CBD Can Convert to THC in the Stomach?

Update January 2018. The World Health Organization has concluded that “CBD can be converted to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) under experimental conditions; however, this does not appear to occur to any significant effect in patients undergoing CBD treatment.” Read the full report here in which they also conclude that “CBD is safe and medically effective.”

Update June 2017. Thanks to a reader who submitted this article from Project CBD which debates the veracity of this study.

I just read a research study which concludes that “Delivery methods that decrease the potential for formation of psychoactive cannabinoids should be explored.”

The cannabis plant is unique and amazing. The U.S. is finally making progress in the research and exploration of cannabis and its compounds, including the most well-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD.

When researchers noticed that some patients who received oral CBD tinctures were experiencing symptoms similar to THC ingestion, they created a study to stimulate what happens to CBD when it contacts gastric fluid.

“If CBD is nonpsychoactive, we wondered whether these responses might be associated with a clinical manifestation of findings from experimental work, suggesting that when CBD is degraded in an acidic environment, it rapidly cyclizes to D9-THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids.”

They tested the stability of CBD in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) and found that it did indeed covert to THC.

The researchers have not yet received permission to use human subjects to test actual CBD conversion in the human gut (we’ve come a long way in the acceptance of cannabis research but we still have quite a long way to go!)

So what does that mean to you as a consumer of CBD?

Inhaled CBD Does not Convert to THC

Since the conversion of CBD to THC happens in the gut, smoking (inhaling) CBD will not produce the same conversion. Many people struggle to find safe and healthy CBD to vape, without additives. We’ve found a 100% whole plant CBD extract that vapes at a lower temperature than most pens and therefore keeps more of the CBD intact.

For pediatric patients and others who prefer ingesting CBD, stay tuned for a new product we’ve discovered that will help carry the CBD molecule directly into the bloodstream, bypassing degradation in the stomach. (Update January 2018: The product is now available, the Whole Flower Fluid in a great tasting breath spray).
In the meantime, studies like this one show how important patient feedback is. We’ve all struggled with figuring out how much CBD we should take each day for our particular symptoms, and which delivery methods we prefer. As human clinical trials are finally approved and completed, we will continue to learn more about this fascinating, unique plant and all of the ways its compounds can assist our health and well-being.