Does CBD Oil Have THC? How to Make Sure Yours is Pure

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two different cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, and each has the ability to provide a unique set of physical and mental health benefits. Due to the psychoactive properties of THC (the “high” feeling), it still carries some legal constraints and social stigma. 

CBD, on the other hand, does not produce psychoactive effects and is better known for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anxiety-reducing properties. With the legal framework around cannabis changing rapidly, CBD oils are becoming widely available for the use of treating many conditions and improving overall wellness. But the fact that it comes from cannabis lends the question: does CBD oil have THC?

Fortunately, even those who are avoiding THC for legal, personal, or work-related reasons can still reap the benefits of CBD oil. It is possible, but it takes a bit of research to make sure the CBD oil you’re purchasing is pure and trustworthy. Keep reading to learn how you can find pure CBD oil and avoid an undesired dose of THC. 

Does CBD Oil Have THC?

Some CBD oils contain a significant amount of THC, while some contain none at all. To answer the question: does CBD oil have THC, we need to look at the method used to extract the CBD, how the oil has been processed, and the type of cannabis plant it comes from.  

Hemp vs Marijuana

CBD oil can be extracted from one of two forms of the cannabis plant: hemp or marijuana.

Hemp is legal at the federal level and by definition contains less than 0.3% THC. Therefore, CBD oils extracted from hemp will also have less than 0.3% THC.

CBD oils extracted from marijuana may contain higher amounts of THC, unless it’s been removed through additional processing. Since marijuana laws vary widely across the United States, CBD oils containing a significant amount of THC from marijuana are typically only found where legal medical or recreational cannabis is sold. 

Types of CBD Oil

CBD oil can be categorized into one of three groups based on how it was produced.  

Full-Spectrum CBD

By definition, full-spectrum CBD oil contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in the cannabis plant from which it was extracted. These oils undergo minimal to no processing before they hit the shelves, leaving all of these beneficial phytochemicals in-tact within the oil. 

Whether or not a full-spectrum CBD oil has THC depends on the type of plant it comes from. Full-spectrum CBD oils derived from legally harvested hemp should contain less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana-derived oils may contain more. 

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains a wide profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, but they typically undergo some level of processing to remove or alter the ratios of certain compounds, including THC. 

Broad-spectrum CBD oils may have had all of their THC removed, but trace amounts are often left behind. Processing the oil after extraction may also alter the amounts of the other beneficial phytochemicals to be found inside. 

CBD Isolate

CBD isolates have undergone extensive processing to have everything removed from the oil except for CBD. In this case, the type of plant it comes from doesn’t matter because all of the THC is removed in the purification steps. 

Unfortunately, CBD isolates are typically missing the profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that help CBD work in the body and provide its numerous benefits.  

Can CBD Turn into THC in the Human Body?

A controversial study proposed that CBD can turn into THC in the stomach. In an acidic environment containing simulated gastric fluid, the study confirmed that CBD can convert to THC. 

However, a review of this study failed to confirm these results in human subjects. The actual conditions of the stomach don’t appear to turn CBD into THC. 

Additionally, the researchers pointed out that CBD does not produce the same psychotropic effects as THC, so it’s unlikely that this conversion is taking place in the body. 

Does CBD Oil Show Up on Drug Tests?

Drug tests don’t typically look for CBD, since it’s legal and doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects. The only cannabinoids that are detected include THC and its metabolites.  

Depending on the type of drug test, there will be a certain cut-off value for the concentration of THC metabolites that yield a positive result. For example, urine tests require THC-COOH to be present at a concentration of 50 nanograms per milliliter or higher before the test is positive. 

The trace amounts of THC found in CBD oils typically aren’t enough to trigger a positive result on a drug test. However, this depends on the type and quality of the CBD oil you are using. It’s important to look for clean and legally produced CBD, especially if you’re concerned about passing a drug test. 

How to Find Pure CBD Oil

While CBD isolates are technically the most “pure” form of CBD, they aren’t necessarily the most desirable. Studies have confirmed that cannabis extracts containing a high concentration of CBD in addition to the rest of the plant’s phytochemicals are far more powerful than isolated CBD, which has been processed extensively to have all compounds other than CBD removed. 

Full-spectrum CBD oils, which contain the cannabis plant’s full profile of naturally occurring compounds, have been shown to work much better than CBD isolate. This is due to the “entourage effect”, the effect of several cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids working together synergistically to provide benefits that no single compound could achieve alone. 

Coming from reputable companies and legally harvested hemp, full-spectrum CBD oils should not contain more than 0.3% THC, if any at all. This is far too little THC to produce any psychoactive effects or yield a positive drug test.

Unfortunately, there are many questionable CBD oils available online and on store shelves. A 2017 Penn study found that 70% of CBD extracts are mislabeled in some way, and this could include mislabeling amounts of THC. Since the FDA does not regulate supplement products including CBD oils, it’s important as a consumer to thoroughly research where your CBD oil is coming from, how it’s produced, and what it contains. 

Due to the lack of government regulation, you should look for a CBD oil that has been lab tested by a third party to verify its contents. This information should be easily accessible on the manufacturer’s website, and if you’re not able to find it, it’s probably best to choose a different brand. 

In short, here are our guidelines for choosing the purest, most beneficial CBD oil:

  • Lab tested by a third-party to verify contents
  • Extracted from legally harvested hemp containing no more than 0.3% THC
  • Extracted using a clean method, such as thermal extraction
  • Contains a full profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in addition to CBD
  • Contains no traces of harsh solvents or chemicals
  • Contains only clean, organic ingredients
  • Produced in a GMP certified facility

Starting your search at Altura Wellness is one of the simplest ways to make sure your CBD oil meets these criteria. Altura provides the lab test results of all their products, so you always know what you’re getting. You can shop for Altura CBD products here.