To avoid testing positive for THC in urine tests, some athletes and industry officials are turning to Broad Spectrum “THC-free” or even CBD oil made with crystals, although this is much less effective than “raw”, full spectrum CBD oil including undetectable (but present) amounts of THC. These products could also give a positive result in a urine test. Discover how it works and why the full range is always the best choice:
Full spectrum CBD oil
CBD oil is produced from the extracts of the industrial hemp plant. However, Cannabidiol (CBD) is not the only substance found naturally in cannabis. In commonly used cannabis extracts that have not undergone “full spectrum” processing, you will also find a large number of other cannabinoids and aromatic terpenes. As the name suggests, the “full” spectrum contains the full range of active ingredients naturally present in the plant.
Cannabidiol may be the main active ingredient in full-spectrum cannabis extracts, although all these other cannabinoids and terpenes largely support the effectiveness of CBD in the body. We call this synergy the “cooperative action”, a very important reason behind the success of CBD.
In short, the “synergistic effect” is the result of combining CBD with other cannabinoids (and terpenes) from industrial hemp. Consider for example Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromine (CBC), Cannabinol (CBN) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). And the latter is the subject of our discussion today. Considering that THC is naturally a psychoactive substance, which could cause a “high” or “high” when consumed on its own.
However, in hemp oil, THC is present in such low concentrations (<0.05%) that it simply supports synergistic action. In addition, CBD is known to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. That is, in this ratio, you will not experience unwanted side effects. while the useful substance guarantees the best results with CBD oil.
Broad Spectrum (Broad Spectrum) CBD oil due to sport or work?
On the other hand, there are hemp extracts from which all the THC is removed after extraction. This is called Broad Spectrum (broad, not “full” spectrum of available cannabinoids) and is used for so-called “THC-free Broad Spectrum CBD Oil”. The idea behind this, is that you end up with a more powerful synergistic effect compared to CBD oil – made with CBD Isolate crystals – but you don’t consume THC, as is the case with full-spectrum CBD, where it supports the synergistic effect.
This broad-spectrum CBD oil is becoming very popular in the United States and is increasingly being sold in Europe. This may be due to the huge surplus of cannabis extracts in the US, which are now being ‘dumped’ here. The wide range seems to be particularly popular with fanatics and professional athletes alike. Although people who are subjected to mandatory drug tests at work also seem to prefer Broad Spectrum oil without THC to Full Spectrum CBD products.
It is assumed that undetectable amounts of THC in full-spectrum CBD oil (<0.05%) could result in a positive urine test for THC. Considering that it could in some cases cause the loss of a job or sports career, a positive test is the last thing you want. But is Broad Spectrum the best choice to avoid testing positive for THC when using CBD oil?
THC in urine with Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum
Our experience tells us that it is almost impossible to test positive for THC using a urine test after using appropriate full-spectrum cannabis oil. Ultimately, the absorbed amount of already detectable THC is so low that the even smaller amount of product breaks down and becomes even less detectable. In addition, the presence of THC increases the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids in full-spectrum oil. This means that you need much less cannabinoids to achieve the desired results.
However, over a wide range, the lack of THC leads to the need for more CBD and other cannabinoids for a similar effect. This is even more true with CBD oil made with crystals, considering the absolute lack of synergistic action. But that’s not the only drawback. Because research shows that CBD can be converted to THC in the stomach!
Isomerisation of CBD to THC in the stomach
The process where CBD is converted to THC in the stomach is called isomerization. This is a very complex process where the CBD molecule changes under acidic conditions. You could actually compare it a bit to ceviche – where fish is cooked in citric acid – for example. Because theoretically, the CBD and THC molecules are almost the same. They have the same composition and molecular weight – the only difference is that CBD has an open ring and THC a closed ring. See the image below:
Broad spectrum CBD oil
However, under acidic conditions (pH <2.5) – as with stomach acid in this case – isomerisation occurs. This causes the Cannabidiol (CBD) molecule’s ring to close, converting it to THC. In short, CBD is converted to THC in the stomach.
But you don’t need to worry, as not all CBD you consume is converted into a psychoactive cannabinoid. According to research, only a fraction of the total amount of Cannabidiol ingested will be converted into Tetrahydrocannabinol.
This also means that the risk of finding THC in the body using CBD oil made with crystals, or Broad Spectrum hemp oil is greater than when using full spectrum hemp oil. Considering the fact that you need more CBD for the desired results with these first two products, providing more CBD to be converted to THC in the stomach.
Positive THC test after using CBD oil
However, there are cases where consumers say they received a positive test result for THC after using CBD. Although our experience teaches us that this is often due to tobacco use, or that the consumer also tried THC-rich cannabis oil instead of legal CBD oil, weeks or even months before the test.
Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are stored in the body’s fatty tissue, where they can stay for months. In this way, it can happen that an athlete who smokes cannabis every now and then, between games or tournaments, suddenly stops smoking and starts training for three months for a major competition but tests still positive for THC. As the workout has caused the burning of fatty tissue, releasing any stored THC back into the bloodstream.
If you are sure you have not smoked pot or used cannabis oils rich in THC. It is the responsibility of the police/your employer/anti-doping to prove that the positive THC test is caused by CBD oil. At least in countries where CBD oil is sold and used legally, that is.