Safety warning over fears CBD products could damage liver and thyroid
ADULTS should consume no more than 10mg of cannabidiol (CBD) a day, UK regulators warn.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has slashed its recommended maximum intake from 70mg following evidence of adverse effects on the liver and thyroid.
The new upper limit is equivalent to about four or five drops of five per cent oil.
It’s also less than the total amount in single cans of TRIP (15mg) and Goodrays (30mg) drinks, which are sold in most major supermarkets.
The FSA initially published its consumer advice in February 2020, which urged healthy Brits not to take more than 70mg per day.
However, it warned that this “doesn’t mean that these levels are definitely safe, but that the evidence we have suggests adverse health effects could potentially be seen above this”.
Since then, a joint subgroup of the Committee on Toxicity (COT) and the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes had been reviewing the safety evidence submitted by the CBD industry.
CBD sold as a food includes oils, drops or tinctures, gel capsules, sweets and confectionery, bread and other baked goods, and drinks.
These items contain a chemical found in marijuana and hemp, but are legal and do not produce a ‘high’.
The FSA said there was no “acute safety risk” by consuming more than 10mg of CBD a day based on available data.
However, above this level and over a period of time, there was evidence of some adverse impacts on the liver and thyroid, with the higher the dose and the more often it is consumed increasing the risks.
Some food products currently on the market contain more than 10mg of CBD per serving, and the FSA said it would work with the industry to “agree a way forward” on these items.
The FSA encouraged consumers to monitor their daily consumption and consider changing it in light of the updated advice.
It continues to advise that CBD is not taken by people in vulnerable groups, including children, people taking medication who have not consulted a medical professional and those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive.
Professor Robin May, chief scientific advisor at the FSA, said: “Our independent advisory committees have reviewed the safety assessments submitted by the industry as part of their novel food applications and we are advising that healthy adults should take no more than 10mg of CBD a day.
“The more CBD you consume over your lifetime, the more likely you are to develop long-term adverse effects, like liver damage or thyroid issues.
“The level of risk is related to how much you take, in the same way it is with some other potentially harmful products such as alcoholic drinks.
“We encourage consumers to check the CBD content on the product label to monitor their overall daily consumption of CBD and consider if they wish to make changes to how much they take based on this updated advice.”
The more CBD you consume over your lifetime, the more likely you are to develop long-term adverse effects.
Professor Robin MayFood Standards Agency
FSA chief executive Emily Miles added: “We have always advised the public to think carefully about taking edible CBD products and, as with all foods, we continue to review our advice based on the evidence we gather from industry.
“We understand that this change to our advice will have implications for products currently on the market that contain more than 10mg of CBD per serving.
“We will be working closely with industry to minimise the risk so that consumers are not exposed to potentially harmful levels of CBD.”
Celebrities such as Strictly’s Claudia Winkleman, boxing champ Anthony Joshua, ex-cricketer and TV star Freddie Flintoff, and Welsh former footballer John Hartson have all previously promoted CBD products.
Sports presenter Laura Woods, ex-Liverpool and Spurs ace Jamie Redknapp, and radio host and model Lisa Snowdon have also spoken about their love of the ingredient.
A recent YouGov survey estimated that 11 per cent of UK adults (about six million people) had tried a CBD product.
CBD is extracted from hemp varieties of the cannabis plant, which do not contain or have very low levels of the psychoactive compound THC.
This means they do not produce the characteristic ‘high’ usually associated with weed.
Research into the benefits of CBD is limited, but some studies suggest it can have a positive impact on anxiety, pain and sleep.
It is legal in the UK, and the World Health Organization says that it is generally safe and well-tolerated, but some people experience minor side effects such as dry mouth and fatigue.
Read Full Article