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Czech Republic might ban marketing of CBD and other cannabinoids in food and supplements



The Czech Republic might ban the sale of foods and food supplements that contain CBD and other cannabinoids from hemp. The proposal is based on a strict interpretation of European Union (EU) regulations and insufficient research into the health effects of these compounds. The State Authority for Agricultural and Food Inspection, under the authority of the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, is preparing a measure that intends to remove all products containing cannabinoids from the market. This ban should also include cosmetics containing cannabinoids derived from hemp, but the hemp sector promises to fight back this proposal.

If implemented, the ban is expected to have a significant impact on some food business operators in the country. However, Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula emphasized that food products that are not proven safe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) should not be placed on the market. The EFSA classifies CBD as a novel food (novel food), which requires safety checks before they can be marketed in the EU.

The European Commission ruled in December 2020 that CBD is not a narcotic and can be classified as a food. The decision allows CBD products to enjoy free movement between EU member states if they comply with the relevant provisions of EU food law. However, the EFSA also noted that current research into the effects of CBD on various body systems, such as the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system and psychological well-being, is still insufficient.

The lack of data on the safety of CBD and hemp extracts is a significant concern, according to the Czech Ministry of Agriculture. The EFSA has identified several potential risks, and missing data on potential health effects needs to be completed before the safety of these products can be confirmed.

Another health risk for consumers is the psychoactive compound derived from hemp, HHC. The Czech Republic is one of several EU countries where highly concentrated HHC products have been found on the market. These products are manufactured by subjecting CBD to a chemical process, thus creating the semi-synthetic compound that allows to imitate the effect of delta-9 THC, the psychoactive compound present in cannabis. The rapid spread of HHC in the Erupian continent was identified as a risk to the health of consumers by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in its most recent report.

The proposal to ban on the marketing of CBD and other cannabinoids in food and dietary supplements in the Czech Republic is due to strict interpretations of EU regulations and insufficient research into the health effects of these compounds. The ban will also affect cosmetics containing cannabinoids derived from hemp. Companies operating in the country and selling products containing cannabinoids are expected to be significantly affected. However, there is still no date set for when the ban will come into effect.


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