Council adopted the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the maximum THC level in industrial hemp to 0.3 %. The new CAP will enter into force on January 1st, 2023.

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The European Parliament voted in October 2020 to increase the limit of industrial hemp to 0.3 % THC.

A critical EU judgment was delivered in November 2020 in ECJ C-663/18, Kanavape case. The ECJ clarified that:

  •  Natural hemp extracts are not subject to the 1961 UN Convention on Narcotics
  • A literal interpretation of the 1961 UN Convention on Narcotics shall be rejected 
  • CBD cannot be considered a narcotic based on the current scientific knowledge

Cannabis was also removed from schedule IV of 1961 UN SC - as of 2nd December 2020 CND vote. This is significant from a policy and scientific perspective regarding increased possibilities in research. However, this does not change anything for consumer products from a regulatory perspective. Finally, CosIng was updated to reflect the findings of Kanavape.

Below, we present some further clarifications, which were incorporated by CosIng.

Kanavape judgment clarified that all hemp plant parts could be used in an extract as long as the THC content restriction is fulfilled. This means that also additional cannabinoids contained in the plant can be used in a cosmetic product, as long as they concern non-psychoactive cannabinoids that are not listed within any national legislation on narcotic drugs. For this reason, CosIng also provides a general restriction encompassing any other cannabinoid; in such cases, the below applies:

Cannabinoids Restriction: 

“Cannabinoids, as such, are not listed in the Schedules of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, these shall be prohibited from use in cosmetic products (II/306) if prepared from a substance controlled in Schedule I of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Please note that national legislation on controlled substances may also apply.”

  •  It is also worth mentioning that the type of origin of the raw material, whether synthetic or natural, is not also non-relevant in terms of compliance. Both synthetically produced or naturally derived CBD & CBG are allowed for use in cosmetics.