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Health watchdog pulls CBD off shelves in Finland

The Finnish Food Authority has told shops to stop selling cannabis-derived cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

File photo of cannabis plant. Image: Darren England / EPA

The Finnish Food Authority has instructed shops to pull a number of products (siirryt toiseen palveluun) containing CBD off the shelves as they did not have the proper authorisation to be sold as foodstuffs.

According to Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea, cannabinoid extracts are classified as novel foods in the EU that may not be used as foodstuffs without a so-called novel food authorisation. It also outlined that CBD may not be marketed with medical claims.

Nutritional supplements containing CBD have been sold in health food stores across Finland, although Fimea has classified CBD oil as a medicine (siirryt toiseen palveluun). Cannabidiol – also known as CBD or "cannabis light" – does not contain THC, the main psychoactive intoxicant in marijuana.

Finnish hemp company Hamppumaa (Hempland in English) told Yle’s Swedish-language service that it planned to sue the Finnish Food Authority over its decision to pull its Sana-branded CBD products off the market.

Finnish residents who order CBD online may be wading in a legal grey area, according to Fimea.

CBD oil, a cannabis-derived compound, has been hailed across the US and Europe as a cure-all against pain and stress. The CBD oil market is estimated to be worth billions of euros. The World Health Organisation has declared that CBD is not harmful or addictive and may be used to treat drug addiction.