The California Department of Public Health – Food and Drug Branch (CDPH-FDB) has published state guidelines with regard to industrial hemp and cannabidiol in food products.
Industrial hemp is a fiber or oilseed crop limited to types of Cannabis sativa L. plant strains that contain only up to three-tenths of 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The federal Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) legalized the cultivation and growing of industrial hemp by higher education institutions and state departments of agriculture for research purposes.
And while the state now allows the manufacturing and the sales of cannabis products, the use of industrial hemp as source for CBD to be added to food products is not allowed. Until the FDA decides that industrial hemp-derived CBD products can be used in food, or until the state determines that these products are safe for human and animal consumption, they are not approved as food, food additive, dietary supplement, or food ingredient.
However, the state state allows seeds derived from industrial hemp, as well as industrial hemp seed oil. Hemp oil that is not derived from industrial hemp seeds, as well as industrial hemp seed oil that is not enhanced with CBD and with other cannabinoids, is prohibited.
To make it clear, however, hemp-derived CBD oil and industrial hemp seed oil are different products. CBD oil or hemp-derived CBD oil is from various parts of the Cannabis sativa plant, like leaves and buds, and contains high levels of CBD and low THC. It is not allowed for human or animal consumption.
Industrial hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is derived only from the seeds of certain strains of Cannabis sativa L. plant and may contain trace amounts of CBD and other cannabinoids. Food-grade industrial hemp seed oil is available from a variety of approved sources.
The CDPH-Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch is the agency that regulates and licenses marijuana-derived product manufacturers. However, industrial hemp-derived CBD oil is no longer within its jurisdiction. Currently, no regulatory agency that oversees the production of CBD oil from industrial hemp.
The CDPH-FDB, though, has authority oversight over dietary use products, food additives, food labeling, and good manufacturing practices for food. Industrial hemp used as a food additive or as a dietary supplement falls under the CDPH-FDB’s authority.