Great Day for CBD: European Commission Confirms CBD Is Not Narcotic

On Wednesday, the same day that the UN decided to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from the list of most dangerous drugs, another great news sent waves of Christmas spirit throughout the industry. CBD is not a narcotic, the European Commission confirmed. 

Following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Commission decided that cannabidiol (CBD) will not be regulated as a drug and can be qualified as food.

First published by Hemp Industry Daily, the news has brought much delight to the CBD industry. 

European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) was among the first to get informed about the new Commission’s decision.

“As predicted, the ECJ ruling has had a positive effect on the Commission’s position. Now that CBD can be qualified as food, the EIHA Novel Food joint application is perfectly set up for achieving safety assessment and standards for our growing industry”, said Lorenza Romanese, EIHA’s Managing Director. “We also welcome the vote of the United Nations, which leads to a modern and sound scientific approach regarding cannabis in general“, he added. 

On Thursday, the Commission confirmed the news at an on-line press briefing.

„On this CBD or cannabidiol case, we have to think about different applicants. We have also taken into account the recent decision of the European Court of Justice, and on that basis, the Commission has reviewed its preliminary assessment and concluded that cannabidiol should not be considered a drug within the meaning of the United Nation Conventions… This means that cannabidiol can indeed be qualified as food. Commission services are now contacting different applicants to let them know that we are resuming our verification of the validity of their application that they have introduced”, said Commission’s spokesman for public health and food safety Stefan de Keersmaecker

CBD was included in the EU’s Novel Food Catalogue in January 2019. Since then, the EU has required extensive testing and authorization of CBD products from food safety authorities. In July, it stopped reviewing applications for the authorization after announcing the Commission’s preliminary view that CBD extracted from the flowering tops of the Cannabis sativa L. plant should be considered a narcotic. After the decision of the highest European court, there’s no more doubt – CBD has no narcotic properties and can be marketed as food.

Reviewed by Sasha Bajilo, founder of ILESOL Pharmaceuticals, an industrial scale producer of CBD products and formulations. Expert on Hemp/Cannabis policy, member of the Croatian Ministry of Health regulatory commission for medical cannabis.