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10 May 2021

Natural CBD added to the list of cosmetic ingredients authorized by the EU

The European Union recently added cannabidiol “derived from an extract, tincture or resin of cannabis” as an authorized cosmetic ingredient in its CosIng database.

CosIng is the European Commission’s database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. This indicative database makes an inventory of ingredients authorized or not in the elaboration of cosmetic products and states their specific functions.

Until then, only synthetic CBD, i.e. developed in a laboratory, was registered with CosIng and was the only one authorized to be used in cosmetic products. Natural CBD derived from an extract, tincture or resin of cannabis is now authorized in the same way as synthetic CBD and for the same properties, namely: anti-sebum, antioxidant, skin conditioning and skin protective.

The momentum initiated by the so-called “Kanavape” ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union on November 19, 2020 has likely contributed to this update insofar as the CJEU considers, among other things, that CBD does not contain a psychoactive principle in the current state of scientific knowledge, and that it would be contrary to the purpose and general spirit of the Single Convention to include it in the definition of “drugs”.

While it is true that CosIng is only an indicative and non-binding database for Member States, its influence in the harmonization of national regulations on cosmetic products is significant.  This decision is therefore a strong signal in the direction of the development of Natural CBD in the cosmetics industry on a European scale.

The consideration of natural CBD and the recognition by the EU of its benefits can only encourage investors and cosmetic industry players who have already initiated their entry into this little explored market.

This decision is a new and important step in the trend initiated a few months ago towards a constant and regular relaxation of the European regulations on the use of CBD. Today it concerns cosmetic products. It is likely that tomorrow other products will benefit from this trend.