Toxicological assessment of hemp-containing foods

In order to avoid the occurrence of such effects, the Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine (BgVV) recommended guidance values for maximum THC levels in various food groups in 2000. The guidance value for beverages was given as 0.005 mg/kg, for edible oils with 5 mg/kg and for all other foods with 0.150 mg/kg. In 2018, the BfR came to the conclusion that these values no longer correspond to current scientific knowledge.

Instead, the BfR recommends that the toxicological assessment of hemp-containing foods be carried out on the basis of the acute reference dose (ARfD) of 1 microgram Δ-THC/kg body-weight derived by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2015. The ARfD specifies the estimated maximum quantity of a substance that can be consumed with food in the course of one day - either during one meal or during several meals - without a detectable risk to health.

From the point of view of the BfR, whether the ARfD can possibly be exceeded should be checked on a case-by-case basis for each product under assessment. The measured THC levels and the estimated consumption quantities are used for this assessment. Information on the latter can be found in the "EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database".


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