European regulators, activists join calls for CBD oversight

Europe’s booming CBD market needs better regulation and safety protocols, according to two reports out this week from both government regulators and nonprofit activists.

First, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), an agency of the European Union, said there is an “urgent need” to get a handle on the potency of CBD products derived both from marijuana and hemp.

“These products are often available as some sort of ‘health supplement’ or wellness product, although it is often unclear on what basis these claims are made,” the authors concluded.

And in the United Kingdom, the nonprofit Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) released a report this week that 8%-11% of U.K. adults have tried CBD products and the sector’s growth is happening without much understanding of what’s in the products.

The group tested 30 CBD oil products and found:

  • Only 38% were within 10% of the advertised CBD content.
  • More than a third of the products contained less than 50% of the advertised CBD content.
  • Almost half (45%) of the selected products had measurable levels of THC.

“The industry as a whole must use these results to understand the areas of weakness in producing a quality product that consumers can trust,” the CMC concluded.

The warnings mirror similar alarms in the United States, where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether CBD can be safely added to food and dietary supplements.