Scientific Opinion on the safety of hemp (Cannabis genus) for use as animal feed

Following a request from the European Commission, EFSA was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety of hemp (cannabis) for use as animal feed.

EFSA suggested to put whole hemp plant-derived feed materials on the list of materials whose placing on the market or use for animal nutritional purposes is restricted or prohibited and to introduce a maximum THC content of 10 mg/kg to hemp seed-derived feed materials.

This suggestion is based on a LOEL (lowest observed effect level) of THC in humans of 0.04 mg THC/kg bw. By applying an uncertainty factor of 100, a PMTDI (provisional maximum tolerable daily intake) of 0.0004 mg/kg body weight (bw) was derived.

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) welcomes the establishment of guidelines for the THC concentration in animal feed by the European Commission. EIHA would like to comment on the LOEL and the uncertainty factor suggested by EFSA and proposes in contrast to EFSA a LOEL of 0.07 mg THC/kg bw a day and an uncertainty factor of 20. The LOEL is based on two doses of 2.5 mg THC that is 5 mg per day (70 kg body weight), resulting in an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0.0035 mg/kg bw for THC. EIHA does not see much scientific basis for a maximum tolerable daily intake to be provisional and derive a PMTDI since the toxicology of THC is very well investigated in humans, compared with other toxins.

Guideline for maximum THC content to hemp feed materials for farm animals like poultry, pigs, cows and fish, used for food production (meat, milk, eggs)


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