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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 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.
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. In states that have some form of legal marijuana market, higher THC-to-CBD ratio oils may be available, but legal distribution to all 50 states requires that the 0.3% limit be respected.
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 to the trustworthiness and integrity of numerous manufacturers in an unregulated industry. When purchasing full spectrum CBD oil, always remember to do your research and choose a reputable source with a track record of satisfied customers.