The UK CBD market is experiencing a boom, thanks to a number of factors – from a surge in recognition for the manifold health benefits of this plant to the seismic shift towards all things natural and organic. However, full legalization of this incredibly powerful plant is still not even on the horizon. But that doesn’t mean consumers should not have access to high-quality, regulated CBD products.

CBD is the latest health craze to sweep the high street, and with claims that it can help everything from chronic pain and inflammation to anxiety, there’s a lot of interest in this wonder drug. But what exactly is it, and does it really work? Emily Ray investigates.

Unlike the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in cannabis, which is illegal as a class B drug in the UK, CBD does not cause any ‘high’ effects. This makes it a popular ingredient in the growing range of hemp-derived consumer goods, including oils, capsules, drinks and skincare products.

But, while the UK has one of the world’s most evolved regulatory frameworks for CBD, there are some challenges to launching and marketing CBD products in the country. One major issue is the fact that, despite the Home Office’s licence to grow low-9-THC ‘hemp’ for fibre and seed (under the stipulations of this licence all controlled parts of the plant have to be destroyed), it is not possible to source hemp which contains a sufficient amount of CBD to make legally compliant CBD products.

To combat this, CBD oil manufacturers have developed a range of techniques to extract and process their own plant material in order to produce a CBD product which meets the FSA’s Novel Food rules. The resulting product is a purer form of CBD which is known as CBD isolate and is available in a crystalline solid or powder. The final step is to combine the CBD isolate with other ingredients such as terpenes and extracts to create a ‘full-spectrum’ CBD which has a wider variety of beneficial properties.

The result is a range of products which is proving to be extremely popular with consumers. As the UK CBD market continues to grow, it is important that consumers are aware of the difference between the various products on the market and understand how to differentiate between the good and the bad.

In addition, it is essential that consumers only buy products which are linked to a valid application for authorisation to stay on the market. The FSA public list of CBD products which can remain on sale is updated on a weekly basis as applications are progressed. The next step in the Novel Food process is for these applications to be formally validated and then moved on to a full scientific risk assessment. In doing so, the FSA will decide whether a product can remain on the market. It may be that this takes some time, but it is hoped that the FSA will ultimately allow all of the products which have been submitted to remain on the market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *