CBD Novel Foods: Requirements, Credible Brands & FAQs

For companies to sell CBD products legally in the UK, they must apply for CBD novel food authorisation.

But why are CBD novel foods

And what are the requirements for novel food authorisation? 

We’ll cover everything you need to know about CBD novel foods, including the application process, credible CBD novel food brands, helpful FAQs, and more.

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Why is CBD a Novel Food?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. 

It has many therapeutic health benefits, from reducing pain and inflammation to relieving anxiety and depression symptoms. 

That makes CBD an increasingly popular health supplement in the UK. 

What’s the real story here?

To safely regulate the rise of CBD in the UK, the European Union and the UK’s Food Standards Agency classified CBD as a “novel food”.

The classification was established since CBD has become commercially available only recently, and research on its safety as a commercial product is still ongoing.

As a novel food, the European Union and the UK Food Standards Agency can closely monitor and control the quality of CBD products. 

Read More: Check our Ultimate Guide to CBD to get all the answers you need.

We know what you’re thinking… 

What are Novel Foods?

Novel foods are traditional foods or food ingredients (like CBD extract) with no history of consumption in the EU before 15 May 1997. 

They are typically plant or animal products produced by traditional raising, growing or propagating methods. 

Fun fact: 15 May 1997 was when the first regulations on novel food came into force.

Novel foods, such as CBD food products, need to be “food safety assessed” before qualifying for commercial sale. 

This safety assessment is done by submitting a novel food application.

What are the CBD Novel Food Application Requirements?

To ensure all CBD food products on the UK market are of the highest trading standards, the UK Food Standards Agency has set strict novel food regulation requirements:

Requirement 1: Administrative data

The applicant (read: CBD brand) must provide all associated administrative data in the application. 

This includes the company name, sales data, inventory, and other relevant information.

Requirement 2: Product information

The application must include all information related to the product in question.

This includes:

  • The production process
  • All product food ingredients
  • Any product food allergens
  • The product specifications
  • The product’s potential adverse effects
  • Compositional data
  • Any food supplement/dietary supplement additives
  • The proposed use and estimated CBD intake levels
  • The history and use of the product 
  • The product’s source of origin
  • The absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion rates of the product
  • The product’s label nutritional information
  • A full product toxicology and allergenicity report
  • A list of all references

Requirement 3: Clinical data

Finally, the application must include all clinical data, including:

  • A glossary or abbreviations for terms used throughout the product dossier
  • All certificates from the accreditation of laboratories, as well as all certificates of analyses
  • Full copies and reprints of all pertinent scientific data, both published and unpublished
  • All full study reports
  • Any scientific opinions of international/national regulatory bodies

Based on the information provided, the UK Food Standards Agency will send a technical white paper with further questions regarding any insufficient data. 

If all requirements are met, the FSA will grant the CBD company a validated novel food application certificate.  

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CBD Brands With Credible Novel Food Applications

With such a detailed list of trading standards to meet, it’s no wonder only the best CBD brands and products get authorisation for novel foods applications.

Now :

31 March 2021 was the cut-off date for new applications because the FSA list for novel food authorisation is quite backlogged. 

For this reason, brands that applied for a novel foods application before 31 March 2021 have been “pre-approved.” Although these brands have not been granted full legal authorisation (yet), they are classified as awaiting evidence

This novel food status allows them to sell their products commercially until review. 

Brands that have been granted full legal authorisation are classified as validated applications.

Let’s now look at some companies that have successfully applied for the CBD novel foods authorisation process.

A. Validated CBD Brands

The following brands from the FSA list have received a validated novel food application. 

This means that according to the novel food regulation requirements, their products are approved as safe and legal to sell on the UK market.

  • fourfive CBD: Founded by two professional rugby players, fourfive CBD is a high-quality CBD brand created specifically with athletes in mind. Their product range reflects their mission, with muscle relief creams being their best sellers.
  • Mission C: With the aim of introducing a more holistic approach to daily wellness, Mission C is a top-notch CBD brand. They offer several high-quality CBD products, like CBD oils, bath bombs, and more. 

B. CBD Brands Awaiting Evidence 

The following brands are awaiting full novel food authorisation, but are still legally allowed to sell their products commercially in the UK:

  • Love Hemp: A multi-award-winning CBD brand, Love Hemp offers a high-quality and well-trusted CBD product range. From CBD chocolates to CBD sprays, they have an extensive CBD product range.
  • Infinity CBD: Founded in 2018, Infinity CBD is an award-winning brand focusing on peace of mind, quality, and effectiveness. If you want to enjoy the benefits of CBD on your terms, Infinity CBD is a no-brainer!
  • Provacan: Provacan is on a mission to help develop, innovate and commercialise CBD for households throughout the EU and UK.
  • Vitality CBD: Vitality CBD understands that everyone has different CBD needs. The brand has an extensive collection of high-quality CBD products, which fit into your lifestyle no matter the occasion.
Read more: Check out 15 Healing CBD Face Creams to take your skincare to the next level.

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5 CBD Novel Food FAQs

Understanding novel foods and their regulations can be a mouthful. 

To help you better understand the topic, we’ll answer some common questions about CBD novel foods — for an extra “dose” of clarity:

1. Who Controls the Regulation Process for CBD in the UK?

The Food Standards Agency controls and sets all the regulations on CBD and traditional foods in the UK. 

Their duty is to ensure all CBD products are safe for public use, with minimal adverse effects. 

The Food Standards Agency (with the help of the NDA panel) provides consumers with the necessary CBD health and food safety information needed — including product contents and quality reports.

This information allows consumers to make informed decisions on CBD consumption. 

In terms of day-to-day regulations, local authority figures ensure all the laws around CBD are enforced.

2. How Long Does a CBD Novel Food Application Take?

Usually, around 17 months.

  • A novel food application can take up to one month for the initial validation process to be approved. 
  • Following validation, there is an additional nine-month period for risk assessment, where the product is evaluated for consumer safety and quality.
  • Once the risk assessment process is completed, it can take up to an additional seven months for the overall legislative authorisation process.
Note: While applications can take an estimated 17 months to be approved, the waiting period may take significantly longer — depending on how many applications are still pending review.

3. Are CBD Novel Foods Considered Controlled Drugs?

No, CBD novel foods aren’t considered controlled drugs.

While cannabis as a whole is considered a controlled drug in the UK, certain parts of the plant (such as seeds, stems, and mature stalks) aren’t.

This means that any CBD products made using these plant parts (like CBD isolate oil or edibles like gummies and cookies) are perfectly legal as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • The finished product comes from low THC cannabis plants (less than 0.02% THC).
  • The business has the necessary licensing to process the product.
  • The finished product is not intended to be used as a controlled drug/substance.
  • The finished food product contains 0.0% THC.
Read More: Explore CBD’s legal status in the UK.

4. Are CBD Novel Foods Medicinal Products?

No, CBD novel foods (like CBD oil and other CBD supplements) are not classified as medicinal products. 

The FSA and NDA panel classify CBD novel foods as a food product or a food supplement.

In rare cases, high-potency CBD extract products (such as Epidiolex) are regarded as medical products. 

5. What Are the Effects of CBD?

CBD dietary supplements have no intoxicating properties and CBD consumption won’t make you feel high. 

Instead, CBD will make you feel calm and relaxed.

CBD dietary supplements (like CBD isolate oils) are used in treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, and epilepsy. CBD is also used for successfully treating inflammation and pain.

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“Novel” Food For Thought

The novel food application process ensures consumers use only the safest and highest-quality CBD products available.

Fortunately, many brands in the UK’s CBD industry go above and beyond the necessary novel food standards to provide the best CBD products.

Wondering where you can find all top-notch CBD brands in one convenient location?

Look no further!

GreenBox is an authorised online CBD retailer. Explore our wide range of CBD products from trusted and safe brands like Love Hemp, Provacan, Mission C, and more.