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2024 Just Got Greener
Dec 13, 2023 | Published by Broughton
2024 trends in the CBD sector
A growing base of consumers are using cannabidiol (CBD) products for a range of purposes, from pain management and seizure control to anxiety relief. However, in the UK and Europe, there are still no CBD products that have received authorization via the EU’s Novel Foods regulatory pathway. So, as we go into 2024, what can we expect from CBD product manufacturers? Here Cristelle Santos, Consultant Toxicologist at Broughton, explores the measures we are likely to see CBD product manufacturers adopt as we go into 2024.
CBD is being incorporated into numerous products, such as wellness drinks and massage oils, claiming relaxant properties and more. However, the reality of the situation is that there is currently not enough data to support these claims.
More toxicological data is also needed to establish product safety. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that significant data gaps must be addressed before CBD product safety can be established.
As manufacturers look to expand on the business opportunities of CBD, they have a responsibility to ensure the safety and quality of their products. So, what steps can we expect to see manufacturers taking?
Researchers are experimenting with the active components contained in cannabis products to increase their bioavailability. As a result, the desired effects will be achieved at lower cannabinoid concentrations and within a shorter timeframe. Improving bioavailability is likely to be a key focus area for research in order to increase competitiveness of the products.
The FSA has indicated it wants products to move towards increased purity, and so manufacturers are beginning to experiment with more sophisticated extraction methods to achieve this. There is a significant amount of investment into the extraction process, with manufacturers targeting a goal of >99.8 per cent purity levels. Next year, we are likely to see the development/improvement of various methodologies for the extraction and purification process.
Different cannabinoid compounds are being added to formulations with the aim of targeting specific conditions. In 2024, we may see a rise in products using alternative cannabinoid compounds such as cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG). Due to its medicinal prospects, there is also an anticipated increase in THC-product testing.
Currently, there is limited safety data on alternative compounds, but CBN, for example, has been linked to helping insomnia. As health claims rise, so too will the testing on products containing alternative cannabinoids. It is unlikely that we will see approval of products containing these compounds in 2024, but research into the field is likely to increase.
It would be beneficial to see standardized guidelines from the FSA, EFSA and the FDA outlining the process for testing requirements to ensure the safety of cannabinoid products. In the meantime, Broughton has released a proposed CBD safety framework that manufacturers can follow to ensure rigorous and robust toxicological assessments are performed. While such guidelines are not available, self-regulation at this point in time will be key to ensure the longevity of businesses in these markets.
If an EFSA or FSA framework does come into place, we will see scientists adopting these practices, further enhancing the overall safety and reliability of cannabinoid products. 2024 is likely to be a year of great volumes of research and development in the cannabinoid sector, laying the foundations for further advancements in the not-so-distant future.
Are you looking to develop a cannabinoid product? We can help you seek regulatory approval as well as provide toxicology services to ensure consumer safety.