skip to Main Content
Tel: 0161 820 1159      Email:
CBD in food products: gummy sweets lined up in green, red, white and orange colours.

Everything you need to know about CBD in food products in the UK

We are often asked about the Novel Foods regulation and what it means for launching a CBD in food products in the UK. This guide should answer any questions you have, and if not, you can always get in touch directly.

CBD IN FOOD: a novel food

A novel food is any food ingredient which was not in circulation in the European food chain prior to May 1997. Hemp and some of its byproducts – like cold-pressed oils – are not novel because there is sufficient evidence to show a history of consumption before this time. However, the Food Standards Agency insists that this is not the case for CBD extracts.

A novel food can also be a newly developed, innovative food ingredient, such as those  produced using new technologies and processes, as well as a food which is or has been traditionally eaten outside of Europe. 

Why is the novel food regulation important? 

The key underlying principle of the novel foods regulation is consumer safety. Until recently, CBD in food was unregulated in the UK and EU, but the novel foods directive changed that, requiring all manufacturers to produce safety and toxicology data to prove their products are safe for consumers. The rules also require manufacturers to label products appropriately, so as not to mislead consumers. 

Are there other examples of novel foods? 

Examples include edible insects, new sources of vitamin K, extracts from existing food like Antarctic Krill oil, and agricultural products from third countries like chia seeds and noni fruit juice. Food derived from new production processes, such as UV-treated food – milk, bread, mushrooms and yeast – may also be considered as novel by the authorities. 

Listen: B3 Labs co-founder Marc Burbidge talks to Florida-based Global Widget podcast to provide expert insight into the cannabis market in the UK.

I want to launch a new CBD product in the UK. What do I need to do? 

Whether you are an existing British brand or a US-based CBD company with UK ambitions, the novel foods application process is long and arduous. The only products currently permitted to be on sale are those which were on the market before 13 February 2020. 

Going it alone and filing a dossier from within your own team requires time, skilled staff, investment and patience as the journey includes technical paperwork, stability tests and original toxicology data. 

In most cases, the applicant will be the manufacturer and so the easiest route to market is to partner with an approved CBD product manufacturer which has already been authorised and validated by the Food Standards Agency in the UK. This manufacturer will have gone through all of the legal requirements, so much of the hard work is already done. The authorities in England and Wales are due to publish a list of authorised manufacturers and brands which are allowed to sell CBD food and beverage products in early 2022 which will make launching a new brand or range of products much easier for companies and much safer for consumers. 

CBD in food products: How long does it take to get authorisation? 

As the list of fully authorised CBD in food products has yet to be published, there is no specific timeframe known from application to authorisation and validation. The deadline for existing manufacturers to submit their dossiers was 31 March 2021, which meant that only brands already on the market in February 2020 could remain so.  

Do you need FSA validation to launch a new CBD product in the UK?

Only if the products you intend to launch are designed to be consumed in food, drink or nutritional supplement form. CBD oils, capsules, soft gels, confectionery and drinks are all within the regulation. If you wish to launch a range featuring any ingestible CBD product, you will need to go through the novel foods process with your manufacturing partner. At B3 Labs, thanks to our food safety BRCGS certification, we are perfectly positioned to assist.

More questions? Email your enquiry to: 

About B3 Labs

B3 Labs was born from a vision to change the CBD landscape for the better. Through our knowledge and expertise, we push the boundaries of what’s possible, helping you create truly game changing products for your brand. Thanks to our BRC Certification and our adherence to the Novel Foods Act, we can help take your products to market in a seamless way. Contact us today and start your journey.

Back To Top