There has been lots of movement within the cannabidiol (CBD) industry lately and not just in the UK but elsewhere in Europe and around the world. From testing to court cases, it’s clear to say that even a pandemic hasn’t stopped the CBD industry from making itself known.
It’s understandable that CBD can be a complex component and, with concerns that many CBD products are not labelled properly, proper regulation and testing could be a crucial step to making CBD more widely accepted and accessible within the UK.
With the CBD market expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022, and with many individuals turning to CBD products during the coronavirus outbreak as a means of help for anxiety, sleeping and alternative health aids for pain, it’s clear that CBD is here to stay.
The fight for CBD as a Novel Food in the UK
For some time now, CBD edibles and extracts have never quite been recognised as a novel food, despite the fact that around 6 million people in the UK alone have used CBD in one of its forms. Also, looking at the statistics of the U.S., and seeing as the CBD industry is growing exponentially, it would only seem right to include CBD.
We can even say from our own business perspective that the interest for CBD edibles has continued to rise and rise, month after month. Even though the coronavirus has had devastating effects on the world in many ways, CBD appears to be fighting through, with more people interested than previously.
Related: CBD is Still a Novel Food in Germany
So, what should be done about this? Luckily, there are people out there fighting on the side of CBD; The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) which is working hard in the hopes of achieving its recognition from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
In fact, the ACI has apparently been successful in its fight recently, as it claims to be in ‘high-level discussions’ with the Laboratory of Government Chemists (LGC) to continue the development in testing CBD within foods, which will help work towards its final goal.
Alongside all of this, CBD businesses in the UK should now be making preparations to apply for a ‘valid novel food authorisation application’ by the deadline of March 21st 2021. Despite the current pandemic, this deadline was not extended.
However, this positive movement to recognise CBD as a novel food will include products such as oils, capsules, gummies, sweets, infused tea, coffee and other food-based items, such as energy bars.
Safety through the NHS
For years now, many families and individuals have voiced their opinions on the positive outcomes that CBD could have on a number of disorders that involve the central nervous system, such as Epilepsy for example.
A previous outlook on the UK CBD market left us wondering when further involvement of the NHS would allow for the possibility of prescriptive medical CBD, which, at the time, had no further development.
However, that changed as two cannabis-based medicines were approved back in November 2019 after testing and clinical trials. Epidyolex and Sativex can be made available to treat children who have severe epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
The cost of this CBD treatment is not cheap at around £2,000 a year per patient, but, for many, it’s a step in the right direction with the hopes that CBD prescriptions could be taken further.
Could the UK be influenced by other countries in regard to CBD?
It seems as though other parts of the world have a more open mind about CBD that the UK, with the U.S. CBD market alone being expected to hit around $16 million by 2025 and places like Australia considering making CBD available over the counter in limited doses.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, countries such as Israel are looking into testing CBD as a treatment supplement for COVID-19. InnoCan Pharma and Tel Aviv University are collaborating on this matter.
Current UK laws are restricting potential opportunities for CBD businesses
UK businesses wanting to jump onto the CBD train might be halted in their tracks as they find certain CBD products come with certain laws. This has definitely affected the ability to grow CBD in the UK and, as such, some CBD items are imported from other countries where this is possible.
Those who do wish to produce CBD in the UK must do so with a licence and permission from the UK Home Office, which, for many businesses, may prove to be difficult.
Even if you want to sell just CBD Oil, you must either be a licensed medical distributor or advertise the product as a nutritional supplement. In most cases, CBD businesses in the UK will choose the latter.
One law in particular that allows for CBD to be sold in-stores and online within the UK is that the product is only allowed to contain no more than 0.2 percent of THC and that proficient evidence, such as lab certificates, should be available to prove the CBD product is genuine.
With all this in mind, could the UK find a way to grow CBD legally? As with other hemp farms around the world, the CBD extracted from the product is usually disposed of, and many see this as a waste of resources and potential economic value.
Also, as products, research and testing continue within the world of CBD, there is hope that it could become a mainstream product, readily available for people, especially those who need it the most.