Cannabis affects people differently. Often, it depends on several factors, such as the individual, the quality of cannabis, the situation, and the consumption method.
According to research, most cannabis users consume it moderately.
Moreover, because cannabis has a low addiction risk, most users are not inclined to continue using it. Instead, people use marijuana when they feel the benefits are worthwhile.
However, few things are more divisive in the medical community than marijuana. Does it help your health? Reduce stress? Does it make you forgetful? Can it even make you slimmer?
The science is still unclear, but researchers are beginning to shed light on its effects on the human body.
When we talk about cannabis, the first thing that comes to people's minds is the "high" effect of marijuana. This is caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most abundant and popular cannabinoid in the cannabis plant.
But why is there so much debate about THC? And specifically, whether THC-free cannabis products are better than those with THC or vice versa.
What is THC-free?
The term "THC-free" technically refers to the absolute absence of THC in a product. In CBD language, it means there are no "detectable" or "quantifiable" levels of THC in a CBD product.
This does not mean the product has 0% THC content (because that is impractical), given the varying effectiveness of the extraction methods used in separating cannabinoids from an extract.
So, "THC-free" typically refers to CBD products without THC. Another term for such products is "broad spectrum."
The idea behind THC-free CBD products is that THC may negatively impact your memory, decision-making, and time perception.
Consequently, this mind-altering ability makes it dangerous to use when undertaking cognitive functions like driving or handling machinery. For this reason, cannabis-based products with THC are outlawed in many countries around the globe.
In places like the United States, the legality of cannabis products is contingent on them having 0.3% THC content or less. However, this value varies across the states.
Does THC-free CBD work?
Much of what is known about cannabis cannabinoids originates from THC studies. Indeed, a lot has been learned about CBD's potential benefits in recent years.
Nevertheless, CBD research is still young, and much of the information about how it works is circumstantial and has no empirical backing.
Having said that, many users profess that CBD works for them, with growing evidence suggesting that CBD may help ease symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
All CBD products have the potential to be helpful. However, one advantage of broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate is that they have almost no THC. That can be beneficial for consumers who desire to try CBD but don't want THC.
Furthermore, some people prefer pure CBD since it is almost flavorless and odorless, making it practical to incorporate into drinks or food.
On the other hand, one downside of THC-free CBD products is that they do not have the benefits associated with the entourage effect.
The entourage effect proposes that CBD works better with other cannabis compounds than alone. This is not to say THC-free CBD is ineffective.
What does solvent-free THC mean?
Generally, solvent-free is a term that describes extracts with no chemical solvents. This is achieved by distilling the primary extract further to remove solvent residue.
With regards to THC, this is achieved by distilling the cannabis extract to separate the beneficial compounds (e.g., cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils) from contaminants (in this case, the solvent).
The solvent-free process usually starts with the decomposition of plant matter using a hydrocarbon (e.g., butane or CO2). The extract is then heated, and the vapor is consolidated by cooling into separate components - the concentrate and the solvent.
If necessary, the process is repeated to ensure the final distillate is further separated by cannabinoid type.
NOTE: There's a difference between solventless (or non-solvent) and solvent-free extracts. In the former, the extraction is done without solvents but through mechanical processes, often resulting in 100% pure and potent extracts.
Even though solvent-free THC can also be very pure, there is always some solvent residue left behind, however minuscule.
Can full spectrum CBD be THC-free?
No. The very nature of full spectrum CBD means it has all the beneficial compounds of cannabis. These refer to other cannabinoids (including THC), terpenes, essential oils, flavonoids, and vitamins.
Even if you go with hemp-derived full spectrum CBD, you still end up with 0.3% THC or less.
Is broad spectrum CBD THC-free?
Theoretically, this should be the case. In broad spectrum CBD, THC is the only compound that's not expected to be present. In reality, it's still possible to get traces of THC.
Nonetheless, the THC should be in trace amounts that usually can't be detected in drug tests.
Is CBD THC-free?
This depends on the type of CBD you're questioning.
If you're talking about broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, they should ideally be THC-free. However, as noted earlier, broad spectrum, and sometimes even CBD isolate may contain trace amounts of THC. These generally won't get you "high" though.
Does THC-free CBD oil work?
Some consumers may prefer CBD with no THC due to the nature of their jobs, which can involve drug testing.
There have been reports of individuals testing positive for THC after taking large dosages of full spectrum CBD regularly. This is possible because some CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. These can accumulate over time, resulting in detectable levels of metabolites in your system.
For most people, the preference for full spectrum CBD is linked to the entourage effect—the idea that cannabinoids work better together than alone. So, even minute amounts of THC can potentially affect how CBD works.
However, CBD oil with no THC may still be effective. CBD is often linked to numerous valuable properties that are accessible even when used in isolation.
Still, you may lose out on the extra benefits afforded by terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. Terpenes are just as crucial as other cannabinoids because they enrich cannabis products with color, taste, and smell and have unique medicinal qualities.
Flavonoids, which are largely believed to be antioxidants, are the reason behind the many health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, THC-free CBD oil is rich in these beneficial plant components.
Unfortunately, existing research is insufficient to determine if full spectrum CBD is more effective than CBD isolate. Be that as it may, you can still experience the entourage effect by using broad spectrum CBD oil.
How to determine if CBD has THC
The quality and composition of CBD are typically determined through laboratory tests. These tests make it possible to quantify and differentiate all the constituent components in a cannabis extract. This process also measures the amount of THC in the cannabis extract.
For transparency, lab tests are ideally conducted by third parties, after which they issue a Certificate of Analysis (COA). This document is a good starting point for learning more about a CBD product.
There are two things you should focus on when determining if your CBD has THC:
- Limit of detection (LOD): this measure indicates what other compounds are present in the sample extract. In the case of cannabis, minerals, terpenes, cannabinoids, pesticide residue, microbial contaminants, THC, etc., may be detected.
- Limit of quantification (LOQ): this measure determines the lowest quantity of each compound that can be quantified in the extract.
So, before buying a supposedly THC-free CBD product, check the CoA to see the THC LOQ value. Ideally, it should state "N/D" (non-detected) to indicate low THC content.
If it shows a number, then that CBD product has detectable amounts of THC.
Best THC-free CBD
The growing popularity of CBD has come with some not-so-admirable strings attached.
There's an influx of CBD products on the market. A recent lab test analysis report indicated that 25% of CBD products in the market are not lab-tested. This is why purchasing CBD products from approved manufacturers is essential.
At FOCL, quality is our hallmark because we all "deserve the best of the best." So if you're looking for genuinely THC-free CBD, why don't you try FOCL Night?
This product packs homegrown premium hemp CBD and a host of potent botanicals to help you sleep better at night. No worries about pesticide residues or other contaminants; everything is above board!
If you're a free spirit and prefer something sweet, try our Premium CBD Gummies. These come in three fruity flavors and contain premium THC-free CBD to help you focus, calm your mind, and relieve daily stressors so you can power through your day.
Best THC-free CBD oil
If you want an easy way to get your THC-free CBD dose, then we suggest you try our Premium CBD Drops. These drops feature our premium broad spectrum CBD oil to help you stay calm, focused, and productive throughout your day.
They’re available in five natural flavors and three potencies for you to choose one that matches your needs.
If you want something to help you sleep, we present our Sleep Drops – a clean, simple, powerful CBD oil to help you sleep better and deeper when night falls.
This product combines two cannabinoids (CBD and CBN), and organic herbals to support sleep and aid quick recovery from everyday stressors. You even get to experience the entourage effect with this product!