How much THC is in CBD oil? The answer may surprise you. Explore the relationship between the two most controversial cannabis ingredients. Cases of CBD oil users failing drug tests are on the rise. Learn more about why this happens and how to avoid it. A better way to feel better. Our high-quality hemp-based CBD products are designed to help you live a balanced while feeling your best. Do you know what’s in your CBD oil? According to info
How Much THC is in CBD Oil?
The short answer is, almost none. Most of the time, but not always.
To clear up the confusion, it’s best to go deeper and explore the relationship between the two most popular and controversial ingredients extracted from the cannabis plant.
CBD and THC are two cannabis-derived compounds known mostly by their three-letter abbreviations. They are the two compounds that swirl at the center of the hemp conversation that touches on health, wellness, and recreational marijuana use versus natural hemp therapy. Understanding what CBD and THC actually are, and where they come from, is the key to unraveling the mystery and confusion surrounding the two most popular (and misunderstood) ingredients that come from the cannabis plant.
The answer is no, but it’s helpful to know more about these two cannabinoids because some CBD oils do contain THC.
The History of Hemp
The cannabis Sativa plant is full of chemical compounds and many of them have possible therapeutic applications. The medicinal properties of cannabis have been known for centuries, but only recently has the plant come to the forefront of the health and wellness community as a natural supplement with therapeutic applications, as opposed to a recreational drug without any specific health benefit.
For decades, the cannabis plant was known only as the source of the drug marijuana. Its many other applications were overshadowed by its (usually negative) association with marijuana and drug use.
At the end of the 20 th century all that began to change as modern society began to rediscover the therapeutic benefits of hemp – the strain of the cannabis plant that contains almost no THC. There are different strains of the cannabis plant species, purposely cultivated to produce differing amounts of unique compounds. These compounds are called cannabinoids.
There are over 100 distinct cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that can produce different physiological effects in the human body, but two of them – THC and CBD – get by far the most attention.
THC is the most (in)famous one of the two, while CBD is a popular up-and-coming supplement generating a lot of discussion in the health and wellness community. They are chemically very similar, so the obvious question everyone has is: is CBD “marijuana-lite” and can you get high from it?
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, one of many naturally occurring compounds cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Botanical oil containing the cannabinoid CBD is purposely extracted and purified to produce many different kinds of products.
A multitude of therapeutic effects are informally associated with CBD and a wide variety of products contain CBD oil, but it can be difficult to find out exactly what the benefits of CBD are. This is because the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD to treat any specific condition, and retailers of CBD products are reluctant to list its purported benefits.
Users of CBD are a different story. Millions of people are using CBD products and reporting a range of benefits, but until the FDA approves CBD for over-the-counter use, retailers of CBD products will hesitate to openly make therapeutic claims about the cannabinoid. One thing is certain however, CBD oil is not a psychoactive compound like THC, nor is it a milder form of marijuana. Using CBD will not result in a euphoric high and it is not used recreationally, but rather therapeutically.
So what actually are you buying when you purchase CBD oil or a CBD product? You are getting a cannabis-derived product that is chemically similar to THC but has none of the psychoactive, euphoric, or addictive properties. CBD products are used strictly as a wellness supplement, similar to how medicinal hemp products are used. You’ll notice that many hemp products have a CBD version of the same product. This indicates the two products are identical, save for the presence of the single cannabinoid, CBD.
The cannabis plant can contain both THC and CBD, but 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. Strains of the plant cultivated to produce CBD oil have almost no THC. The marijuana strains of cannabis on the other hand are cultivated to produce very high amounts of THC, and other cannabinoids like CBD are incidental and usually low in overall percentage.
What is THC?
THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol. It too is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and the one for which it is most famous. In high enough concentrations, THC produces mild to moderate psychoactive effects in the human brain and can cause feelings of euphoria. The marijuana strain of the cannabis plant is purposely cultivated to produce high amounts of THC, far more than the strains of the plant that produce hemp and CBD oil. When a product contains a high amount of the cannabinoid THC, it becomes a controlled substance subject to state laws.
The purpose of cultivating the marijuana strain of the cannabis plant is very different from the hemp versions of the plant. These plants are engineered by growers to produce as much THC as possible, to supply a thriving medical and recreational marijuana marketplace. Products made from the high-THC strains of cannabis are sold in state-regulated dispensaries and monitored by government agencies.
The most important distinction to make between THC and CBD is the purpose of using them. THC is purposely used for its psychoactive effects, often recreationally, and its legality varies from state to state. On the other hand, CBD oil is a wellness supplement that has no psychoactive effects. It’s used for nutritional and therapeutic purposes and is completely legal to buy and use in the U.S.
So does CBD oil contain THC or not?
The most common question about CBD oil is whether it contains THC. Related to this are questions about CBD’s possible psychoactive effects and if it shows up on drug tests. The answers vary depending on a variety of factors – but nearly all products marketed as “CBD” or which use CBD oil as their primary ingredient have zero or only trace amounts of THC.
Federal laws stipulate that widely-available CBD oil must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered legal, but there is a subclass of CBD products labeled “ Full Spectrum ” (more on that below) that have more THC in them. Unless the CBD product is specifically labeled as Full Spectrum, you can be fairly confident that the product you are getting contains almost no THC.
What about “Full Spectrum” CBD?
While searching or shopping for CBD products you will probably encounter a family of products called “Full Spectrum.” Full Spectrum is an industry euphemism that is really saying: “This product contains some THC.” Full Spectrum CBD products are usually made from THC-bearing marijuana strains of cannabis and use parts of the entire plant in order to purposely include all the naturally occurring cannabinoids, notably THC and CBD.
This means Full Spectrum CBD products do contain some amount of THC. The amount varies, but it may be enough to produce a psychoactive effect. Sometimes full-spectrum CBD products list the amount of THC in milligrams or a percentage, but you should know using any product labeled Full Spectrum will contain some THC and may possibly show up on a drug test.
The term “Full Spectrum” was created to take some of the stigmas out of purchasing a THC-bearing supplement. Full Spectrum products have significantly less THC than products openly marketing themselves as medicinal or recreational marijuana, but it gets murky when it comes to knowing exactly how much THC is in the product. Users of Full Spectrum CBD products are aware of the THC and purposely want a supplement that contains it along with CBD and other cannabinoids.
Pure CBD Oil: No THC
While some users are okay with the small amounts of THC in Full Spectrum CBD products, many customers want to ensure the CBD products they use are completely free of THC. CBD oil producers have created a pure form of hemp oil that contains CBD, but 0% THC. This THC-free hemp oil is called “Pure CBD Oil.” It’s made from hemp strains already low in THC and is further purified to remove any trace amounts of THC. Pure CBD Oil contains an abundance of the cannabinoid CBD but since it is THC-free, users can be confident there is no chance of accidentally receiving a trace amount of THC.
Does CBD Show Up On a Drug Test?
Sherry Christiansen is a medical writer with a healthcare background. She has worked in the hospital setting and collaborated on Alzheimer’s research.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Femi Aremu, PharmD, is a professional pharmacist with experience in clinical and community pharmacy. He currently practices in Chicago, Illinois.
Despite the fact that cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from cannabis—the same type of plant that marijuana comes from—CBD should not show up on a drug test. That said, it is possible.
Drug tests check for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) because that is the cannabis compound that makes people feel high. CBD products are typically THC-free.
However, CBD products can contain 0.3% of THC by law. In some people, that may be enough to yield a positive drug test result.
This article explains why CBD products may show up on a drug test as THC. It also details what to look for in CBD products so you can prevent a positive drug test.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
The active chemical in marijuana that gets detected in a positive drug test screening is THC. Most people are under the impression that CBD oil is THC-free, which is generally true. But not always.
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. This includes low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures. A full spectrum oil contains other active plant compounds in addition to CBD.
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, but they are two different plants.
CBD is one of many active chemical compounds in cannabis plants. One reason it’s becoming more popular is that it’s said to lack THC.
The primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp is nearly void of THC. In fact, a cannabis strain must contain less than 0.3% THC to be classified as hemp. This is why hemp can be legally sold in 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 “high”-inducing element) and CBD. Hemp contains CBD and only trace amounts of THC.
Hemp also contains many cannabinoids, which is a name for the compounds found in cannabis. CBD is only one example.
There are several techniques for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The extraction method determines whether the CBD oil is an “isolate” or a “full-spectrum oil.”
A CBD isolate is a pure compound with no other active compounds or cannabinoids. The full-spectrum compounds may include other active chemicals, such as cannabinol and cannabis terpenes (the part of the plant that gives the plant its aroma).
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.
A study conducted at the internationally known Lautenberg Center For Immunology and Cancer found that CBD was more effective at treating inflammation and pain when used with other cannabis plant compounds.
These compounds were derived from a full-spectrum product rather than 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 makes 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 can test positive for THC after taking CBD.
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. This may be a full-spectrum product. Sometimes, though, it could be a low-quality isolate product that contains a small amount of THC.
Although most manufacturers claim their products do not contain THC, this is not always the case.
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 likely to occur when CBD oil is purchased from cannabis dispensaries in places where cannabis is legal.
Mislabeling of Products
CBD oil extracted from hemp is not supposed to contain more than 0.3% 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. And marijuana does contain THC.
In fact, one study discovered that almost 70% of the CBD products sold online were mislabeled. This caused “potential serious harm to its consumers.” The reason for this widespread mislabeling is that CBD products are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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 result.
A more likely secondhand exposure scenario is a positive marijuana hair test. This results from direct contact with marijuana paraphernalia or from another person having THC on their hands.
For instance, say that 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.
CBD Oil Breakdown 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 finding.
The conclusion is that it’s still theoretically possible for traces of THC to be present in stomach acid when “less-purified CBD productions” are ingested.
How to Avoid a Positive CBD Drug Test
If you take CBD oil, you can take steps 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.
- Look for manufacturers that have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
- Ensure that the CBD oil is an isolate product extracted from a viable industrial hemp supply. It should not be 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.
CBD oil is usually marketed as THC-free, but that’s not always the case. Full-spectrum CBD oils contain other cannabinoids, which may include THC. Isolate products may be contaminated with THC, as well.
You have to be proactive to avoid failing a drug test if you’re taking CBD oil. Most important: Ensure that you’re using a pure product made by a reputable company.
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 0.3% THC. However, because CBD oil is not well regulated, there is no guarantee that a product contains pure CBD oil or that its concentration is safe or effective.
Use the utmost caution and do your research when purchasing a quality CBD oil product to ensure its purity, especially if you need to undergo a drug screening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Drug tests look for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the element in marijuana that causes a high. CBD oils can have trace amounts of THC even if they’re labeled “THC-free.”
Yes. If the products contain THC, you could test positive. If you know you’ll need to take a drug test, avoid full-spectrum CBD products that may contain small amounts of THC. Be sure you purchase products from a reliable source. And be wary of online retailers; researchers have found that 21% of online CBD and hemp products were mislabeled.
Drug tests do not typically measure CBD. Most tests check for THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. Depending on the frequency of use, THC can be picked up on a test anywhere from a few days for a single use or over a month for heavy daily pot smokers.
CBD edibles take about 30 to 60 minutes to start to take effect. They last five to six hours, depending on your metabolism and dose. A CBD edible may show up on a drug test as THC metabolites for three days. However, if you frequently take CBD edibles, it can take up to 15 days to have a clean urine test.
The FDA strongly advises against taking CBD or THC products while nursing. Cannabis products can be excreted through breastmilk and are not safe for the baby. Cannabinoids can stay in your milk for up to six days, so “pumping and dumping” may not be a good option.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Huestis MA. Human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Chem Biodivers. 2007;4(8):1770-804. doi:10.1002/cbdv.200790152
Nahler G, Grotenhermen F, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS. A conversion of oral cannabidiol to Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol seems not to occur in humans. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):81-86. doi:10.1089/can.2017.0009
Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling accuracy of cannabidiol extracts sold online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909
Crippa JA, Guimarães FS, Campos AC, Zuardi AW. Translational investigation of the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a new age. Front Immunol. 2018;9:2009. Published 2018 Sep 21. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009
A better way to feel better.
Our high-quality hemp-based CBD products are designed to help you live a balanced while feeling your best.
Do you know what’s in your CBD oil? According to info recently released by the FDA, they found that more than half of the CBD products they reviewed were inaccurately labelled, in many cases containing significantly more or less CBD than indicated on the packaging. So, how exactly do you know what you’re getting?
Cannabis products produce over 100 cannabinoids, but CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) often receive the most attention. CBD products have become widely available after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products in the United States, and due to the calming and balancing effects of CBD, it’s become a staple of wellness and self-care routines.
When many of us look to incorporate CBD into our lives—whether to help quiet an anxious mind, improve sleep, or manage pain—a common question is “so exactly how much THC is in CBD oil?” Many of us have different reasons for asking this question. While some are interested in the incorporation of THC in CBD oil, some may have other reasons for avoiding it. The short answer is CBD oils must contain less than 0.3% of THC to be considered federally legal, but the precise amount of THC present, if any at all, depends on the type of oil.
Let’s delve a little deeper into how much THC is in CBD oils, the three main types you’ll see out there, and how to determine what a high-quality product is.
While all federally legal CBD oil products must contain less than 0.3% THC, it’s important to know the three common types of CBD to determine what will provide you with the highest benefit. CBD products are available in three forms:
Full-spectrum CBD oils contain all compounds which naturally occur in the hemp plant they were extracted from. These oils will include other compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids which give the oil its unique scent and flavor and also provide greater benefits when utilized together.
When multiple cannabis compounds are integrated, the benefits and effects are enhanced. This phenomenon, called the entourage effect,suggests that when CBD, THC, other cannabinoids and terpenes are all taken together they become more effective and provide greater benefits than when taken alone.
While CBD oil is typically not intended to be a treatment for any diseases or disorders, it’s believed that synergistic interactions may be present between cannabinoids and terpenes. While more research is needed to fully understand this synergistic effect, many consider full-spectrum CBD to be much more effective.
Similar to full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum oils and products contain additional compounds found in the hemp plant, including terpenes and other cannabinoids. However, broad-spectrum is further refined to remove THC. Therefore, while broad-spectrum CBD products are less likely to contain THC, many question whether or not the entourage effect is as strong without the small amount of THC contained in full-spectrum CBD.
CBD isolate is exactly what the name implies—it’s pure, isolated CBD, meaning it doesn’t contain any other compounds from the cannabis plant, such as other cannabinoids, flavonoids or terpenes. It doesn’t contain any THC and is thought to be less effective due to no benefits provided from the entourage effect.
It’s important to choose a product from a company that is transparent about their testing practices for THC levels because otherwise you may not know exactly how much is in your CBD oil—and not every CBD company does this. Always ask for a Certificate of Analysis to ensure you’re buying a product that does have less than 0.3% THC.
Certified third-party testing ensures purity and consistency of the product and tests for aspects such as cannabinoid potency, terpene potency, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, microbiological contaminants, and residual solvents.
There should never be more than 0.3% of THC in CBD oils to be considered federally legal. However, even with testing and low levels, some people will respond differently and possibly be more sensitive to how much THC is present just like with how caffeine affects different people differently. While there are plenty of CBD oils available from hundreds of CBD companies in the United States, not all CBD oils are created equal.
Here’s what to look for when choosing a CBD oil:
Safety and Quality: CBD companies should include third-party testing for safety and quality.
Extraction Method: The current industry standard is the CO2 extraction method, which uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract CBD from the hemp plant.
Ingredients: Always check that the CBD oil is clearly labeled and doesn’t contain added chemicals, fillers, or byproducts.
Concentration: Opt for products with higher concentrations listed by per dose or per bottle. CBD oils with more than 60 MG per dose will provide the greatest benefit.
Type: full- and broad-spectrum CBD oils offer the full range of health benefits.
At Feals, we believe you deserve a better way to feel better. Whether you’re new to CBD or looking to discover the benefits of full-spectrum CBD, we’re here to help you feel your best. Our CBD oils contain only full-spectrum hemp and USDA-certified organic MCT oil and nothing else. Quality and safety are two of our core values—we complete rigorous internal testing in addition to third-party testing to ensure THC levels are less than 0.3%. We’re dedicated to providing you with the purest, highest-quality product available.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
To learn more about when to take CBD oil for sleep or about what Feals can do for you, call our CBD hotline at 844-311-9090 or check out our products today.
Ella Brooks Ella has worked as a Product Development Scientist in the wellness industry for over 10 years and is passionate about the long-term benefits of CBD.
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