Among the 24 newly prohibited ingredients were cannabidiol (CBD), cannabis sativa fruit, cannabis sativa seed oil and cannabis sativa leaf extract. This formalises a draft proposed in March to ban cannabis-based cosmetics in China.
The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) recently published the finalised list of prohibited ingredients for cosmetics.
End of the road?
This crackdown on cannabis cosmetics deals a huge blow to the emerging market for CBD beauty.
While cosmetics with cannabis that have been produced or imported before May 28, 2021, can continue to be sold in China for now, retailers are recommended to take them off shelves.
According to NMPA, there were only 18 CBD cosmetics filed before 2019. This increased to 413 and 1783 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The authorities frown upon anything related to THC, and they would punish you severely if you purchase or import an illegal product.
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During China’s development as a kingdom with its many dynasties, hemp was not just a commodity but a necessity.
Although CBD is not a controlled drug, it’s also not listed in the Inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China (IECIC), and currently, CBD is not allowed as a raw material in products.
Hemp plants naturally produce very little THC — and therefore lack any of the psychoactive effects of marijuana. As a result, many regulators have decided to exclude hemp from the list of restricted drugs because no matter how much you take, you’ll never get high from it.
“Cannabis cosmetics are undoubtedly one of the hottest products in China. Once the ban takes effect, it will have tremendous impact on the industry. The rising prosperity in the cannabis cosmetic sector will come to a grinding halt.”
The ban would include raw materials such as cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabis sativa kernel fruit, cannabis sativa seed oil, as well as cannabis sativa leaf.
According to the 2019 Hemp Annual Report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), China grows nearly half of the world’s supply of hemp fibre, making it the largest producer in the world.
Ban would affect CBEC sales
On March 26, the National Institutes for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC), announced a proposal to introduce legislation that would prohibit the use of cannabis and cannabis extracts in cosmetics.
Chemlinked analyst Hedy He said this news came as a surprise considering how the regulatory landscape around cannabis product has been simplified in various markets over the years.
However, He confirmed that this ban would also apply to brands coming into China through this channel, leaving no loophole for CBD beauty companies.
This proposal is currently open to public opinions till April 19.