Evidence for side effects of cannabidiol (CBD) products and their non-conformity on the European food market – response to the European Industrial Hemp Association.
Authors: Lachenmeier DW, Walch SG
An interesting and valuable discussion has arisen from our recent article (Lachenmeier et al., 2020) and we are pleased to have the opportunity to expand on the various points we made. Equally important, we wish to correct several important misunderstandings that were made by Kruse and Beitzke (2020) on behalf of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) that possibly contributed to their concerns about the validity of our data, toxicological assessment and conclusions regarding regulatory status of cannabidiol (CBD) products. First and foremost, our study did only assess the risk of psychotropic Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) without inclusion of non-psychotropic Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). Secondly, as this article will discuss in more detail, there is ample evidence for side effects of CBD products, not only in paediatric patients, but also in adult users of over-the-counter CBD products (including inadvertent « high » effects). Thirdly, the exposure and risk assessment was conducted using up-to-date guidelines according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). And finally, the current legal situation in the European Union, without approval of any hemp extract-containing product according to the Novel Food regulation, actually allows blanket statements that all such products are illegal on the market, and this indeed would imply a general ban on the use and marketing of such products as food or food ingredients until such an approval has been granted. We hope that this reassures the F1000Research readership regarding the validity of our results and conclusions. We are pleased, though, that the EIHA has acknowledged the fact that there are non-compliant CBD products available, but according to our data these are a substantial fraction of the market.
PMID: 33082934 [PubMed – in process]