are indicated. For the sampling method, they refer to Regulation 401/2006/EC and for the analysis methods, they refer the Commission Recommendation 2016/2115 on the monitoring of the presence of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, its precursors and other cannabinoids in food.

The Italian Decree setting maximum levels for THC in food (in Italian)
EFSA's opinion on the acute human exposure assessment to tetrahydrocannabinol

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