The CBD industry has exploded into the UK market place in recent years, with new CBD products being sold and new businesses opening on a weekly basis. However, there has been a recent call for the burgeoning industry to be better regulated by not only its consumers but also UK pharmacists.
Pharmacists in Britain have been calling for improved regulations of CBD products as the industry grows. Currently, non-medicinal CBD products are classified as food supplements in the UK instead of medicinal products, because of this classification it is easy for companies to avoid any strict regulations, even though CBD is often used for therapeutical reasons.
In other countries where the cannabis industry is at a more advanced stage, such as the United States, there has been further and stricter regulations introduced to extinguish any illegal CBD products from the market. The U.S. FDA (Food & Drug Administration) now issues fines to any CBD companies breaking regulations, with some companies even being closed down for incorrect labelling. Whereas the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has asked health regulators in the UK to provide “clear, authoritative guidance.” A UK health advisor of the NPA, Jasmine Shah, advised that to help with the regulation of CBD products, pharmacists should take into consideration any Home Office guidance. Shah added, “a growing number of pharmacies are selling CBD products...We would welcome clear, authoritative guidance that makes it easier for manufacturers, health care professionals, retailers and consumers to make informed choices, keeping everyone on the right side of the law and safe from harm.” With this statement it is clear that the NPA and its pharmacist members find the current CBD regulations very obscure and confusing.
It was recently revealed that many of the CBD oils being sold on British highstreet store shelves are incorrectly labelled, with two out of three of the products checked, having below 90% of the content advertised on the label. It was also disclosed that 45% of the products surveyed had significant amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which subsequently means these products are illegal in the UK. One CBD oil product being sold in a UK store at £90 per bottle was inspected and on further testing, it was revealed that this product contained no traces of CBD at all. Because of recent findings such as these, it has now put the industry and its need for further regulation in the spotlight.
Sales of CBD products in the UK are as much as £300m annually, and the cannabinoid continues to be added to a variety of goods from gin to bath bombs, however, there are still concerns in regard to the quality of these products. There has been a slow improvement of CBD regulations, and in the near future, even better and stricter regulations are expected to be introduced. With better and clearer CBD regulations, the industry and therefore its products will also improve alongside it. With better regulations, comes better products for CBD consumers.