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Only 7 per cent of brands test for pesticides, heavy metals and microbes, report finds

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Findings from a review of over 4,000 products show that transparency in the CBD industry remains a major issue.

The popularity of CBD continues to soar across the globe with growing clinical evidence suggesting that the cannabinoid carries a host of therapeutic benefits. In most markets, the supplement is poorly regulated as legislation struggles to keep up with the rapidly growing CBD industry.

As a result, more and more brands are entering the CBD space determined to seize their share of the lucrative industry which is expected to reach a global value of $47.22 billion by 2028.

The report – authored by CBD industry watchdog Leafreport – found that purity testing for microbes, pesticides and heavy metals is still conducted at very low rates across the CBD industry.

To complete its transparency analysis, Leafreport examined the purity and potency certificates of analysis (CoA) of 188 brands as advertised on their website for a total of 4,384 products. In the absence of standardised regulation for the CBD industry, CoA provides a level of quality and safety control.

In comparison with 2021, transparency within the CBD industry appears to be “stagnating and deteriorating” in several critical areas, the authors said.

While 99 per cent of brands undertook at least some third-party potency testing, the proportion of brands that test almost all of their products for potency and share third-party lab results has remained unchanged since last year, still sitting at 42 per cent. However, only 12 per cent of brands had all their products fall within acceptable potency variance levels.

Guy Rocourt, CEO of cannabis wellness brand Papa & Barkley, said potency testing plays a significant role in the safe and beneficial use of CBD.

“Without accurate potency tests, producers cannot accurately produce quality products, and consumers cannot accurately gauge the efficacy levels they need to meet their particular needs,” Rocourt said. “This is especially important in the CBD space, where consumers need to use products consistently overtime to get the most out of this plant-based medicine.”

Purity testing was markedly less common according to the report with just 7 per cent of brands testing all of their products for microbes, pesticides, and heavy metals, compared to 6 per cent in 2021. Worryingly, 20 per cent of brands carried out no purity testing at all.

Heavy metals, microbes and pesticides can all cause potentially harmful effects when consumed. Exposure to heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium has been linked to respiratory and organ problems, developmental problems, headaches and certain forms of cancer.

“Hemp makes incredible plant-based medicine, and it also happens to be a bio-accumulator,” Rocourt added. “This means it absorbs substances efficiently from the soil it’s planted in, which is a great benefit when the earth needs to be remediated from damage. However, it also means that it can unintentionally absorb materials you don’t want to consume such as heavy metals, which is why it’s so important to test products.”

10 brands came out on top in the review, including NuLeaf Naturals, R+R Medicinals, Root Wellness, Just Live CBD and Green Roads CBD, all of which tested 100 per cent of their products for potency, microbes, heavy metals and pesticides.

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JM Wholesale sees 750 products included on FSA CBD list

The CBD stockist has described the development as a milestone for the company.

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JM Wholesale sees 750 products included on FSA CBD list
Home » News » CBD » Only 7 per cent of brands test for pesticides, heavy metals and microbes, report finds

Following a partnership with the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) and active participation with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), JM Wholesale has had more than 750 items included on the public CBD list.

Earlier this year the FSA published its list of CBD products linked to what it deems as credible Novel Food applications. Products included on the list will be advancing through the final stages towards authorisation, expected by 2023. 

More than 900 applications for thousands of UK products have been submitted for approval, with the majority being rejected for lacking basic information such as toxicity levels.

JM Wholesale has announced that it has now had 750 of its products included on the public list.

Read more: FSA CBD list now closed for applications

Thomas Lowe, operations director at the Leicester-based company, said that, after 200 per cent business growth in the past 18 months and a resulting move to major new premises, JM Wholesale is now perfectly placed to consolidate its position as the UK’s premier CBD wholesaler.

Lowe commented: “We have a larger range of approved CBD products than any other distributor and this moment is another milestone for our company.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure that our customers and our business are protected, by getting rid of any products not published on the FSA’s website, regardless of how big those brands are.

“In fact we’ve always loved finding unique products, including those where the CBD can be absorbed in different ways. That way, more people from different walks of life can enjoy CBD no matter how they prefer to access it.

“From our distribution centre we now provide the largest range of isolate and full spectrum CBD products in the UK, all of which are 100 per cent accepted by the FSA.

“We are the first distributor to add the relevant Novel Food classification numbers to all of our relevant listed products.

“The past few months have been extremely challenging for our industry but we have made efforts to take an active role in the novel food submission process. We anticipated regulation of this industry, we were determined not to let it stand in the way of the growth of our business, and we’ve participated accordingly.

“All in all, this is excellent news for our customers and partners.”

The company has stated that it has experienced rapid growth off the back of increased awareness of the health benefits of CBD products in the UK, and that, alongside its consumer business, it also exports to suppliers in the UK and in 170 countries worldwide.

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FSA CBD list now closed for applications

An additional 6000 products added to the Food standards Agency’s (FSA) CBD list.

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FSA CBD list now closed for applications
Home » News » CBD » Only 7 per cent of brands test for pesticides, heavy metals and microbes, report finds

The FSA has confirmed that the UK’s list of CBD products linked to credible Novel Foods applications is now closed.

The FSA has updated its public list of CBD products that can be marketed in England and Wales, adding almost 6000 products. These are products that are linked to a credible application submitted for authorisation to the FSA, and are not new to the market.

The organisation has confirmed that the public list, which was initially published in March, is now closed and has stated that any further requests to have products put on the public list or evidence sent are no longer being accepted.

Read more: FSA adds thousands of additional CBD products to public list

The FSA has previously reminded consumers that products on the list will be able to remain on the market as they progress towards final authorisation, but that, although these products are classed as “credible”, it does not guarantee they will be authorised for sale.

Rebecca Sudworth, director of policy at the FSA, stated: “This has been a long and complex process and we are grateful for the help and cooperation of the CBD industry as we reach this important milestone on the path to bringing CBD products into compliance and protecting consumers. 

“The only changes we envisage being made to the list now will be to reflect the status of products as we move to authorisation, and any routine corrections.

“We have seen the list, which contains almost 12,000 products, grow considerably since March when we first published it. The publication of the initial list prompted a number of companies to come forward with new evidence linking large numbers of individual products to existing applications, and so we made a final call for evidence to support businesses in achieving compliance for their products. 

“We think it is important we get this right, and it is encouraging that so many companies want to get their CBD products on the path to authorisation.”

Read more: Authorised UK CBD products expected by 2023

Businesses wanting to sell their products in Great Britain should now apply to the FSA’s regulated products process and those wanting to sell in Northern Ireland should apply to the European Commission. However, as new applications will not be eligible for the public list, they should not be put on sale until they have been authorised.

Validated applications on the CBD list are currently moving on to a full risk assessment stage of the application process, and those that are shown to be of a low enough risk must also go through a risk management process before a recommendation can be made to Ministers on authorisation.

At the time of the list’s initial publication in March, the FSA confirmed that, with a lengthy process still to go, it is unlikely any applications will be considered for authorisation before early to mid-2023, with any additional authorisations potentially taking another few years.

The FSA emphasises that there are currently no authorised CBD products on the market.

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British Cannabis™ launches premium CBD products in Selfridges

The CBD by British Cannabis™ collection will be showcased in the Beauty Hall at Selfridges London.

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British Cannabis™ launches premium CBD products in Selfridges
Home » News » CBD » Only 7 per cent of brands test for pesticides, heavy metals and microbes, report finds

British Cannabis™ is launching its premium, flagship range of CBD products in Selfridges.

British Cannabis™ will launch its super-premium collection of 100 per cent cannabis supplements and cosmetics in Selfridges on 4 July, 2022.

All of the food supplement products in the CBD by British Cannabis™ collection were recently included on the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) public list of products that are legal for sale on the UK market. 

The products’ appearance on the list followed the company’s successful submission of Novel Foods applications. 

Read more: British Cannabis celebrates 310 products on FSA CBD list

A recent update by the FSA saw British Cannabis™ ranked as the UK’s largest CBD manufacturer by number of publicly listed CBD products manufactured.

CEO, Thomas Whettem, commented: “This is yet another great milestone in the British Cannabis™ story. It is a testament to the levels of excellence we demand within our supply chain and products, that we are now stocked at an iconic, prestige retailer in Selfridges.

“We set out to create ‘the champagne of CBD oils’, with more beneficial cannabis phytochemicals than any other CBD products compliant and legal for sale today. 

“Our premium, THC-free products are both UK-born and UK-manufactured, thus debuting in Selfridges London seems very appropriate.”

British Cannabis™ launches premium CBD products in Selfridges

CBD by British Cannabis™ products have won multiple awards in recent years, including the Highly Commended 2021, P3 MVP Award for 1000mg CBD Cannabis Oils, ICP magazine’s 2022 CBD Product of The Year, and Your Healthy Living magazine’s 2022 Silver Award for Best CBD Products (for CBD by British Cannabis™ Dermal Patches 500mg).

The 100 per cent cannabis products contain hundreds of other beneficial cannabis compounds, terpenes, flavonoids, phenols and more, whilst still being compliant with regulations and legal for sale within the UK. 

Each product is rigorously tested for accuracy, purity, and THC-free status for consumer peace of mind.

Every product contains the knowledge and expertise that has been amassed over the last seven years of British Cannabis™ existence, evidenced in the growing, extraction, research, development, and manufacturing that saw this British start-up grow to be the leading authority in consumer cannabis products within the UK.

The company launched a television campaign in March 2022 for the range as part of a half a million pound investment in awareness building and consumer recruitment 2022/23.

The campaign aimed to break down barriers to legal cannabis-derived products, gaining broadcaster approval to make more industry-specific references than any campaign to date.

Shown across dozens of premium channels on the SKY and Channel 5 networks, this marked the first time that the SKY network had opened its doors to CBD advertisers on their linear stations since 2019.

Read more: CBD by British Cannabis launches nationwide TV ad campaign

British Cannabis™ managing director, David Ralson, commented: “As proud as we are of our tested, trusted, super-premium CBD supplements and cosmetics, we are equally proud to now be bringing them to the world-class shopping experience at Selfridges, as part of our distribution expansion plans.

“For over a century, Selfridges have brought premium health and beauty products to the forefront in exciting ways – and especially in their new Feel Good Bar. As one of the UK’s original British-made CBD ranges, with a heritage in this young industry of nearly seven years, the match of Selfridges and CBD by British Cannabis™ seems a perfect fit.

“I hope that Selfridges shoppers grow to love and trust our CBD range as much as our existing loyal customer base, who over the years have given us over 1,500 5-star reviews on Trustpilot.”

With sales of wellbeing supplements, superfoods and ingestibles up almost 125 per cent at Selfridges since last year and almost 700 per cent compared to pre-pandemic, The Feel Good Bar will launch as a new permanent wellbeing destination at Selfridges London. 

The bar will be a place for visitors to explore more than 250 of the latest and best products in wellbeing innovation, ranging from gut health to hormones, hangover cures and sleep hacking. 

The destination will be anchored by a new energy-lifting bar concept brought by JENKI, introducing a menu of matcha and alternative drinks that reimagine drinking culture.

British Cannabis™ launches premium CBD products in Selfridges

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