CBD vs THC Theory Debunked: CBD Does Not Convert to THC

CBD vs THC Theory Debunked: CBD (Cannabinoid) DOES NOT Convert to Δ(9)- THC (Delta9-Tetrahydrocannibinol) When Digested by Humans

When CBD vs THC, there’s a world of difference.  If you’ve heard that CBD turns into THC when digested, then you have been misinformed. Don’t feel bad. Now that lawmakers are allowing the distribution of cannabis, many pseudo-professionals are circulating inaccurate information.  While it’s true that certain types of acidic conditions can degrade CBD and make the concentration of THC seem higher, the percentage of increase that THC experiences in relation to the amount of products patients consume don’t exceed 10 percent. Now, keep in mind that hemp CBD doesn’t contain any more than 0.3 percent THC.  That being the case, a 10 percent increase is still less than a fraction of a tenth of a cent.

When CBD vs THC, there are very clear molecular differences.

Understanding CBD vs THC

CBD, THC, hemp, and marijuana are terms that people are using more frequently now than ever. More than half of the states in the US have implemented medicinal marijuana laws.  Furthermore, a handful of states have legalized recreational consumption, as well.  As with any industry, this ‘budding’ enterprise has haters. It brings us back to the original issue of lawmakers having criminalized marijuana in the first place.

That all took place when the hemp industry posed a threat to Big Timber:  Lobbyists presented ‘evidence’ to ‘prove’ that marijuana was a dangerous, harmful, addictive drug.  Furthermore, they set out to demonize it by saying that it was used by lower life forms and degenerates (jazz musicians, flapper girls, immigrants, etc). Even if this were true, when hemp vs marijuana, they each have very different medicinal and psychological attributes.  Notwithstanding, the federal government put hemp and marijuana in the same classification.  Consequently, for nearly a century, law enforcement prosecuted ‘pot criminals’.

CBD vs THC: The lie

It seems that Bonn-Miller et al and Merrick et al are among the groups that are willing to skew lab tests in order to provide false proof.  For years, propagators of misinformation have used these scare tactics to perpetuate old, outdated fears.  Unfortunately, they’ve been successful for way to long in keeping consumers from finding out the truth about the host of health benefits the cannabis plant provides.  However, people are finally learning about the reality of CBD vs THC.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will demonstrate for you dozens of examples of reputable labs who are conducting research on CBD disease management.  Endocannabinoid professionals are proving that CBD is well tolerated.  Furthermore, they are demonstrating that CBD is more effective than its chemical alternatives.  Ultimately, their findings provide clear distinctions between CBD and THC.  When CBD vs THC, the body reacts differently.  Furthermore, there are differences in the ailments they treat.  Finally, CBD and THC display differently on toxin screens.

CBD vs THC: The truth!

In this specific post, we will discuss in great detail each aspect of the ‘studies’ conducted by Bonn-Miller and Merrick.  Also, we will take a look at the differences between the synthetic compounds they used in their scale and the wide variety of in vitro conditions that were used that simply do not occur in vivo.  To clarify, the term, ‘in vitro’ refers to activity in a controlled, artificial environment.  Conversely, the term‘in vivo’ refers to biological activity taking place in an actual living being.

CBD vs THC:  These compounds bind to our body’s CB receptors differently.

The first and most important distinction between CBD (cannabinoid) vs THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the manner in which they bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the human body (yes, our bodies have receptors specific to and only available for consuming cannabis).

CB1 is the primary cannabinoid receptor responsible for producing the psychoactive effects one enjoys when smoking or ingesting THC. CBD lacks the required binding capacity to even activate this receptor. CBD is completely different from THC in that it doesn’t contain any psychoactive properties.  Aside from that, the manner in which CBD binds to the CB1 is by modifying the receptor.  With this in mind, even if CBD had psychoactive properties, this binding action would significantly reduce their impact.   (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510776/)

The chemical composition of CBD vs THC is much different.

As far as its chemical composition and the manner in which CBD reacts to the body, scientists classify it differently than THC.  Endocannabinoid professionals classify CBD as a negative allosteric modulator. By its nature, this type of agent causes the potency of any drug and its negative side effects to be reduced.  All the while, it also maximizes the therapeutic benefit.   Numerous studies backup and verify this information. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621983/)


Studies on CBD vs THC require standardized lab procedures and results with integrity.

To understand exactly how unreliable the results of the study conducted by Bonn-Miller and Merrick are, it’s vital to understand the lab conditions to which synthetic CBD was subject.  Furthermore, we will look at the study from Watanabe to which they made reference.   They claimed this study was able to back up their data.  The truth, however, is that these studies produced very different results under very different conditions.  One very important difference is:  Research conducted by Watanabe actually met the standards established by the US Pharmacopeia…A standard that Bonn-Miller and Merrick failed to meet. 

One of the most important aspects of this trial is that synthetic CBD was used. On top of that, the ‘simulated gastric fluid’ (SGF) that was used to degrade the synthetic CBD compound was comprised of 0.2 percent methanol and 1 percent sodium dodecyl.  Furthermore, it carried a pH balance of only 1.0. The US Pharmacopeia established a minimum pH balance of 1.2 as a standard.  Even so, naturally occurring gastric fluid carries an average pH factor of anywhere between 1.5 and 1.9.

Aside from all that, the standard SGF contains hydrochloric acid, sodium chloride, pepsin, and water. Scientists in these studies did not use any of the standard components of either physiologic gastric fluid (such as a variety of naturally occurring proteins and inorganic elements like calcium and potassium) or the standardized SGF in this extremely unscientific experiment.  As such, extremely acidic conditions caused the already weakened version of the synthetic CBD compound to degrade to as much as 98%.

They used other studies on CBD vs THC as ‘proof’.  However, the studies they referenced did not produce similar results.

These labs actually went as far to ‘backup’ their findings as citing a study conducted by Watanabe.  In this study, scientists showed that CBD disintegrated when dissolved in SGF.  Furthermore, higher concentrations of THC were found when they presented their solutions to ‘similar’ conditions. What Bonn-Miller and Merrick failed to mention about the Watanabe study is:  Those conditions only increased simple THC levels by 2.9 percent and Δ(9)- THC levels by 1.4 percent.  The highest content scientists recorded was of Δ(8)- THC.  That was only an increase of 10 percent.

Not only are these numbers significantly lower than the figures reported by Bonn-Miller and Merrick, they were also realized using a SGF solution that was more in line with the acceptable standard provided by the US Pharmacopeia and contained elements like NaC1 – which isn’t actually pepsin, either, but contains a pH of 1.2.

Scientists with less than standard procedures realized an 88% reduction of CBD in vitro.

When you consider a minimum of 88 percent difference in CBD degradation results and a completely different solution with a higher pH and albeit slightly less acidic conditions, it becomes apparent that this was a poor reach at best and it’s not actually comparable or even relevant on any level. It actually has the opposite effect. It completely invalidates the results and the entire manner in which the results were realized.

The next point to consider is that the Watanabe study they referred to was the most relevant study they could find. In the last few decades of research, no other scientist has reported anything that substantiates the claims of this study.  Conversely, endocannabinoid profssionals have published dozens (if not hundreds) of studies that state the exact opposite.  Scientists know that CBD undergoes extensive hydroxylation in vivo.  As a result, its compounds undergo further oxidations.  All of this  rather complex metabolic activity causes CBD and its medicinal properties to be distributed at a therapeutic rate throughout the body.

No other studies related to CBD vs THC indicate CBD degrades to THC in vivo.

So far, there are no other studies suggesting that scientists were able to locate any traces of THC metabolites after treating a patient with a strict CBD regimen.  However, medical professionals have identified over 100 CBD metabolites. NCBI and NHI have both reported these facts.  Watanabe also included this information in their study.  They noted specifically that they used a synthetic version of CBD.  They also made a very clear distinction between in vitro results and the physiological processes that actually occur in vivo. Endocannabinoid professionals make the differences between CBD vs THC clear consistently.


Harvey and Mechoulam conducted a study with actual humans.  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2336840)

Researchers treated patients with CBD.  In this study, endocannabinoid professionals identified over 30 metabolites of CBD. They did not mention having located any THC compounds. This supports the fact that CBD keeps its molecular identity after consumption.

It’s hard enough to conceive that such a notoriously thorough lab would leave out such findings when it comes to CBD vs THC.  There is other research that makes it even more difficult to believe.  Martin-Santos, et al, conducted research related to this topic, for example.  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716148)

In this study, medical researchers treated patients with CBD.  Then, they drew blood to test for various cannabis compounds.  They found a variety of CBD metabolites.  However, they did not find any trace of THC.

CBD vs THC in many arenas. Both have medicinal properties, but CBD lacks all of the mind altering properties found in THC. There has never been any reliable proof that CBD degrades to THC when consumed by humans.


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