The position of CBD products on the European Union market has not always been very clear and changes in legislation have caused confusion among consumers. However, the legislation is now clarified and the use of CBD in cosmetics is legal in the European Union.

The role of CBD before the changes Many cannabis entrepreneurs in Europe have marketed their products as edibles. The European Union's Novel Food Regulation has long defined the role of CBD in Europe. A novel food is a product intended for human consumption for which there is no significant documentation demonstrating that it was widely used in the territory of EU Member States before 1997. CBD products were only covered by this regulation in 2018, when it was decided to reform the regulation. As a result, the updated Novel Food Regulation concluded that there was insufficient documentation on the use of Cannabis Sativa L. as a nutrient. The flowers and leaves of the hemp plant were also not specifically mentioned in this revised regulation. European Industrial Hemp Association EIHA, the European Industrial Hemp Association, is an international organization that seeks to promote the interests of industrial cannabis entrepreneurs in Europe. The EIHA has proposed to the European Union that CBD be added to the European cosmetic database CosIng. The proposal included removing restrictions on Cannabis Sativa L. and adding three new INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) names to the list. Suggestions for names to add were Cannabis Sativa Leaf Extract, Cannabis Sativa Leaf/Stem Extract, and Cannabis Sativa Root Extract. The EIHA submitted its proposal at the end of 2019. The Kanavape case The issue that has significantly affected the CBD's position is the case you must have heard about, the Kanavape case. Two French business leaders have been indicted for importing and marketing CBD oil intended for use in electronic cigarettes. CBD oil was produced from hemp plants legal in the Czech Republic. The oil was extracted from the entire plant biomass, which also contained the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. The accusation was based on French law, according to which only products made from hemp fiber and seeds were legal. The convicts appealed to another court, which had the express task of examining whether there was a conflict between national law and EU law in this case. The European Court of Justice has been asked to give a preliminary ruling on the case. Judgment C-663/18 states that EU law, and in particular the rules on the free movement of goods between EU member states (including Norway and Switzerland), preclude such national legislation. The Court notes that the provisions relating to the free movement of goods within the European Union (Articles 34 and 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) apply because the CBD at issue here cannot be considered as a “drug” since CBD does not appear to have psychotropic effects or cause other adverse effects on human health. The Court of Justice then ruled that the provisions relating to the free movement of goods were contrary to local law. The ban on the marketing of CBD is a measure prohibited by Article 34 TFEU which has an equivalent effect on quantitative restrictions on imports. The protection of public health and the assessment of the measures necessary to achieve this fall within national jurisdiction, but it is up to the latter to assess the scientific information available to ensure that the real alleged risk for public health is not based solely on hypothetical considerations. The decision to prohibit the marketing of CBD, which considerably restricts trade in products legally manufactured and marketed in other Member States, would only be possible if the risk to public health appeared sufficiently substantiated. CBD legalized in cosmetics The EIHA proposal and the judgment in Case C-663/18 went a long way towards clarifying the role of CBD in legislation when the EU decided to legalize its use in cosmetics in all its Member States at from February 2021. CBD can be found in the CosIng database under the name Cannabidiol – Derived from cannabis extract, tincture or resin. CBD products, such as CBD oil, can be legally marketed with the following properties: antioxidant, anti-sebum, skin protection and skin care. You can now find several types of CBD cosmetic products: day or night creams, massage oils, serums, anti-aging creams, or even soaps and deodorants. We invite you to consult your doctor for the best use of your CBD.
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