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How To Reap The Benefits Of CBD Without Exposure To THC

Author:

Lizzy Sherman

Expert reviewer:

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN

January 21, 2023

Written by

Lizzy Sherman

Expert review by

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN

mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.

Image by mbg creative

January 21, 2023

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Disclaimer: Our website includes general information and instruction relating to health and wellness topics. This content is not a substitute for medical advice from your health care provider. All treatment decisions should be determined in partnership with a health care practitioner. Hemp CBD products are derived from U.S. industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC) and European hemp (less than 0.2% THC). While CBD products derived from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) are legal on a federal level in the U.S., some states have specific laws, so you’ll want to check your state’s laws to be sure.’

Entering the world of hemp-derived CBD products can be overwhelming, especially for those who want to explore the benefits of CBD but worry about the trace amount of THC that’s legally allowed in hemp.

Luckily, not all CBD oils are made the same; it’s possible to find THC-free CBD oils made with either broad-spectrum hemp or CBD isolate. These options allow you to still reap the perks of a cannabidiol without worrying about even minimal amounts of THC. (Reminder: U.S. hemp must have less than 0.3% THC by dry weight per the law.)

What is THC-free CBD oil?

When searching for CBD products, you’ll likely find that formulas are labeled as either full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or a CBD isolate. These labels refer to the type of hemp extract incorporated into each product. Of these options, only full-spectrum hemp will contain up to 0.03% THC by dry weight.

Of course, there’s still a difference between broad-spectrum and CBD isolate. As medical cannabis expert and double board-certified doctor Dave Gordon, M.D., previously told mindbodygreen, “Broad-spectrum means the product contains CBD and other cannabis constituents, like terpenes and cannabinoids, but does not contain any THC.”

This THC is typically removed during the extraction and filtration processes, and the formulas are often third-party tested to verify the absence of THC. However other potential cannabinoids, like CBC and CBG, may remain if the brand is creating a product with broad-spectrum hemp.

As the name suggests, CBD isolate only includes cannabidiol. While this ensures you’re not ingesting any other components of the hemp plant, it also won’t allow you to benefit from the “entourage effect,” or when all the components of the plant work synergistically to have a more powerful effect.

Your cheat sheet to CBD dosage.

Again, hemp CBD affects each person differently. For a baseline reference, here’s how we categorize hemp CBD potency here at mindbodygreen:

Gentle: Less than 20 mg of hemp CBD per servingModerate: 20 to 39 mg of hemp CBD per servingStrong: 40+ mg of hemp CBD per serving

How we picked:

Potency

We selected a diverse range of CBD potencies to provide formulas suitable for a range of needs.

THC-Free

The most important requirement for our list? No THC, as proven by the COAs provided onsite for each brand.

Ingredients

Along with prioritizing products with organically sourced or locally grown hemp, we opted for formulas with clean ingredient lists–from the carrier oils to the flavoring (or lack thereof). We also gave special consideration to products that are certified organic.

Testing

Products should be tested by a reputable third party. The hemp CBD product certificate of analysis should show that the product has the advertised amount of CBD, as well as trace levels of other things like pesticides, heavy metals, microbials, and residual solvents.

Our picks for the best THC-free CBD oil:

Best organic: Joy Organics Unflavored: Organic Broad Spectrum CBD Tincture

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view on Joy Organics | $70

Pros:

USDA certified organic90 day money-back guaranteeAvailable in four strengths

Cons:

Unflavored may be too hemp-forward for some

Type: Broad-spectrum

Potency: Gentle; 15mg of CBDModerate; 30mg of CBDStrong; 45mg of CBD, 75mg of CBD

Servings: 30

Organic: Yes

Cost per mg CBD: $0.07

COAS: Yes

One of our favorite CBD oils of 2023, this broad-spectrum pick includes just two ingredients: organic extra-virgin olive oil and organic phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract. We love that it comes in a variety of strengths to suit different users’ needs, starting at a gentle 15 mg of CBD per serving and building to 75 mg of CBD per serving.

What we also love? Joy Organics is a family-founded business inspired by the founder Joy Smith’s positive experience with CBD. It also became one of the first CBD companies to offer USDA certified organic CBD tinctures, which can be taken sublingually or added to your routine in morning beverages. The brand even recommends it as a CBD massage oil, though olive oil is moderately comedogenic.

If you prefer a flavored tincture, the brand’s 0.0% THC broad-spectrum formula is also available in Tranquil Mint, Orange Bliss, and Summer Lemon.

Sustainability & Packaging: Joy Organics is an environmentally conscious brand that uses USDA organic hemp grown using regenerative farming practices. The brand’s shipping is also carbon neutral and done using recyclable materials.

Transparency: You can find Joy Organics certificate of quality assurance and third-party lab results on the Lab Results page of the Joy Organics website.

Also featured in: Best CBD Oils, Strongest CBD Oils

Editors Pick: Beam The One

Pros:

Available in four potenciesNo coconut (i.e., for those with tree nut allergy concerns)Available flavored or unflavored

Cons:

Reviewers have mixed feelings about the sweetened taste

Type: Broad-spectrum

Potency: Gentle; 16.6mg of CBDModerate; 33.3 mg CBDStrong; 50 mg of CBD, 100 mg of CBD

Servings: 30

Organic: Partially

Cost per mg CBD: $0.08

Beams’ entire focus is broad-spectrum CBD products, and its signature The One oil is one of our editor-approved picks. We love that the dropper comes embossed with serving measurements, ensuring users have complete control over their dosage. Plus, the broad-spectrum formula itself is made with additional fat-soluble ingredients, like hemp seed and grape oil, which help carry and deliver the hemp CBD to the body.

Sustainability & Packaging: Beam CBD products are responsibly sourced from farms located in Colorado, Oregon, California, and Montana.

Transparency: Beam CBD products are third-party tested. You can search the results of your lot number here.

Also featured in: Best CBD Oils

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Strongest THC-free CBD oil: Medterra Isolate CBD Oil

Pros:

Features non-GMO USA grown hempNo added flavorsUS Hemp Authority certified

Cons:

Not for those with tree nut allergies (specifically coconut)

Type: Isolate

Potency: Strong; 100mg of CBD

Servings: 30

Organic: Yes

Cost per mg CBD: $0.03

COAS: Yes

Medterra offers its unflavored CBD isolate oil in three strengths, including an 6000mg bottle, which breaks down to 100 mg of CBD per serving option. Despite packing an extra potent punch, the formula includes no THC with the brand specifically recommending the product for those who are concerned about THC and drug testing.

While the bottle may come with a higher upfront cost, the final price per mg of CBD is pretty close to our most affordable option on the list. Of course, you don’t have to buy bulk up front with options for a gentle or moderate formula.

Medterra Isolate Hemp Oil features non-GMO hemp organically grown in the United States. The brand uses rigorous testing standards and works with an in-house medical advisory board to ensure the quality of its products.

Sustainability & Packaging: Medterra’s hemp is organically grown in the United States and the brand is U.S. Hemp Authority Certified which means they have been assessed to use high standards and the best practices for their products.

Transparency: Third-party test results can be found by scanning the QR code on the product’s label or by visiting the COA page on Medterra’s website.

Best for beginners: CBDistillery THC-Free Pure CBD Oil Tincture

Pros:

Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practicesAvailable in three different strengthsUS Hemp Authority Certified

Cons:

Not for those with tree nut allergies (specifically coconut)Not organic

Type: Isolate

Potency: Moderate; 33mg of CBD

Servings: 30

Organic: No

Cost per mg CBD: $0.05

Another isolate option, CBDistillery’s THC-Free Pure CBD Oil Tincture packs 33 mg of CBD per serving for a moderate dose. Each 30 mL bottle has just two ingredients: coconut oil and CBD isolate. Despite keeping the ingredients simple, the CBD oil is part of the brand’s ‘Relief & Relax’ line, which is formulated to support calm and joint comfort.*

In 2021, the brand conducted a proprietary study and found that participants who used this product self-reported that it helped them feel at ease..*+ “CBD isolate oils are a phenomenal product offering for somebody just starting to explore hemp based products, or those that may be adverse to consuming even small levels of THC and other minor cannabinoids. We think of these as our entry level products so customers can familiarize themselves with the benefits of CBD alone prior to exploring more elaborate extract types,” Andy Papilion, chief product officer and expert botanist at CBDistillery tells mindbodygreen.

Sustainability & Packaging: CBDistillery is U.S. Hemp Authority certified and dedicated to natural farming practices, although it’s not organic.

Transparency: Third party test results can be found by scanning the QR code on the product’s label, visiting the documents search page and entering the product’s batch ID, or by clicking on “View Full Lab Results” on the product page.

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Best broad-spectrum: Charlotte’s Web THC Free CBD Oil: 25 MG CBD/ML

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view on Charlotte’s Web | $60

Pros:

Hemp grown on certified organic U.S family farmsRange of cannabinoids including CBD, CBC, & CBGUS Hemp Authority certified

Cons:

Not for those with tree nut allergies (specifically coconut)Up to 0.01% THC by dry weight, per brand’s definition

Type: Broad-spectrum

Potency: Moderate; 25mg of CBD

Servings: 30

Organic: PartiallyOrganic hemp

Cost per mg CBD: $0.08

COAS: Yes

Charlotte’s Web is a popular CBD brand started by seven siblings (a.k.a. the Stanley brothers) who developed a unique cultivar or strain of hemp. Since launching in 2013, the company’s offerings have expanded to gummies, creams, and even a carefully formulated THC-free oil.

The brand uses a proprietary extraction process to retrieve the broad-spectrum hemp, which retains other cannabinoids like CBC and CBD. The only caveat? This formula may have up to 0.01% THC per the brand’s definition. Each serving packs 25 mg of CBD, a strength level selected by the brand to be the sweet spot for CBD consumption. (For example, research demonstrates that CBD in the range of 25 to 75 mg per day can promote mental relaxation.*)

If you’re uncertain about the chocolate mint flavor–which is naturally sweetened with monk fruit– there are options to get this THC-free oil in a smaller 10mL bottle for just $25.

Sustainability & Packaging: Charlotte’s Web is a certified B Corporation, taking steps towards transparency and accountability, along with being environmentally and ethically conscious. All Charlotte’s Web hemp is grown on certified organic U.S. family farms and the brand was one of the first CBD companies recognized by the U.S. Hemp Authority(TM).

Transparency: You can view Charlotte’s Web certificates of analysis on the Charlotte’s Web website batch reports page.

Best flavors: Kanibi Pure CBD Isolate Oil

Pros:

Available in three fun flavorsCrafted with U.S. organically grown hemp100% money back guarantee

Cons:

Not for those with tree nut allergies (specifically coconut)No supplement label available on website, so cannot assess how clean the additives (e.g., added flavors) are

Type: Isolate

Potency: Moderate; 25mg of CBDStrong; 50mg of CBD

Servings: 30

Organic: PartiallyOrganic hemp

Cost per mg CBD: $0.08

COAS: Yes

Kanibi isolate tinctures are made using organically grown hemp and double tested for safety and potency. The process used to create the isolate strips the hemp of any THC and other cannabinoids and leaves a crystalline powder with just CBD. This powder is then infused with MCT oil to create Kanibi’s Pure CBD Isolate Oil.

Pure Isolate Tincture is available in two unique flavors: Skittles and Cinnamon. (You can also opt for an unflavored option, if you prefer to keep it simple.) The fun flavors make this a less conventional (but still relatively affordable) option for those seeking a product with organic hemp.

Sustainability & Packaging: Kanibi’s hemp is sourced from U.S. organic farms that use sustainable farming practices.

Transparency: Kanibi shares a commitment to freshness, science-backed methodologies, and transparency on its website. You can find COAs on the certificate of analysis page.

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Best affordable: Lazarus Naturals CBD Oil Tincture (THC Free)

Pros:

Available flavored or flavorlessHemp is grown on Lazarus Farms using organic farming practicesCertified Kosher

Cons:

Not for those with tree nut allergies (specifically coconut)If you have been advised against eating grapefruit, consult with your doctor before taking this product

Type: CBD Isolate

Potency: Strong; 50mg of CBD

Servings: 30

Organic: Yes

Cost per mg CBD: $0.03

COAS: Yes

Lazarus Naturals offers a high potency tincture made with CBD isolate that packs a strong dose of 50 mg of CBD per serving. Available in a refreshing blood orange or all-natural ‘flavorless’ option, the oil is one of the most affordable options on the market at just $0.03 per mg of CBD.

One way to save costs? The brand grows its own hemp and uses an ethanol-based process to get a CBD-rich extract, which is then refined into a CBD isolate. Use the dropper to measure out your optimal dose; the brand recommends starting with a 50 mg serving (1.0 mL or the full dropper) and waiting two hours to see how it affects you before increasing your dosage.

Sustainability & Packaging: Lazarus Naturals grows organic hemp on its own farm in an environmentally conscious manner, prioritizing sustainability and purpose over profits. Orders are packed with materials made from post-consumer waste, and the brand is taking steps to be carbon neutral by 2030. A certified B-Corp Corp, it also offers a 90-day guarantee with free shipping for returns.

Transparency: Products are third party tested with links to the results available on the product page, as well as on the brand’s separate Test Results page.

Side Effects

CBD oil is generally considered safe. According to research1, CBD results in fewer side effects than other options used to support the same health areas. The most frequently reported side effects are tiredness, digestive issues, and changes in appetite and/or weight.

Experts often recommend starting low and going slow when increasing your CBD dosage. This allows you to monitor how the CBD affects you, and may help minimize potential side effects.

FAQ:

Is THC-free CBD oil effective?

CBD affects everyone differently which is why it’s a good idea to start low and go slow when you begin taking CBD. While some reviewers of THC-free CBD oil report that it has been helpful for supporting sleep, feeling at ease, and maintaining calm, others say that it did not work for them.* The most important thing to remember is that only full-spectrum formulas with delivery the full entourage effect.

Is THC free CBD oil safe if you are breastfeeding?

According to the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC), cannabidiol (CBD) should be avoided while breastfeeding. You should always consult with your doctor before starting a new supplement routine, but we also advise extra caution if you are pregnant or nursing.

How long does THC-free CBD stay in your system?

Research shows that CBD may stay in your system for up to 5 days or more after regular oral consumption, but it can remain in your system longer depending on certain factors. These factors may include how much CBD is consumed and how frequently it is consumed, as well as personal difference in biological makeup.

Can I test positive on a drug test if I take THC-free CBD?

While it is unlikely that you will test positive on a drug test if you take THC-free CBD, there is the potential to get a positive drug test result. Even when CBD is considered THC-free, there may be very trace amounts of THC that could result in a positive test. Check the product COA to confirm how much THC is actually present, as many brands will accept 0.01% as “THC-free.”

The takeaway.

THC-free broad-spectrum and CBD isolate oils may be a good introduction to CBD for those who want to avoid consuming even trace levels of THC, including those that are concerned about testing positive on a drug test. For those seeking an affordable option, we recommend Lazarus Naturals, while those wanting USDA certified organic pick should go with Joy Organics.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

+A proprietary study conducted in 2022 by CBDistillery and MoreBetter. Of the 74 mostly non-Hispanic participants who completed this 30-day study, 45 were female and 29 were male, with ages ranging from 21 to 79 and an average age of 48.8 years. MoreBetter is a data insights provider that collects real world evidence-based outcomes via the Releaf App from cannabis and hemp consumers.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

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