The health benefits of CBD are well-documented. And every other day, new findings are suggesting that the substance could have even more medicinal properties.
However, many would-be CBD users still face myriads of questions. Some of those concerns include how CBD works, potential benefits, side effects, and whether to use THC-containing or THC-free CBD products.
This post shall attempt to expound further on what THC-free CBD oil is and how it works.
What Is THC-Free CBD Oil?
As the name suggests, THC free CBD oil refers to CBD oil that contains non-detect traces of THC. Perhaps we should go back to the beginning and uncover what THC and CBD are.
Now, you’re probably already acquainted with the cannabis plant. What you might not know is that the plant contains more than 480 compounds. These compounds fall under three distinctive groups, namely – cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. Cannabinoids are the compounds in cannabis responsible for most of the plant’s therapeutic effects, and it’s in this group, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) belong.
CBD and THC are the two most widely-studied extracts of the cannabis plant. The fundamental difference between the two substances lies in how they interact with the user’s body.
Similarities and Differences Between THC and CBD:
As we’ve already pointed out, CBD and THC are both derivatives of the same plant. The compounds have similar molecular structures, including 21 carbon atoms joined together with 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms.
However, there’s a slight variance in the arrangement of these atoms. That seemingly slight deviation causes significant differences in how these two substances affect the body. Another notable similarity between CBD and THC is that both compounds are similar to the body’s endogenous cannabinoids.
Understanding How THC-free CBD Oil Works
Both CBD and THC interact with the body by impacting the functions of the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system refers to the system responsible for restoring the balance of your body’s other major organ systems. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing your endocrine, central nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, and immune systems.
To function effectively, the endocannabinoid system relies on three crucial components, namely;
- Endogenous cannabinoids (also known as endocannabinoids), such as anandamide
- Endocannabinoid receptors, mostly CB1 and CB2 receptors
- A series of hormones and enzymes that facilitate the synthesis, degradation, and reuptake of endogenous cannabinoids
CBD and THC interact with the body quite differently.
For starters, THC binds to CB1 receptors in a manner that mimics the behavior of endocannabinoids themselves. These receptors are mostly expressed around the brain and central nervous system. That’s why consuming a THC-containing CBD oil causes euphoric effects or the famous ‘high.’
On the other hand, THC-free CBD won’t get you high because CBD doesn’t bind to endocannabinoids directly. CBD can mediate THC-induced euphoria by inhibiting the ability of THC to bind to your CB1 receptors. That explains why most recreational cannabis users experience diminished euphoria when consuming THC products high in CBD oil.
Generally, CBD affects your endocannabinoid system by targeting the hormones that synthesize and degrade your endocannabinoids. For instance, CBD can improve anandamide signaling by inhibiting the functions of Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). By blocking the mechanisms of FAAH and other similar enzymes, CBD increases the body’s access to its endocannabinoids. The end result is improved immunity and enhanced functionality of other organ systems.
CBD can also bind indirectly to endocannabinoid receptors. But even then, it only targets CB2 receptors, which are widespread along with the body’s peripheral organs. Again, that only makes it non-psychoactive.
Things to Consider While Buying Thc-Free CBD Oil:
When shopping for THC-free CBD oil, keep your eyes out for products labeled ‘isolates’ and ‘broad-spectrum’ while avoiding those labeled ‘full-spectrum.’
CBD isolates are CBD oils that contain more than 99% concentration of CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD products contain other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids, except the psychoactive THC. Full-spectrum CBD products are formulated with CBD, THC, and various other compounds.
As you focus on CBD isolates and broad-spectrum CBD oil, also be wary of vendors who claim that their products contain ‘ZERO THC concentration.’ That’s because no CBD product can be 100% free of THC. The correct term would be non-detect.
Another best practice when shopping for THC-free CBD oil is to insist on reputable vendors. Generally, these retailers deal in CO2-extracted CBD and whose products come with a Certificate of Compliance from third-party laboratories.
Should I Buy THF-free or THC-containing CBD Oil?
Besides inducing euphoria, there’s nothing else wrong with THC-containing CBD oil. In fact, the high is a blessing in disguise, as it comes with immense physical and mental stimulation. Plus, when using THC-containing CBD oil, the cannabinoids in the product work synergistically to deliver medical benefits known as the entourage effect.
But while both THC-free and THC-containing CBD oil are medically beneficial, the former enjoys a higher legal approval. Always establish the legality of cannabis in your jurisdiction before purchasing any cannabis-based products.
THC-free CBD oil comes with nearly similar health benefits as THC-containing CBD products. The primary difference is that the latter induces euphoria, whereas the former does not. If you’re new to CBD, your best bet is to start with THC-free CBD oil as you gradually get introduced to THC’s psychoactive effects.