CBD and the law

1 November 2019

ADACT offers a full compliance service for the hemp and CBD industry in the UK and Europe. Often, we are asked which law governs CBD products. The answer is there is no one single law.

The primary regulation for CBD is the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The Act covers the illegal cannabinoids that can be used as contamination: THC, CBN, THCV as well as other minor ones. These may only be used as a contaminant, and must contain less than 1mg in the total product. A common mis-perception is that upto 0.2% is allowed, but this is not the case – 0.2% is the legal limit for growing and processing industrial hemp.

Other regulations that apply are:

Growing industrial hemp
A Home Office license is required for growing and processing hemp. Only the stalks and leaves can be used. For anyone wanting to use and extract the full plant, a Controlled Drugs License for growing hemp is required – gov.uk/government/collections/drugs-licensing.

Making products
This often comes under the local council remit. The first step is to register as a food manufacture, and then be subject to food hygiene inspections.

Vape products
Vape products are covered by the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, and by the same standards as nicotine vape products. TPD (Tobacco Products Directive 2014) levels of assessment are required.

Oral drops and edibles, oral capsules and tablets
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) covers rules on novel foods.

Creams and cosmetics
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act governs creams and cosmetics. Creams and cosmetics are required to be listed on the Cosmetics Products Notification Portal (CPNP).

Advertising
All advertisements are regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent body who cover advertising across all media.

Medical claims
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) regulates medicines and medical devices.

Please do not hesitate to phone the office on 01302 986 088 or email [email protected] if you have any questions about this.

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