Health & Wellness

The Truth: Does CBD Contain THC?


Since 1940, well over 100 cannabinoids have been discovered. CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, was one of the first such discoveries but it was not until 1963 that its chemical structure was established. The amount of these cannabinoids differ dramatically between marijuana and hemp. Many people ask me, “Does CBD contain THC?”

The Facts About CBD

Approximately 40% of the extract from a cannabis plant contains a cannabinoid. Marijuana’s most common cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Depending on the variety, THC levels in marijuana can reach up to 30%. THC levels in hemp, on the other hand, are less than 0.3%. Unlike THC, Cannabidiol is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid. Hemp contains significant amounts of CBD. These concentrates offer a variety of medicinal benefits. So, does CBD have THC? As I have explained they are both cannabinoids. Neither can actually contain the other. They are both undergo biosynthesis the same way, that is until the catalysis stage. Products, like oils, creme, or oral administrations, made from either cannabinoid however, can have slight variations. You can read more about cannabis here.

CBD can be ingested in many ways:

  • Smoking cannabis
  • Edibles
  • Vaping
  • Aerosol spray
  • Concentrates
  • Topicals (creme & ointments)
  • Buccal (in the cheek)
  • Oral Administration (by mouth ie: P.O.)
  • CBD oil (no THC)

Amazon, an online retailer that many are familiar with, has a wide variety of products to choose from. I have featured a few of my favorites below. Simply click on a picture if you would like additional information on one of these products or if you would like to explore other products available at Amazon.

Hemp Extract Oil
Hemp Extract Oil by Panther Wellness – Now Available at Amazon
Medical Miracles Salve
Hemp Healing Salve by Medical Miracles – Now Available at Amazon
Hemp Extract SoftGels
Hemp Extract SoftGels by Zatural – Now Available at Amazon


In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a CBD drug, Epidiolex, to treat epilepsy disorders in children.

Sativex, a patented drug in Canada contains equal proportions of THC and CBD. It is used to treat multiple sclerosis, neuropathy and cancer related pain.

Other clinical research studies involving CBD have been performed with individuals suffering with pain, cognition, movement disorders and anxiety.

CBD can be therapeutic for certain neurological disorders according to preliminary research but until clinical trials are able to establish its use in clinical practice, the findings are yet to be confirmed.

Possible side effects from long term use include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • General Discomfort
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Loss of Appetite

The time that is required for a drug’s concentration level to reach half of its original amount in the body is known as elimination half-life. For CBD, the elimination half-life is 18-32 hours. In comparison, that value for Morphine is 2-3 hours and for Diazepam is 20-100 hours. CBD is metabolized (broken down) in the liver and in the intestines.

ExtractionVape Mod

An extract is made by separating a portion of unprocessed material with the help of a solvent (a substance that dissolves a solid, liquid or gas to create a solution). Grain alcohol and water are solvents. There are several techniques to the extraction process.

  1. One is called absorption. The process by which vanilla beans are steeped in alcohol is known as absorption. Didn’t you always wonder where that yummy addition to your grandma’s cookies came from.
  2. Expression is another technique. Expression is the favored technique when the oil, or juice is easily obtained and plentiful. This might be the case, for example if you wanted to make some fresh squeezed orange juice or lemonade. When you are watching that $100 juicer you just bought do all the work, remember that it is expressing your fruits and vegetables.
  3. Maceration is a technique that takes something whole and turns it into small bits. For example, crushing graham crackers to make a pie crust or making peppermint extract.
  4. Maceration is used with the final technique, Distillation. Distillation is perhaps the most difficult of the techniques mentioned here. This process requires expert knowledge in chemistry as well as an expensive apparatus known as a still.


At room temperature, CBD is a crystalline solid with no color. It is soluble in some organic solvents however, insoluble in water.


Cannabis produces carboxylic acid, or CBD, through the same series of linked chemical reactions as it does THC. That is until the next to the last step, where the catalysis performed is CBDA synthase instead of THCA synthase.

Food & Drinks

As an alternative way of ingesting CBD, consumers can choose a food or beverage that has been infused with it in much the same way that protein bars or energy drinks contain herbal supplements and vitamins. These types of products were introduced in the US in 2017 but many of them are boasting unsubstantiated health claims. You better get them while you can though, if you are so inclined. Just last month, an announcement came from the NYC Department of Health that restaurants selling CBD infused food or drinks will face stiff penalties in the near future.

Legal Status

THC biosynthesis
THC biosynthesis

Unlike the effects caused by THC in marijuana, CBD does not seem to provide a psychotropic “high”. It may, however have anti-anxiety and anti psychotic effects.

In other words, CBD may relieve anxiety but it can block feelings of pain or pleasure and could cause withdrawal symptoms. Less common, and rare side effects could include hallucinations, mania, impulsive or aggressive behavior, rage and hostility.

The list of antipsychotic effects is even longer. They include diabetes risks, blurred vision, stiffness, weight gain, constipation, shakiness, sleepiness, hormonal changes, dry mouth, slowness, restlessness and movements of the lips, tongue and jaw.

30 states to date have passed comprehensive laws with regard to medical cannabis that allow the use of cannabis related products with no restrictions.

16 states have passed laws related to the use of CBD products for certain conditions.

Federal illegality, on the other hand, makes it difficult to conduct CBD research. In the US, CBD products that are not FDA approved are classified as Schedule 1 drugs. This means that it is illegal under federal law to possess, distribute or produce these products.

CBD is openly sold in health food stores and head shops in some states where sales of CBD products have not explicitly been legalized. Some manufacturers ship CBD products nationally. Although CBD remains the subject of an investigational new drug evaluation by the FDA, this practice is still illegal at moment, despite the FDA’s lack of enforcement.

14 Replies to “The Truth: Does CBD Contain THC?”

  1. The content in this website is very informative. Which is good knowlege. I do find that more color is needed on this site. Also more pics. I like the layout. It’s simple eading for the uneducated.

    1. I am working on sprucing it up a bit. Thank you for the feedback. I am glad to know that I have presented the information so that anyone can follow along, that in fact is my goal.

  2. This is an excellent post and an amazing writeup I must add. You really took the time to analyse the process of extraction of Cannabidiol and I do learn a lot from it. I have never used CBD oil but I have few questions out of curiosity. Can there be an overdose of CBD oil? If I took a CBD oil and I’m being tested for drug, is there any chance that cannabis will be detected?? 

    1. Thank you for the response.

      Begin with a small dose of high CBD/low THC oil, especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis. … Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects, but an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose.

      Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are known to be non-toxic, with no known fatal overdose levels ever reported. Chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.

      It’s unlikely that CBD will show up in a drug test. If you have to take one for employment, chances are they will be screening for cannabis. But that actually means they’re looking for the presence of THC or THC metabolites—not CBD. Technically, CBD is a chemical, and if you ingest it, your body will metabolize it, so it can be detected. But the average drug test is not designed to pick up CBD, or any other compounds found in cannabis other than THC.

      For most people, CBD will completely leave their blood after just one week. Unfortunately, there are no studies on how long CBD remains detectable in your urine, saliva or hair. However, your saliva usually only offers evidence of pharmaceutical use for a couple of hours to one day.

  3. Wow! What a great!  Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a naturally occurring chemical found in cannabis. It is one of the most highly concentrated and studied compounds among the more than 100 cannabinoids, found in the plant Unlike the effects caused by THC in marijuana it does not cause users to get high.Cannabidiol has numerous health benefits, notable among them are: treat forms of epilepsy in children, social anxiety disorder, cognition and movement disorders – These are not exhaustive. Until recent years CBD has been associated with “High” and is consider illegal in many place even till now despite the numerous benefit!

    I have used some CBD oils and i can tell you the potency of them are beyond word! however, there are some scammers that sell stuff that is not really CBD products, these set of people are the one that may make people have doubt on the efficacy of CBD so when buying be sure you are buying the real thing.

    can you give us where to buy quality one? 

    1. You are correct and you make a valid point. CBD oil can be a little pricey and if you are going to pay good money for it you should make sure that it is of high quality (pure) with no fluff so to speak. 

  4. Thank you Julie for this explicit post on CBD. I have heard so much about CBD but not with this much details. I have heard of the ways CBD is extracted, the ways it is ingested and the amazing benefits of it. But I never heard that it has side effects. Does that mean CBD should not be used on a long term basis? I was thinking of getting some CBD for my daughter but these side effects are really scary! 

    1. In the US, CBD products that are not FDA approved are still classified as Schedule 1 drugs. With that said, as with any pharmaceutical there are seemingly always a list of side effects as long as your arm. I think this is mostly a scare tactic but also on the off chance that something were to happen and they didn’t “warn” you they would be in big trouble. Most of the side effects (for long term use) listed are for Epidiolex, a CBD derivative used to treat epilepsy disorders in children. Note: they do not tell you what other ingredients are in the treatment.

      If you are considering CBD for personal use, or for your daughter, I would begin with a small dose of high CBD/low THC oil, especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis. Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects with regular use, but an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose.

      Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are known to be non-toxic, with no known fatal overdose levels ever reported. Chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans. With that said, long term use to cause the side effects mentioned would have to be very extreme.

      My son uses it to sleep and I have a co-worker that uses it for a number of reasons. Depending on how old your daughter is and what she needs it for, I would say that it is worth a shot. Just make sure that you get pure product from a well known source as it can be a little pricey.

  5. Quite informative piece you put out here. We always see articles promoting the CBD and it’s benefits. It makes it easy to forget that there could be side effects too. And a lot of people do not even know the process the cannabis plant goes through to give us the cannabidoil that we love to benefit from all it has to offer. It would be interesting to see what the investigation of the FDA would produce. 

    1. Thank you for your kind words. With some form of cannabis currently legal in 30/50 states, it will not take much longer for the rest to follow suit. I believe that includes the federal government as well as the FDA. I will keep my eyes and ears open for the results of the investigation and will report my findings when they are available. 

  6. I am very interested in cbd and the effect it has. I have a question about cbd and e cigaretts. How is it to mix in cbd with the liquid for e cigarettes? How much do you need to add for effect and would it mix properly or will it just stay on top of the liquid?  

    1. Funny you should ask, I actually have a co worker that uses CBD regularly. He orders his product online (make sure it is pure) and mixes it 50/50 with his vape liquid and has no problem with separation. He swears by it for anxiety and insomnia. 

  7. Content is greatly informative. Needs more color and pics. Layout is very well displayed. I don’t see any Amazon Affiliate link within the story.The word cannibas should have a picture throughout the story. I dont see much mention of cannibas oil either. Overall your site is one that is become talked about among folks today. 

    1. I agree with you. I played around with the theme and the colors a little today but pictures and Amazon links have not yet been covered in training. I am sure that I could figure it out on my own but I am not trying to jump the gun. The horse is getting ranked and the cart is links if you know what I mean. What exactly do you mean by the word cannabis should have a picture throughout the story? I intend to cover cannabis oil (that with a high THC content) in a future post so as not to confuse the two. I hope the talk is good. If that means that people are talking because I am putting my nose to the grindstone and absorbing information like a sponge then I will take it. Thank you kindly for the feedback, feel free to check up on me as things progress.

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