In a significant move, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revised its recommended daily dosage for cannabidiol (CBD) in the UK.
CBD, a legal compound derived from cannabis, has seen increasing prevalence in food and drink products over the last few years and the adjustment is driven by concerns regarding potential health risks.
The FSA’s new guidance advises that adults should limit their daily intake of CBD to no more than 10 milligrams, marking a substantial reduction from the previous recommendation, issued in 2020, which allowed for a daily dosage of up to 70 milligrams.
Professor Robin May, Chief Scientific Advisor for the FSA, explained the reasoning behind the adjustment, stating, “The more CBD you consume over your lifetime, the more likely you are to develop long-term adverse effects, like liver damage or thyroid issues.
“The level of risk is related to how much you take, in the same way it is with some other potentially harmful products such as alcoholic drinks.”
The decision to lower the recommended daily CBD dosage follows a comprehensive review of scientific evidence, including data submitted by manufacturers of CBD products, conducted by two independent committees.
Although the FSA has been overseeing the CBD market since 2019, it concluded that there is no immediate “acute safety risk” associated with exceeding the 10 milligram limit.
Nonetheless, the agency stressed that consistent consumption of CBD above this threshold is likely to pose health risks.
Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound derived from cannabis. It is widely available both as a supplement and ingredient in the US and UK, where it is often used to address various health conditions, such as pain and insomnia.
Certain groups, such as children, pregnant women, and those taking other medications, are advised against using CBD.
The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) has expressed its intention to thoroughly review the evidence behind the FSA’s recommendations. A spokesperson for the ACI emphasized that the FSA’s guidance does not imply an immediate risk, and their advice pertains to the lifelong consumption of high doses of CBD.
Emily Miles, CEO of the FSA, acknowledged the potential impact of this adjustment on products currently available in the market that exceed the 10 milligram limit. She stated, “We will be working closely with the industry to minimize the risk, to ensure consumers are not exposed to potentially harmful levels of CBD.”
The FSA’s recommendations are advisory, and they do not require the removal of any CBD products from store shelves.
Still, The FSA maintains a list of CBD food products under review. These products have not received formal authorization for sale and are still being assessed for safety as part of the “novel” foods process.
As more research becomes available, the guidance may evolve to better address the potential risks and benefits associated with CBD consumption.