Currently, it is illegal to print health claims on CBD products, but checks of ingredients, or the amount of CBD oil contained in each product, is considered a ‘grey area,’ according to the BBC.
According to the BBC, mon-medicinal CBD is now on sale in high street shops across the UK, including chemists. However, the National Pharmacy Association has reportedly said that the products need clearer information and better checks on content and ingredients.
CBD is classed as a food supplement, and it is governed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK. Manufacturers allegedly claim that sales in the UK currently sit at approximately £300 million, according to the BBC.
Because it has been classified as a novel food, there is a grace period for CBD products, where they are allowed to be sold in stores, but the FSA has now reportedly called for manufacturers to give further specific information about the products.
Jasmine Shah from the National Pharmacy Association, which represents independent pharmacies, has said that “at the moment there is very limited research on the safety and efficacy of these products,” but an increasing number of pharmacists are reportedly stocking CBD products.
She added that pharmacists would like “clear authoritative guidance which makes it easy for healthcare professions, consumers and patients to make informed choices”.
The FSA has said that manufacturers will now have to include scientific details such as what the product contains, purity levels, manufacturing practices, as well as providing detailed information to demonstrate consumption safety.
According to the BBC, the FSA has also said that despite repeated requests to CBD manufacturers, it has not received sufficient information from any company in the industry to give them full authorisation.
“It is for each pharmacist to decide whether its suitable to stock a CBD product or not, but in terms of the safety and efficacy of it, more research is required,” Shah said.
The BBC also outlined that the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, a group representing around 20 CBD brands, has said that its members are “unequivocally committed to achieving novel foods status via the Food Standards Agency.”
But, according to the BBC, the FSA appears to be ‘losing patience’ with the industry and has said that it expects “companies to comply with the novel foods process, which includes submitting safety information about their products.
“The FSA is considering the best way to ensure CBD food-related products currently on the market move towards compliance.”