Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Crime and Policing, wrote to the Chair of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), to seek advice on the issue of CBD products which are not medicines; specifically on the controlled cannabinoids that could be present and the concentrations that they could be present at.
CBD plant extract or plant isolates have gained salience as an ingredient in food supplements and in some cosmetic products, and there has been a proliferation of such products, available online and on the high street.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L) along with many other cannabinoids that may either exhibit psychoactive or non-psychoactive properties.
As an isolated substance, CBD is not a controlled drug. However the process of extracting or isolating CBD from the cannabis plant may co-extract other cannabinoids and products could unintentionally include other non-psychoactive or, more significantly, psychoactive cannabinoid substances.
The report on the international ring trial on CBD and controlled cannabinoids in consumer products will be published on the Government Chemist website later this month.
CBD is currently a controlled substance under the Single Convention. CBD products may therefore only be imported or exported under very specific conditions. Any import or export must meet all of these criteria and may only be done:
All phytocannabinoids, with several exceptions, are listed on the Prescription Drug List. If you wish to manufacture and sell a health product containing CBD that makes a health claim, you require approval for the product as a prescription drug under the Food and Drug Regulations.
NHPs and VHPs may only contain parts of the cannabis and hemp plants that are not considered cannabis under the Cannabis Act or that are excluded from the application of the Act. This includes things such as:
Although it may not have more than 0.3% THC, there is no limit to the amount of CBD that may be contained in industrial hemp plants.
To import or export the industrial hemp seeds or grain, you must:
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of chemical substances. Over 100 of these are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids derived from cannabis plants are sometimes called phytocannabinoids.
For hemp-seed oil to be exempted from the Cannabis Act, no phytocannabinoid including THC and CBD may be added or concentrated by processing.
Hemp seeds are the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds of the plant do not naturally contain THC or CBD. The hemp seed-derived ingredients that are the subject of these GRAS notices contain only trace amounts of THC and CBD, which the seeds may pick up during harvesting and processing when they are in contact with other parts of the plant. Consumption of these hemp seed-derived ingredients is not capable of making consumers “high.”
10. Is it legal, in interstate commerce, to sell a food (including any animal food or feed) to which THC or CBD has been added?
22. What does the FDA think about making CBD available to children with epilepsy?
A. The FDA is aware that there are potential adverse health effects with use of cannabis products containing THC in pregnant or lactating women. Published scientific literature reports potential adverse effects of cannabis use in pregnant women, including fetal growth restriction, low birth weight, preterm birth, small-for-gestational age, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, and stillbirth. [1, 2, 3] Based on published animal research, there are also concerns that use of cannabis during pregnancy may negatively impact fetal brain development. [4, 5, 6 ] The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue cannabis use. In addition, ACOG notes that there are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of cannabis use on breastfed infants; therefore, cannabis use is discouraged when breastfeeding.  Pregnant and lactating women should talk with a health care provider about the potential adverse health effects of cannabis use.
 Hayatbakhsh, et al. Birth Outcomes associated with cannabis use before and during pregnancy. Pediatric Research. 2012; 71 (2): 215-219.