UK – UK food regulators have significantly reduced the recommended safe daily dose of cannabidiol (CBD), a popular cannabis extract found in a variety of products, including muffins, cookies, and coffees.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and its Scottish counterpart have updated their advice, urging healthy adults to limit their CBD intake from food to 10mg per day. This equates to four or five drops of 5% CBD oil, marking a sharp decrease from the previous limit of 70mg per day, set in 2020.

The decision to lower the recommended intake stems from concerns about potential health risks, including liver damage and thyroid issues associated with long-term CBD consumption.

Professor Robin May, the FSA’s Chief Scientific Advisor, emphasized that the level of risk is directly related to the quantity consumed over time. The shift in guidance was influenced by new evidence provided by the industry and input from the FSA’s independent scientific committee.

This updated advice has stirred concern within the industry, especially for products already on the market that contain more than the newly recommended 10mg of CBD per serving.

However, it’s crucial to note that the recommendation is advisory, and regulators have not mandated the removal of existing products from shelves.

CBD and safety measures

CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant, has gained popularity in various consumer products in recent years.

The FSA, categorizing CBD as a “novel” food, requires products to be approved before sale. The recent reduction in recommended intake limits aims to ensure consumer safety, particularly for vulnerable groups such as children, individuals on medication, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Marika Graham-Woods, Executive Director of the Cannabis Trades Association, expressed concerns about the decision, emphasizing that the advisory nature of the guidance could create confusion among consumers and hinder industry progress.

The FSA assured it would collaborate closely with the industry to minimize potential risks for consumers while acknowledging the need for ongoing assessment based on emerging evidence.

The regulatory shift underscores the importance of consumer safety in the rapidly expanding CBD market, emphasizing the balance between industry growth and public health concerns.

As further research emerges, continuous evaluation of CBD’s impact on health will be essential to ensuring safe consumption practices.