The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) published a paper on Reasonable regulation of cannabidiol (CBD) in food, cosmetics, as an herbal natural medicine and as medicinal product.
The European Industrial Hemp Association proposes regulations on CBD from industrial hemp and sums up the status quo.
In the last few years, interest in CBD has been growing, and in 2016, 30,000 ha in the EU were cultivated with hemp to produce it. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the non-psychotropic cannabinoids in industrial hemp popular for many reasons, and specifically for medical use, as it has no side effects, says the organization
CBD is the primary cannabinoid in industrial hemp with between 0.5 to 4% concentrated in the top third of the plant. It is being used in food supplements as well as in food supplement mixes, in cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, and electronic cigarette refills. These new applications are creating jobs in cultivating and processing, and many people in Europe are already benefiting from hemp because of its diversity.
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The vast therapeutic potential of CBD
The therapeutic potential of CBD in the treatment of a wide spectrum of diseases and symptoms were proved by many scientific studies, to mention a few: anxiety disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder), diabetes, obesity, epilepsy, dystonia, cancer, neurodermatitis and Alzheimer’s.
The antibacterial properties of CBD can be applied to prevent infections and curb inflammation. It is effective against staphylococci and streptococci including the highly resistant Staphylococcus aureus (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; van Klingeren et al., 1976, Appendino et al., 2008).
Health-maintaining properties of CBD
Even in lower dosages CBD shows health-maintaining properties such as would be considered in supplements. As a neuroprotective antioxidant it is more potent than ascorbate (“Vitamin C“) or tocopherol (“Vitamin E“; Hampson et al., 1998) and as an anti-inflammatory. CBD is used as a cosmetic ingredient to decrease sebum / sebocytes (Oláh et al., 2014).
CBD shows no side effects
Even if very high CBD dosages are applied, it is safe and well tolerated without significant side effects. CBD was reviewed in 132 publications, and did not induce catalepsy, didn’t affect heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, gastrointestinal transit, nor did it alter psychomotor and cognitive functions (Bergamaschi et al., 2011). CBD is better tolerated in the treatment of epilepsy and psychosis than classic medication for these diseases (Iffland and Grotenhermen, 2016).
Proper legislation is urgently needed as CBD regulation is fragmented, it is not psychotropic, therefore it is not covered by the national narcotic acts or drug regulations of the 27 EU member states (from 28 with the exception of Slovakia) and is not restricted by any EU legislation.
CBD as a pure substance could contain some THC, and would then be subject to the national narcotics acts in EU member states.
The EIHA supports legislation to protect consumers, sustain growth of investment, and encourage product development. Legislation should not restrict CBD, and should clarify that extracts and preparations from industrial hemp are not considered as narcotics in the EU.
Oppose prescription status
The EIHA strictly oppose CBD as a prescription-only drug as a few pharmaceutical companies attempt to rule market. This will only serve the interest of a few and damage the potential of growth in the young CBD industry. It will also restrict access to CBD for many people.
Three distinctions by dose are proposed by the EIHA:
- At high doses, CBD can be a medicinal product, regulated as such (more than 200 mg oral/day).
- At physiological doses CBD should be regarded as an OTC-product (over the counter) or a food supplement (20 – 200 mg oral /day) equal to substances, such as valerian, Ginkgo Biloba, some vitamins and iron products.
Low CBD concentrations and doses should be allowed in food products without any restrictions (20 mg/day).