The FDA is increasingly cracking down on CBD products in the marketplace. New rules are expected later in 2020 and there has been a lot of speculation about what might be banned. The FDA is charged with (among other things) protecting the public from unsafe foods and drugs. They also have responsibility for regulating “dietary supplements.” They have been active in warning companies that make health claims when marketing CBD, and many companies use the familiar “dietary supplement” label when listing how much CBD is in their products.
Hemp flower is an agricultural product; and is obviously not a dietary supplement. It closely resembles marijuana, and a few states have even banned “smokable hemp” because it is hard to distinguish it from marijuana. It remains legal in most states, and it is one of the least expensive ways to get CBD and other cannabinoids into your system. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal federally, and the FDA does not appear to have jurisdiction over the sale of agricultural products such as hemp flower.
In 2020 most hemp flower is CBD-dominant, with CBD being the primary cannabinoid present. CBG-dominant flower is newer and less is known about it and its effects. Studies thus far have found anti-cancer and anti-microbial benefits. Research is ongoing. If highly-processed CBG products become popular the FDA may step in and regulate them too. CBG flower and CBG-dominant full-spectrum hemp oil will be harder to regulate.
Full spectrum hemp oil is only one step removed from the hemp plant. Hemp oil is created when hemp is processed in such a way that the alcohol and/or oil soluable components are extracted from the plant. These are then dissolved in a neutral oil (such as MCT oil) and they resulting “hemp oil” is sold in small bottles. This oil generally contains CBD if the hemp strain is a high-CBD hemp strain. If the hemp strain is a high CBG hemp strain then the resulting hemp oil will be an oil that is high in CBG instead.
The FDA gets involved based on the labeling of products such as CBD oil. If the label includes instructions for taking the product by mouth, then the FDA likely has reason to view it as a dietary supplement, a medication, or a food product. If the label is mute on the use of the oil, then the FDA may not have any reason to regulate the sale of the product.
Those of us living in the U.S. are currently awaiting the FDA’s new regulations. While you wait, consider trying hemp flower. Most people seem to be smoking it like marijuana, but vaping is safer. (Vaping the dry herb is much safer than vaping a commercial liquid product.) You can also heat it and eat it. The cost per milligram of CBD is much lower in the raw product and you have a better chance of getting the “entourage effect.”