Breaking down CBD: is there THC in CBD oil?

The cannabis plant contains many compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana constitutes high THC and low CBD amounts while hemp is vice versa. This implies that CBD oil extracted from marijuana encompasses beyond 0.3 percent THC, while that extracted from hemp has low tetrahydrocannabinol. This blog investigates whether CBD oil contains THC.

The cannabis plant contains copious compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis sativa (marijuana) and hemp are major cannabis variants. According to Mead (2019), cannabidiol oil is derived from marijuana or hemp plants. Marijuana constitutes high THC and low CBD amounts while hemp is vice versa. This implies that cannabidiol oil extracted from marijuana encompasses beyond 0.3% THC, while that extracted from hemp has low tetrahydrocannabinol. Also, CBD comes in different extracts, including isolates, broad and full spectrum. Isolates have cannabidiol contents purely, while full-spectrum contains all cannabis constituents, including THC. However, broad-spectrum has all these compounds except THC. This blog investigates whether CBD oil contains THC.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from cannabis Sativa (marijuana) and hemp plants, cannabis major strains. Marijuana-derived CBD oil contains high THC and low cannabidiol, while hemp-sourced oil has high cannabidiol contents and low THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol molecule is responsible for high effects reported in consumers. However, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive and has numerous therapeutic benefits. In 2018, Boyd (2021) revealed that Farm Bill authorized the processing, farming, harvesting, and consumption of industrial hemp products. According to federal law, hemp is any cannabis plant containing below 0.3 percent THC legal amount. The law legalized consumers’ use of CBD products with this legal amount. In this regard, THC in cannabidiol oil depends on its source, either marijuana or hemp. Some States illegalize marijuana-related products because they contain enough THC molecules to intoxicate consumers. Furthermore, some CBD oil extracts are more processed than others. In this regard, cannabidiol oil is available in three extracts isolates, broad, and full spectrum. Isolates are stripped of THC constituents, while the full spectrum contains all cannabis compounds. Additionally, the broad spectrum contains these constituents except THC. This means that certain CBD oils have THC while others do not. The following are CBD extracts in detail.

Major Cannabidiol Extracts

Full-spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum cannabidiol oil is a CBD extract derived from hemp or marijuana plants. It contains all cannabinoid constituents, including tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. Full-spectrum is the least processed format. Most people prefer this extract due to its ingredients that offer more therapeutic benefits. According to Russo (2019), full-spectrum generates entourage effects when these constituents synergistically work together. The THC molecules in this format do not cause high effects but cause individuals to fail a drug screening test. Therefore, anyone preferring it should be aware of THC traces. Those sensitive to this molecule are recommended to choose other appropriate extracts for their health goals.

Broad-spectrum CBD Oil

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is extracted from either cannabis Sativa or hemp plants. This extract is moderately processed because it comprises all cannabis compounds in the full spectrum except the THC molecule. This CBD formulation is manufactured in various extraction methods like other CBD extracts, including carbon dioxide and solvent extraction. Carbon dioxide is the purest and safest method to produce CBD products. During processing, the THC molecule is eliminated from the end product. Therefore, broad-spectrum cannabidiol oil does not contain THC traces but is loaded with other cannabis constituents. Mostly, it favors users who dislike THC results but are comfortable with other cannabis compounds. Also, this extract generates entourage effects resulting from the remaining cannabis compounds. However, the broad-spectrum extract has lesser therapeutic benefits than the full-spectrum since it lacks THC.

Isolate CBD Oil

Isolate CBD oil is manufactured from hemp and marijuana plants. This is the purest CBD extract formulation meaning that it undergoes comprehensive processing. Manufacturers extract isolates like other CBD formats but undergo further processing to remove all cannabis constituents. After processing, the end product contains high cannabidiol amounts without any other cannabinoid. CBD isolates are excellent for people who might experience allergic reactions to other cannabis compounds. Also, it favors beginners who desire pure cannabidiol products. However, isolates have minimal therapeutic benefits because it contains CBD ingredients exclusively.

Can Consuming CBD Oil Generate High Effects?

Some consumers claim that taking cannabidiol oil generates high effects, while others oppose the ideology. The philosophy variation depends on several factors, including hemp and CBD extract. According to Wakshlag et al. (2020), hemp-derived CBD oil does not cause highness because its THC level is below 0.3%. This quantity is insufficient to generate such results. However, marijuana-sourced CBD oil might cause highness. This is contributed by a significant THC level sufficient to intoxicate consumers. Furthermore, isolates, broad, and full-spectrum produce different results when consumed. Broad-spectrum cannabidiol oil cannot produce high effects because it lacks THC. Isolates have cannabidiol contents exclusively without other ingredients, hence do not generate highness. Furthermore, full-spectrum oils have THC, the molecule responsible for high effects. However, consuming small amounts of this extract has no negative effects, but taking high THC amounts will generate highness. Therefore, not all CBD oil varieties cause highness.

Is CBD Oil Illegal?

In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized the production, harvesting, and manufacturing of hemp-derived and hemp products, including CBD oil. However, marijuana-derived products are prohibited in most states because of the intoxicating property of the THC molecule. Most people under federal law utilize hemp-derived products freely without law problems. The law illegalized only CBD products with THC amounts beyond 0.3 percent. Some states ban CBD oil usage and possession, while others allow them.


Nowadays, people use cannabidiol oil daily in various formulations to achieve specific health goals. Hemp-sourced oil contains high cannabidiol and low tetrahydrocannabinol, while marijuana is vice versa. Some people are concerned about THC, the molecule responsible for high effects. Remember, not all cannabidiol oils contain this compound. For instance, CBD isolates are stripped of other cannabis constituents. They have exclusively cannabidiol contents which are non-psychoactive. Also, a broad spectrum constitutes all cannabis ingredients except THC. This implies that these extracts have no THC traces. However, full-spectrum oil comprises all cannabis compounds, including THC. Therefore, consumers should differentiate the THC-free CBD oil and contain it in trace amounts.


Boyd, J. A. (2021). An Ergonomic Risk Assessment Of The Industrial Hemp Industry (Doctoral Dissertation, Capitol Technology University).

Mead, A. (2019). Legal And Regulatory Issues Governing Cannabis And Cannabis-Derived Products In The United States. Frontiers In Plant Science, 10, 697.

Russo, E. B. (2019). The Case For The Entourage Effect And Conventional Breeding Of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Frontiers In Plant Science, 9, 1969.

Wakshlag, Cital, Eaton, Prussin, & Hudalla, (2020). Cannabinoid, Terpene, And Heavy Metal Analysis Of 29 Over-The-Counter Commercial Veterinary Hemp Supplements. Veterinary Medicine: Research And Reports, 11, 45.

Nataly Komova

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