The European Commission (EC) is of the opinion that hemp seed extracts should go through a registration process. However, according to some in the cannabis industry, hemp seeds should not be subject to the registration procedure. The registration procedure in question is whether hemp seed oil should be classified as a “novel food”, and therefore is subject to certain rules and regulations.
The European Union regulates that products not used for food purposes before May 1997, such as Hemp Seed Oil, enters the novel food catalog. If so, it goes through the complicated European Commission (EC) registration procedure.
Unfortunately for some, Brussels officials consider cannabis seeds extracts to be novel foods.
“Cannabis products, containing cannabinoids, are novel foods because of its little known history of consumption,” says the EC.
Agnieszka Szymecka-Wesołowska, a partner in the Food Law Center, explains that to introduce novel foods to the market, it is necessary to undergo an appropriate registration procedure with the EC.
Seed Oil, fine. As for leaves and stems…
This battle is decisive. The market requires a positive registration procedure with the EC; there is no other way. However, there is generally no problem within the EU to sell certain products derived from cannabis seeds. In Polish shops, one will find hemp flour, seed oils, and baked cookies.
In accordance with EU regulations, only cannabis containing no more than 0.2% of the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Meanwhile, those who want to use leaves or stems in their products, will have some problems.
According to the EC, their consumption dates back before May 1997, so they need to follow the registration procedure. The European industry points out that the EC has not proven that people knew and consumed cannabis extracts before May 1997 and that the registration process is pointless.
Will CBD be off the novel food directory?
There was a chance to significantly reduce the deadlock following the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) decision. The application for approval of cannabidiol (CBD) as a possible component of adult food supplements (a daily intake of no more than 130 mg) is pending. The positive decision on this matter will mean that the EC will have to open up to CBD.
CBD has no psychoactive effect and is, therefore, not treated as a narcotic substance. For years experts have been researching the anti-cancer and anti-inflammation properties of CBD. Furthermore, CBD alleviates symptoms of multiple sclerosis and reduces the risk of diabetes. Also it’s beneficial in preventing psychosis and reducing symptoms of schizophrenia.
It seems that Europe is following the US course
Good news from the EFSA will show that Europe is likely to follow North America’s lead. In the US, The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) targeted the majority of cannabis products. However, in 2018, the US adopted the Farm Bill that allowed the use of CBD in dietary supplements.
EU legislators tightened up its approach to cannabis seeds while US legislators have legalized it. “Criminals once ran the cannabis and CBD industry. However, it’s now run by the Food and Drug Administration,” explains Dr. Agnieszka Szymecka-Wesołowska.
(Featured Image by pixundfertig via Pixabay)
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