CBD Oils and Hemp Oils - Legal Status

News

04 December, 2018

Are you planning to sell CBD oil? Did you know some forms of this oil are not allowed to be sold as food or food supplements in the EU? If the CBD oil is extracted using particular extraction methods, like using solvents or supercritical CO2 extraction, you cannot sell it in the EU (unlike CBD oil extracted simply by pressing e.g. cold pressing). It is important that you know how the CBD oil has been extracted.

These types of oils need authorisation from the EU. If you want to sell these products you must apply for novel food authorisation. You can do this on the European Commission website.

You should be aware that this is not a quick process and authorisation may not be granted.

What is a novel food? A novel food is a food or food ingredient that was not available on the EU market to a significant degree prior to May 15, 1997.

Why are some CBD/hemp oils considered to be novel foods? Generally speaking, hemp oil obtained by cold-pressing the seeds or other parts of the hemp plant does not require authorisation. This is because hemp oil was consumed in the EU to a significant degree before 1997 (see entry for Cannabis sativa L in the EU Novel Food Catalogue).

If, however, the CBD/hemp oil is subjected to certain forms of extraction or purification techniques, then a novel food authorisation may be required, as there may be an accompanying increase in undesirable constituents. A typical example is hemp oil subjected to supercritical CO2 extraction.

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