By now, you’re probably familiar with the term THC, a psychoactive element found in cannabis. Its effects can include euphoria, relaxation, anxiety, pain relief, and more. After decades of pop culture and media attention on THC, CBD is finally getting its time in the spotlight.
If you’re looking to reap all the popular benefits of CBD oil without the potentially intoxicating side effects of THC, you’re in luck! There are plenty of THC-free CBD oils that you can buy right from the comfort of your home. Perhaps you just want to avoid any potentially intoxicating effects that could come with consuming any amount of THC – which could impact your everyday life with driving, work, school, and family responsibilities.
You may be applying for a job that requires a drug test, and you don’t want to risk having even a trace of THC in your system. You may also be concerned about potential side effects or drug interactions if you’re currently taking medication for a health issue.
Whatever the reason, an increasing number of people are considering THC-free CBD oil. But what does it mean exactly, to consume cannabis which is THC-free? And what sorts of benefits could that bring? Also, will quality THC-free CBD oil have the same benefits as its full-spectrum counterpart?
What is THC-Free CBD oil?
For starters, THC is a cannabinoid similar to CBD, but it’s more commonly known for its psychotropic effects (THC is the ingredient in marijuana that delivers a ‘high’). Full-spectrum extracts may contain up to 0.3% THC by law, but THC-free CBD oils go through more extensive distillation and purification processes to remove any detectable levels and ensure you’re not ingesting any THC at all (not even that tiny 0.3%).
Additionally, in the THC-free category, you’ll find two types of products: broad-spectrum extracts and CBD isolate.
CBD isolate is exactly what its name implies: isolated CBD. These hemp extracts contain only Cannabidiol and no other plant parts (i.e. the CBD is isolated from all other compounds and therefore acts alone).
Broad-spectrum CBD products may contain low levels of terpenes and minor cannabinoids (basically, variations of CBD), but still exclude THC. In turn, these products include a broad-spectrum of plant compounds. It’s generally thought that both broad and full-spectrum CBD offers more therapeutic effects compared to CBD isolate due to the various plant compounds within each, which work together inside the body.
What are the benefits of THC-free CBD?
While CBD is helpful on its own, it actually works best with THC. “THC is commonly known and is helpful for pain relief, anxiety control, appetite stimulation, and insomnia,” says Jordan Tishler, M.D., a cannabis specialist, Harvard-trained physician, and founder of InhaleMD. Similar to the thinking behind full-spectrum CBD, studies show the synergy of the compounds found in the entire plant delivers enhanced therapeutic effects versus when they’re used solo.
However, if you’re worried about even trace amounts of THC affecting your mental state or reacting badly with your current meds, choosing THC-free CBD is your best course of action. “Everyone’s reaction to THC is variable,” says Perry Solomon, M.D., anesthesiologist, and chief medical officer of HelloMD. “A tiny bit of THC for one patient won’t make them feel anything, but another patient could have the same amount and have a psychoactive response.”
And just because you’re opting for THC-free CBD doesn’t mean it won’t still offer up the same medicinal benefits. As with most other CBD products, THC-free CBD oils have the potential to provide various health benefits; including reducing pain, minimizing inflammation, keeping stress at bay, and helping you get a better night’s sleep.
How to shop for THC-free CBD?
No matter what your reason is, if you want to avoid THC altogether but still reap the potential perks of CBD, then a broad-spectrum or CBD isolate product is a great choice. In either case, always look for up-to-date lab test results before purchasing a product, and similar to when you add any new supplement to your wellness routine, it’s recommended to check with your healthcare provider beforehand.
Regardless of which type of hemp oil you choose, it’s important to buy from a brand that implements third-party lab testing (and makes the results publicly available). These tests are performed by accredited, independent labs to verify the cannabinoid composition of a product, which ensures that it’s truly THC-free, among other things. In addition, lab testing procedures check for CBD potency – or the strength of the product, as well as ensure that unwanted chemicals are not present in the product. Not all brands will lab test their CBD products, and it’s best to steer clear of those that don’t.
Surprisingly, CBD products with levels below the legal limit could be detected in a drug test and result in failure if enough is consumed. Poor manufacturing standards and dilution shortcuts have exacerbated this unfortunate but common occurrence as recently pointed out by Forbes magazine.
The term Full-spectrum commonly refers to products that contain federally-compliant levels of THC (below 0.3%) ‘Broad Spectrum’ usually refers to products that are THC-free, or contain ‘non-detect’ levels of THC. However, these terms are not standardized in any way, so no matter what the CBD product says on the packaging (full or broad-spectrum), it is important to verify exactly how much THC is in the product.
How much THC is actually in my CBD product?
The truth about CBD consumption is that dosage varies drastically between individuals due to personal preferences and inconsistent instructions from manufacturers. Some CBD research documents have reported using doses of CBD ranging from 5mg to over 1000mg. Although CBD oils are usually consumed in the order of drops or a few milliliters, some people may take half or all of a 30ml bottle to receive their desired effects.
Even at these high concentrations, CBD is non-toxic and customers are at liberty to consume at will. However, ingesting large quantities of CBD oil can be problematic because products that claim to be free of THC often aren’t.
At Nass Valley Gardens, we utilize rigorous testing methods, from genetics and planting to extraction/ distillation and blending. We then employ a certiﬁed third-party lab to test every lot. Make sure you check out the range of THC-free products up on our website.
Recommended Read: Understanding CBD: Expectations Vs. Reality – Nass Valley