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British Cannabis CBD Products are Moving Closer to Novel Foods Validation



The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has recently approved several applications for novel food products that contain cannabidiol (CBD) derived from cannabis. This is a significant development for the UK cannabis industry, as it suggests that there is starting to be some movement in the FSA approving applications for CBD products.

A “novel food” is defined as any food or food ingredient that was not widely consumed before May 1997. To be approved for sale in the UK, novel food products must undergo a thorough safety assessment by the FSA to ensure that they are safe for consumption. This includes a review of the product's composition, manufacturing process, and intended use.

CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants that has been touted for its potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and relieving pain. However, due to its association with cannabis, CBD has faced regulatory hurdles in many countries, including the UK.

In January 2019, the FSA declared that CBD products were considered novel foods. Therefore, any company wishing to sell CBD products in the UK must submit a novel food application and receive approval from the FSA. Since then, only a few approvals have been granted, leaving many companies in the CBD industry in limbo.

However, in recent months, there have been some positive developments. In December 2022, GW Pharmaceuticals received approval from the FSA for its CBD-based medicine, Epidyolex. Epidyolex was the UK's first novel food approval for a cannabis-derived product.

More recently, two companies have received approval for their novel food applications. MGC Pharmaceuticals also gained approval for its CogniCann product, which contains a blend of CBD and other natural ingredients to improve cognitive function. Additionally, VitaCann received approval for its CBD-infused gummies.

These approvals are a significant step forward for the UK CBD industry. They suggest that the FSA is becoming more open to approving novel food applications for CBD products. This is good news for companies waiting for approval to sell their products in the UK market.

“This is yet a further milestone for British Cannabis, and we look forward to the next stage of the specific product validations in the coming months. Further securing our regulatory position should be encouraging to our customers and consumers who rely on having safe, accurate CBD supplements for the long term”.

-       Tom Whettem, British Cannabis CEO

It is important to note that these approvals are not a blanket approval for all CBD products. Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and companies must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of their products.

Here at Broughton, we are dedicated to supporting companies in the cannabis and CBD industry as they navigate the complex regulatory landscape. We offer various services to help companies achieve novel food status validation and ensure products meet the necessary safety and quality standards. We understand that the cannabis and CBD industry is rapidly evolving, and we are committed to providing the support and guidance needed for companies to achieve success. As the industry continues to grow, companies must have the necessary expertise and resources to navigate the regulatory landscape and ensure that their products meet the necessary safety and quality standards.

We can provide the support you need if you are a company seeking novel food status validation for your CBD products. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve success in the rapidly growing cannabis and CBD industry.

Read more about how we can assist your company with cannabis application and testing needs here (