CBD consumption: UK food authorities update limit for healthy adults

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have issued updated advice regarding the consumption of Cannabidiol (CBD) in food products, recommending that healthy adults should restrict their intake to no more than 10mg per day. This new precautionary guidance is based on industry evidence and the latest recommendations from independent scientific committees.    

The FSA's revised advice emphasizes that CBD should not be consumed by individuals in vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals trying to conceive, and people taking medications without consulting a medical professional. The updated recommendations take into account the average lifetime exposure to CBD-containing food products such as oils, drinks, sweets, bakery items, and drops.    

The FSA highlights how it is important for consumers to be mindful of the CBD content in the products they consume. Some items available on the market may have higher CBD concentrations per serving than the recommended 10mg per day. Therefore, individuals are advised to read labels carefully and consider their daily intake in light of this updated guidance.    

Professor Robin May, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Food Standards Agency, highlighted the correlation between the amount of CBD consumed over a lifetime and the likelihood of developing long-term adverse effects, such as liver damage or thyroid issues. May drew a parallel with other potentially harmful products like alcoholic drinks, where the level of risk is associated with the quantity consumed.    

Emily Miles, CEO of the Food Standards Agency, acknowledged that the revised advice would have implications for products currently on the market that exceed the recommended 10mg of CBD per serving. The agency intends to work closely with the industry to minimize the risk and ensure that consumers are not exposed to potentially harmful levels of CBD.    

The previous guidance, issued by the FSA in February 2020, recommended that healthy adults refrain from consuming more than 70mg of CBD per day. This limit was established based on limited evidence from studies where CBD was used as a medicine, with dosage determined by balancing the drug's benefits against potential side effects.    

Since the initial advice, the FSA has actively engaged with the CBD industry, gathering data specific to CBD use in food as part of the safety assessment process. The updated recommendations stem from a comprehensive review of this evidence by independent scientific committees.    

Consumers are urged to monitor their daily CBD consumption by checking product labels for CBD content and to consider adjusting their intake in light of the updated advice. The FSA will continue to review the impact of CBD and update its guidance as new evidence emerges.    



Food Standards Agency