Canadian firm to launch cannabidiol nutraceutical in UK

By Emma Jane Cash

- Last updated on GMT

Canadian firm to launch cannabidiol nutraceutical in UK

Related tags Hemp

A functional food containing cannabidiol and hemp seed oil has been launched in the UK by Canadian hemp seed product manufacturer, HempCo, under the brand name PlanetHemp.

The product, CBD & Hemp Seed Oil, will be launched in numerous stores and pharmacies around the UK as well as online shopping channels including Amazon and their own website.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 active chemical compounds found in cannabis, but has a lack of psychoactivity which gives it potential for medicinal and nutritional uses. Studies have suggested it is tolerated in humans at doses of up to 1500 mg/day.

Tony Reeves, managing director of PlanetHemp Europe, said 5 ml per day - and just 20 mg of CBD - is an appropriate dose and PlanetHemp's product contains Omegas-3 and -6 due to having both CBD and hemp seed oil.

Hemp seed oil can be used in smoothies, flapjacks or as a finishing oil in salads, stews and soups, thanks to its nutty flavour.

"In our 150 ml bottle, its' enough for 30 days, a whole month's supply- which is unique in the market as most products at the moment only provide a ten day supply"​ he said.

The brand are also planning to launch the oil in three new flavours - orange, lemon and mint - as well as working on a CBD tea, he confirmed.

Legal wrangle?

According to the brand, the product’s launch was delayed while issues surround UK legality of CBD as a supplement, instead of a medicinal product, were ironed out.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, said they are actively working with companies and trade bodies to achieve compliance.

“MHRA is not currently aware of any safety issues related to consumption of CBD but it should be noted that the assessment of whether a product is classified as a ‘medicinal product’ is carried out in accordance with the definition of a medicinal product and is not based on whether the product is a risk to consumers. Once a valid application is made, the product will be assessed in terms of its safety quality and efficacy in the medical claims made,”​ a spokesperson for the agency said.

The product will now be launched as a food supplement after CBD was legalised in the UK in August 2015.

“This is not a discussion about illegal drugs and/or getting high from smoking ‘demonized’ marijuana… it’s a conversation about education and access to nutraceutical functional foods,”​ said HempCo CEO, Charles Holmes.

Clean up

According to Reeves, the seed from which the hemp seed oil is made undergoes five stages of mechanical clean up, which makes the product 'more palatable' than others in Europe that only tend to go through two stages.

He also noted that extraction of the CBD oil, which takes place in Poland, was perfected after 2,000 experimental runs.

Reeves added that the process of producing CBD supplements is very natural: "It’s grown outside, in natural conditions, following harvest the full range of compounds are extracted from the hemp stalks and seed to deliver what is known as the 'entourage effect' where compounds work together to produce a synergy of effects" ​he said, "so one can’t be certain which single compound has the most effect."

In 2016 30,000 ha of hemp plants were cultivated in the EU, however Reeves noted that the hemp grown in Europe is mostly used for its fibres, whereas Canada is known for its hemp based food products.

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