THC Contamination: Is It the Reason for CBD Product Side Effects?


In general, CBD has a good safety profile. At least, this is what the World Health Organization (WHO) said a few years ago. Therefore, as long as you buy high-quality CBD products at PureKana, you’re on solid ground. You may experience minor side effects such as fatigue and dry mouth.

The key term here, however, is ‘high quality’. Unfortunately, not all cannabidiol for sale meets that distinction. The hemp industry remains poorly regulated with minimal oversight. As a result, scores of shady brands are operating in this enormous gray area.

They sell hemp products with no third-party lab reports. As a result, you have no way of knowing what is truly inside. A staggering number of retailers have excessive amounts of THC in their products for sale. THC is the most abundant intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis. It is capable of causing a variety of side effects, including anxiety and panic.

If you experience unusual effects after using cannabidiol, the product may contain high levels of THC. 

A Major Concern

When you purchase any cannabidiol product, make sure it comes with a certificate of analysis (COA). This lets you know the cannabinoid content. It also enables you to see if there are any chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides.

Low levels of THC won’t cause intoxicating effects. However, if the THC content is too high, it can lead to a series of adverse effects, especially in people with a low tolerance. Reputable brands sell this type of products containing a maximum of 0.3% THC. You could consume over 100mg of CBD a day and not suffer any intoxication.

Unfortunately, the loosely regulated industry means that a shocking number of these products for sale contain far too much THC.

A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2020 looked at how contaminants limit the pharmacological use of this oil. One of the biggest issues the research team encountered was labeling inaccuracy among hemp products. The researchers pointed out that inaccurate reporting of cannabinoid content risks exposure to THC and other compounds that users have no wish to consume.

This study looked at various examples of poor labeling. One of the reports it analyzed showed that almost 70% of products from over 30 American retailers had inaccurate CBD labeling.

The researchers also discussed a German study that analyzed 67 products in Europe. Approximately one-quarter of these products were contaminated with residual THC above the level needed to cause physiological effects in humans.

Another report the researchers looked at found that three out of 25 products analyzed by a lab contained more than the 0.3% THC legal limit. The products were purchased in Mississippi.

How Much THC is Too Much?

In a study published in F1000 Research in 2019, a research team analyzed whether the side effects of hemp products were caused by THC contamination. They outlined most of the same problems discussed in the Frontiers in Pharmacology study.

The researchers wrote that according to the European food safety authority, the lowest observed adverse effect level was 2.5mg of THC per day. A THC dose that leads to intoxication is generally classified as being between 10mg to 20mg per dose. Typically, an experienced cannabis user would consume up to 60mg a dose.

The F1000 study found that in one instance, cannabidiol oil sold online contained 30mg of THC in a 10ml bottle!

However, this popular oil with 1mg of THC per serving is excessive. Many users of products containing hemp oil will consume the cannabinoid several times a day. In a CBD oil bottle with 30ml of liquid, 0.3% THC would still include up to 90mg of THC. Therefore, you would reach the 2.5mg threshold by using just 0.83ml of the oil, as there is 3mg of THC per ml.

Let’s say the bottle contains 1,000mg of CBD, which means you get 33.33mg of CBD per ml. Imagine you require up to 100mg of CBD a day. This means you would also consume approximately 9mg of THC. This is potentially enough for you to become intoxicated, especially if you have never used THC before.

Beware CBD for Sale with No Third-Party Lab Reports

If a hemp product doesn’t come with a third-party lab report, shop elsewhere. Even if a brand claims to ‘only’ have 0.3% THC in its oil, for example, it’s impossible to know unless you see the proof.

It is also a good move to seek high cannabidiol concentrations. There is a big difference between 1,000mg of CBD oil in a 30ml bottle and the same amount in 10ml of liquid. You need to consume triple the amount of the larger bottle to get the same level of cannabidiol as its smaller cousin. It also means triple the THC consumption and possible side effects.