Although 22 states have legalized recreational marijuana, it is still illegal federally for its psychoactive effects produced by Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is a naturally occurring compound present in cannabis plants. We already know that THC is abundant in marijuana. However, does CBD hemp flower have THC? Some argue that hemp flower is completely devoid of THC, while others claim that it can contain levels that are comparable to its more controversial cousin. Let’s get to the bottom of this controversial topic!
What Is THC?
THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. While there are other cannabinoids in cannabis plants that could promote mind-altering effects, THC is the most abundant, well-studied, and regulated.
THC binds to specific cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which are part of the endocannabinoid system responsible for regulating various physiological functions. Specifically, THC binds to CB1 receptors, which are located primarily in the brain, spinal cord, and central nervous system.
Once CB1 receptors are activated by THC, they trigger a cascade of events that ultimately result in the release of dopamine, a chemical messenger known as our “rewards center.” The flood of sensations of bliss, euphoria, and altered mood in some individuals.
In addition to promoting a temporary high, THC also has the ability to impair short-term memory, reduce cognition, and alter perception, which can lead to a distorted sense of time and space. As a result, THC levels in cannabis products have become highly regulated, with marijuana being illegal on a federal level.
Is THC Legal?
The US government declared THC an illegal substance in 1970 under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA put THC in the Schedule I category, reserved for substances considered to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. The perceived dangers of THC at the time, as well as other psychoactive substances, led to its illegalization.
Since then, cannabis reform has flourished across the United States, with 38 states enacting a medical marijuana program. However, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Each state has its own regulations for how much marijuana a person can have in their possession, as well as penalties. We recommend you familiarize yourself with local marijuana laws any time you purchase products containing THC.
Does CBD Flower Have THC?
Long story short: yes. CBD flowers have THC. However, they are within the legal limits of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Due to the illegality of marijuana, hemp was also illegal for almost a century. While they are both members of the Cannabis sativa species, hemp and marijuana are different plants that have different effects on our bodies.
Marijuana produces a mind-altering high. While it could support a good mood, creativity, or focus, it can also impair your judgment and slow your reaction time.
CBD hemp flower is non-intoxicating. Instead, it supports balance in the body. These distinct differences are due to levels of THC in the plant.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp plants must contain 0.3% THC or less. Generally, hemp plants have high levels of CBD, which supports balance throughout the body. As a result, CBD might be useful for counteracting the effects of THC.
Meanwhile, marijuana plants can contain anywhere from 5% to 30% THC. They also tend to have low levels of CBD. After all, CBD may counteract THC!
If a hemp plant contains over 0.3% THC, then it would be regulated as if it were marijuana. The percentages of THC and CBD in each plant can vary based on genetics, cultivation, and environmental factors. Therefore, it's important that you read the lab reports for any cannabis products you purchase so that you can verify THC content.
Can CBD Flower Turn into Marijuana?
Hemp flowers can't become marijuana flowers because they are different varieties of Cannabis sativa. However, it is possible for hemp flowers to be cross-pollinated by male marijuana plants, which can result in the production of seeds with higher levels of THC.
This is why hemp farmers carefully select seeds, grow them in isolated conditions, or use feminized seeds to ensure low THC levels in their crops. It's also important to note that hemp farmers have to meticulously follow strict rules and regulations to stay compliant with local and federal laws regarding THC levels, crop acreage, and more.
In short, hemp flowers cannot "turn into" marijuana flowers, but the two plants can interact through cross-pollination, resulting in higher THC levels in hemp seeds. Additionally, the regulations in place for hemp cultivation and production help to ensure that hemp products contain legally safe levels of THC.
Does Hemp Flower Have THC Levels High Enough to Fail a Drug Test?
Technically, it is possible to fail a drug test from THC in hemp flowers. While hemp flower naturally contains very low levels of THC, the compound can still be detected in the body and in drug tests. Odds of detection increase if the person is a heavy user and consumed a high concentration of THC from hemp not too long before taking a test.
Depending on the sensitivity and specificity of the drug test being used, it is possible for even low levels of THC to result in a positive drug test. However, it's important to note that reputable hemp flower products should be labeled as compliant with regulations and state that they contain less than 0.3% THC.
Is Hemp-Derived THC Used in Products?
Hemp-derived THC is used in some products; however, the levels of THC typically remain very low. This is due to the fact that hemp has typically been bred to contain low levels of THC.
The 0.3% THC threshold for hemp flowers also extends to hemp-derived products. Through innovative extraction methods, some CBD product manufacturers have maximized Delta-9 THC levels while adhering to legal limits.
The 2018 Farm Bill denotes that products must have 0.3% Delta-9 THC or less on a dry weight basis. Budder’s gummies weigh about 4 grams, meaning that each gummy could contain up to 10mg per serving. Our products are available in 2.5mg and 5mg servings, both well within federal regulations.
Benefits of THC and CBD Together
As we’ve mentioned, CBD could counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC. However, with the right ratio, one can accentuate the effects of the other.
THC has a strong affinity for CB1 receptors, which promotes a high. CBD tends to interact with CB2 receptors, which are present in our immune system, digestive tract, and various organs. It works to promote balance in the body to support daily comfort and overall wellness.
CBD and THC are both more effective in the presence of other cannabinoids. There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis plants, and each compound helps enhance the benefits of THC and CBD.
With a full spectrum of cannabinoids and a balanced ratio of CBD to THC, you can experience a relaxing body buzz. Together CBD and THC could support a good mood, social interactions, focus, and more.
Picking CBD Hemp Flower with THC
While many may assume that hemp flower doesn't contain THC, it does—although in significantly lower amounts than marijuana. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is defined as the cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Any products or plants that exceed this limit are legally considered marijuana and are subject to local and federal laws.
Consuming hemp flower with THC, when within legal limits, does not produce the same intoxicating effects as marijuana. In some instances, it may even have the opposite effect. However, products with optimized CBD-to-THC ratios could promote a good mind and body buzz.
Overall, when used safely and within the limits of the law, hemp flowers with THC could be beneficial for supporting your wellness.
Gerrid Smith is a seasoned entrepreneur with 15 years of digital marketing experience, featured in notable publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur. In 2018, Smith turned his passion for health, wellness, and cannabis into a business, co-founding Joy Organics, an internationally-recognized CBD brand. It saw remarkable success with $15.9 million in revenue in its first year and the establishment of a thriving partnership program. A few years later, he co-founded budder, a THC-focused sister company, to meet the growing demand for more buzz-worthy products.