FSA slashes recommended daily CBD dose over health risk findings

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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today issued new precautionary advice on CBD, recommending healthy adults should limit their consumption of CBD from food to 10mg per day, which is about 4-5 drops of 5% CBD oil. Previous guidance set the safe daily dose at 70mg. 

The regulator says the change in advice is based on new evidence from the industry and updated advice from its independent scientific committee published today

The dramatic drop in the recommended dose reflects concern that long-term use of CBD could lead to thyroid and liver issues. 

The updated advice has been based on the average lifetime exposure to food products containing CBD, such as drinks, oils, sweets, bakery items or drops. Since some products available on the market will have a higher dose of CBD per serving than 10mg a day, the FSA is urging consumers should check labels and consider their daily intake in light of this updated advice.

The novel food status of CBD extracts was confirmed in January 2019 and all CBD food products must apply for authorisation before they can be sold legally in Great Britain (GB).

Professor Robin May, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Food Standards Agency said: “Our independent advisory committees have reviewed the safety assessments submitted by the industry as part of their novel food applications and we are advising that healthy adults should take no more than 10mg of CBD a day.

“The more CBD you consume over your lifetime, the more likely you are to develop long-term adverse effects, like liver damage or thyroid issues. The level of risk is related to how much you take, in the same way it is with some other potentially harmful products such as alcoholic drinks.

“We encourage consumers to check the CBD content on the product label to monitor their overall daily consumption of CBD and consider if they wish to make changes to how much they take based on this updated advice.”

Industry group The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) said it was “examining the scientific evidence released today to better understand how the FSA reached its conclusion”. 

In a short interim statement, the group said: “We urge retailers to take this as guidance, which it is. Nothing will change immediately in terms of products included on the FSA’s public list.

“We highlight to consumers that this guidance demonstrates the FSA still considers CBD to be safe and their advice relates to lifetime consumption of daily high doses of CBD.”

Marika Graham-Woods, of the Cannabis Trades Association,, told The Guardian that the decision was an unfair one”, also stating the with the new guidance only advisory. “All this does is frighten consumers and retailers and it stops the industry going forward again. I don’t see any benefit in what they have done.”

The FSA has confirmed that there was “no acute safety risk” with consuming more than 10mg of CBD a day based on the data it had assessed. Emily Miles, the FSA chief executive, told the BBC’s World At One programme that CBD users were free to use their own judgment. “There are drinks on the market with a stated 25mg CBD content. Consumers will be able to make a choice about whether they choose that product.”

Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

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