The most common question we get from first-time shoppers is whether CBD oil contains THC. It’s important to understand the answer for a few reasons:
- THC, at or above certain concentrations, is illegal under federal law in the United States.
- THC is associated with psychoactive or intoxicating effects.
- THC consumption can lead to positive drug tests.
The short answer is yes, many types of CBD oil do contain THC. The amount of THC in CBD oil can vary wildly, so it’s important to dig a little bit deeper. Before you buy CBD online, make sure you trust the company and know exactly how much THC their products contain by reading the company’s certificate of analysis (COAs) for each product and batch.
CBD Vs. THC
CBD (short for cannabidiol) and THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) are both cannabinoids, types of organic compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant’s flower. These are the two most popular types of cannabinoids, but they’re very different from one another. CBD and THC are so different, in fact, that the cannabis plant is named something different depending on the THC and CBD levels in the plant.
Cannabis plants with no more than a 0.3% THC concentration (measured on a dry weight basis) are referred to as hemp and are legally grown throughout the United States assuming the hemp is grown in compliance with a state program and the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. Cannabis plants with more than 0.3% THC concentration are considered marijuana, which is still illegal and considered a controlled substance on a federal level throughout the United States. Because of these laws, CBD oil is only given legal protections throughout the United States if it has been derived from hemp and contains extremely low or no levels of THC.
THC is known for producing psychoactive effects (commonly referred to as a “high”). It’s also the cannabinoid that drug tests are designed to detect in one’s urine, hair, blood or saliva (tests can look for THC and/or it’s metabolite as the metabolite lasts longer in the body). Most drug tests are not designed to specifically detect the presence of CBD (or a CBD derived metabolite). However, there is a risk that a trace amount of THC in one’s CBD oil or that prolonged use of CBD with trace THC can cause THC to buildup in the body and trigger a positive drug test. Therefore, while CBD is not considered psychoactive or intoxicating and is not the cannabinoid most drug tests are designed to detect, it is best to be upfront with those drug testing you regarding your CBD use and to look for a CBD oil that contains little to no THC. Additionally, since the effects of THC are so different from the effects of CBD, many people who buy CBD oil want to limit their exposure to THC.
Is There THC in CBD Oil?
You’ll find three main types of CBD on the market. Isolate contains only CBD, with no other cannabinoids. Full-spectrum oil contains all cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant, including THC.
Broad-spectrum oil contains multiple cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant, but doesn’t contain THC. Most CBD oil contains trace levels of THC. If the oil is derived from marijuana with higher levels of THC, there are likely to be higher levels of it in the final product. Hemp-derived CBD oil contains much less THC since there’s less of it in the original plant material to begin with.
Many brands claim to sell CBD oil with no THC. While it is possible to isolate cannabidiol, there are also a lot of brands that sell untested CBD oil that may not be as pure as they claim. If you really want to know the exact amount of THC in CBD oil, we recommend checking the Certificate of Analysis (COA). The best oil should always come with a COA from an independent lab, which will tell you exactly the compounds in the bottle.
Legal Considerations of CBD Oil
At the federal level CBD oil, even if it’s THC free or below 0.3%, does not have a legal classification as a supplement or food additive, it’s not currently under any specific FDA regulations. For CBD oil to be considered not a controlled substance (and not regulated like an illegal drug) and sold outside of dispensaries, it has to meet two big criteria (among others):
- The oil is derived from hemp, not marijuana.
- The oil contains no more than 0.3% THC.
In states where marijuana is legal, adult recreational cannabis customers and medical marijuana patients may purchase oil with any ratio of CBD to THC. However, outside of dispensaries, CBD oil must be, at the very least, derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis.
How Much THC Is in CBD Oil?
There’s only one way to know exactly how much THC is in your CBD oil, and that’s by checking the lab data. We recommend being skeptical of any company that markets “THC-free CBD oil” but doesn’t make their certificate of analysis public. For an example of how to understand lab data, consider this COA we received in June of 2020.
The sample contained 4,263 mg of CBD and 92 mg of THC. In other words, customers receive about 0.21 mg of THC for every 10 mg of CBD. The THC density of 0.088% makes this product not marijuana per the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, and buyers know the exact amount of cannabinoids in their CBD oil.
Can CBD Oil Make Me Feel High or Fail a Drug Test?
Oils with a high concentration of THC will likely cause psychoactive effects and failed drug tests. Most CBD oil shouldn’t have an intoxicating effect for most people and generally CBD usage alone won’t result in a positive drug test. Nonetheless, we have heard of people failing drug tests because of trace amounts of THC in CBD oil.
How to Find the Best CBD Oil
There are many factors to consider, but most experienced shoppers ask themselves three key questions. If you can say yes to all three of the following questions about your CBD oil, you’re off to a good start:
- Is it hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% THC?
- Is a legitimate COA readily available to verify this information?
- Is the price fair?
Where to Buy CBD Oil Online
Here at RYTE CBD, we produce handcrafted CBD oil from legal, non-GMO industrial hemp from our own farm in Colorado.
Every batch is tested by an independent lab to ensure quality, safety, and purity. Since we control the process so thoroughly, our products come without additives and at low prices.