Report SK&S | CBD in energy drinks

The hemp industry is not only one of the fastest growing in Poland, but also worldwide. New products made with raw hemp material are constantly appearing on the market, an example of which are energy drinks with cannabidiol (CBD). However, entrepreneurs planning to place these products on the market must be prepared to answer a number of questions.

The status of CBD in foodstuffs has been unclear for many years. According to the strict position of the sanitary inspectorate in Poland, products with CBD may not be placed on the market due to the restrictions stated in the content of the Novel Food Catalogue. On the other hand, in recent case law, the fact that an ingredient is not mentioned in the Catalogue does not automatically mean that the ingredient does not have a history of consumption.

The issue of the safety of CBD as a novel food (and consequently, verifying the possibility to use this ingredient) was to be resolved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by 30 April 2022. However, no opinion was issued and, on 7 June 2022, an announcement was published on EFSA’s website stating that the evaluation of cannabidiol has been put on hold due to gaps in the data on its safety. The issues to be clarified include CBD’s effects on drug metabolism as well as the normal functioning of the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system, and reproductive system.

From the perspective of placing energy drinks with CBD on the market, an important issue is also the age of the target consumer group. In November this year, the Parliamentary Health Committee is to debate the subject of consumption of energy drinks by minors. This is not the first time this topic has been discussed (the issue of child and adolescent consumption of energy drinks has been raised, e.g. by representatives of EU Member States at the meetings of the Working Group on Foodstuffs, and has resulted in the current provisions of Regulation 1169/2011, under which it is obligatory to include the mandatory information “High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women” in the labelling of beverages with a high caffeine content). However, it is possible that the sale of this type of product will be limited to people over the age of eighteen.

The safety aspect of combining high levels of caffeine with CBD cannot be overlooked either. It is necessary to evaluate the use of both ingredients in one product in terms of the possible negative effects on consumer health.

There are many doubts regarding placing CBD energy drinks on the market. If you would like to start selling such products, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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