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The CBD market has been rapidly expanding over the past few years. A range of products have come onto shelves claiming to help alleviate anxiety and sleep disturbances. While it’s not the FSA’s job to ascertain whether these claims are true, it is our job to give consumers confidence that these products are safe.

As part of this, we recently issued updated advice to consumers to limit their CBD intake to no more than 10mg a day. This advice is based on new evidence we’ve received in the last three years, which has been reviewed by our independent scientific committees, and it applies to all CBD products on the market.

We can confidently say, if you are using CBD products every day over a long period of time, that consuming a dose of less than 10mg is safe. Exceeding this daily amount over a prolonged period increases the risk of liver and thyroid damage.

This is not about the occasional use of a product. This is about those who frequently consume CBD, in whom the adverse effects could accumulate over time.

Our knowledge of CBD has been improving, but we still don’t know enough to understand the true effects of consuming CBD in food in the long term. That’s why we’ve encouraged consumers to be cautious.

In ordinary circumstances, unauthorised novel foods like CBD would not be allowed to go on sale until they have been through FSA safety tests. For CBD we have made an exception and allowed products to remain on shelves, while we work with industry to assess whether these products are safe. We did this both because there was no evidence of acute risk to consumers from CBD, but also because consumers told us they wanted access to these products.

To help retailers know which products were going through our safety checks, we created a public list of products in the process of being assessed. This list is a temporary measure. Once all the products on it have been through our authorisation process, they will either be authorised for sale, or they will be rejected and therefore should not be on sale.

We are expecting our first authorisations of CBD products to come through before the end of 2024, as long as companies provide the FSA with the data and evidence we need. In the meantime, we would like businesses selling CBD products to make sure they are only selling products that are on our public list.

We would also like them to amend product labels or packaging to reflect the 10mg a day advice to help consumers make informed choices. We continue to work to get the balance right so consumers can use CBD while having confidence it is safe.