How THC-Free CBD Oil Is Different—Plus, 5 to Try
With the popularity of natural alternatives to treating pain and anxiety, many are turning to hemp extracts for the potential health benefits. But some consumers, especially those wary of cannabis in general, may want to access the therapeutic potential of CBD without ingesting even the least bit of THC.
Perhaps you just want to avoid any potentially intoxicating effects that could come with consuming any amount of THC—which could impact your everyday life with driving, work, school, and family responsibilities. You may be applying for a job that requires a drug test, and you don’t want to risk having even a trace of THC in your system. You may also be concerned about potential side effects or drug interactions if you’re currently taking medication for a health issue.
Whatever the reason, more people are considering THC-free CBD oil, but the question is: Will a quality THC-free CBD oil have the same benefits as a full-spectrum option? (Related: Here’s How to Buy the Best Safe and Effective CBD Products)
What Is THC-Free CBD Oil?
For starters, THC is a cannabinoid similar to CBD, but it’s more commonly known for its psychotropic effects (THC is the ingredient in marijuana that delivers a “high”). Full-spectrum hemp extracts may contain up to 0.3 percent THC by law, but THC-free CBD oils go through more extensive distillation and purification processes to remove any detectable levels and ensure you’re not ingesting any THC at all (not even that tiny 0.3 percent).
Additionally, in the THC-free category, you’ll find two types of products: broad-spectrum extracts and CBD isolate.
CBD isolate is exactly what its name implies: isolated CBD. These hemp extracts contain only Cannabidiol and no other plant parts (i.e. the CBD is isolated from all other compounds and acts alone).
Broad-spectrum CBD products may contain low levels of terpenes and minor cannabinoids (basically, variations of CBD), but still exclude THC. In turn, these products include a “broad spectrum” of plant compounds. It’s generally thought that both broad- and full-spectrum CBD offer more therapeutic effects compared to CBD isolate due to the various plant compounds within each, which work together inside the body.
The Main Benefits of THC-Free CBD
While CBD is helpful on its own, it actually works best with THC. “THC is commonly known and is helpful for pain relief, anxiety control, appetite stimulation, and insomnia,” Jordan Tishler, M.D., a cannabis specialist, Harvard-trained physician, and founder of InhaleMD, previously told Shape. Similar to the thinking behind full-spectrum CBD, studies show the synergy of the compounds found in the entire plant delivers enhanced therapeutic effects versus when they’re used solo.
However, if you’re worried about even trace amounts of THC affecting your mental state or reacting badly with your current meds, choosing THC-free CBD is your best course of action. “Everyone’s reaction to THC is variable,” Perry Solomon, M.D., anesthesiologist, and chief medical officer of HelloMD, previously told Shape. “A tiny bit of THC for one patient won’t make them feel anything, but another patient could have the same amount and have a psychoactive response.”
And just because you’re opting for THC-free CBD doesn’t mean it won’t still offer up the same medicinal benefits. As with most other CBD products, THC-free CBD oils have the potential to provide various health benefits, including reducing pain, minimizing inflammation, keeping stress at bay, and helping you get a better night’s sleep.
How to Shop for THC-Free CBD
No matter your reason, if you want to avoid THC altogether but still reap the potential perks of CBD, then a broad-spectrum or CBD isolate product is a great choice. In either case, always look for up-to-date lab test results before purchasing a product, and similar to when you add any new supplement to your wellness routine, it’s recommended to check with your healthcare provider beforehand. (Related: 3 Reasons You Should Try CBD Even If You Have No Interest in Weed)
Regardless of which type of hemp oil you choose, it’s important to buy from a brand that implements third-party lab testing (and makes the results publicly available). These tests are performed by accredited, independent labs to verify the cannabinoid composition of a product, which ensures it’s truly THC-free, among other things. In addition, lab testing procedures check for CBD potency—or the strength of the product—as well as to ensure unwanted chemicals are not present. Not all brands will lab test their CBD products, but it’s best to steer clear of those that don’t.
The 5 Best THC-Free CBD Oils
When looking for CBD products, only consider the most trustworthy CBD companies that provide clarity for consumers and transparency when it comes to the extracts used in their formulas. With this in mind, here are five of the best THC-free CBD oils on the market. All of these options, listed below, come from reputable brands with transparent lab testing, clean hemp sources, and excellent track records with their customers—so you can trust that you’re getting the highest-quality CBD oil out there.
As the popularity of CBD continues to grow, so does the demand for THC-free CBD oils. Discover the brands making the best THC-free CBD products in 2020.
Is There Such A Thing As 100% THC-Free CBD?
The short answer is yes. But there are several factors that CBD consumers need to be aware of.
THC is the active constituent (called a “cannabinoid”) found in marijuana and it is what gets people high. Generally speaking, CBD contains small amounts of THC (>0.3%). Even though there is THC present, CBD is non-psychoactive (CBD won’t get you high).
However that being said, some people still choose to purchase Zero THC CBD oil. But is it possible to truly get a 100% THC-Free oil?
What is Zero THC CBD?
To put it simply Zero THC CBD is when the THC has been removed from your bottle of CBD. But it is important for the buyer to beware, because many oils indeed have THC in them (>0.3%)… EVEN those that are labeled as Zero THC (More on that below).
Generally speaking, you will find 3 types of CBD on the market:
Full Spectrum CBD has 0.3% or less THC, as well as all the cannabinoids, terpenes and other beneficial plant compounds found in hemp oil. These various compounds work together to offer a more effective CBD oil. This synergy is called the “entourage effect”.
Broad Spectrum CBD is the same as full spectrum, but the THC has been removed. This means you get all the benefits of the entourage effect, but minus the THC. This oil should be 100% THC-Free, but sometimes it is not (more on the below).
CBD Isolate is exactly as it sounds. It is just CBD, which means that all the other compounds from the hemp plant have been removed, leaving just pure CBD. This tends to be the least effective but also the cheapest option when it comes to CBD. CBD isolate is 100% THC-Free.
Can A Company Guarantee That A Bottle Of CBD Oil Is 100% THC-Free?
Yes. Whenever you buy CBD, whether it is THC Free or not, you will want to make sure that the company you are buying from has a certificate of analysis (COAs) for their products. A COA is when a 3rd party lab tests a batch of CBD for heavy metals, chemicals, cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds. This test will show the percentage of THC.
The COA is the only way that a company can guarantee that their CBD is 100% THC-Free. Otherwise, there is no “hard” or conclusive evidence. There are hundreds of CBD companies on the market, and COAs are the only way you will know if their statements are true or not.
Buyer Beware: Some “THC-Free” CBD Has Trace Amounts Of THC…
It is important to be vigilant, because there are some CBD companies, especially online, that are making unsubstantiated claims. For example, when randomly tested, some “zero THC” CBD oils actually do contain trace amounts of THC.
The reason is that CBD is currently unregulated, which makes it much easier for people to sell “snake oil” CBD. Meaning, they are selling poor quality CBD and marketing it as high quality. Some companies have gone so far as to buy cheap hemp oil from China and labeled it as CBD.
Do your due diligence and ensure the company you are buying from is a reputable brand. Consider reaching out and asking some questions. Ask to have a phone call with a representative, or simply send an email to get to know the faces behind the brand.
Drug Tests and Why Someone Would Want “THC-Free” CBD…
There are several reasons someone may want a zero THC CBD oil. The main reason being the risk of testing positive on a drug test. Drug tests will not look for CBD, but they do look for THC. This is because THC is the compound in marijuana that gets people high.
Although most CBD oils have >0.3% THC, it is important to note that some individuals have reported failed drug tests from these oils. It is difficult to know why this could be but it likely has to do with the sensitivity of the drug test, the rate in which an individual’s body processes the THC, and perhaps a little luck…
Generally THC stays in your body for 30 days. This means if you take CBD oil everyday for 30 days, you will have considerably more THC in your body on the 30th day than on earlier days. So in a theoretical situation, if you are taking CBD with small amounts of THC for 30 days straight, and you are tested on the 30th day, then your chances of failing are much higher than if you got tested on your first or second day.
For that reason, we suggest anyone expecting a drug test to either skip the CBD all together, or go for a 100% Guaranteed THC-Free CBD oil (ideally broad spectrum).
Other people may want to skip the THC due to religious beliefs (THC could be perceived as a “Drug”), or due to stigmas around marijuana. For whatever the reason, buying THC-Free CBD means that you can experience the benefits of CBD without the risks associated with THC.
Getting a bottle of CBD that has had 100% of the THC removed is possible. In fact, it is more common than not. However, you will want to ensure the company you are buying from has COAs to back up their claims. Otherwise, there could be trace amounts of THC in your CBD oil.
If this were the case, the amount of THC would be negligible. However if your freedom or livelihood is on the line, then it is not worth the risk. Quality is key when it comes to CBD.
The short answer is yes, there is 100% THC-Free CBD Oils. But there are several factors that CBD consumers need to be aware of.