By Emily Ledger
Pharmacists across the UK are demanding stricter regulation of CBD products, as the industry continues to grow. Products containing the Cannabis derivative are now widely available in retail outlets across the UK, including in many pharmacies.
Demand for the products has seen a sharp rise in the last year, as people learn more about the potential of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid. However, the ingredient is not yet widely regulated. As a result, the market has seen a rise in incorrectly labeled products, as the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis discovered in June.
62% of the CBD oils that the organisation tested for its industry review were found to be mislabelled. This meant that they contained outside a 10%+ margin of the advertised ingredient quantities. One of the oils even contained 0% CBD.
In order to create a trustworthy and reliable market, the National Pharmacy Association has called for clearer information and better checks on CBD products. This sentiment has also been shared by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. The organisation launched the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry earlier this year.
CBD is currently classed as a food supplement in the UK, meaning that its regulation is overseen by the Food Safety Agency (FSA). The product has also been declared a Novel Food by the European food standard authorities.
However, the ingredient continues to be increasingly added to a number of products from skincare to chocolate and drinks. CBD products are available at a large number of pharmacies and health shops around the country.
However, Jasmine Shah from the National Pharmacy Association, which represents hundreds of independent pharmacies, says:
“It’s for each pharmacist to decide whether its suitable to stock a CBD product or not. But in terms of the safety and efficacy of it more research is required.”
The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry aims to help CBD brands to achieve compliance and self-regulation to improve the industry. In a statement from the ACI, Strategic Counsel Steve Moore said: “the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry welcomes the call for improved CBD regulations from the National Pharmacy Association.”
The statement continues:
“We created the new Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) to help foster a legally compliant, socially responsible and innovative CBD industry. We urge CBD companies and stakeholders across the UK to sign up to the ACI Quality Charter. “
An ACI survey found that 48% of the public do not have confidence in the current UK CBD industry.