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Does CBD Oil Have THC? Ask a Pharmacist

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

Does CBD Oil Have THC? Ask a Pharmacist

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!

What is THC?

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)2 is an intoxicating compound that causes the euphoric effect commonly associated with marijuana intoxication. It can cause mild hallucinations, and distort space and time.3 It’s 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% 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% 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 health benefits 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 interact with these compounds to relay messages between cells to bring the systems of the body into balance.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 health applications9 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 cannabis products have become a popular and beneficial 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%.11 

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 it 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 efficacy when compared to full spectrum CBD products.

The trace amounts of THC found in full spectrum CBD products is not enough to get you high. And when you take CBD, it can actually block the intoxicating effects of THC. So, while legal full spectrum CBD products do have some THC, when you take CBD oil you will not get 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 wasting money on an inferior 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, always get their guidance in writing.

CBD Oil Side Effects

CBD can be taken safely in large doses without risk of overdose since it does not affect the circulatory or respiratory systems, and CBD oil doesn't have intoxicating effects.18 However, some people may experience negative side effects when they take too much CBD. Research also suggests that many CBD oil side effects could be the result of an interaction with prescription medications.19

Side effects from too much CBD oil include drowsiness or an upset stomach that could result in diarrhea.20 Negative side effects can also occur if you are allergic to cannabis hemp oil. One of the most important things to note when taking CBD oil - there is zero risk of overdose from cannabis hemp products, and most side effects can be avoided with careful use.

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%.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% 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% 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 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.

Does CBD Oil Have THC FAQ's

Does CBD oil get you high?

Full spectrum CBD oils that are made legally with less than 0.3% THC do not have nearly enough THC content to get someone high. THC is the psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant that provides a euphoric sensation, but studies show that CBD actually helps to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

Can CBD oil make you fail a drug test?

The highest quality CBD oils contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids, which includes up to 0.3% THC. As a result, anyone taking full spectrum CBD oil products could be at risk of failing a drug test. Speak with your doctor and HR department first before taking CBD oil if you think you may be drug tested.

All rights reserved. The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.

Cornbread Hemp works with suppliers who guarantee a less than or equal to 0.3% THC content. With the trace amounts of THC in CBD full spectrum oil, it is possible that users may fail a drug test. Cornbread Hemp does not take any responsibility in the instance a customer fails a drug test while using these products.

References

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Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 29, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Atakan Z. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012;2(6):241-254. doi:10.1177/2045125312457586. Under ‘brief history of the biochemistry of the cannabis plant’ section, 1st paragraph, 5th sentence

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What Is - and What Causes - the Marijuana "High"? - Medical Marijuana - ProCon.org. Medical Marijuana. https://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/questions/what-is-and-what-causes-the-marijuana-high/. Published October 14, 2019. Accessed July 30, 2020. Under ‘DEA section’, 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence and under ‘CESAR’ section, 2nd paragraph

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Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 29, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Nccih.nih.gov. 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know Accessed July 30, 2020. Under ‘how many cannabinoids are there?’ section, 1st sentence

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Maroon J, Bost J. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surg Neurol Int. 2018;9:91. Published 2018 Apr 26. doi: 10.4103/sni.sni_45_18. Under ‘neuroprotective benefits of Phyto cannabinoids’ section, 1st paragraph, 2nd and 3rd sentence

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Uclahealth.org. 2020. Human Endocannabinoid System - UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative - Los Angeles, CA. [online] Available at: https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/human-endocannabinoid-system Accessed July 29, 2020. 1st paragraph, 1st , 2nd and 3rd sentence

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Institute of Medicine (US); Joy JE, Watson SJ Jr., Benson JA Jr., editors. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1999. 2, Cannabinoids and Animal Physiology. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK230721/. Under ‘introduction’ section, 4th paragraph, 2nd sentence of 1st bullet point

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Institute of Medicine (US); Joy JE, Watson SJ Jr., Benson JA Jr., editors. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1999. 2, Cannabinoids and Animal Physiology. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK230721/. Under ‘introduction’ section, 4th paragraph, 3rd sentence of 1st bullet point

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Phys.org. 2018. Favoring Female Flowers In Hemp Horticulture. [online] Available at: https://phys.org/news/2018-12-favoring-female-hemp-horticulture.html Accessed July 29, 2020. 7th paragraph, 1st sentence

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Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 29, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 29, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 29, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Jones, I., 2020. Full-Spectrum Cannabis Extracts VS CBD Isolate | Fundación CANNA: Scientific Studies And Cannabis Testing. [online] Fundacion-canna.es. Available at: https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/full-spectrum-cannabis-extracts-vs-cbd-isolate Accessed July 30, 2020. 8th paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Jones, I., 2020. Full-Spectrum Cannabis Extracts VS CBD Isolate | Fundación CANNA: Scientific Studies And Cannabis Testing. [online] Fundacion-canna.es. Available at: https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/full-spectrum-cannabis-extracts-vs-cbd-isolate Accessed July 30, 2020. 3rd paragraph, 3rd and 4th sentence

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Jones, I., 2020. Full-Spectrum Cannabis Extracts VS CBD Isolate | Fundación CANNA: Scientific Studies And Cannabis Testing. [online] Fundacion-canna.es. Available at: https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/full-spectrum-cannabis-extracts-vs-cbd-isolate Accessed July 30, 2020. 5th paragraph, 3rd and 4th sentence

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Jones, I., 2020. Full-Spectrum Cannabis Extracts VS CBD Isolate | Fundación CANNA: Scientific Studies And Cannabis Testing. [online] Fundacion-canna.es. Available at: https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/full-spectrum-cannabis-extracts-vs-cbd-isolate Accessed July 30, 2020. 6th paragraph

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