Cannabis & Cosmetics How to navigate the regulatory & legal landscape


Bloom Regulatory, London, United Kingdom


This article provides an overview of the regulatory and legal challenges cosmetics containing cannabis extract, and in particular cannabidiol (CBD) are currently facing in Europe and globally. The status of CBD is currently being examined by EU institutions and the potential outcomes of these assessments will have a big impact on products already on the market or on brands that are looking into this trend. The EU Cosmetics Regulation (Regulation (EC) N° 1223/2009) applies to all cosmetic products and ensure that only safe and compliant products are placed on the market. Cosmetics containing CBD have to follow the same obligations as any other cosmetics on the market, but careful considerations should be taken by businesses regarding the classification of their product, the status of the ingredient used, and the product claims.

The use of ‘cannabis’ in cosmetics is not new, hemp seed oil has been used for a while in personal care products. But over the last couple of years we are observing a new trend for products containing cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a naturally occurring constituent of cannabis.

This trend is being seen across different sectors. Products containing CBD such as health supplements, food, cosmetics and even medicines are being offered to consumers. In the cosmetics industry the trend started by niche cosmetics brands establishing their marketing story around CBD. But we are now seeing cosmetics traditional brands using CBD as well. This trend is developing at a very rapid pace, maybe too quickly for the regulatory and legal landscape to follow up properly. Although legislative reforms are underway in several regions, there is a lack of harmonisation across the world. It is therefore crucial for companies to be aware of regulatory and legal challenges, in particular when launching a product globally.

One of the most frequent regulatory question in this a ...