The Ministry of Health, together with that of Economic Development, finally takes a step forward and presents in a draft the limit of the amount of THC that should be present in the food derivatives of hemp.Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous
The Ministry of Health finally presents the draft to define the limit of the amount of THC that should be present in the dietary derivatives of hemp
Foods based on hemp seeds and oil, what is the level of THC they can contain? The by now many food variants - from biscuits to hemp bread up to flour and oil - must in fact contain limited levels of the psychotropic principle. But which ones?
If so far the hemp did not fall within the definition of food in Regulation 178/2002 and therefore, in theory, could not be used, regardless of the amount of psychotropic substance it contained, the Ministry of Health, together with that of Economic Development, finally takes a step forward and presents in a draft the limit of the amount of THC that should be present in the dietary derivatives of hemp.
This is the “Regulation setting limits for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in food”, which contains provisions concerning the definition of maximum levels of THC in food. Here, limits are defined for some foods derived from hemp (seeds, flour obtained from seeds, oil obtained from seeds) and for supplements containing foods derived from hemp (for different foods Article 2 of Regulation (EC) 1881 applies. / 2006).
Based on the precautionary principle, the limits are defined as the sum of the active substance (A9-THC, A9-tetraidrocanabinolo) and the inactive acid precursor (A9-THCA-A, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A) which, in specific situations, can lead to the formation of the active substance.
The regulation provides indications to food sector operators and competent authorities in application of the legislation on food hygiene and official controls.
In summary, according to the draft decree of the Regulation, the limits are as follows:
- for hemp seeds and the flour obtained from the waste from their pressing, the limit is 2 milligrams per kilogram
- for hemp oil obtained from cold pressing of the seeds, the limit is 5 milligrams per kilogram
- for supplements containing hemp-derived foods the limit is 2 milligrams per kilogram
But there is a but. The regulations do not include pollen, inflorescences, roots (therefore, from a legal point of view, they cannot be used?). Furthermore, the use of the same leaves for infusions and decoctions could not be justified, regardless of the THC content. On the other hand, seeds, considered a good source of protein, and their oil rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are allowed.
And not only that, as the president of Federcanapa Beppe Croce points out, “the most worrying thing is the limit set for the oil derived from the pressing of the seeds, which is the main product of the food chain. The limit that has been set for oil is like the German one of 5 milligrams per kilogram which is the most restrictive. Compared to Canada or Switzerland, these are very strict limits. The problem is that especially in our climates, with dry summers such as those of recent years and using our varieties, we have a very high risk of exceeding this limit, which is also not detectable by the detection tools. Our recommendation is to bring it to at least 10 milligrams per kilogram as proposed by the EIHA ”.
In this case, we refer to the guidelines published by the European Industrial Hemp Association, which emphasizes that the German limits are too rigid and that, also taking into account the position of EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, the limit acceptable would be 10 milligrams of THC per kilo.
In short, it seems that the step forward by the Ministry of Health is not yet what is expected.
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