Many high street CBD products must be removed from sale, research shows

The majority of CBD oral products now on the UK market will have to be removed from sale, significantly affecting many retailers and consumers, new analysis from CBD-Intel suggests.

CBD-Intel compared the recent Food Standards Agency (FSA) list of oral CBD products which are allowed to be sold with our own list of the products stocked by retailers, and found that only about a third of products currently being sold can legally remain on the shelves.

Oral CBD products include oil tinctures and capsules as well as foods and beverages.

CBD-Intel’s analysis of the FSA list shows that of about 3,300 oral CBD products currently being sold to consumers, about 2,000 have not yet been submitted to the government agency and therefore could be the target of enforcement action.

Inclusion on the FSA’s list means that a novel food application for the product has been made to the FSA. It does not mean the application has been approved, but the FSA is recommending that local authorities – responsible for enforcement – take action only against products which are not on the list.

The analysis by CBD-Intel’s specialist team also found that:

  • 98% of all applications still lack evidence – suggesting it will be a long time until they are fully approved, even if their sale is tolerated in the meantime.
  • At least 15% of products may be using illicit THC, the compound which produces a cannabis high.

“Our analysis confirms that the FSA’s new list means a major shakeout of the CBD products available in the UK,” said Tim Phillips, managing director of CBD-Intel. “And while the products on the list can likely continue to be sold for now, there is still no guarantee that they will eventually be fully approved by the FDA as novel foods, so some uncertainty remains for brands, retailers and consumers alike.”


CBD-Intel is the leading provider of detailed global market and regulatory analysis, legal tracking, and quantitative data for the cannabidiol (CBD) sector and related sectors worldwide. It is published by Tamarind Intelligence, which also produces ECigIntelligence and TobaccoIntelligence.

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