The craze for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) extends beyond the United States and into Europe. We’ve written a good amount on the difference between how the European Union (EU) regulates CBD in contrast to the United States, and link to a number of those posts at the bottom of this page. All of that may be put on hold soon as the EU weighs new laws for CBD products.
For some background, the European Foods Safety Authority (“EFSA”) previously classified CBD as a “novel food” ingredient. A “novel food” is “food that was not used for human consumption to a significant degree within the Union before 15 May 1997, irrespective of the dates of accession of the Member States to the Union.” Pursuant to EU regulations, anyone who wishes to sell food containing a “novel food” ingredient must first secure a license from the EFSA.
Guidance issued by the EU on a plethora of various cannabinoids suggested that foods containing hemp-derived cannabinoids (and not just CBD) were considered novel foods because there has been no demonstration that they were consumed prior to the 1997 date. If something is a novel food, then certain regulatory approvals are needed to advance it