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Cannabidiol (CBD): a strong plea for mandatory pre-marketing approval of food supplements

Apr 30, 2020

The regulatory approach for CBD is specifically difficult. Extracts and tinctures from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa may be considered narcotic or psychotropic substances within the meaning of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) and could therefore be excluded from being a food or food supplement according to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002. Furthermore, CBD could be a medicinal product, and likewise be excluded from being food. Indeed, some EU member states such as France enforce a restrictive policy and consider CBD as being a narcotic drug. Others, such as Denmark, Ireland or Germany consider CBD as food product and try to enforce the requirements of the food law. Some CBD products are currently marketed as non-food (e.g., CBD room scents) in a questionable manner to circumvent any narcotic, medicinal or food laws, but these products would still be covered by the food definition of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 as these products are reasonably expected to be ingested by humans.

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