Many people wonder if CBD oil without THC exerts the same benefits as a combination of both compounds. Many people know THC as the psychoactive component of cannabis.
It is responsible for producing the “high” that many people associate with cannabis. Even though THC produces the psychoactive effects, it does not produce all of the health benefits that cannabis has become known for.
CBD on its own behaves in a different way within the body than THC does. This mechanism gives it a unique and special means of producing a positive effect on both physical and mental health.
In this article, we will break down the way both THC and CBD work within the body, the differences between THC and CBD, and the benefits of taking CBD without THC.
How is CBD different from THC?
Before we delve into how they’re different, we must first explain how they’re similar. Both THC and CBD have similar molecular structures, which is 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. What’s different though, is how those atoms are arranged. And this slight deviation is responsible for the vastly different effects the two compounds have on your body.
Another thing that CBD and THC are similar to, are the endocannabinoids in your body. This is why they’re able to interact with endocannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system is the system responsible for bringing balance to all other major organ systems in the body (digestive, nervous, endocrine, immune system etc.) Which is why CBD and THC can both have effects (albeit, different effects) on your digestion, immunity, hormones and mood.
How is the THC Removed From CBD?
At Hempure, we remove all THC from our CBD oil. This is done through a multi-step process.
First, all cannabinoids and terpenes are removed from the hemp plant using a CO2 extraction process. After the initial extraction, a solvent removal takes place using a vacuum distillation process.
This leaves a mixture of CBD, cannabinoids, and terpenes with trace amounts of THC. We then take this mixture and use a chromatography technique that allows for the removal of any toxins and the small trace amounts of THC that may remain. At the end of the process, there is zero THC left even in our strongest CBD oil.
CBD and THC Work Differently in the Body's Endocannabinoid System
The primary difference between CBD and THC comes in the ways in which they interact with the endocannabinoid system. Though they have similar chemical structures, THC actually binds to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, specifically the CB1 (cannabinoid 1) receptor and mimics the actions of the endocannabinoids themselves. This is what gives THC its psychoactive effects. This binding leads to feelings of being high or euphoric.
CBD, on the other hand, does not bind to the receptors within the endocannabinoid system. In fact, CBD can disrupt the binding of THC to CB1 receptors, and lower the psychoactive effects of it. This is why regular marijuana smokers will tell you that high-CBD strains don’t get you as high as low-CBD ones. CBD works on the enzymes that are responsible for re-uptaking the endocannabinoids after they have been used.
Let’s break that down. One of the primary endocannabinoids in the body is anandamide, also known as ‘the bliss molecule’. This neurotransmitter, when released, can lead to feelings of calm, euphoria and happiness. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stick around in the brain too long after being used, and is quickly broken down by enzymes. However, CBD blocks the mechanism of these enzymes. Essentially, CBD gives the body access to more of its own endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids allow the ECS to carry out its functions with more ease. By improving the ECS, all systems of the body experience an increase in their function. This leads to massive increases in overall health and wellness.
CBD v/s THC for pain.
CBD and THC are both considered helpful in treating pain. However, because they work on the body in such different ways, CBD and THC tackle pain in different ways too. Research suggests that CBD may be better for inflammatory pain, while THC could work on cramp-related pain. In some cases, however, high doses of THC could make pain worse.
Does CBD Oil Work Without THC?
CBD oil does work without THC. While THC does produce some benefits and also side effects on its own, CBD oil without THC produces unique health benefits.
CBD Without THC Promotes A Healthy Mental State
We all go through periods where we feel blue. CBD may help to turn these blues into a more positive state of mind.
CBD acts as an agonist of 5-HT1A receptors. 5-HT1A receptors, also known as serotonin receptors, are thought to play a significant role in the regulation of mood and social behavior.1
By interacting with these receptors, CBD may help to promote a positive mental state.
Along with interacting with these receptors, CBD also promotes healthy functioning of the nervous system. When the nervous system gets out of balance, you can experience either extreme stimulation or intense sluggishness. The endocannabinoid system aims to balance the nervous system so that neither of these two extreme states harm your mental state but allow you to act in an alert, balanced state of mind.
CBD Promotes Healthy Sleep
Sleep is essential to a healthy life. With more than 30% of the population reporting significant troubles getting to sleep, the promise of a better sleep is one of the main reasons people report taking CBD.2
Even without THC, CBD can help you get to sleep. It can increase the amount of sleep you’re getting if you aren’t getting enough.3 The endocannabinoid system shows signs of regulating one of the key stages of sleep, NREM sleep.4 CBD may also help those that cannot fall asleep by the ways it interacts with serotonin receptors.5
Reasons to Avoid THC
CBD Without THC Will Not Show Up On A Drug Test
One of best reasons to take CBD without THC is that CBD will not show up on a drug test. Most drug tests look for THC, not CBD. If your job requires drug tests, you should choose a CBD product that does not contain THC.
THC Is Illegal At The Federal Level and In Many States
THC is also not legal at the federal level. Many states also continue to view THC as an illegal drug. Unless you live in a state that has legalized THC, you will not be able to legally purchase CBD oil with THC.
THC has several well established side-effects.
If you’ve watched any movies with characters that smoke marijuana, you’d be familiar with THC’s short term side effects, such as red eyes, dry mouth, hunger, memory loss, reduced reaction time. These side-effects are actually all by-products of THC’s psychoactive effects. Some lesser-known side effects of THC include anxiety and increased heart rate. There are significant risks associated with THC among teenagers, and studies show that long-term consumption of THC in teenage years may be connected to negative psychiatric effects.
On the other hand, CBD seems to be well tolerated in most populations, with side effects (at very high doses) being sleepiness.
THC Produces Psychoactive Effects
The “high” that many people associate with cannabis comes from THC. If you do not want to experience a dramatic alteration in your mental state, choose high strength CBD oil without THC. If you get the strongest CBD oil and feel the effects to be too much, you can just reduce your dosage. CBD promotes a positive mental state, however, it does not create the altering psychoactive effects that come with THC.
Other Benefits of CBD Without THC
There are so many benefits of taking CBD without THC. Along with sleep and mental state, CBD can support a healthy digestive system, promote health skin, encourage strong and healthy joints, and help you if you ever get in a “funk.” For all the ways in which CBD can benefit your health, you can read the chapter in our textbook about the benefits of CBD. Because CBD works within the endocannabinoid system, you can also learn a lot about the benefits of CBD by learning about the ECS itself. Check out our chapter on the endocannabinoid system in our Intro To CBD Textbook.
Conclusion: CBD Oil Without THC
CBD oil without THC holds just as many benefits as a combination of both compounds. THC produces the psychoactive effects that are commonly associated with cannabis. CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects but does have many health benefits on its own.
CBD Oil Benefits
CBD promotes healthy sleep, encourages a functioning digestive system, supports a positive mental state, and can help balance out the endocannabinoid system. When the endocannabinoid system is balanced, it can work to ensure that all other systems of your body are balanced. When all systems of the body are balanced, you’ll experience optimal health.
- Ethan B. Russo, Andrea Burnett, Brian Hall, Keith K. Parker, "Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Recpeptors", Neurochemical Research. Aug 2005, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11064-005-6978-1.
- Jules Sowder, "Insomnia Statistics", The Better Sleep Guide, Nov 2018, https://www.better-sleep-better-life.com/insomnia-statistics.html.
- Marcos Hortes N Chagas, Jose Alexandre S Cripp, Antonio Waldo Zuardi, "Effects of Acute System Administration of Cannabidiol on Sleep-Wake Cycle in Rats", Journal of Psychopharmacology, Jan 2013, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881112474524.
- Matthew J. Pava, Alexandros Makriyannis, David M. Lovinger, "Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability", PLoS One, Mar 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4816426/.
- Leonardo BM Resstel, Rodrigo F Tavares, Sabrina FS Lisboa, Samia RL Joca, Fernando MA Correa, Francisco S Guimaraes, "5-HT1a receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats", British Journal Of Pharmacology, Jan 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697769/.