Czech Republic Plans to Ban CBD and Other Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids

By | Updated on April 27, 2023

Evidence Based 2

Czech Republic’s food safety authorities are planning to prohibit the sale of products containing CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids, referring to EU regulations and insufficient research on their health effects.

The Czech Ministry of Agriculture announced that the State Agricultural and Food Inspection Authority is devising a measure to remove all cannabinoid-containing food and dietary supplements from the market. This includes oils, tinctures, capsules, gummies, other edible forms, and cosmetics containing hemp-derived cannabinoids. The timeline for the ban’s implementation remains unspecified.

Impact on Businesses

The Ministry is adhering to a strict interpretation of EU rules, which classify such products as illegal. According to EU regulations, CBD is considered a new or “novel” food that must undergo safety checks by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – a process these products have not yet completed.

Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula stated, “I cannot accept that food is placed on the market which the European Food Safety Authority cannot assure is safe.” He acknowledged the ban would affect some food businesses. In December 2020, the European Commission ruled that CBD is not a narcotic and can be classified as food if it complies with EU food legislation, allowing for the free movement of goods among member states.

Safety Concerns

This ruling enabled EFSA to begin evaluating various forms of CBD for approval in EU markets under novel food regulations. However, like the US FDA, EFSA has noted that current research on CBD’s effects on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system, and psychological well-being is insufficient.

The Czech Agriculture Ministry said, “EFSA identified several potential risks and stated that many missing data regarding potential health effects need to be completed before progress can be made in assessing the safety of CBD and hemp extracts.” Due to the lack of data, the safety of CBD cannot be confirmed.