scientist examines hemp under microscope

How Does THC-Free CBD Work?

The CBD industry has expanded massively and rapidly over the last five years. It seemed as though the market for (and claims about the health benefits of CBD) were introduced to the world at a large scale overnight. We’ve been on the frontlines of this since 2016 with humble beginnings.

Today, we wanted to talk a little bit about how exactly CBD (sans THC) works. It is a product that has become distinctly more popular as the public and researchers are discovering and disseminating more information about the wellness benefits and mental health impact. We get a lot of questions from individuals who are concerned that they may get a high from using our products – we felt that it would be helpful to share our knowledge about what differentiates CBD extracts from THC (the psychoactive property in cannabis plants) products, and how the CBD is isolated from the THC, or in many instances, how no isolation is required at all.

Firstly, let’s talk about the difference between CBD and THC. These two cannabinoids are the most widely researched and most well-understood compounds in cannabis products. Molecularly speaking, CBD and THC are made up of entirely the same things — however, a difference in their atomic arrangement influence the way that they interact with our minds and bodies. They both interact with our cannabinoid receptors, but the way in which they do so produces different effects. Because THC binds strongly with our CB1 receptors, it produces the euphoria and high that some are familiar with. CBD, however, binds very weakly (if at all) with the same receptors, and does not produce the same psychoactive effects. For the purpose of this blog, it may be helpful to remember that THC is more prominent in Marijuana plants, whereas CBD is more prominent in Hemp plants – both members of the cannabis family.

Now, consider a CBD product such as an oil, tincture or balm which has been extracted from a hemp plant. Hemp plants by definition contain less than 0.3% THC naturally. Some may be surprised to learn that CBD products may contain some THC, but not to worry – the amount of THC is extremely miniscule and a lot of the product would have to be consumed in order to experience any effects associated with the THC. For an easy comparison, think of how vanilla extract contains alcohol, but in such small amounts that one would have to consume quite a large amount of it to feel drunk. All consumers are prone to different experiences which is why we encourage all users to do a commensurate amount of research in order to learn about both their bodies and CBD in general. 0.3% or less THC products are generally legal to purchase in all 50 states.

Is CBD Isolate different?

CBD isolates contain 0% THC. It is produced from refining industrial hemp oils down to only the CBD molecule itself, and will contain zero THC or other minor cannabinoids. In it’s pure form, CBD isolate will be a white, crystalline powder. Isolate is great to work with as an ingredient, and can easily be made into a wide array of other products. As an example, Extract Labs CBD Shatter and Pure Isolate Tincture are produced using our award-winning CBD isolate.

It is important to consider in your research that CBD is non-psychoactive. However, different individuals may respond to it differently. We pride ourselves on the testimonials of our customers, and encourage you to read some of those to get a sense of how people feel about our CBD products. We are eager to share our award-winning products with you.

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Craig Henderson CEO of Extract Labs head shot
CEO | Craig Henderson

Extract Labs CEO Craig Henderson is one of the country’s top experts in cannabis CO2 extraction. After serving in the U.S. Army, Henderson received his master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville before becoming a sales engineer at one of the nation’s leading extraction technology companies. Sensing an opportunity, Henderson began extracting CBD in his garage in 2016, putting him at the forefront of the hemp movement. He’s been featured in Rolling StoneMilitary TimesThe Today Show, High Times, the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, and many more. 

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