Products that contain cannabidiol (CBD) have become more commonplace. Along with their rise in popularity is the question of whether or not CBD itself is legal. Hemp that has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) value of below 0.2 percent is not subject to any narcotics law. In addition, the ban on plants containing THC only applies to certain parts of the plant and not the whole plant.
For some time now, products with the hemp ingredient CBD have been very popular. Many different manufacturers and suppliers have since specialized in sales to end customers. They are certain that they operate within the current legal framework. However, there are now some doubts.
Whether products with CBD are legal or not, this article would, therefore, like to clarify with reference to the statements. They dealt intensively with the current legal situation. CBD reconnaissance seems finally necessary in the current situation.
Often the misbelief that products are on a par with intoxicating drugs and medicines like marijuana. This seems to resonate in advance in the question about the legality of hemp products. Of course, this is not the case. Hemp with a THC value below 0.2 percent THC is not subject to the Narcotics Law.
The flowers and the fruit
The 1961 Single Convention on Cannabis, signed in New York in 1961, finally covers only female cannabis buds and fruit. They stand rich in THC and are suitable for the production of narcotics.
The ban on parts of plants containing THC applies only to these unique units and not to the whole plant. The Novel Food Regulation also grants a THC limit value of0.2 percent for processed hemp plants.
However, since the Narcotics Act already provides for this limit, law-abiding suppliers never exceed this unambiguous value during the production of their extracts.
Overdosing is not possible
If the traded products have a particularly high CBD content, they can be sold as approved and prescription drugs. However, a correspondingly effective drug content or increased dosage requirements must be present in and on the goods, which then transform them into a product requiring approval.
This includes an application for possible curative effects. Similarly, a product must not pretend to be a medicinal product.
Neither the description nor the presentation must be misleading. The manufacturer faces the risk of being subject to prosecution.
The health-promoting aspect of CBD
No permissible advertising statements concerning the health-promoting aspect of CBD have been made to-date. Such statements must not be made by producers in order to preserve the regulations.
Even if a manufacturer or retailer adheres to all these requirements, he is still currently in danger of being targeted. Overly attentive law enforcement officials are ignorant about the Novel Food Regulation in circulation.
With regard to cannabidiol, the former Novel Food catalog was clear that it was not a “novel” food. Accordingly, the use of leaves or seeds of the abovementioned variety is not prohibited by narcotic legislation. Because of the irrelevant THC content and is therefore not subject to the restrictions of the Regulation.
Meanwhile, however, the manufacturing process also plays a role, which can make a product novel and thus subject to approval. This alters the nature or concentration of the ingredients and thus make them distinguishable from known foods.
According to this definition, however, processing by extraction does not lead to any change in the natural ingredient. After all, insulation does not equate to any change. Until last January, the Novel Food Regulation allowed all uses of CBD extracts as long as no enrichment took place.
Extracted or synthetically extracted
However, they made a distinction between the processing of the natural plant Cannabis sativa L. and extracted or synthetically extracted cannabinoids. The use of extracted ingredients in food would now be a novel method, subject to authorization, from the outset, which would not prohibit the actual use of Cannabis sativa L.
This clearly includes the pressing or drying of the corresponding plant parts, or the gentler and more modern CO² extraction, which has been used in food production for around 40 years.
The process also removes moisture or unwanted plant materials. The process evaluates as a regular process. That makes the product durable and usable in the first place.
Only if one tries in further processes to isolate CBD even further, for example by adding solvents in order to release further active substances – whereby, however, the valuable unsaturated fatty acids would be lost in the product – one could, according to the latest definition of the Novel Food catalog, speak of the fact that an extraction is actually used, which could classify the subsequently produced product as “novel”.
According to the previous classification, only products with an enriched CBD content of well over 5 percent are clearly “new”. Depending on the proportion of these goods, they consider either novel food requiring approval or even functional drugs. Therefore, they consider that all products made from Cannabis sativa L. without extraction and with a natural CBD content are freely available for sale.
Processing the end product
Until January 2019, only those products considered “novel” and subject to licensing if they had a higher proportion of CBD than the natural values of known species. The legal use of herbal substances – including CBD – thus depends on the criteria defined by law. These always refer to the effect, the processing and the quantity present in the end product – this also applies to the cannabinoids known so far.
As the local administrative authorities are responsible for monitoring the foodstuffs on offer, they also check compliance with the detailed declaration requirements for foodstuffs and food supplements as well as with pharmaceutical legislation.
Before a product containing CBD can be banned, however, the authorities must prove that it is to be classified as “novel” or even equivalent to a drug under the Novel Food Regulation.
If the product can cause demonstrable damage due to concretely ascertainable properties, a ban would actually be justified.
On the other hand
If, on the other hand, mere suspicions or general prohibitions are the triggers for an incision in business dealings or private use, the Administrative Proceedings Court is the right address where one can professionally defend oneself against the wrong (often politically motivated) action of the state with the appropriate legal remedies.
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First published in Hanf Journal a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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