Maximum levels for THC in hemp products

Several messages in the RASFF portal of high contents of tetra-hydrocannabiol (THC) as well as the previous alignment of the THC content in hemp varieties have already pointed to the next action: By amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006, maximum levels for Delta-9-THC in hemp seeds, products thereof, and hemp oil will be implemented in the EU. According to the draft regulation, maximum levels of Delta-9-THC have been set at 3.0 mg/kg for dry hemp products and at 7.5 mg/kg for hemp seed oil. The new Commission Regulation will enter into force on 1 January 2023.

In comparison with former guideline values of some national authorities, the new maximum levels are quite generous. For example, the outdated guideline values of the German Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine (BgVV) only permitted 5.0 mg/kg for edible oils and 0.15 mg/kg for other foods.

The regulatory path is necessary to harmonize the emerging sector of hemp products and to limit the THC content, as this is the psychoactive component of cannabis. 

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) appreciated this decision, as the discrepancies and trade barriers between the member states will be eliminated by common rules.