CBD Novel Food Assessment Interrupted Due to Data Gaps

The European Commission (EC) has determined that cannabidiol (CBD) can be considered as a novel food (NF). Currently, the European Food Safety Authority´s (EFSA) expert Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) has received 19 NF applications for CBD, with more in the pipeline.

CBD Assessment on Hold

According to the recent announcement, EFSA’s scientists can currently not establish the safety of CBD as a novel food due to data gaps and uncertainties about potential hazards related to CBD intake.

There is insufficient data on the effect of CBD on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system and on people’s psychological well-being. However, Prof. Dominique Turck (Chair of the NDA Panel) said: “We have identified several hazards related to CBD intake and determined that the many data gaps on these health effects need filling before these evaluations can go ahead. It is important to stress at this point that we have not concluded that CBD is unsafe as food.”

In addition, studies in animals show significant adverse effects especially in relation to reproduction. It is important to determine if these effects are also seen in humans. Furthermore, most of the human data referred to in the CBD applications investigated the efficacy of CBD at therapeutic doses. "Given the complexity and importance of CBD receptors and pathways, interactions need to be taken into account when considering CBD as a NF. The effects on drug metabolism need to be clarified. Toxicokinetics in different matrices, the half-life and accumulation need to be examined."

More information is avalable at EFSA´s website in Cannabidiol novel food evaluations on hold pending new data.

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