Cannabis supplements promoted by David Beckham, golf star Darren Clarke and socialite Meg Mathews are to be pulled from the market following a safety investigation.
The Food Standards Agency has published a list of approved cannabinoid (CBD) products based on the strength of their testing procedures.
And celebrity-backed additions from the likes of Beckham, Clarke and Mathews flout the agency’s new rules.
Products endorsed by David Beckham (pictured yesterday) and Meg Mathews (photographed on a red carpet in 2017) flout new FSA guidelines mandating rigorous testing procedures
But those backed by Anthony Joshua, Paddy McGuinness and Claudia Winkleman are on the list, meaning they can still be sold.
WHAT IS CBD OIL?
CBD oil is a legal cannabinoid that can be sold in the UK.
CBD contains less than 0.2 percent of the psychoactive substance THC.
Although the oil has been thought to have some medicinal properties, including relieving inflammation, pain, and anxiety, there is no conclusive science.
Suppliers in England and Wales must obtain a license to sell CBD as a medicine.
Manufacturers can circumvent the strict regulation by selling it as a dietary supplement – and ignore the lengthy process of obtaining drug approval.
CBD products come in many forms, the most popular being oils that users spray under their tongue or gel tablets that slowly melt in the mouth.
Government advisers to the MHRA noted that CBD has a “restorative, corrective or modifying” effect on humans.
Cannabis oil, which differs from CBD oil because it contains THC – the compound that gives users a “high” – is illegal under UK law.
Billy Caldwell, from Castlederg, Northern Ireland, made headlines last April when he became the first Brit to be prescribed it by the NHS.
Cannabis oil, which is said to have no side effects, affects the release and absorption of “feel good” chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.
Half of the CBD products sold on Amazon and a quarter of the CBD products sold on Boots did not make the list and have to be withdrawn, The Times reported.
The FSA list does not assess the safety or nutritional value of items, only their testing procedures.
Ms. Mathews, ex-wife of Oasis member Noel Gallagher, has already withdrawn her CBD supplements for menopausal women.
The Primrose Hill socialite and former music executive runs two cannabis farms in England and Ireland.
Ryder Cup winner Clarke’s range, which includes wild berry sweets for £55, will reportedly make the list next week.
It’s not clear if CBD supplements sold by Cellular Goods, in which David Beckham owns 5 percent, will change their testing methods or exit the market.
The FSA sets food hygiene regulations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, all CBD products with less than 0.2 percent psychoactive THC are legal to buy.
High Street CBD supplements are not classified as medicines, but as food.
This means they are not allowed to make any health claims. However, proponents say CBD products can help people struggling with sleep, anxiety, and chronic pain.
In a statement, the agency said: “If a product is not on the list, retailers should remove it as it is not accompanied by a credible marketing authorization application.”
The FSA cannot enforce food safety rules against shops but expects councils to do so.
The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry added, “The list is an important milestone and will boost consumer confidence.”
And a spokesman for Cellular Goods said: “We have sold our ingestible products in good faith and believe they are fully compliant with the law.
‘We have approached the FSA for further confirmation of the position of our products.’
Ryder Cup winner Clarke is selling £55 wild berry drops that ‘improve concentration’.
The 3,500-strong list comes as the FSA seeks to crack down on what it considers “not credible” CBD supplements.
It also warned that cannabidiol supplements currently on the list could still turn out to be counterfeit.
Chief Executive Emily Miles said last week: “Being on the list means the application is credible and the FSA has, or expects to have in the near future, significant scientific evidence from the applicant against which to assess its safety.
“I would like to stress that the FSA does not endorse any products on the public list.
“Being on the list is no guarantee that they will be approved as their safety has not yet been fully assessed.
“But we have taken the step to publish the list so that local authorities, retailers and consumers can make informed decisions about what to stock and buy.”
Sales of CBD products hit £690 million last year, £164 million ahead of industry expectations.
Sales of CBD products hit £690m in 2020, £164m above market forecasts
The deadline for manufacturers to submit products for review was March 31st.
Minutes from the FSA chief’s December report said that “the quality of the applications was lower than we expected”.
The FSA says consumers should “think carefully” before taking CBD products. It states that healthy adults should not take more than 70 mg per day.
The agency also recommends people in vulnerable groups, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people taking medication should only use them under medical guidance.