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Illegal dietary supplements containing cannabidiol

Whether as oil, tablet or capsule – numerous food supplements in Germany are sold with the cannabis ingredient cannabidiol (CBD). However, this is not permitted.

Cannabidiol is classified as Novel Food by the European Commission. This means that the substance must first be tested and approved as a novel food before food supplements with CBD can be sold. At the meeting of the Novel Food Commission in Brussels it was announced that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will review its decision to classify CBD as a novel food. It is also expected that a final decision could be taken shortly.

There are currently around 90 illegal CBD products on the market. In addition, food supplements may not bear any health claims (e.g. “analgesic” or “anti-inflammatory”) on their packaging.

Similarly undifferentiated is the inadmissibility of the use of CBD in cosmetics alleged in the decree. Contrary to what is indicated therein, the European Cosmetics Directive does not result in a general ban on the use of CBD in cosmetic products. Here, too, it makes a difference whether the substance is obtained from the blossoms and fruits or from the seeds and leaves of the plant.

Overall, there is currently a lack of legal certainty regarding the use of CBD in food and cosmetics.


Our experts will be happy to advise you – both on dietary supplements and cannabis, as well as on labelling regulations.

Get in touch. Your direct contact is:

Dr. Yvonne Pfeifer
T +49 30 206 038 164


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