Both CBD and THC are derived from cannabis plants, so it’s no wonder people have questions about how much THC is in CBD flower. THC has long been famous for its ability to make consumers feel “high,” and for the most part, it’s still illegal on the federal level and in many states. So how can it be allowed in CBD flower?
Based on federal laws, CBD flower cannot have more than 0.3% THC. However, depending on your state, you may be able to purchase CBD flower with more THC than that.
Let’s dive into the intricacies of how much THC is federally allowed in CBD flower, and why different states may have different options.
What Is CBD Flower?
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most popular cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. All CBD dominant cannabis plants are considered CBD flower. This means there is more CBD in the flower than THC. However, there is a further distinction here based on legality.
Federally legal CBD can only come from hemp which is cannabis with 0.3% THC or less. Marijuana, on the other hand, is cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. So, even if a cannabis plant has 30% CBD and 5% THC (which would technically make it CBD flower), it would still be considered illegal marijuana by the federal government.
With that being said, federally legal CBD flower will be both CBD dominant AND have 0.3% THC or less.
Cannabis Legalities Explained
The legalities of cannabis plants (both hemp and marijuana) have long been contested. Marijuana, known for its psychoactive properties, has been illegal in the United States since the early 20th century, and hemp was prohibited around the same time due to a successful propaganda campaign.
Decades later, the 2018 Farm Bill revision federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived products, such as CBD. It states that cannabis is defined as either hemp or marijuana, depending on the level of THC in the plant.
Marijuana is still federally illegal, although states can make their own laws governing medical and recreational use. Many states have passed such measures over the last couple of years, allowing consumers to legally purchase and use marijuana. In these states, it is normal to find CBD flower with high THC levels as well. However, those strains would still be illegal on a federal level because technically they are still considered marijuana.
CBD & THC Ratios
The amount of CBD and THC in any given cannabis flower can be expressed in one of two ways: ratios or percentages. Ratios denote the level of CBD compared to the level of THC. If you see a ratio that says 2:1 CBD to THC, that’s a CBD dominant strain that has two times as much CBD as it does THC.
Percentages are a more common way to display cannabinoid levels in cannabis flower. The figure represents the cannabinoid level as a percentage of the dry weight of the total product. Here are some examples of real CBD dominant cannabis flower strains and their CBD content:
- Northern Lights – ≈ 20.73% CBD
- ACDC – ≈ 14% CBD
- Silver Surfer – ≈ 15.07% CBD
- Harlequin – ≈ 8% CBD
How Much THC is in CBD Flower?
The amount of THC in CBD flower can vary significantly from strain to strain. Let’s take a look at the THC content of the same strains from above.
- Northern Lights – < 0.3% THC
- ACDC – < 1.0% THC
- Silver Surfer – 0.0% THC
- Harlequin – 5% THC
As you can see, the levels of THC in these strains are drastically lower than the levels of CBD. However, ACDC and Harlequin have too much THC to be considered federally legal CBD flower (although they are still CBD dominant strains in this example).
How Much THC can be in Hemp Flower?
As we discussed earlier, the Farm Bill dictates that hemp flower may contain 0.3% or less THC. This is considered CBD hemp flower and is legal in all 50 states.
Once again, if a cannabis flower contains more than 0.3% THC, it’s considered marijuana and is only legal in certain states.
Will Hemp Flower Get You High?
So, is 0.3% or less THC enough to make you feel “high?” No. The trace amounts of THC found in legal hemp flower are not enough to intoxicate you or make you high. However, there is just enough to create a heightened consumer experience known as the “entourage effect.”
The entourage effect occurs when two or more cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) work together and increase each other’s efficacy. Other components of hemp, such as terpenes and flavonoids, also add to the entourage effect.
CBD does a fantastic job delivering a soothing experience all on its own, but the presence of 0.3% or less THC makes it even better.
How much THC can be in Marijuana Flower?
Marijuana growers have long been breeding strains to contain higher and higher levels of THC. While there aren’t technical legal limits on THC levels in marijuana, there may be natural limits.
The most potent strains of marijuana flower available today can reach up to 30% THC, though that’s extraordinarily high. Typical strains contain about 15 to 25% THC.
Will Marijuana Flower Get you High?
Yes, marijuana strains will produce psychoactive (“high”) effects, especially one as potent as 20 to 25% THC. Marijuana has long been cultivated for both medical and recreational purposes.
How To Check for THC and CBD Levels
THC and CBD levels should be clearly displayed on the flower’s packaging. Most CBD flower jars will say “0.3% or less THC” since that is the federally legal limit. This amount of THC is so low that they don’t often break it down further than that.
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you may find CBD products with higher levels of THC. If you’re looking to avoid psychoactive effects, look for a CBD hemp flower with a high CBD content, and 0.3% THC or less.
Once again, the percentage of cannabidiol in any CBD product should be clearly visible on the labels. If you’re having trouble finding these percentages, consider choosing a company that’s fully transparent about its products.
You need to be able to ensure you know what you’re getting and eventually inhaling. If a company isn’t open about it, it’s probably not a high-quality (or legal) CBD flower.
Check the COA
Thankfully, there’s a way to see for yourself exactly how much of each cannabinoid is in your CBD hemp flower. The best CBD companies will send their flower out for independent third-party lab testing and display the results on their website in a certificate of analysis (COA).
A COA is a report that gives the levels of each cannabinoid in that particular strain of CBD hemp flower. While CBD and THC are the predominant cannabinoids, there are typically micro levels of several other non-psychoactive cannabinoids that contribute to the aforementioned entourage effect.
The COA will break down each cannabinoid’s specific levels, so you know exactly what you’re paying for and inhaling.
When choosing a CBD brand and CBD hemp flower (or any CBD product), always look for a COA. Reputable CBD companies are proud of what is in their products and will gladly make all information available to you.
Why Do People Use CBD Hemp Flower?
The stalks, seeds, and extracts of hemp plants have been used for thousands of years in many ways, ranging from medicinal to textile. Today, hemp products like CBD hemp flower are regaining popularity for their beneficial effects after decades of prohibition.
Studies suggest cannabidiol (CBD) has many therapeutic properties and benefits. Vaping or smoking CBD-rich hemp flower are both highly efficient ways to introduce this valuable cannabinoid to your system.
The list of benefits of CBD goes on and on. Some of the issues CBD-rich hemp flower may help alleviate are:
- Worried/nervous thinking
- Unsettled stomach
- Troubled sleep
- And many more!
Something to note is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Thus far, they have only approved one medical use for cannabidiol in an anti-seizure medication called Epidiolex.
How Much CBD Flower Should I Inhale?
There is no right amount of CBD flower for everyone. We all react differently to varying levels of CBD; some people only need one or two puffs, while others may enjoy an entire pre-roll before the effects start to kick in. The great thing about CBD flower is that most people feel the effects right away.
A few seconds after inhaling CBD flower, you can expect to feel a sense of soothing relaxation. Take it one puff at a time and give yourself a minute or two to see how you feel after each one. You can always inhale more if you aren’t feeling your desired effects after only a couple of puffs.
Can you inhale too much CBD hemp flower? Yes and no. You cannot overdose from ingesting cannabis. However, inhaling too much at one time (or inhaling too much in general) may cause you to feel some adverse side effects that are typically mild and short-lived, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach
- Change in appetite
Again, these typically only occur when “too much” CBD has been ingested. In rare cases, new consumers may experience similar mild side effects as well. However, these effects typically wear off after the consumer’s body acclimates to regular use.
That’s why we recommend taking it slow and paying attention to how your body is reacting as you’re inhaling CBD flower. The CBD flower effects should kick in quickly, and you’ll be able to gauge how you feel as you go.
Where to Get the Best CBD Flower
There are a few crucial things to keep in mind when shopping for CBD hemp flower. COAs are one of the most critical qualifications for choosing a CBD brand and a CBD product. If you can’t find a COA, move on to another brand.
Another important thing to check for is that a company sources American-grown hemp flower, preferably from organic hemp farms in California, Oregon, or Colorado. The Farm Bill regulates ethical growing practices on American hemp farms in addition to regulating THC levels.
Choosing American-grown hemp is the best way to ensure you’re getting high-quality, ethically grown CBD hemp flower. Hemp imported from overseas may not meet the health guidelines that are set in the USA.
Here at Cheef Botanicals, we source from organic hemp farms in Colorado and Oregon. Then, we send our flower for independent third-party lab testing and post the COAs for each product on our website. It’s our policy to maintain full brand-transparency and provide you with clean, effective products.
All our CBD hemp flower strains are premium quality, American-grown, and 100% organic. We offer 26 varieties, including Northern Lights and Silver Surfer from the earlier examples in this article. Some of our other popular strains are Grape Soda, Skywalker OG, and Wagyu Kush. There’s something for everyone!
If you have questions about our CBD hemp flower strains, please feel free to contact us! Our customer service team (real people, not robots) is knowledgeable, friendly, and ready to answer all of your inquiries.
We hope this helped answer your questions about THC levels in CBD flower. Let’s go over some of the main takeaways:
- Federally legal (legal in all 50 states) CBD hemp flower can contain 0.3% THC or less.
- 0.3% or less THC is not enough to make you feel high or intoxicated.
- CBD works best (delivers the most beneficial experience) with the presence of trace amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. This is called the entourage effect.
- In states where marijuana is legal, you may find CBD products with higher THC content. If you’re looking to avoid psychoactive effects, stick to CBD hemp (not marijuana) flower with high CBD and low THC levels.
- Verify the levels of each cannabinoid and compound in hemp flower by checking a company’s COAs. Reputable CBD companies will always make these available to their customers.
- Whenever possible, choose American-grown hemp to ensure it was ethically grown.
Whichever strain you choose, we hope you have a relaxing and beneficial CBD hemp flower experience.