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EU adds hemp-extracted CBD to cosmetic ingredient database



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A Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow) The European Commission (EC) has added CBD derived from cannabis extracts, tinctures or resins to the EU Cosmetic Ingredients Database. The news comes after strong pressure work carried out by the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA).

It was on the 4th of February that the Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Union (EU) added cannabidiol (CBD) “derived from cannabis extract, tincture or resin” to the CosEng, the European Cosmetics Regulation Database.

This recent CosIng review follows the historic decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECW) that CBD derived from the whole hemp plant is not a narcotic under the 1961 UN Single Convention on Drugs and therefore must be freely traded between EU member states.

The change came after strong pressure from the European Hemp Association 

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) is a trade association that has spearheaded the push for these updates – by calling for all bans on hemp-derived ingredients to be lifted to make way for new entries. on the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) platform.

Entry in the list of cosmetic products relating to hemp extracts

“These are the news that make my day. Thanks to the intensive but very rewarding work of our team and the trust that our members place in us, pure CBD (i.e. of natural origin) and leaf extracts containing CBD have been guaranteed and can now be marketed in the EU as cosmetics”, says Lorenza Romanese, Managing Director of EIHA.

“I feel that the legal clarity that we have painstakingly requested is yet to come. Of course, there is still a long way to go, but it is good that our constant efforts can be measured by tangible results”, concluded the EIHA spokeswoman.

Regulation differs in different EU countries

The latest rankings in the CosIng database were defined to bring clarity to a regulatory landscape considered by many industry professionals and experts to be arguably complex. Until now, only synthetically produced CBD was provided for in the CosIng database, although under the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC No. 1223/2009), CBD extracted from certain parts of the hemp plant, such as the leaves and stems, had also been allowed.

The use of CBD extracts from hemp flowers, however, remained banned, with an EU opinion that such extracts were not allowed, something that worked differently in each Member State. France, for example, has banned CBD from hemp flowers in cosmetics, while the Czech Republic has allowed it.

Now, the CosIng database features natural CBD from hemp and natural CBD from hemp leaves as two cosmetic ingredients. Although the catalog is not legally binding, but rather designed to serve an informational purpose for the industry, it served as a guide for Member States because its ultimate purpose was to harmonize the marketing of cosmetic products across Europe.

What could these updates mean for the industry?

In November 2020, the European Court of Justice – the highest court in Europe – ruled that CBD derived from the hemp plant in its entirety should not be banned by any Member State because it was not considered a “narcotic”.

The decision was part of a lawsuit against French e-cigarette company KanaVape, which sold products with CBD oil made from whole hemp plants in France – a market that only allowed CBD extracts derived from hemp fiber and seeds. KanaVape CBD oil, however, was legally extracted in the Czech Republic, where whole hemp can, on the other hand, be used as a source of CBD.

This decision was hailed as a landmark decision by cannabis and cannabinoid industry associations across the EU and prompted the European Commission to resume Novel Food applications for edible hemp-derived CBD products just over a month ago.

The CBD cosmetics market thus gains new perspectives and it is expected that the EU and the various Member States will standardize regulations, so as not to block an industry with so much growth potential.



[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]


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[…] that hemp cultivation contributes to the European Green Deal. The European Union has also added CBD extracted from hemp to the list of ingredients that can be used in cosmetics, in addition to the Court of Justice […]


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