As a matter of principle, only hemp varieties shall be used in food production where the THC content is below 0.3% not falling under the Narcotic Substances Act or corresponding regulations. Whereby, the analysis of the THC content is conducted at that time when the hemp plant is producing the most THC (end of flowering). Even though the 0.2 % THC mentioned in chapter “Cultivation of hemp grown for fibre” are often taken as a threshold value to document the safety and lack of harm to health of the hemp variety cultivated, it has to be clearly stated that this value does not apply to foods, but exclusively to the cultivation of hemp grown for fibre.
Hemp containing foods are for instance hemp leaves (tea), hemp seeds, hemp oil, hemp flour, hemp protein, beverages (beer, lemonade). Hemp is also used in the manufacture of cosmetic products.
Between 2007 and 2016, AGES has examined more than 130 samples of hemp food. Only one sample (in 2008), a piece of gingerbread made of hemp flour, was assessed to be unfit for human consumption, due to its high THC content.
In the recent past, the European Food Safety Authority EFSA has carried out a risk assessment on THC in foods of animal origin (http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4141), and has come to the conclusion that a daily intake of not more than 1 µg THC/ kg body weight (acute reference dose) originating from such foods is not expected to lead to adverse health effects. This was also confirmed by Commission Recommendation (EU) 2016/2115.
Thus, the acceptable maximum THC content depends on the amount of food consumed and must be established for each group of foodstuffs on an individual basis. However, as long as no legitimate maximum values have been specified, an individual risk assessment has to be carried out in case THC is detected in a food product. This assessment includes the marketability of the food product in question by taking into account the amount of food consumed and the acute reference dose set by EFSA.