Novel Food Applications: What CBD Retailers Need to Know

The deadline set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for CBD brands to have submitted a fully-validated Novel Food application was 31st March 2021. Applications were subject to an 8-day admin check and then a validation process of up to 30 days.

This deadline was a pivotal industry milestone, given brands’ current efforts to navigate regulatory compliance. 

More importantly, however, is the fact that brands without validated applications can no longer continue to sell their products in England and Wales. Furthermore, from 1st April 2021 businesses are required to remove products that do not meet the criteria from sale.

What are Novel Foods?

The term ‘Novel Foods’ describes products that were not widely consumed in either the UK or the EU before May 1997. For instance, given that they have been available in European markets for a considerable length of time, many hemp products (such as cold-pressed hemp oils) do not require authorisation.

Cannabinoid extracts, however, are still relatively new to the market and were designated Novel Foods by the FSA in January 2019. CBD retailers were then notified in February 2020 about the need to seek authorisation for their products, and what the application process would entail.

What Did CBD Brands Need to Have Included in Their Application?

Applicants must have provided as much evidence as possible of their efforts to create a quality product that is safe for widespread consumption. Below are examples of information and supporting materials that needed to have been included in Novel Food applications for CBD products. Every application would have been considered on its own merits, therefore the following should not be considered as criteria for guaranteed authorisation:

  • Manufacturing data for a minimum of five batches of the relevant product

  • Proposed uses for the product (e.g. as a consumable oil) and anticipated intake
  • Demonstrating that the Novel Food i.e. CBD cannot be considered a toxin or allergen, including any nutritional and toxicological information.

  • Detailed information about how the CBD is distributed, absorbed, metabolised 

Any relevant scientific information (including reports for laboratory testing) also needed to have been included. A full list of what was involved in the application process can be found here.

I did not submit my application in time: What happens now?

After the 31st March 2021, only CBD products that meet both of the following criteria will be allowed to be sold to the public: 


  • Those that were in the market at the time of the FSA’s announcement of CBD as a Novel Food in February 2020.

  • Those with a validated Novel Food application by the 31st March 2021.

A validated application is not sufficient criteria for new CBD brands to release their products to the market. Therefore, all new products containing CBD extracts and isolates must be fully authorised by the FSA before they can be allowed on shelves.

Grass & Co. are dedicated to quality and consumer satisfaction

At Grass & Co. we believe that the new authorisation process represents a genuine step forward for the wider CBD industry. We welcome the introduction of any requirements that help us ensure our customers continue to get the best quality CBD Oil


Our products are made using premium quality CBD Oil in our dedicated production facilities. Our CBD Oil is subject to an extensive refinement, distillation and testing process, and blended with a range of vitamins and complementary botanicals for the very best flavours. See for yourself by viewing our range of CBD Oils, CBD Balms and Body Oils

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