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FSA Drops Recommended Daily Dose of CBD to 10mg – A Shift in CBD Consumption Guidelines

Introduction: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the U.K. has recently made headlines by revising its consumer guidance on the recommended daily dosage of CBD (pure form CBD >98%) . Previously set at 70mg, the FSA has now reduced the suggested daily intake to just 10mg. This surprising update comes after the agency analysed new scientific evidence, including toxicological studies submitted by the industry itself. In this blog post, we delve into the implications of this change and explore the reactions from industry stakeholders and businesses.

New Recommendation and Its Impact: The FSA's decision to lower the recommended daily dose of CBD stems from a joint position paper from the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) & Committee on Toxicity (COT), to establish a provisional acceptable daily intake (ADI) for pure form (≥98%) cannabidiol (CBD) in foods, based on new evidence.

Read the full paper here (this link will take you to the ACNFPs website)

The revised guidance applies to all CBD foods such as drinks, oils, sweets, bakery items or drops. The FSA adds "some products available on the market will have a higher dose of CBD per serving than 10mg a day, therefore consumers should check labels and consider their daily intake in light of this updated advice. indicating that many products— including those with previously safe levels of cannabinoids — may now exceed acceptable limits".

This poses challenges for single-dose products such as CBD beverages, capsules, and gummies, which often contain higher levels of CBD than the newly recommended dose of 10mg.

Concerns from Industry Stakeholders: The FSA's move has sparked concerns and questions from industry stakeholders, who are now seeking clarity on how this change will affect their products and labeling. Many brands wonder if they need to update their packaging and consumer communications to reflect the revised guidance. The FSA has acknowledged these concerns but stated that no immediate changes are required. However, industry trade organisations warn that retailers may delist products or hesitate to stock CBD items based on this advisory, even if it has no legal enforcement from regulatory bodies like Trading Standards.

Scientific Basis and Cautionary Approach: The FSA arrived at the recommended daily intake of 10mg based on a cautious evaluation of adverse effects observed in the liver during toxicological studies. The agency's provisional acceptable daily intake (ADI) for pure form CBD was determined to be 0.15 mg/kg bw/day for a healthy adult weighing around 70kg. Concerns of potential adverse drug interactions at higher daily intakes and the lack of long-term human-based evidence in certain groups prompted the FSA to adopt a precautionary approach.

Differing Recommendations and Industry Response: Interestingly, a recent scientific review commissioned by US cannabis companies suggested that a maximum daily intake of 160mg of CBD isolate is generally safe for healthy adults. This conflicting recommendation highlights the complexity of establishing CBD dosage guidelines. The discrepancies in recommendations have raised concerns among CBD businesses, and some worry that this variance might affect the consumer perception and acceptance of CBD products.

The Future: Clarity, Labelling, and Retailer Response: As the FSA's revised guidance is relatively recent, there is still some uncertainty about how it will impact the broader CBD industry. Questions regarding required updates to labelling and consumer communication remain unanswered. The FSA encourages the industry to include the latest consumer guidance in their labelling, but whether labelling changes will be compulsory or optional is yet to be determined. Furthermore, high street retailers play a crucial role in the CBD market, and their response to this advisory will greatly shape the future landscape.

Conclusion: The FSA's decision to drop the recommended daily dose of CBD to 10mg has significant implications for the CBD food industry including drinks, oils, sweets, bakery items or drops.

Topical products such as the Humble Herb's CALM, EASE, MEND and SPORT balms are unaffected by these recommendations.

Rest assured that the Humble Herb will adhere to all the applicable recommendations for topical balms. That commitment will ensure our customers safety and to build on your trust and confidence in our wonderful balms.

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