Historically, up until 2018, CBD products had a small niche following, and most people hadn’t heard of the phrase. Throughout 2019 interest in the compound has exploded and as a result, it is already available infused into drinks, coffee and food.
In the UK, according to the Centre of Medical Cannabis there are currently an estimated 6 million people who have tried cannabidiol, and the market is already projected to be worth over £300 million. The phenomenon is not UK specific, and we are still a far way behind the states, where the latest CBD oil market forecast projects the market to be worth over $20 billion by 2024.
The compound has sparked a global discussion about the use of cannabis, and It’s likely the CBD oil industry is just the tip of the iceberg for the broader use of 100+ cannabinoids.
As with any new industry, there are blind turns along every corner and persistence is key. If your wondering what are the major points to keep and eye on for 2020 within the CBD oil industry – keep on reading!
Novel Foods Regulation
Any food which has not been widely available for human consumption in the EU before May 1997 is considered a novel food by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Recent examples of foods considered novel include chia seeds, baobab fruit and as of early 2019 cannabidiol (when sold as a food supplement).
What does novel foods mean for the CBD industry in 2020?
Theoretically, all CBD sold today as food supplements throughout the EU is illegal, as all of it is currently considered a novel food by the EFSA.
However, regulatory enforcement varies by country. While some countries have taken a stiff stance and deployed resources and begun enforcement, others such as the United Kingdom have permitted the CBD oil industry to continue unhampered (for now).
Summary of Novel Foods
The broader principles of this regulation are to ensure any new foods which come to market are a) safe to consume b) labelled correctly and c) nutritiously advantageous.
The European Commission outlines that novel foods are subject to a stringent pre-market authorisation, which sidelines products from sale until the assessment is complete and approved.
An authorisation for CBD is anticipated to cost over 100,000 EUR and take over 24 months to complete.
Consequently, if enforced, all CBD used in foods such as oils, edibles or drinks would be banned until the sourced CBD came from a source with novel foods approval.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) have announced that all ingestible CBD is required to be supplemented with a submitted novel foods application by March 31st 2021.
While CBD oil is legal in the UK, after this date, products which are not supported with a submitted application will be deemed illegal in the UK.
The novel foods application is lengthy and most of the work is levied on manufacturers of cannabinoid extracts. Nonetheless, downstream retailers and brands will need to ensure any CBD oil for sale has been tested for shelf stability.
CBD industry is becoming more transparent
With a lack of direct regulatory oversight, the CBD oil industry has governed itself via learnings passed over from regulation employed in legal cannabis states in the USA.
Nonetheless, some bad actors have taken advantage of the ambiguity to sell products which are incorrectly labelled and potentially contain contaminants such as heavy metals.
In 2O19 the most extensive study of the UK CBD market suggested that 38% of products on sale contain less than 50% of the CBD they say they do on the label. While in the USA, another report outlined a similar problem suggesting 70% of CBD products are mislabelled.
It looks like 2020 is the time for some CBD players to either clean up their act or exit the industry, and for transparent brands making step positive movements to be rewarded through increased visibility of their high standards. But, how might this work?
New trade body paving the way for UK regulation
In the UK, a new trade association known as the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) was launched via a quality charter promoting the safe consumption of CBD in November 2019.
On the consumer side, a product kitemark (to be launched) will serve as a reference point to know that the product is safe to use. It will confirm the product is produced and sold in adherence to the guidance set out by the ACI and that the brand is a member of the trade body.
The framework consists of 7 pillars which govern the quality of CBD being sourced and sold, along with ensuring products fall within the legal structure of the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
These pillars include:
• Novel foods legal framework
• Third-party testing processes
• Minimum labelling criteria
• Minimum manufacturing standards
• Marketing ethics rules
• Sustainability and social impact
While this isn’t a legally demanded framework (yet), it’s looking increasingly likely that something along these lines will be what regulators want in place for CBD 2020 in line with the Novel Foods guidance we discussed earlier.
Continuing studies will provide more proof
Cannabis is currently undergoing a renaissance in both research and attitudes to the potential benefits of cannabinoids.
It’s no surprise that Isreal is currently the leader in global cannabis research, and by a considerable margin that is — attributed in large part to Raphael Mechoulam, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the individual to first isolate the cannabinoid THC.
While historically the United States had shunned any research into compounds such as CBD and THC, Isreal has been at the forefront of this field for over 25 years.
Israeli research is also supplemented by a growing federal medical cannabis program which has been available for over 25 years, longer than anywhere else in the world. Thus, giving them vital insight into the various benefits of different cannabinoids and how they interact with each other for analysis in line with CBD oil clinical studies.
Nonetheless, the tide is turning globally, and we now see more substantial investments into research conducted in countries also outside of Isreal.
While the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has reduced the 2020 quota of opioids available for scientific study, it has in parallel increased the marijuana quota by 30% for research purposes. Outlining a growing interest to study the compounds found in cannabis further in the US.
Recently funded CBD oil studies include nine research grants totalling $3 million funded by the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), exploring the use of CBD for the treatment of chronic pain.
These types of studies will be vital to understand the efficacy of cannabinoids and help with any CBD oil evidence to ensure products are practical and useful, rather than the current haywire mix of CBD available on the market today.
More countries are legalising it
While cannabidiol is legal as a food supplement in the US and most of Europe, it’s not necessarily the same story when you take a holistic approach.
Some countries permit CBD for sale through medicinal cannabis programs, such as in Australia and Norway. While others such as Singapore and China outright forbid anything associated with marijuana.
Still, on the whole, more countries are becoming receptive to legalisation and openness to discuss the benefits of CBD with the science community.
Including regimes which have historically had extremely harsh penalties for the smallest amount of marijuana possession, such as Thailand and South Korea (where CBD is legal or will be legal shortly through a prescription)
It’s clear the end of prohibition is near, and the movement into the acceptance of at-least medical cannabis is fast approaching in 2020.
Other industries are starting to use hemp and CBD
Hemp is a versatile crop and has been used for millennia outside of only its recently popularised use for hemp extract extraction into CBD oil.
Hemp seed oil, derived from cold-pressed hemp seeds is a popular ingredient as both a carrier oil for CBD extract and cosmetics.
Hemp fibre has been used historically in the creation of recyclable plastics and rope, and it’s even found its way into clothing such as sweatshirts.
More innovative applications include the creation of hempcrete, a material used for construction and created by wet mixing hemp shiv with a lime binding agent.
Hempcrete is environmentally friendly while being insulative and damp free, yielding a material which is carbon neutral while offering superior thermal performance.
Brands in the FMCG industry are also experimenting with water soluble CBD, infusing it into their drinks for an added chill. Making CBD infused products available at pretty much anywhere you can buy a Pepsi (assuming no enforcement of novel foods guidance) in 2020!
Celebrities are starting to get into CBD industry
If you switch on the TV, a report about cannabis and related CBD oil news is more than likely to pop up talking about the experience of consumers.
Multiple celebs have appeared in CBD oil news talking about how they enjoy using CBD and related supplements. Examples include Kim Kardashian with her CBD baby shower, and Gwyneth Paltrow talking through her favourite CBD cocktails.
Influencer endorsements for CBD are increasing at a staggering rate, indicating real interest and increased consumer awareness.
It’s clear CBD isn’t a fad and its here to stay.
We hope regulatory changes in this space help genuine brands grow and encourage consumers to learn more about products they put into their body through reading blogs like these!
Let’s hope we see more CBD news in the UK throughout the year to come! Cheers to 2020!
Source: natureandbloom.com/cbd-in-2020 Ahmed Mir.