Wednesday, 17 April, 2024
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CBD recommended dosage slashed by UK regulators

In a surprise reversal of previous official guidance, and citing a risk of liver damage and thyroid issues, British regulators have reduced the recommended safe daily dose of cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis extract present in thousands of products, from muffins to coffees.

In their updated advice on what was once hailed as a wonder ingredient, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and its Scottish counterpart are now recommending healthy adults limit their intake of CBD from food to 10mg per day, equating to four or five drops of 5% CBD oil — half of the recommended CBD limit for medicinal use in South Africa, where it is regulated under the Medicines and Related Substances Act.

Daily Maverick reports that in SA, there are no limits on the CBD content for foodstuffs, in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, according to Dr Harris Steinman of Food & Allergy Consulting & Testing Services.

“Officially, one cannot add CBD to foods, as it is not a food ordinarily ingested,” he said.

Previous advice, in Britain, dating from 2020, set the limit much higher at 70mg per day, reports The Guardian.

“The more CBD you consume over your lifetime, the more likely you are to develop long-term adverse effects, like liver damage or thyroid issues,” said Professor Robin May, the FSA’s chief scientific adviser.

May suggested consumers check the labels of the products they use and consider heeding the new advice. “The level of risk is related to how much you take, in the same way it is with some other potentially harmful products such as alcoholic drinks.”

The change, the FSA said, was based on new evidence from the industry as well as input from its independent scientific committee.

Numerous products currently on sale contain more than 10mg of CBD per serving. However, the recommendation is only advisory, and regulators are not requesting that any products are taken off shelves.

CBD is one of the non-psychoactive chemicals found in the hemp plant – not the illegal mind-altering THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that gets you high.

During the 2010s, sales of CBD took off with the ingredient added to everything from fizzy drinks to face cream.

More recently the industry has been in limbo after the FSA began to intervene.

Classed as a “novel” food, CBD products must be approved before going on sale. As it played catch-up with the fast-growing industry, the FSA created a list of products for consumers to consult, although it has not authorised any of them.

Marika Graham-Woods, executive director of the Cannabis Trades Association, which has 200 members, said the decision was unfair, with the new guidance only advisory.

“All this does is frighten consumers and retailers and stops the industry going forward again. I don’t see any benefit.”

The FSA said there was “no acute safety risk” with consuming more than 10mg of CBD a day based on the data it had assessed. However, above this level, and over a period of time, “there is evidence of some adverse impacts on the liver and thyroid”.


The Guardian article – UK food regulators slash recommended dose of CBD over health risks (Open access)


Daily Maverick article – That’s far too high — British food safety agency slashes recommended daily CBD dosage (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Inhaled CBD shrinks glioblastoma in animal model


‘Dramatic’ scheduling exemption for cannabidiol


FDA working to regulate the cannabidiol 'cure-all' deluge


Online shopping for cannabidiol sparks brain tumour research


Cannabidiol helps control seizures in children with severe epilepsy








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