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The TRUTH About The FSA’s New CBD ‘Safety Limit’

Today, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the regulator for UK foods, has substantially reduced their recommended daily dose for CBD – citing long term health concerns.

Having previously recommending a dosage of 70mg a day, users will be left naturally be left worried about today’s news and no doubt have many questions. But what is the truth behind it?

The first, of many, interesting things to note, is that this study has only been conducted on ‘foods and supplements in which the CBD ingredient itself is at least ≥98% purity. ‘ Thus meaning isolate based oils – none of which CBDLife sell.

It becomes apparent relatively quickly that the findings aren’t all as they seem, with the FSA themselves admitting that they are yet to thoroughly conduct studies on daily users who consume more that 10mg per day. They report said:

“Chronic daily lifetime use of Pure Form CBD (≥98% purity) in foods has yet to be fully assessed in a rigorous and scientific way. As a consequence, it cannot be ruled out that long-term daily chronic use of pure form CBD (≥98% purity) at intake levels higher than 10 mg CBD/day could contribute to the development of adverse effects over time…”

So it can’t be ruled out…. or confirmed?

The report then goes on to discuss their findings on drug-drug interactions of users taking 70mg CBD a day. Any reputable CBD company will always advise you speak to a medical professional before taking CBD.

Elsewhere it states ‘Currently, somnolence (excessive tiredness) and liver effects are the main effects of concern.’ The adverse liver findings were found in people consuming 5mg/kg a day. To put that in to context, that would be a 70kg human consuming 350mg of CBD daily!

The subgroup was then made up of three focus groups:

  • Group A: those ingredients using ≥98% pure CBD only and no other cannabinoids (derived from either plant-based extraction or synthetic chemistry sources);
  • Group B: those ingredients using CBD and a mixture of cannabinoids (derived from either plant-based extraction or synthetic chemistry sources);
  • Group C: natural hemp or hemp-based extract ingredients containing a range of cannabinoids.

For the isolate based oils, the study reveals: ‘For ≥98% pure CBD ingredients where the remaining 2% of the composition is known, it was found that there is now sufficient toxicological and human study evidence to perform a human health risk assessment, seeking to establish an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for ≥98% pure CBD. ‘

With NOTHING yet being determined from the findings of the other two groups: ‘The Subgroup will continue to work through the data for the other two Groups B and C to establish to what extent read across between groups is possible, to inform further advice to the FSA on these products.’

Another slightly confusing element to this is that the FSA have chose to round down after establishing the acceptable daily intake by averaging he results from their three studies: ‘provisional ADI can be established of 10 mg/day for a 70 kg healthy adult, obtained by averaging the putative ADIs based on the three pivotal studies (0.16 mg/kg bw x 70 kg, rounded to one significant figure)‘ Average figure coming in at 0.16mg per KG and opting to round down to 0.1mg per kg? With data gaps, the subgroup took the belief of a ‘cautionary approach should be applied’ due to their being ‘lack of human-based long-term evidence and evidence regarding potentially vulnerable groups. ‘ This on top of the fact they used a 100-fold uncertainty factor is their proceedings leads to even more questions than answers.

Ultimately, the main factor in the decision to dramatically cut the recommended daily intake of CBD comes from airing on the side of caution as data isn’t full available. This includes such factors as the bio-availability of CBD when consumed with a fatty meal. The issue of the bioaccumulation comes from a build up from the CBD but it is important to remember that in the oil they used in the study there is >2% of unknown substance, which could of course lead to this.

The body will metabolise it as soon as the body stops consuming it so taking a couple of weeks break every 3/4 month should alleviate any build up.With such things producing substantial differences to the effectiveness of CBD, but to the extent remaining somewhat unknown, the subgroup felt it was important to consider such things when deciding on a safe dosage. A lot of the human evidence that suggests some ‘issues’ to humans were conducted on people taking over 70mg of CBD daily but that due to the fact that ‘doses lower than 70 mg/day cannot be ruled out’ they feel 10mg a day is safe. The full report can be found, here.

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