The term "CBD" is an acronym for cannabidiol, which is one of several cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, that are found in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD product sales have significantly increased in the last 3 years, primarily for perceived health and wellbeing effects. CBD products come in many forms including oils, drinks, cosmetics and other nutritional supplements.
According to current Home Office guidance, CBD is not a ‘controlled substance’ so long as it does not contain controlled cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabinol (CBN). THC and CBN are psychoactive cannabinoids found in cannabis and classed as ‘controlled substances’ under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. The regulations provide an exemption for products, that satisfy all three of the following points:
· Do not contain more than 1 mg of a controlled substance;
· The controlled substance within the product is not intended for human/animal use; and
· The controlled substance cannot be recovered by readily applicable means.
CBD extracts, isolates and synthetics are now classed as a ‘novel food’ under Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 and this was recently reiterated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
No food products currently available in the UK have this pre-marketing authorisation, the FSA have stated that all CBD-containing products for use in food and food supplements contravene the regulations.
Fera have developed analytical methods using triple quadrupole mass spectrometry instrumentation (MS/MS) that can screen and quantify cannabinoids (CBD, CBDA, CBC, THC, THCA, CBG and CBN) at low concentrations (mg/kg) within a variety of CBD products. THC and CBN can be analysed separately with reporting limits as low as 2.5 µg/kg.
Applicable product types include CBD oil, cream, capsules, vape oil/juice and chewable sweets as well as hemp derived food products such as hemp oil, seeds and protein powder. Please contact us to check if your product is applicable for our methodology.
We also offer CBD purity in isolates / distillates by quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Please enquire regarding testing for the potency in CBD products.
Heavy metals: Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) our methods quantify arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury (other metals on request) with typical reporting limits of 0.01 mg/kg in CBD oil.
Pesticides: Using MS/MS approaches we can screen for up to 400 pesticides with typical reporting limits of 0.01 mg/kg in CBD oil.
Mycotoxins: Using Liquid Chromatography we can screen for Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2, total Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A (OA) in CBD oil with typical reporting limits of 0.2 µg/kg in CBD oil.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): Using high resolution MS we can screen for 28 PAHs in CBD oil with reporting limits of 0.01 µg/kg for certain compounds.
To ensure the microbiological safety of CBD oils we would suggest that the product is shown to be free from Salmonella spp. , E.coli and other coliforms. Our analyses follows ISO standard methods for the enumeration and detection of these microorganisms in food products.
We can also offer total viable counts, total yeasts and moulds, please contact us for further details.
Please enquire regarding terpenes, dioxins / polychlorinated biphenyls and residual solvent analysis.
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