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UK Food Standard Agency Releases a List of Permitted CBD Products in the UK. What Does That Mean for the UK CBD Industry?

FSA Permitted CBD products

The UK is leading the world in CBD innovation and investment after it became the first country to regulate the sale of edible CBD-based products. As home to the world’s second-largest CBD market after the USA, the UK industry is extremely valuable. In fact, according to estimates by the Association of the Cannabinoid Industry, it’s worth around £690 million and is expected to hit the £1 billion mark around 2025.

In a long-awaited move, the government’s Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has published its first-ever directory of over 3,500 CBD products that have made the grade and been given the green light to remain on sale. And it comes as no surprise that Purity Hemp Co is one of the chosen few.

The goods on the list have made a credible application to the FSA for Novel Food authorisation and can legally be sold until such a time as the agency makes a final decision.

After more than a year of waiting, any products that have failed to make the list will have to be pulled from shop shelves and online marketplaces. Products that haven’t made the cut are not attached to a credible application for market authorisation and are being advised to voluntarily remove the products from sale or risk censure by Trading Standards.

There’s a considerable amount of information to unpack regarding these updates and what they mean to the consumer. Continue reading to learn more about CBD regulation in the UK and how it helps you choose the safest, highest-quality products.

The term ‘Novel Foods’ covers any products that didn’t commonly exist in the European Union before 15 May 1997, the date the regulation came into effect. The list includes any food that’s been produced using new technology or methods and any ingredients that don’t have a significant history of human consumption.

Examples of Novel Foods include extracts from existing food, agricultural products from non-EU countries like chia seeds or noni fruit juice, or food derived from new production processes like UV-treated milk or mushrooms.

The idea behind the regulation is to protect consumers from any potential risks associated with new or little-known foods. It also ensures the products are safe for human consumption and are properly labelled so as not to mislead consumers.

For a product to be legally sold as a Novel Food in the UK, it must go through an authorisation process managed by the FSA designed to assess the product’s safety and ensure that it meets certain standards.

Companies that want to sell Novel Foods must submit an evidence dossier and application to the FSA for validation and evaluation on toxicological, chemical, microbiological, and stability parameters.

The UK’s decision to regulate cannabidiol (CBD) as a Novel Food was based on the fact that it’s an extract of the cannabis plant. While CBD has been used in various forms for centuries, the extraction and purification process is relatively new. Therefore, it falls under the category of ‘Novel Food’.

It’s important to note that not all cannabis extracts are classified as Novel Foods. For example, hemp oil has been consumed for centuries, and evidence of consumption predates May 1997. Therefore, it doesn’t fall under FSA regulation.

Also, non-edible CBD products like vapes, skin creams, cosmetics, or massage oils, do not require Novel Food status.

The FSA originally confirmed the Novel Food status of CBD back in January 2019, meaning that all products containing CBD would have to be authorised by the agency before they could be legally sold in the UK.

Although CBD products were widely available, they were not properly authorised, and the market was largely unregulated. This lack of an official safeguard left consumers at the mercy of unscrupulous vendors, many of whom were selling products that did not contain the levels of CBD they claimed, or worse, were completely counterfeit. As a result, it was all too easy to sell inferior CBD oil and exploit the unsuspecting consumer.

In 2020, the FSA hurried to regulate the rapidly developing industry and issued an application deadline of 31 March 2021, which was expected to be followed by the release of a public list of CBD products permitted for sale in early 2022.

But, after a delay of exactly one year, the public list has finally been published, allowing consumers to now make informed judgments about the goods they buy.

Until now, the CBD industry in the UK has been largely unregulated, meaning people have had no assurances regarding safety and quality. But with, this major milestone means progress for the sector, which increases consumer trust and encourages innovation.

CBD is one of over 500 naturally occurring compounds found in the hemp plant, a variety of Cannabis Sativa. These bioactive chemicals include aromatic terpenes, antioxidant-rich flavonoids, and other vital nutrients. Each of these phytochemicals provides unique wellness advantages.

CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Everyone has an ECS regardless of cannabis use. It’s a complex cell signalling network that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that break down these natural neurotransmitters once they’ve performed their function.

The ECS helps the body maintain natural balance or homeostasis and is involved in mood, immunity, pain, sleep, memory, and other critical processes.

Research suggests that CBD offers a wide range of potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety, relieving pain, improving sleep, and reducing inflammation.

CBD and its counterparts are nonintoxicating and do not have mind-altering effects. Conversely, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, another phytocannabinoid, is responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis. Therefore, it’s the main cannabinoid in question when discussing the legality of CBD formulas.

In accordance with UK regulations, Purity Hemp Co’s CBD products are made from hemp plants containing no more than 0.2% THC.

When buying CBD products in the UK, the best option is organic broad-spectrum CBD oil, although you can also find CBD isolate.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is a full-plant extract that contains multiple beneficial compounds, including:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
  • Cannabidiolic acid synthase (CBDA)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

Broad-spectrum oil provides the phytocompounds, terpenes, and fatty acids in the way nature intended. These compounds work together to produce an enhanced chemical synergy known as the ‘entourage effect’. This phenomenon means that the therapeutic benefits of CBD are amplified when it’s consumed with other hemp compounds rather than as an isolate. For this reason, broad-spectrum products are superior to isolated CBD extracts.

Some studies have indicated that CBD oil with full-plant extracts has greater therapeutic properties and an increased likelihood of producing beneficial health effects than CBD isolate.

CBD isolate is a pure form of cannabidiol that has been isolated from other phytocannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant. It only contains CBD and nothing else. Although CBD isolate can be useful and is a cheaper product, it lacks the beneficial properties associated with the entourage effect.

At Purity Hemp, we use only the finest-quality CBD in our broad-spectrum CBD oils. Using industry-leading technology, CBD oil is extracted from our organically grown hemp plants that contain less than 0.2% THC. Our processes ensure that our products are consistent, pure, and potent.

We also understand the importance of carrier oil selection to the overall calibre of CBD oil. Following extraction, CBD is highly concentrated, and manufacturers must use a carrier oil to dilute it. It’s a critical step as it makes for easier dosing and can help your body metabolise the active ingredients.

Although many CBD brands opt for carrier oils like coconut, sunflower, and olive oils, the most superior are hemp and MCT, which are the options we offer our customers.

Hemp oil has a delicious nutty flavour and provides a plethora of health benefits in its own right. It has the perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining optimal health and contains antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.

MCT oil derives from coconut oil but is a different product. It’s an excellent choice of carrier oil as the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) break down quickly. As a result, they provide a vehicle for optimal CBD absorption by the bloodstream and increase its bioavailability.

Purity Hemp is one of the only UK brands to offer you these options when buying broad-spectrum CBD oil. We also carry CBD oil in a wide variety of strengths and sizes so you can find the perfect product to meet your needs.

Thankfully, with the FSA’s new list of CBD products with credible Novel Food applications, buying quality CBD products is now more straightforward. However, there are still hundreds of CBD brands to choose from, and you should still focus on choosing one that values exacting standards and has an unsurpassed reputation.

The first step in finding first-class CBD oil is knowing the origin of the hemp plants. At Purity Hemp Co, all of our farms are registered with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to guarantee superior CBD extracts that result in the best pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil.

Most CBD products sold on the UK high street are made from hemp grown indoors, using hydroponics with soil that may contain pesticides and toxic chemicals. The result is low-value plants.

Additionally, the manufacturers may extract oils by treating the plants with alcohol and chemicals that can destroy the natural goodness. That’s why we strongly recommend that you check the traceability of any brand of CBD oil before buying.

Testing is the best way to distinguish premium CBD oil from second-rate products. Thankfully, you can ensure you’re buying the best by checking for a third-party Certificate of Analysis (CoA) from an accredited laboratory. This document allows you to determine the quality and purity of a CBD product and the levels of cannabinoids it contains.

Third-party testing verifies the milligrams of CBD contained in a product and reports on the levels of heavy metals and pesticides present in the oil. Reputable brands should proudly display these results.

You’ll find our CoA’s on every product page, so you know that you’re truly buying the best CBD oil when you choose Purity Hemp Co.

Purity Hemp Co has long advocated for regulatory change to provide a level playing field and consumer confidence in the industry. As one of the first companies to receive FSA validation of its Novel Food application for broad-spectrum hemp extracts in the UK, we are proud to be at the forefront of a new era of quality and reliability in the CBD sector.

At Purity Hemp, traceability and transparency are our key values. Our product range is made with safe and regulated processes, with zero synthetic pesticides and harmful chemicals. We guarantee that our products meet stringent criteria with strict laboratory testing, and we care about every step of the process, from seed to shelf.

Remember that even though some CBD brands claim to be THC-free, only a select few, including Purity Hemp, have been through rigorous 3rd party testing and have the certification to prove it.

We’re delighted that the FSA has recognised the high standards of our products and that we can now reassure our customers that they are purchasing from a reputable and validated source.

As the CBD industry continues to grow and mature, we expect to see more stringent regulations being put in place. Purity Hemp Co will continue to work with authorities to ensure that our products exceed all relevant safety and quality standards and that our customers can enjoy the benefits of CBD with complete confidence.

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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
  • Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight

Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

Contains Zero THC, chlorophyll free

*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

Keep out of sight or reach of children.