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is there any thc in cbd oil

How Much THC is in CBD Oil?

October 28, 2019

How much THC is in CBD oil

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.

Due to its psychoactive properties, THC has historically been considered a sort of superstar of cannabinoids. The booming market for medicinal and recreational marijuana places it at the forefront, with growers producing record-breaking strains of up to 40% THC.

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.

So, How Much THC is in CBD Oil?

THC in CBD oil

One of the more common inquiries heard is “how much THC is in CBD oil?” The answer varies depending on a variety of factors. Although research indicates that a full-spectrum extract – whereupon both THC and CBD are present amongst a host of other cannabinoids – is the most effective form of CBD, the difference in legal status between CBD and THC causes concern for some consumers. For example, some worry that an excess of THC in CBD oil may lead to a failed drug screen.

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.

CBD oil must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered federally legal, though there is still confusion over this in many parts of the country. From there, state and local laws must also be taken into account – check your local statutes to understand whether CBD oil is truly legal in your neck of the woods.

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.

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.

There is no definitive answer to how much THC is in CBD oil. It varies depending on a multitude of factors, from the science behind the plant to its current legal status at the state and local level to the trustworthiness and integrity of numerous manufacturers in an unregulated industry. When purchasing full spectrum CBD oil or CBD capsules, always remember to do your research and choose a reputable source with a track record of satisfied customers.

Do you know how much THC is in CBD oil? Do you know how to check CBD products for THC levels? Click here to read more from our experts.

Will CBD Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test?

Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, is a board-certified acupuncturist, as well as an herbalist and integrative medicine doctor. He operates a private practice in Santa Monica, California.

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a popular product for everything from pain control to anxiety to promoting sleep. However, with the rise of CBD comes the concern about failing a drug test due to detection of CBD oil. News stories are emerging across the country involving famous sports players, employees of companies, and others who have gotten positive drug screening results for the presence of THC—the psychoactive component of marijuana   —even though CBD oil is said to be THC-free.

What are the odds that CBD oil users will test positive when subjected to illicit drug screenings, and what can be done to prevent it?

How to Avoid a Positive CBD Drug Test

Does CBD Oil Contain THC?

When a drug test is performed, the active chemical in marijuana that gets detected in a positive screening is THC. However, most people are under the impression that CBD oil is THC-free.

As it turns out, depending on the source of the cannabis that is used to produce the CBD oil, some products do contain traces of THC (including low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures).

Breakdown of Cannabis

Cannabis is the umbrella term describing hemp and marijuana plants—two different varieties of the cannabis genus. Both marijuana and hemp can be described as cannabis plants; however, it is important to note that they are still two separate plants.

CBD is one of many active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. One reason it’s gaining momentum in popularity is because it is said to lack the component of the plant that causes a person to get high, which is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).  

The primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp is nearly void of THC. In fact, a cannabis strain must contain less than .3 percent THC to be classified as hemp. This is the reason hemp can be legally sold as various products.

Most CBD products are made from hemp, not marijuana.

There are many distinctions between marijuana and hemp that relate to CBD oil. Marijuana contains both THC (the psychoactive component) and CBD, whereas hemp contains CBD and only trace amounts of THC. Hemp contains many cannabinoids—CBD is only one example.

There are several techniques for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The extraction method determines whether the active CBD compound gets processed as a “full spectrum oil” or an “isolate.” A CBD isolate is a pure compound with no other active compounds or cannabinoids at all. A full spectrum oil contains other active plant compounds in addition to the CBD such as CBN (cannabinol) and cannabis terpenes (the part of the plant that gives the plant its aroma), and more.

Study of CBD Oil

While some CBD oils claim to be isolates, they may be full spectrum oils and actually contain more cannabinoids (such as THC) than they claim.

In a study conducted by researchers from the Lautenberg Center, researchers discovered that CBD was more effective for treating inflammation and pain when used with other cannabis plant compounds derived from a full spectrum product over a CBD isolate product alone. This is one reason that full spectrum products (those containing THC) are popular.

However, the distinction between full spectrum oils and isolates make all the difference if you are being tested for drug use.

Reasons for Failing a CBD Drug Test

There are several common reasons a person fails a CBD drug test.

1. Using Product With THC

The most common reason for a failed CBD drug test is that a person is using a CBD oil product that contains THC. Sometimes, this may be because a person purchases a low-quality product that does contain a small amount of THC—most manufacturers will claim their products do not contain THC, but this is not always the case.

2. Cross Contamination of THC

Very small amounts of THC present in the material that CBD is extracted from can get into the CBD oil in high enough amounts to result in a positive drug test. This scenario may be more apt to occur when CBD oil is purchased from cannabis dispensaries in places where cannabis is legal, as opposed to an online retailer.

3. Mislabeling of Products

CBD oil extracted from hemp is not supposed to have any more than .3 percent of THC. However, it’s not uncommon for sellers to mislabel their products as THC-free hemp when in reality, it’s a low-quality oil extracted from marijuana, which does contain THC.

In fact, one study discovered that almost 70 percent of the CBD products sold online were not labeled properly, “causing potential serious harm to its consumers.” The reason for this widespread mislabeling is that CBD products are not strictly regulated by the FDA.

4. Secondhand Exposure to THC

Inadvertent exposure to marijuana (via secondhand smoke) is unlikely to be enough for a person to get a positive drug test result, but it is possible. Being in a room with heavy pot smokers for several hours may cause the inhalation of enough THC containing smoke to result in a positive test.  

A more likely secondhand exposure scenario is a positive marijuana hair test, resulting from direct contact with marijuana paraphernalia or from another person having THC on their hands.

For instance, if someone who had direct contact with marijuana then touched your hair, you could feasibly receive a false positive on a drug screening that tests your hair.

5. CBD Oil Breaks Down in The Digestive System

Some sources report that in rare cases, false positive test results have come from CBD oil that breaks down into very small amounts of THC in the stomach. Other studies, however, have refuted this.  

The conclusion is that it’s still theoretically possible for traces of THC metabolites to be present in the stomach acid in the instance where “less-purified CBD productions” are ingested.

How to Avoid a Positive CBD Drug Test

If you take CBD oil, there are measures you can take to try to prevent failing a drug test.

  • Do thorough research to ensure the CBD product you’re using is pure and that the company is legitimate.
  • Ensure that the CBD oil is an isolate product extracted from a viable industrial hemp supply, and is not a low-quality tincture.
  • Ask questions about product processing techniques and the possibility of cross-contamination.
  • Avoid secondhand exposure to marijuana use via pot smoking or hair contact from THC users.

A Word From Verywell

In theory, getting a false positive on a drug test from CBD oil should be relatively impossible from pure CBD oil containing less than .3 percent THC. However, because CBD oil is not very well regulated, there is no guarantee that a product contains pure CBD oil, or that its concentration is at a safe or effective level.   It is best to use utmost caution and do your research when purchasing a quality CBD oil product to ensure its purity, especially if you need to undergo drug screenings.

Cases of CBD oil users failing drug tests are on the rise. Learn more about why this happens and how to avoid it.