EFSA Pauses CBD Food Evaluations

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has placed its novel food evaluations on hold after discovering data gaps and uncertainties about potential risks of consuming cannabidiol (CBD).

According to EFSA, the European Commission classifies CBD as a novel food as long as it meets the criteria outlined in European Union legislation.

After receiving applications for CBD under novel food regulation, Commission asked EFSA for an opinion on the safety of consuming CBD.

EFSA says its expert Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods, and Food Allergens (NDA) has received 19 applications for CBD as a novel food.

According to EFSA, more applications are coming.

“We have identified several hazards related to CBD intake and determined that the many data gaps on these health effects need filling before these evaluations can go ahead,” ssays NDA Panel Chair Dominique Turck. “It is important to stress at this point that we have not concluded that CBD is unsafe as food.”

EFSA says it lacks data on how CBD affects a person’s liver, endocrine system, gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, and psychological well-being.

According to EFSA, animal studies show significant adverse effects, particularly in reproductive functions.

EFSA stressed the importance of determining whether the same effects happen in humans.

“Stopping the clock on a novel food assessment is not unusual when information is missing,” says EFSA Head of Nutrition and Food Innovation Ana Afonso. “It’s the responsibility of applicants to fill data gaps. We are engaging with them to explain how the additional information can be provided to help address the uncertainties.”

Following the study, EFSA will hold an info session for applicants and others interested in CBD consumption and novel food on June 28.

Attendees must register beforehand at the EFSA website.