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European CBD Novel Food Evaluations Put On Hold

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Cannabidiol (CBD) products are extremely popular around the world, with consumers and patients buying them every day around the globe from brick and mortar stores, online, and virtually every other way that people buy any other type of product.

A vast majority of those products are either under-regulated or completely unregulated. That is not to say that every product is unsafe, however, what percentage of products are unsafe is nearly impossible to know right now.

Governments around the world are scrambling to try to implement rules and regulations for the emerging CBD industry, with many of them experiencing setbacks.

The latest example of that is in Europe, where the European Food Safety Authority announced this week that it will be putting a pause on processing CBD novel food applications. Below is more information about it via a news release from the European Food Safety Authority:

EFSA’s expert Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) has received 19 applications for CBD as a novel food, with more in the pipeline.

Chair of the NDA Panel, Prof. Dominique Turck said: “We have identified several hazards related to CBD intake and determined that the many data gaps on these health effects need filling before these evaluations can go ahead. It is important to stress at this point that we have not concluded that CBD is unsafe as food.”

There is insufficient data on the effect of CBD on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system and on people’s psychological well-being.

Studies in animals show significant adverse effects especially in relation to reproduction. It is important to determine if these effects are also seen in humans.

This latest delay is definitely disappointing, and will likely be pointed to by cannabis opponents as ‘justification’ to abandon the CBD industry entirely.

It’s not as if there is a lack of research on this subject. A quick search on, which houses peer-reviewed study results from around the globe, lists 4,881 returns for a ‘cannabidiol’ search query. A search for ‘CBD’ returns 9,727 study results.

By comparison, a search for the common sleep aid ‘Lunesta’ returns only 314 results. Obviously, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but it does provide context regarding the level of research that CBD has already been subjected to.

Hopefully the European Food Safety Authority gets the data that they think they need and can get back to processing applications sooner rather than later.

In addition to the growing body of peer-reviewed research, there are literally millions of people around the globe that now regularly use CBD products and the sky has yet to fall. It’s anecdotal but still worth noting.