Is CBD safe? UK regulators issue stark warning over your favourite wellness ingredient
Some products on the market now exceed the recommended maximum dose.
Worth the hype? Experts aren’t so sure about the allure of cannabidiol (CBD) anymore.
CBD is an active ingredient in cannabis taken from the hemp plant – except, it’s not addictive and won’t give users a high.
In the UK, the CBD market has grown massively, with the ingredient available to buy in everything from supplements to teas to body creams.
The industry was projected to be worth £1billion by 2025 – whether that remains the same is yet to be seen in light of new health advice.
The UK’s Food Standards Agency has slashed the recommended ‘safe’ daily dose of CBD from 70mg to just 10mg.
Now, it seems experts fear our trend-led shopping habits may have come at the cost of our health – the very thing CBD was said to support. So what’s going on?
Why have the regulations changed?
UK food regulators have dramatically cut down the recommended safe daily dose.
Previously set at 70mg per day as of 2020, it’s now just 10mg.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and its Scottish equivalent have updated their guidance for adults, and this new limit is akin to four or five drops of 5% CBD oil per day.
The reason for the change comes as a risk of potential liver damage and thyroid issues have come to light, after two independent committees reviewed the ingredient.
FSA chief scientific advisor Prof Robin May, said: ‘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.’
Is it safe?
The FSA says there doesn’t seem to be any ‘acute safety risk’ from consuming more than 10mg of CBD a day, so if you stick to new guidance, it’s deemed safe.
However, those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication or are children, shouldn’t be using CBD – as was the case before this new advice.
What this news does mean, however, is that now there’s a host of products on the market with CBD content above 10mg.
No products will need to come off shelves, as this is advisory information, rather than law. If you continue using CBD products, it’s worth checking the content before buying so you know exactly how much you’d be consuming.
This new advice has put the onus on shoppers to be more wary.
Emily Miles, CEO of the FSA, said: ‘We understand that this change to our advice will have implications for products currently on the market that contain more than 10mg of CBD per serving.
‘We will be working closely with industry to minimise the risk, to ensure consumers are not exposed to potentially harmful levels of CBD.’
CBD was a largely unregulated industry for a long time, which has meant it’s always faced criticism and skepticism. Although, some people rave about CBD products anecdotally, and claim it helps them on a day to day basis.
So if you’re going to use it, stick to the FSA guidelines and speak to your GP about any concerns – there isn’t a need to stop using it completely, only to cut back.
Has the wonder ingredient had its day in the sun? Let us know what you think.
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