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CBD has been growing more and more popular in the US, both in medical products and in products for everyday use. However, the rest of the world has different views on CBD. Many countries, in a similar manner to the US, have an ongoing debate within their governments about how CBD should be regulated, if at all. Some countries have laws that are much more relaxed towards CBD use, while others are far stricter.

The European Union could be considered an example of the latter, with complicated regulations that depend on the type of CBD. Natural CBD in the EU, meaning CBD extracted from a plant, was originally not considered food and was actually labeled as a narcotic.[1] Since synthetic CBD does not come from a plant it was actually not considered a narcotic and was considered as a food item in the EU.1 Then EU regulations were made even more complex in late 2020 when it was ruled that a member of the EU could not stop the sale of CBD when it was extracted from the plant in its entirety instead of just being extracted from the fiber or seeds.1 After the late 2020 ruling the original rules were reexamined and it was determined that CBD should not be labeled as a narcotic.1 This, however, further complicated things, and a lot of member states currently have different views on CBD use in foods, and the approval of foods with CBD will often depend on the THC content.

Japan is another example of a country with complex rules regarding CBD. The import of CBD products is allowed provided that it is a natural product and does not contain THC.1 Synthetic CBD import is also allowed, but the importer is obligated to prove that the CBD is not cannabis. The imported products will be tested by customs to see if there is any THC detected, if there is the company will face penalties.

In China, the use of CBD can be legally used in both food and medicine.1 In fact, it has been used in both for quite a long time. Interestingly enough, CBD as an ingredient in cosmetic products was recently banned along with other possible ingredients.1 This again shows how complex the issue of CBD truly is, even within a single country there are a wide variety of laws and regulations pertaining to CBD.

Countries around the world have a variety of rules and regulations pertaining to CBD usage. Whether it is for use in food or medicine the regulations tend to be complex and confusing. The constant changes being made only add to that confusion. EMMA International can help navigate the confusion surrounding CBD. Whether it is understanding how to label CBD products or submitting an application to have a CBD product approved by a regulatory body, EMMA International can help with it all. EMMA International provides Full Circle Consulting services, give us a call at 248-987-4497 or email info@emmainternational.com to get in touch with our team of experts today.


[1] RAPS (June 2021) Global regulatory trends in CBD use in food and food supplements, Retrieved 01/09/2022 from https://www.raps.org/news-and-articles/news-articles/2021/6/global-regulatory-trends-on-cbd-use-in-food-and-fo

Gabe Kadoo

Gabe Kadoo

Mr. Kadoo is a Quality Engineer at EMMA International. He has experience in statistical analysis, performance improvement, quality assurance, and value stream mapping in the clinical setting. Mr. Kadoo also has experience as a clinical researcher and medical technologist. Mr. Kadoo holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. He is also a Six Sigma Green Belt.

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