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Concluding part of our series examining Non-medical BCD Cannabidiol reviews regulatory survey of Irish CBD marketplace along with sound advice for those thinking about using CBD products

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Non – medical CBD Cannabidiol

A cannabis derivative

Part 3


FSAI survey of CBD products on the Irish Market

In February 2020, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) published results of their own survey of 38 CBD products for sale throughout Ireland. This survey was enabled by a newly accredited laboratory in Ireland to test products effectively. Most the products available for sale in Ireland originate outside of the country, which is a major area of concern in terms of quality control, standards etc.

The summary of the main findings of this FSAI survey was:

  • 37% (14/38) of the products tested had levels of THC that if consumed at the maximum stated dosage could significantly exceed the safe limit set by EFSA of 1µg/kg/body weight/per day. These are unsafe products.
  • 34% (13/38) of the samples are classified as novel foods and thus require authorisation before being placed on the EU market. These products should not be on the market.
  • 36% (13/36) of samples classed as food supplements had not been notified to the FSAI before being placed on the market, as required by the law. Many of those that had been notified also had issues to be addressed, such as notifying changes of labels.
  • 41% (15/37) of the products tested contained CBD levels which differed by >50% compared to the declared level (one product did not declare CBD levels). This rose to >92% of products where the analytical and declared CBD content differed by at least 10%. Some products had barely detectable levels of CBD.
  • 50% (19/38) made misleading claims including lactose free, gluten free, non-GMO, along with unauthorised health claims and some which may be considered medical claims.


Following on from the FSAI survey, the FSAI acted in removing products from shelves. In July 2021, 8 products from 5 brands were removed from sales due to unsafe levels of THC discovered following FSAI testing. These included products from The Herb Stone, Cannapol, The Healing Stone, Phyto + and Cannibigold. The regulation is working, although playing catch up.

Where are we now?

The answer is we don’t know enough. There is not sufficient long-term evidence to indicate any benefit to taking CBD at all. Particularly areas of concern are the lack of evidence concerning interaction with medication people take for many of the conditions CBD allegedly can relieve. The evidence so limited, it has led the FSA in the UK to advise that those on any medication or are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using CBD products altogether. It would at least suggest that we ask the question “Have you spoken to your doctor about this” when people purchase the product at the counter.

Ask your pharmacist

If you have any questions about CBD and their benefits or any risks when taking  other medication, ask our pharmacist at Whelehans Pearse St or Clonmore. Whelehans stock CBD oil from reputable sources; ask our pharmacist for more details. 


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Email queries to Find us on Facebook

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