How Much THC is in CBD oil?

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While shopping for CBD oil, you may have noticed that hemp-derived CBD products contain less than 0.3 percent THC.

Where does this number come from?

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp farming across the country. The bill defined “hemp” as cannabis that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. (Cannabis plants that contain more than 0.3 percent THC are considered marijuana and would remain illegal under federal law.) 

0.3 percent seems like an insignificant amount, right? Not necessarily.

How much is 0.3 percent?

Under the Farm Bill, cannabis plants are legal if their THC content is below 0.3 percent of the “dry weight” of the plant (the weight of the plant after it has been dried). Similarly, hemp-derived products must have a THC content that is below 0.3 percent of the weight of the product.

What does this look like in practice?

A pack of CBD gummies that weighs 10 grams in total could legally contain up to 30 milligrams of THC. (10 grams x 0.3% = 0.03 grams or 30 milligrams)

That could present issues for people taking CBD products that contain THC. A serving size of 5 milligrams of THC—and for some as little as 2-3 milligrams of THC—is enough to cause intoxicating effects in adults.

The 0.3 percent THC threshold is widely viewed to be arbitrary. The figure stems from a 1976 study that aimed to delineate high-THC cannabis from low-THC cannabis. This threshold was not intended to be a precise threshold for intoxication, but it has still been adopted by several countries in their cannabis legislation.

That means consumers need to be vigilant.

What does this mean for you?

Read the lab reports for CBD products that you’re taking, and find the number of milligrams of THC present in each serving.

Most of Sunsoil’s products contain anywhere between 0.5 to 1 milligram of THC per 20 milligrams of CBD (it can vary slightly due to natural variations in the plants used to make the product). 

Here is an example of a Sunsoil Certificate of Analysis (or COA). You can see that our CBD oil contains a variety of cannabinoids, including THC. In this particular batch of softgels, there is 0.54 milligrams of THC in each capsule (0.106% of the total weight). 

Lab Results

If you are taking multiple servings or large servings of CBD oil, be aware that you could be ingesting material amounts of THC.

If you are drug tested at your job, it’s also important to note that regular consumption of CBD oil may be enough to trigger a positive result for THC. Out of caution, we recommend that people in this position avoid CBD oil products entirely.

Is there any way to avoid THC when taking CBD?

There are three types of CBD products:

  • Full spectrum
  • Broad spectrum
  • Isolate

Many purchase full-spectrum CBD oil for the “entourage effect” – the enhanced effect of all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant working together. One of those being THC.   

Consumers wishing to avoid THC entirely can choose a broad spectrum or isolate product. Those types of products are specially processed to remove all THC, though sometimes trace amounts of THC can remain.

In a recent study, Johns Hopkins researchers tested more than 100 CBD oil topical products. Not only did they find significant evidence of inaccurate CBD content on the label, 11% claiming to be THC-free contained detectable amounts of THC.

Similarly, a research report in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence tested 80 CBD products. Five of the 21 products that were labeled as “THC-Free” contained THC.

Without formal industry regulation, consumers can be at a disadvantage when it comes to purchasing CBD oil. Whether from sloppy manufacturing, deceptive marketing practices or poor quality control, the consumer is left to determine the accuracy of labels and locate the right CBD oil for them.

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