This is the third report on Cannabis Europa 2019, held in London, England, June 24-25.
There was surprisingly little discussion of CBD on the stage of Cannabis Europa. There was one panel entitled “Food, Medicine, or Both? CBD Regulations” but I expected the subject of CBD to be intertwined with other discussions and did not find that to be the case.
Europe has always been ahead of the U.S. when it comes to accepting hemp production and this has probably allowed the continent to be more accepting of CBD. It was estimated by one speaker that 40-45 million Europeans are using CBD (overall population of the EU is estimated at 512 million) and a large percentage of European CBD users have said they will use CBD illegally if it is taken off the shelves. This, as the speaker noted, has lawmakers and regulators thinking long and hard about possibly creating a new blackmarket through regulation of CBD. There are no international regulations for CBD but those in favor of pulling CBD from the market point to the United Nations which, in its Single Convention Treaty on Narcotics, claims that all parts of cannabis are narcotics. Such antiquated thinking still seems all too prominent in this day and age.
The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) has proposed a three-tier regulation scheme for CBD:
- At high doses (intake more than 200mg oral/day) CBD can be a medicinal product and should be regulated as such;
- At physiological doses (intake 20-160mg oral/day) CBD should be regarded as a food supplement. This approach is already applied to many substances such as valerian, glucosamine, Ginkgo Biloba, some vitamins and iron products;
- Low CBD concentrations (intake less than 20 mg/day for an adult) should be allowed in food products without restraints.
One panelist, Hannah Skingle of Dragonfly Biosciences, raised an important point when she chided her colleagues onstage and throughout the industry for “not bringing anything to the table except problems.” She encouraged everyone in the industry to find ways to help local communities and to be mindful of the burden placed upon regulators by this nascent, and often volatile, industry.
In another panel, Dr. David Casarett, author of Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana, said that “In the U.S. CBD has almost become a joke.” An interesting comment from an author who chose to title his book using a slang term for cannabis. Casarett feels that articles in scientific journals about CBD are of poor quality. It seemed an over-arching point of view but perhaps valid if one restricts their knowledge base to published studies. ❖
Next up: #48 Prime Time: Social Media-Friend or Foe?