Foods and food products containing CBD are quickly becoming popular in the UK market and may provide customers with wellness advantages. However, due to their increased accessibility, it is essential to put their safety first, quantify the CBD content precisely, and guarantee legal compliance.
We will explore the world of laboratory testing for foods containing CBD in this article, along with the regulatory context, analytical approaches, and findings interpretation. We prepared this article according to recent publication on UK Government’s website.
Analytes and UK legislative background
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD), including food supplements, have become incredibly popular in recent years. First of all, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK regulates edible products containing CBD as food or supplements. They do it if they are not licensed as medicines. According to regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FSA), as of March 31, 2021, only CBD food products with certificate of novel food applications will have authorisation to stay on the market. These regulations are designed to guarantee that CBD food items are secure, accurately labelled, and free of any ingredients restricted by Home Office regulations.
CBD is a cannabinoid that is not psychoactive and is a component of the Schedule One illegal narcotic, cannabis. CBD can be produced in a lab or extracted from the cannabis plant. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that separated CBD might also include other cannabinoids, including psychoactive ones. The cannabis plant contains twelve psychoactive cannabinoids, all of which are classified as restricted narcotics. The well-known delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) are two examples of these. For laboratory testing, the presence of THC in CBD extracts and food products is a key factor.
Analytical methods for CBD analysis
Firstly, particular analytical methods are necessary for accurately determining the CBD content of complicated matrices. Laboratories measure CBD in food using a variety of techniques. To guarantee sample homogeneity and appropriate analyte recovery, laboratories use sample preparation processes like dilution, solid phase extraction, liquid-liquid extraction, or trapping. Then there is a separation of cannabinoids from interfering chemicals using liquid chromatography (LC) or gas chromatography (GC). Finally, for the detection and measurement of CBD and other cannabinoids, laboratories use gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).
Validated techniques and adherence to specified compliance standards are required for interpreting the outcomes of a CBD analysis. Consumers should receive correct information by having CBD concentration match product labelling. In order to assure accuracy and dependability, it is essential to confirm results by carrying out additional analyses. It is essential to conform to Home Office laws, especially when it comes to restricted cannabis.
Future implications and considerations
So, the regulatory environment for CBD is constantly changing. Prospective adjustments are based on the ACMD’s (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs) recommendations. Labs may have new difficulties in identifying and analysing controlled cannabinoids at lower concentrations as the market develops. It may be necessary to create more precise testing procedures. Moreover, there may be a need to create reference standards for all cannabinoids and make sure analytical methodologies comply with ISO 17025 accreditation. To guarantee the validity of their findings, laboratories must engage in proficiency testing programs and stay current on industry advances.
In conclusion, for food products containing CBD to be safe and compliant, laboratory testing is essential. Laboratories can provide assessments of CBD content and controlled cannabinoid levels by many ways. They can be using approved methods, remaining current on changing laws, and adhering to best practices. This guarantees consumer protection, accurate product labelling, and adherence to legal requirements. In this case, to keep the validity and dependability of their testing procedures, laboratories must adjust to new issues and developments as the CBD business expands.