What impact will the EC’s decision to permit the use of extracts from the whole plant in cosmetics have on the industry as a whole?

The decision – which should be noted is still only preliminary, though almost certainly to be confirmed with subsequent updating of the cosmetics ingredients (CosIng) database – should allow a wider range of cosmetic products onto the market.

Exactly how much of an impact the change – when it eventually is confirmed – will make in reality largely depends on the question of how many companies are interested in the cosmetics/topicals market but have held back on entering because their supply lines do not contain synthetic or flower-excluded plant extract CBD.

That is a hard theoretic to quantify. CBD-Intel data shows that cosmetics consistently have some of the highest median price per mg of CBD in a product throughout all major markets. So cost of base ingredient is unlikely to be much of a factor, as a company would still be able to have decent margins even if its synthetic or non-flower plant CBD was sourced at a higher cost.

There will likely be some further experimentation – in particular if white label producers start to offer unlabelled topical preparations to brands. But there is already a consistently high level of experimentation throughout most major markets – as evidenced by the number of specialist and standard cosmetic/topical products that are added and dropped by brands each quarter.

So whether there will be a noticeable increase in the number of new cosmetic/topical products launched into European markets as a result of this remains to be seen. Established brands in other jurisdictions like the US that may have held back on introducing cosmetics because they did not meet EU rules without reformulation may choose to reverse that decision.

And perhaps there will be other less noticeable changes, such as some existing brands looking to move to a flower-extracted source of CBD for their products in the EU market.

Overall, it is a decision that will be welcomed by the industry no matter its total impact on the market.

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*Under CBD-Intel’s editorial discretion

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