The medicinal qualities of hemp oil have been known for thousands of years, but CBD oil is still the newcomer of the cannabinoid kingdom, and with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, its popularity is soaring. Despite this, it remains unregulated by the FDA, leading many consumers to question just what exactly they’re buying when they purchase CBD oil.
It’s important to note that while cannabis can contain both THC and CBD in high amounts, the plant’s genetics typically predispose it toward one or the other. In other words, cannabis plants that are bred specifically for THC potency will naturally have much lower CBD content, and vice versa.
So, How Much THC is in CBD Oil?
Because industrial hemp naturally contains very little THC (0.3% or less), it remains the sole (legal) option for CBD production in any state without recreational or medical marijuana laws. This is a substantial bottleneck for CBD production in these states, for allowing a higher level of THC would naturally result in higher CBD levels and make the extraction process much more efficient.
Although the cannabis plant produces over 100 distinct cannabinoids, two of them – THC and CBD – garner the most attention. They also make up the vast majority of cannabis’ cannabinoid content, with others like CBG and CBC being present in much smaller amounts.
To appease consumers in both markets, dispensaries in states like Colorado now stock tinctures of varying CBD-to-THC ratios, from 18:1 to 4:1 to 1:1. This provides buyers who benefit from both CBD and THC to have the best of both worlds and find a product tailored to their individual needs.
So for these consumers, the question inevitably arises — Does CBD oil contain THC?
In short, whether CBD oil contains THC depends on how it is made. Raw CBD oil is an isolate, so it won’t have any trace amounts of any other cannabis compounds, including THC. CBD oil extracted from hemp may have trace amounts, and there are high-CBD/low-THC concentrates, oils, and tinctures available in legal cannabis markets. If you want to avoid THC, look closely at the labels on CBD products you’re thinking of buying, and read all information relating to dosages and methods of extraction.
CBD has the potential to mitigate the intoxicating and potentially adverse effects of THC, while THC may contribute to or enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
If you take CBD oil, will you run the risk of ingesting THC?
Both cannabinoids bind to the body’s CB1 receptors. THC activates the CB1 receptor, while CBD inhibits it. Trace amounts of THC in CBD oil are very unlikely to exhibit any of its effects relative to CBD. If you’re interested in benefiting from the combined effects of THC and CBD, otherwise known as the entourage effect, begin with high-CBD/low-THC cannabis products. Cannabis high in THC and low in CBD may be even more intoxicating than THC alone, according to an Australian study.