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What Are Novel Foods?

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If you’re a user of CBD, you may have heard the term ‘novel foods’ being associated with it. In this article, we will explain exactly what this term means, what this has to do with CBD, and the implications this has on the brands you buy from. 

What are Novel Foods?

Novel Foods are defined by The European Commission and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as “foods which have not been widely consumed by people in the UK or EU”. 

This means that the foods do not have a ‘history of consumption’. In other words, they are fairly new and may be perceived as unusual… or a ‘novel’ you might say!

Examples of novel foods include exotic fruits (such as noni fruit), exotic seeds (such as chia seeds), and – you guessed it – CBD!

Is CBD a Novel Food?

Yes – CBD is listed as a novel food. The European Commission & FSA list CBD as a novel food (even though we don’t always eat it). This is what determines the legal decisions and guidelines surrounding CBD in the UK and Europe.

This categorisation makes sense when you think of CBD edibles such as CBD gummy bears, CBD chocolate in the UK, CBD tea in the UK, and even CBD oil in the UK. Plus, you can find CBD powder and CBD paste products which can be used for infusing CBD into foods when cooking. For example, making your own CBD chocolate at home!

But what about the other CBD products that we don’t eat? Namely CBD topicals such as CBD body butter, CBD gel, or CBD massage oil. Well, the actual CBD content of these products is still considered a novel food, even though we really do not recommend eating your skincare! 

However, it’s important to note that hemp products without any actual CBD content are not listed as novel foods. For example, hemp protein powder, or hemp oil products including topical hemp oil, or hemp oil in the UK are not included in this novel food category. Often, people confuse hemp-based products with CBD products – sometimes due to the way the products are packaged or marketed. But in reality, hemp and CBD products have very different effects and uses. Generally, CBD products are more powerful than hemp products – hence they tend to be more expensive and desirable! 

What Does This Mean for CBD Brands?

Because CBD is listed as a novel food, this means that manufacturers of CBD products must meet certain criteria. The European Commission and FSA set out guidelines which all CBD infused products must adhere to. Namely:

  • The products must not present a danger for the consumer.
  • Products must not mislead the consumer.
  • Products must not differ from the foods that they are intended to replace to such an extent that their normal consumption would be nutritionally disadvantageous for the consumer. 

When considering CBD, this essentially means that the products cannot be marketed as health supplements (must not mislead the consumer). And things like CBD tea or chocolate must still be tea or chocolate (must not differ too much from the foods they are intended to replace). 

The main takeaway from this is that CBD brands cannot make factual health claims about the benefits of CBD. Since the product is a novel food and not a pharmaceutical or health supplement, it would be misleading to make these claims. If you notice that a CBD store online or a CBD shop in the UK is doing this, it may mean they aren’t compliant with the rules and shouldn’t be trusted. 

Where Can I Buy Trusted CBD?

Honest Hemp – of course! Honest Hemp are 100% compliant with the regulations set out by The European Commission and the FSA. Not only this, but they also have a very extensive product range with high-quality, laboratory tested products created from their very own facility here in the UK. 

They have CBD edibles for sale, CBD spray, CBD gel & cream, CBD e-juice, plus hemp protein powder and loads more! Not to mention the best CBD massage oil and the best CBD oil in the UK (in my opinion!). 

Check them out here

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