Cannabidiol update in CosIng under the EC Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009/EC

Time for an update on Cannabidiol

Use of cannabis in cosmetic products is getting more and more diffused. It is easy to spot numerous advertisements on these products, especially for products containing cannabidiol, but a lot of confusion persists on many different levels, from manufacturers to consumers. Therefore, we decided to step in and provide some clarification and an update on the matter.

The legal framework

Cannabidiol was inserted in Annex II (list of prohibited substances) of EU Cosmetics Regulation due to the referral to “all substances listed in Tables I and II of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs signed in New York on 30 March 1961”. In principle, this would be sufficient to rule out any legal use of CBD in cosmetic products. However, it is important to properly interpret the definitions provided by the aforementioned Convention to understand the matter.

In a nutshell, CBD may not be extracted by “the flowers/fruiting tops” nor by “the separated resin”  (as these carry along higher percentages of THC) of the plant. Interestingly, seeds(“when not accompanied by the tops”) are excluded from the definition of Cannabis provided by the Convention, however, these do not contain CBD. Then, is there a way to legally use cannabidiol in cosmetic products for the EU Market ?

The update in CosIng

The compliance of CBD raw materials relies on the part of the plant from which it is extracted.

The EU Cosmetic Ingredient Database (CosIng) mirrors such situation, establishing a prohibition for use of CBD in cosmetic products (Annex II/306) when it is “derived from extract or tincture or resin of Cannabis”, in accordance with the terms of the Single Convention.

Many related raw materials listed on CosIng, such as Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa Seed Extract, etc., are not subject to any restrictions as per EU Cosmetics Regulation.

On the contrary, raw materials “Cannabis and Cannabis resin, Cannabis sativa, ext. (Substance), Cannabis Sativa Flower Extract and Cannabis Sativa Flower /Leaf/Stem Extract”, remain listed in Annex II/306 and are, as such, fully prohibited for use in Cosmetic products on the EU market, in line with the terms of the Single Convention.

In conclusion, the only possibility presently for manufacturers interested in having CBD in their cosmetics for the EU market is to use cannabidiol synthetically produced.

Contact Us

If you wish to know more about the Cosmetics Regulation and its restrictions in the EU, please do not hesitate to contact us. Obelis Expert Consultants, having nearly 30 years of experience with EU Regulations, will gladly answer any question you may have and will gladly assist you in safeguarding and achieving your products’ compliance.

Alessandro Polimeno

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