The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) recently released a register of over 3,500 CBD food products linked to novel food applications. Many updates have been made to the list since it was first published in April 2021.
The purpose of the list is consumer safety; the FSA has stated that CBD food products “must be authorized before they are put on the market to ensure they have been through an independent safety assessment”.
That’s because CBD food products such as oils, capsules, and gummies are considered novel foods, which must receive authorisation before they can be sold. Non-ingestible CBD products, such as topicals and vapes, are not affected by this legislation.
All CBD businesses in England and Wales that were selling or planned to sell CBD food products were requested to submit novel food applications to the FSA by March 31, 2021.
In the UK, CBD manufacturers have to submit an application to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) before they’re allowed to sell their products. On May 9, 2022, the FSA released a list of 3,500+ CBD products that were linked to these applications, the first step before they’re authorised for sale.
One Step of the Process
The list is just one step in the process of ensuring CBD products sold on the British market are safe and accurate. Each application still has to be assessed before the product is considered safe and authorised for sale in England and Wales.
For now, the list serves as a resource for British shoppers to see which products and brands are following the rules. In the words of the FSA’s chief executive Emily Miles:
We have taken the step of publishing the list so that local authorities, retailers, and consumers can make informed judgments about what they stock and buy, as we gradually bring this growing marketing into compliance with the law.Emily Miles, FSA chief executive
In that sense, being on the list is a good indicator to consumers that products are safe to consume. The hope is that this will make it easier for people to determine what’s safe and accurate in an industry plagued with misinformation.
CBD products added to the list had to meet specific criteria:
- CBD products were on the market when the FSA first requested applications on February 13, 2020
- The FSA received its application for the CBD products before March 31, 2021
- The application was validated or it was agreed upon that the applicant is progressing towards validation sufficiently
- All CBD products need to comply with any other legislative requirements
- Products should not be incorrectly labelled, unsafe, or regarded as controlled substances
British CBD brands are allowed to continue selling their products while the application and authorisation process is undergoing. You can find CBD products sold on Amazon UK as well as many individual company websites.
What the CBD Product List Means For The UK CBD Industry
As for the British CBD industry, there are mixed feelings about the list. On one side, there are the businesses that passed the application process. Those businesses got the official stamp of approval to be on the register.
But hundreds of businesses applied and got rejected. They are now faced with the possibility of having their products removed from shelves.
Still, the bottom line is that the system should create a safer and more trustworthy market for CBD in the UK.
Antonio is a cannabis & hemp cultivator and licensed personal trainer. He’s been working in the cannabis industry since 2016 as a grower, educator, and writer. He even founded his own regenerative hemp farm with his wife in Missouri and advises hemp farmers, dispensaries, and other businesses. In his free time, he enjoys running, hiking, binge-watching TV shows, and spending time with his 5 rescue animals.