Surprising Changes in CBD Recommendations: Food Standards Agency Decision

Last Thursday, the Food Standards Agency caught everyone off guard. They made the surprising decision to change the recommended dose of CBD to 10mg a day, 60mg down from its originally recommended maximum level of 70mg for the average 70kg person.

The Food Standards Agency suggested the changes were made based on new evidence from the industry and its independent scientific committee. Still, the recommendation remains only advisory, and regulators are not suggesting any products are taken off shelves.

Industry Impact: Media Reaction to Food Standards Agency’s CBD Announcement

As one would anticipate, with the popularity of CBD products growing rapidly across the UK, the media – including The Telegraph, Forbes and BBC – paid attention. One article published in The Guardian discussed the reasons and potential impact of said announcement and quoted the Food Standards Agency’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Robin May. He added “the level of risk is related to how much you take, in the same way it is with some other potentially harmful products such as alcoholic drinks.”

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Insights from Experts: Understanding the FSA’s Stance

In line with his statement, The Daily Mail quoted Dr Mikael Sodergren, Head of the Medical Cannabis Research Group at Imperial College London, who explained that “people using cannabis-based medicines on prescription often take daily doses which far exceed 10mg per day.” However, he continued by suggesting that “in those cases – for epilepsy or palliative care or cancer pain, for instance – the potential benefit is considered to be sufficiently high when treatment has medical oversight to manage any side-effects that may arise.”

However, a number of media asked readers to consider some of the study’s findings, as well as the study itself. Julio de Carvalho Ponce, a lecturer in forensic science at the University of Winchester, wrote for The Conversation discussing the process behind studies like the Food Standards Agency’s. He noted:

“to determine how harmful a substance is – or rather, what’s the highest safe amount a human can consume in a given time – scientists test it on animals and then apply a “correction level”.

He continued by saying that in a study using rats, a dose of 100mg per kilogram of body weight is said to be the highest dose where no harms are observed, that would mean for a 70kg human an intake of 7g daily. However, it is the differences in metabolism between species that concern bodies like the Food Standards Agency as humans may be potentially more susceptible to harm.

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Study Process Unveiled: How CBD Safety is Determined

Such is CBD’s well-established popularity, a number of users on social media expressed their opinions and lack of support for the FSA’s change in recommendations, some focusing on the FSA’s investigation process and some highlighting many of the inconsistencies and flaws cited in the FSA’s report.
In some similar studies, as noted by Drug Science on Twitter, some subgroups also conclude that additional bioavailability studies in rats and mice would not always be informative in relation to these substances.

Social Media Buzz: User Opinions on FSA’s CBD Recommendations

On LinkedIn they added

“we need to point out that this daily dose of cannabidiol is more than 100 times lower than the safe dose found in the rodent studies. Bizarrely, the Food Standards Agency justify it based on a comparison with alcohol, because chronic use leads to harms.”

On Twitter they noted “if they [the FSA] applied the same 100-fold safety limit to alcohol then the maximum dose per day would be less than one drop of beer.”

Travis Haynes went further into the biochemical elements of CBD consumption and added “your body doesn’t have a special system just for alcohol… like it or not, everyone has an endocannabinoid system… humans were literally created to consume cannabis…”

Market Response: Will Brands Adapt to FSA’s Guidelines?

While there is contention surrounding this issue, there is no doubt about the impact the announcement may have on the burgeoning CBD industry. CBD drinks brands like Trip and Goodrays are likely to face the brunt of the effects, mainly as their CBD cans offer a minimum of 15mg of CBD per can. Not only will these brands have to reconsider the CBD serving per can, they may have to forgo thousands of items of once-approved stock in order to abide by the new recommendations. Ultimately, customers will not be especially keen on portioning their carbonated drinks to follow the 10mg rule.

The Future of CBD Consumption: Measurable and Customizable Products

Those selling to supermarkets and retailers will also be wary as outlets like Tesco will be hesitant to sell products that don’t align to the FSA’s recommendations. Additionally, if many potential new users were once curious about trying CBD products, last week’s news is likely to cause wider concern and therefore, lessened demand.

As a result, will we see a wider need for brands that allow their own customers to take control of their own dosage levels? CBD products that are measurable, customisable and controllable, helping customers add 10mg to their everyday beverage without worrying about the Food Standards Agency’s recommendation.

As far as we’re concerned, at MightyMe, there’s only place to look. Treat yourself to some of our water soluble CBD here.