Should You Use a THC-Free CBD Oil?
With the increased legalization of cannabis and the monumental 2018 Farm Bill, many employers are starting to screen for THC, causing countless people to use THC-free sublingual oil to avoid the risk of getting fired or missing out on future job opportunities. If a full-spectrum CBD oil contains enough THC, the cannabinoid will show up on a drug test, leading to undesirable consequences for professionals who work in an environment that enforces a zero-tolerance policy around THC. But thankfully, laws are changing.
It is just a matter of time before employers are unable to take adverse actions against employees or prospective employees due to their use of full-spectrum CBD oil. While nothing has yet to change at a federal level, campaigners are successfully advocating for reform one state at a time, and momentum is steadily building. In the fall of 2018, a Connecticut court ruled that a company acted unlawfully by refusing to hire someone over their use of medical marijuana, and, by the end of the year, nine US states had prohibited discriminatory employment actions against workers who use marijuana medicinally.
People who lobby for fairer laws around cannabis and hemp are increasingly going before their local legislators with the intention of winning political battles at the state level. Once advocates make headway with their local officials, their next step will include a bill to congress. If a large number of states have already implemented laws that protect current and future employees, the federal bill will pass.
But if federal legislators grant protection to professionals, prospective and current employees still have to keep one thing in mind: THC isn’t for everyone. As laws change, many users of THC-free sublingual oil will consider making the switch to full-spectrum CBD oil, but first, they should consider whether their bodies can even handle it.
Some people react negatively to THC, and it’s important to bear this factor in mind before transitioning from CBD oil that’s free of THC to full-spectrum CBD oil.
Should Some People Avoid Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?
The nature of full-spectrum CBD oil means that it will contain some measure of THC. How a person reacts to the product will depend on the amount of THC in the oil and how well the person’s body handles that particular cannabinoid.
For example, if a CBD user tends to get anxious when consuming cannabis products, avoiding THC might be advisable. Likewise, individuals with a predisposition to cannabis-induced psychosis (CIN) — a “rare but possible side effect of cannabis consumption after recreational or chronic use” — should avoid THC as much as possible. Otherwise, they might experience visual and auditory hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, disassociation, delusions, catatonia, and a loss of touch with reality.
Even children who consume too much THC before the age of 15 are at a heightened risk of developing cannabis-induced psychosis or accelerating its onset. Research has also indicated that the condition may have a genetic component.
This link between specific genes and cannabis-induced psychosis opens up the possibility of testing people for those genetic variations, allowing individuals to see if they’re likely to react poorly to full-spectrum CBD oil. The question is which genes could lead to a cannabis-induced psychosis.
Which Genes Are Associated With Cannabis-Induced Psychosis?
In 2015, researchers investigated why people experience different levels of sensitivity to the psychosis-inducing effects of cannabis. During the study, researchers identified two distinct genes with links to cannabis-induced psychosis: DRD2 and AKT1.
Both genes affect the D2-AKT1 signaling pathway, which is responsible for the influences of dopamine and functions inadequately in patients with Schizophrenia. The study noted that, while the frequency of use has a direct bearing on the risk of psychosis for cannabis users, individuals carrying variants of either the DRD2 or AKT1 genes were more vulnerable to developing cannabis-induced psychosis. This risk increased substantially in people who carried variants of both genes, and the risk was even higher for people who carried variants of both genes and consumed THC products on a daily basis.
Of course, this study is no substitute for professional medical advice, but its results certainly suggest that anyone with this kind of genetic predisposition to cannabis-induced psychosis should consider ending or at least curbing their consumption of THC. However, this doesn’t mean people need to stop their consumption of CBD, too; there remains the option of using a CBD oil that’s free of THC.
How to Tell If You Need THC-Free Sublingual Oil
Advances in gene sequencing mean CBD users can now find out if they are better off sticking to CBD oil that has no THC instead of transitioning to a full-spectrum product. Thanks to at-home test kits, CBD users can have their DNA sequenced by simply taking a swab and sending their results away to be analyzed.
Companies like Strain Genie, for example, will examine an individual’s genes by explicitly focusing on how their genetic makeup can impact their body’s response to various cannabinoids like THC. This insight is possible because of the way people’s DNA affects their endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of neurons that helps regulate a range of functions, including mood, pain perception, and the functioning of internal organs.
Cannabinoids like THC directly interact with the endocannabinoid system, and each interaction is responsible for the effects people have when consuming THC. But everyone’s endocannabinoid system is unique, which means analyzing someone’s DNA will help them learn about their particular endocannabinoid system and how it will react to certain cannabinoids.
In addition, the analysis can also explain how someone’s brain and body will interact with other cannabinoids and terpenes such as beta-caryophyllene and a-pinene. Information like this is an excellent tool for people who want to make sure their CBD products are safe to consume and suitable for their bodies. Better insight leads to better product decisions that decrease the likelihood of experiencing cannabis-induced psychosis or other detrimental effects.
What are the benefits of THC-free CBD Oil?
If you discover that you can’t use full-spectrum CBD products, you can still experience relief with THC-free CBD oil. Not only can these remedies unleash the entourage effect, but they also encompass the many benefits of CBD. Specifically, a THC-free CBD tincture does the following:
- alleviates pain
- reduces anxiety and depression
- boosts heart health
- decreases inflammation
- provides neuroprotective properties
Just like a full-spectrum hemp extract, products without any trace amounts of THC are still great options for your health and wellness. Many THC-free CBD oils contain various naturally occurring cannabinoids from hemp that work together to boost your health. These types of THC-free CBD oil products are called broad-spectrum CBD oil. Additionally, some THC-free remedies only contain CBD, essential oils, and terpenes—and they still deliver a therapeutic effect.
Making better health decisions
Talk of cannabis-induced psychosis shouldn’t scare people away from CBD products with THC in them; the condition affects just 1% of active consumers. But as laws change and new CBD products become accessible, it’s important for people to be mindful of the risks, particularly if they want to try products that contain cannabinoids they’re not used to consuming. The wrong CBD oil tincture can have adverse side effects even if it’s high-quality and third-party lab tested. That’s why it’s crucial for consumers to know what works for their bodies.
If someone wants to shift from THC-free sublingual oil to full-spectrum CBD oil, they need to remember that it’s easy to get tested for genetic predispositions. After all, it never hurt anyone to enjoy CBD safely.