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The legality of Cannanidiol (CBD) containing products – 02/01/2019

The FNTP has received a greatly increased number of enquiries from members reference their concerns about the legality of some of the products being marketed to them. This can be from non-compliant ingredients to the more concerning issues of products containing CBD Oils, in particular the levels of permitted THC within these and the appropriate health claims that can be made for such products.
The legality of selling, using, storing, or recommending CBD Oils is unclear. Acting on behalf of our membership we have sort to clarify the current position.

The key questions we are being asked are:

Q: What claims can I make for products containing CBP Oil, either verbally in person to a client or through my website and/or links from it?
A: The ASA/CAP website page ASA – Cannabidiol (CBD) containing products summarises the position unambiguously
CAP understands that at the present time, there are no authorised claims for CBD on the EU Register. Marketers are advised always to check the EU Register before making health claims for food products.

Q: Am I insured for this activity?
A: Judging from the responses we have received from key providers of CAM practitioner insurance, we would suggest a high level of caution. Some insurance providers won’t cover claims arising for the use, storage, or recommendation of any CBD products, stating that the products are in their view “illegal”. Others suggest that applications for cover to store, use or recommend CBD Oil should be dealt with on a case by case basis, whilst clearly stating that their standard insurance will NOT cover this issue.

Q: Will my FNTP Affinity Insurance provide cover
A: Balens in conjunction with Zurich provide the FNTP insurance facility and have supplied clear guidance:

o Use of CBD oil is not covered by the insurance policy as standard.
o If a member is looking to extend their practice to include the use or sale of CBD oils/products we can consider extending the policy, but we would need to obtain further information from the client on a case by case basis. The type of questions which will be asked before consideration will be given are available here.
o insurers will not cover a product that contains THC.

Q: What does the food supplement industry have to say on the matter?
A: The Health Food Manufactures Association has been kind enough to provide us with their most recent briefing paper.
The Briefing Paper concludes: ‘Companies should take great care when marketing CBDs as food supplements, taking into account all relevant current legislation, and making no medicinal or unauthorised health claims.’

Q: What do the authorities suggest is the legal limit of THC in CBD oil products?
A: Some companies talk about the limits being 0.2% THC and/or no more than 1mg of THC per finished unit of sale. However the Home Office – Drug Licensing Factsheet- Cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids states If a CBD ‘product’ contained any controlled cannabinoids, unintentionally or otherwise (e.g. THC or THC-V), then it is highly likely that the product would be controlled….. Against this background, the presumption has to be one of caution – that is, that a CBD containing product would be controlled under the MDA 1971 /MDR 2001 as a result of its other cannabinoid content.

Q: If selling CBD Oils is seen as an illegal act could I be struck off my profession register?
A: It is a requirement of your profession body and your regulatory body that you operate in accordance with current law. If you are convicted of a criminal offence you are required to inform both your profession body and your insurance provider. A conviction may result in your membership being withdrawn and will have an effect on your future ability to obtain insurance.

We remain ready to review any questions you might have on this controversial issue, and suggest caution when using, storing, recommending or selling any product containing CBD oils.
If you have concerns or further questions please contact our Support Teams

There is also a live Online Support facility recently added to the FNTP website which is active across time-zones and outside UK office hours.

Wishing you the very best for a healthy, happy, and successful 2019.

Kind regards,

FNTP Member Support Team