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Does CBD Have THC In It? The Answer

Author : Jessica Assaf
The Magazine: Does CBD Have THC In It? The Answer
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Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a household name, but with its new fame comes many questions about what it is, what it does, and how it’s folded into our daily routines. Chief among these questions is CBD’s relationship to its more famous cousin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When you’re consuming CBD, are you consuming THC as well? What should you do if you want to avoid THC altogether? In this guide, we’ll define these cannabinoids, explain if one contains the other, and what you should look for in your CBD products if you want to avoid even slight traces of THC.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of many phytocannabinoids — or cannabinoids that come from plants – that can be found in cannabis, including its variant, hemp. You can incorporate CBD into your routine to boost the cannabinoids your body is making on its own, called endocannabinoids.*

Phyotocannabinoids and endocannabinoids are similar compounds, the main difference between them being their source. So far, researchers have discovered two endocannabinoids: 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which is commonly abbreviated as 2-AG, and anandamide. Dozens of phytocannabinoids are known to scientists.

What is THC?

Like CBD, THC is a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. THC is found in elevated levels in marijuana. Cannabis plants which contain 0.3% THC or less are considered hemp.

A note on a name: The terms cannabis and marijuana are often used interchangeably. Cannabis covers the same category of flowering plants that includes cannabis with THC levels that exceed 0.3%, also referred to as “marijuana,“ and cannabis with 0.3% THC or less, also referred to as “hemp.” At Prima, we use the term “marijuana” to distinguish between cannabis with THC levels that exceed 0.3% and “hemp”.

What is the endocannabinoid system?

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC interact with a series of receptors in the human brain and body known collectively as the endogenous cannabinoid system, or the endocannabinoid system for short.* The ECS contains endocannabinoids produced by your body, cannabinoid receptors with which the endocannabinoids interact, and enzymes which help your body break down and recycle endocannabinoids*. This system’s main role is to promote homeostasis, or your body’s natural and balanced way of being, and to keep your immune system and cells healthy*.

So far, we know about two main types of receptors. The first are aptly designated “CB1” receptors, which regulate appetite and memory, and are found throughout the brain and spinal cord*. The second are called “CB2” and can be found throughout the immune system, skin, and organs, among other areas of the body*. Both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids — cannabinoids from plants — engage with these receptors.

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Does CBD have THC in it?

CBD and THC are two separate phytocannabinoids. They may be contained within the same plant or the same cannabis or hemp extract, but the two substances themselves are distinct.

That being said, trace amounts of THC may be found in hemp products. Hemp contains 0.3% or less THC, and these levels are present when cannabinoids are extracted to make hemp products. This extract, often called a full spectrum hemp extract, contains all cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds found in hemp, including 0.3% THC or less. We at Prima take the extra step to further remove the trace amounts of THC that occur naturally in hemp. This process results in the broad spectrum hemp extract that’s used in our products.

How are CBD and THC related?

Aside from being cannabinoids, THC and CBD have a special relationship. Researchers expect that when varying cannabinoids are present together, they can augment and change one another’s effects. The way cannabinoids interact with one another is known as “the entourage effect,” and much remains to be learned about how this process works.

While CBD and THC are closely related – they are found in the same plants and they influence each other in the body – they do not always coexist. Each cannabinoid can be isolated from the others, creating CBD isolate products devoid of THC and vice versa.

Types of CBD Products

There are many different types of cannabis products available on the market. Some contain significant amounts of THC, some contain trace amounts, and others contain none at all. When choosing a product, it is key to understand whether other cannabinoids, including THC, are present.

The hemp industry is highly innovative and new products are emerging all the time. However, there are a few staples you’ll likely encounter when looking almost anywhere. When selecting hemp products, you might come across some of the following types:

  • Topicals: Topical products include moisturizers and skincare creams, like The Afterglow Deeply Restorative Cream, as well as CBD face oils such as the award-winning Night Magic Intensive Facial Oil.
  • Edibles and drink mixes: Edibles include any types of CBD-infused foods or beverages, such as beverage infusions like the Rest Easy Elixir.
  • Capsules: Capsules are easy-to-take dietary supplements. Our The Daily vegan capsule is made using a proprietary process designed to improve the bioavailability of the CBD you ingest.
  • Tinctures: Hemp extract is blended with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil derived from coconuts. While common, tinctures tend to be difficult to measure and take, and can taste unpleasant to boot.

3 Ways to Ensure CBD Products Don’t Contain THC

Ensuring your CBD experience is a THC-free one only takes a bit of reading.

  • 1. Look up product information: Reputable CBD brands will make it easy to understand exactly what is in their products. Be sure to examine the label for details before you buy. Look for terms such as “isolate,” “broad spectrum,” or simply “no THC.”
  • 2. Check the lab results: Brands with quality products have nothing to hide. Visit the brand’s website to review lab test results for each batch, which will detail how much — or how little — THC is contained within.
  • 3. Consider the source: While many CBD products, including ours, are derived from hemp, some may be derived from high-THC cannabis. However, these products should only be purchased from a dispensary in states where medical or recreational adult-use cannabis products can be sold under state law. If you’re buying a CBD product from a dispensary, you may want to check to make sure the product does not also contain THC. At Prima, we place a QR code on each box so you can track our hemp from its roots in family-owned farms in Oregon to your door.

CBD and THC coexist, but are not one and the same

Products that contain full spectrum hemp extract have trace amounts of THC — generally defined as 0.3% or less. These trace amounts appear in CBD extract as it comes from hemp plants, but further refining processes can remove this THC. This process results in a broad spectrum CBD extract which preserves all other minor cannabinoids, phytosterols, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds.

At Prima, our products are made with bio-optimized broad spectrum hemp extract, leaving the THC behind and applying a proprietary process designed to improve the CBD’s absorption rate in your body*. Our products are tested five separate times during the manufacturing process: after harvest, during extraction, extraction, before production (2x), during production, and finally after it’s been made – sending the final product to an ISO/IEC-accredited lab for the final signoff. These quality checks also ensure that THC is below statistically significant detection limits in the final product. Whether your go-to is a hydrating lotion or you want to try a beverage elixir to support wellness from the inside-out*, we’re here to support your holistic wellness goals.

When you’re consuming CBD, are you consuming THC as well? What should you do if you want to avoid THC altogether?

Does CBD Oil Have THC? Ask a Pharmacist

Posted by Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD on Aug 31st 2020

Does CBD Oil Contain THC?

Learn the facts from our pharmacist

When people want to try CBD oil, they may have a lot of questions about THC content. Thanks to the stigma the government placed on marijuana in the early 20th century, people are wary when it comes to THC exposure. So naturally people want to know: Does CBD oil contain THC? The answer: Federally legal full spectrum CBD oil does in fact contain trace amounts of THC. 1 But you may be surprised to learn how important THC is to get maximum benefits from CBD products!

1) What is THC?
2) What is CBD?
3) How is Hemp CBD Oil Made?
4) Hemp vs Marijuana
5) Does CBD Oil Have THC?
6) Does CBD Oil Need THC to Work?
7) Can CBD Oil Make You Fail a Drug Test?
8) Side Effects From CBD Oil
9) Is CBD Oil Legal?
10) How to Shop for CBD Oil
11) Does CBD Have THC Conclusion

What is THC?

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 2 is a cannabis compound that causes the euphoric effect commonly associated with marijuana intoxication. Depending on how much THC you ingest, THC can make you feel mellow and worry free. If too much is taken, this cannabinoid can produce an experience that is something much the opposite. 3 Regardless, THC has been the fuel of the American counter-culture since before Woodstock.

Until just a couple of years ago, any amount of THC compound was 100 percent illegal under federal law. But the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, otherwise known as the Farm Bill, changed the legality of THC to not entirely illegal. This legislation changed the definition of “hemp” to mean any cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC in it’s chemical makeup. As a result hemp cannabis products with low THC content, like full spectrum CBD oil, are now legal at the federal level. 4

Since the passage of this bill, hemp derived CBD products containing minimal trace amounts of THC hit the market hard and fast. So fast that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to pass any real regulations on hemp derived CBD products.

What is CBD?

THC and CBD are just a couple of at least 150 cannabinoids found in the chemical makeup of cannabis plants. 5 Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main compound thought responsible for many of the wellness qualities that cannabis plants may provide. 6

Both CBD and THC are known to interact with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a network of cannabinoid receptors that overlays the central nervous system in the human body. The cannabinoid receptors in this system are thought to interact with cannabinoid compounds that relay messages between the systems of the body. 7

CBD and THC interact with the ECS in different ways. THC more commonly affects CB1 receptors in the brain, hence the feelings of “getting high.” 8 And CBD tends to bond with CB2 receptors elsewhere in the body. Because of this, CBD has many different wellness applications 9 and can be used in tinctures, capsules, edibles, and lotions.

How is Hemp CBD Oil Made?

Hemp derived CBD oil is made by extracting the cannabinoids from hemp flowers and mixing it with a carrier oil, 10 most often coconut MCT oil.

With the introduction of hemp derived CBD products to the mainstream markets, legal CBD cannabis products have become a popular addition to the natural health market. However, there are still some stigmas attached to marijuana and THC due to legality issues in the past. So what is the real difference between hemp and marijuana anyway?

Hemp vs Marijuana

Hemp and marijuana are essentially the same plant: Cannabis sativa. They look exactly the same, and they smell the same. The only difference between federally legal hemp and marijuana is the THC level of each. In order for a cannabis strain to have federally legal status as a “hemp plant,” it must contain very small amounts of THC, no more than 0.3 percent. 11

Unfortunately because of the growing popularity of CBD oils and other CBD products, many companies have begun to intentionally label products as “hemp oil” in order to trick unknowing consumers into thinking they are buying an authentic CBD product. In reality, these products are actually just a cheap mix of hemp seed oil and some other carrier oil. So even if you see a bottle on a shelf listed as “hemp oil” – this doesn’t mean that it contains any actual CBD content.

Does CBD Oil Have THC?

Any legal CBD product labeled “full spectrum” will contain THC in trace amounts. 13 There are also CBD products labeled “THC-free,” such as “broad spectrum,” and “CBD isolate.” 14 Broad spectrum hemp products have had the THC removed, leaving them with only CBD and a few minor cannabinoids. CBD isolate products contain just the single CBD compound by itself. 15 However, these products are considered to have inferior qualities when compared to full spectrum CBD products.

The trace amounts of THC found in full spectrum CBD products are not enough to get you high. So, while legal full spectrum CBD products do have some THC, when you take CBD oil from a trusted provider, you don’t need to worry that it will potentially cause a “high.”

Does CBD Oil Need THC to Be Effective?

Studies show that all 150+ cannabinoids work best when they are working together. The combined effect of all cannabinoids together is known as the “entourage effect.” 16 A CBD oil that is labeled as “full-spectrum” will have the full range of cannabinoids and provide the best results. 17 So choosing to avoid THC could result in purchasing an inferior CBD product.

Can I Fail a Drug Test from CBD Oil?

Since CBD products are becoming more prevalent in mainstream wellness supplements, some companies have implemented CBD drug test guidelines. These suggest a cutoff amount where THC content can be admissible in negligible quantities.

There are new drug tests that can determine that the trace amounts of THC are low enough to be consistent with full spectrum CBD oil use. However, there are still lots of workplaces that do not yet have access to these more sophisticated tests. And there are those that don’t care to update their policies regarding CBD use at all.

So the chances are high that you will get a positive drug test result because of CBD oil, regardless of if you try to avoid THC by using broad spectrum products or not. It is best to consult with your company’s HR department to determine if their drug screening system would can tell the difference between legal CBD use and illegal marijuana drug use. When talking to HR about using CBD oils or tinctures, always get their guidance in writing.

If you’re not ready to use an ingestible CBD product yet, that’s okay too! CBD topicals are a safe way for first timers to introduce themselves to the potential wellness benefits of full spectrum CBD products. Our best selling USDA organic CBD Balm combines our signature Whole Flower CBD Oil with organic peppermint and arnica oils for a powerful, all natural blend to comfort muscles and joints.

CBD Oil Side Effects

CBD can be taken safely and effectively, without worrying about over consumption, because it does not affect the circulatory or respiratory systems. Additionally, CBD oil has not been found to have intoxicating effects. 18 However, some people may experience some mild discomfort if they have taken too much CBD. 19

One of the most important things to note when taking CBD oil – there is zero risk of overdose from CBD cannabis products, and taking the preferred amount should limit any unwanted discomfort.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Yes, CBD is legal under federal law so long as it has small amounts of THC, no more than 0.3 percent. 21 However, cannabis laws are constantly evolving at a rapid pace at the state level. At least 33 states have legalized marijuana for medical use by registered patients with prescriptions. At least 11 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. 22 But there are some states that aren’t even on board with CBD legalization.

It is best to check the cannabis laws for your state (and the state laws of places you may travel to) when seeking any cannabis plant derived CBD product. You also want to purchase from a reputable company that provides third party lab reports to prove the CBD content, and the THC content, of all their products.

How to Shop for CBD Oil

Family-owned Cornbread Hemp is the first CBD oil brand from Kentucky to offer USDA certified organic CBD oils. They make it easy to shop for CBD oil by consciously choosing the better option at every step of the manufacturing process. They’re dedicated to providing high quality CBD oil made from Kentucky-grown USDA organic hemp flowers. This is different from many companies who don’t choose organic or source their hemp from overseas and from companies who use stems and leaves in their extract.

The supercritical CO2 extraction method that many companies employ can produce a harsh, bitter end product. Cornbread Hemp chooses to use organic sugarcane ethanol to gently extract cannabinoids from organic hemp flower. This potent extract is mixed with organic MCT coconut oil for optimum bioavailability. As a result, their USDA certified organic CBD oils are smooth and taste great naturally – no need for additional flavors or sweeteners.

Third party lab test results are via scannable QR code leading to each CBD product’s certificate of authenticity. The Kentucky laboratory they partner with does a thorough job of testing Cornbread Hemp CBD products for the presence of pesticides, residual solvents, mycotoxins, heavy metals, and microbials. Lab test results also prove each product’s potency, both for THC content and CBD content. All of Cornbread Hemp’s products are full spectrum and guaranteed to less than 0.3 percent THC.

Conclusion: Does CBD Oil Contain THC?

So, does CBD oil contain THC? It depends. Federally legal full spectrum CBD oil contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. 23 These trace amounts of THC in CBD oil are not enough to make anyone feel “high.” However, even trace amounts of THC in CBD products may trigger a positive drug test result.

You may think you need to avoid THC for whatever reason; maybe you still think you can pass drug tests with THC free products, or maybe you’re still skeptical of THC use because of its years of legal turmoil. Just keep in mind that the full potential wellness properties of hemp derived CBD products can only happen with all of the cannabinoids working together.

For the best results when using CBD oil, look for an organic full spectrum product from Cornbread Hemp. Their legal hemp oil CBD products have the widest range of cannabinoids, including small amounts of THC.

Full spectrum CBD products contain no more than 0.3% THC, which could cause you to fail a drug test, but is not enough to get you high. Learn more from Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD.