UK market is transitioning from a poorly regulated to a regulated market for CBD products. CBD products will now need approval as a novel food product in the UK. The regulation has its pros and cons. It might mean a lesser choice of products; it also means that only high quality and well-tested products will remain on the shelves.
Regulating the market has become essential, as CBD products are now more commonly used than well-known vitamins like vitamin C. Unfortunately, such a high popularity of CBD means that there are some sub-quality products in the market, too.
CBD products containing TCH less than 0.2% are legal, but there is more to the regulation.
For the product to be legal, it is not enough to have a THC concentration of less than 0.2%. The law further states that THC in the component part of the product should not exceed one milligram. THC in the product by no means should be extractable, as that would constitute a health risk. No CBD product should be designed to administer THC.
Therefore, just assuming that a product with THC of less than 0.2% is legal is wrong.
Studies show that some of the CBD products did not comply with the law mentioned above. They either had a higher amount of THC or were produced for THC administration. Thus, the UK government now plans to take a full-spectrum analysis of the products from independent labs.
Implications of non-compliance.
Although CBD products are legal to sell freely, however, inability to meet specific standards may result in severe penalties. For example, if THC is above the permissible level, then the product becomes Class B controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MoDA).
This means that non-compliance to standards may result in criminal proceedings. Moreover, it is punishable by almost unlimited penalties, a prison sentence for up to 14 years, and freezing of assets.
All this means that there is a very fine line between legal CBD and illegal products. Complying with such strict norms is a challenge for manufacturers.
With the changes in the legal framework in the UK, the production of edibles containing CBD may also become a big issue. Unlike standardized formulations, CBD edibles are quite challenging to test. Nevertheless, keeping in mind that CBD edibles are gaining popularity, they will become strictly regulated. CBD edibles will also have to confirm as with FSA guidelines.
To conclude, it would be right to say that although the regulations have become stricter, but this has not prevented CBD manufacturers from introducing new products. However, with the tighter implementation of regulations, things may change in the near future. It is evident that new entrants to the CBD market will face far more hurdles, and they will need to invest more time and resources for complying with the regulations.