Is CBD Gluten-Free? If you’re living gluten-free, you may be wondering, “Is there gluten in CBD products?” The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. CBD products are growing in popularity and are If you are interested in trying products made from the hemp plant – such as CBD oil – you may wonder if hemp is gluten free. The good news is that…
Is CBD Gluten-Free?
If you’re living gluten-free, you may be wondering, “Is there gluten in CBD products?” The answer isn’t a simple yes or no.
CBD products are growing in popularity and are available in national retail outlets, including Target and Whole Foods (may not be available in all states) and even pet stores such as Petco. Unfortunately, because the CBD industry is not currently regulated, it is hard to know what is in the products or whether they are – or are not – gluten-free.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound, known as a cannabinoid , that is found in the Cannabis sativa plant. The cannabis plant contains over 100 identified cannabinoids including Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the molecule that creates an intoxicated or “high” feeling in humans.
CBD can come in a number of forms:
- Topicals – creams, lotions, ointments, balms, and salves, applied to the surface of the skin
- Oil or Tincture – extracts in a carrier substance, taken internally
- Capsule or Tablet – processed extracts, taken internally
- Smokeables – minimally processed dried plant material that is combusted or warmed and inhaled
- Edibles and Drinkables – food or drink infused with CBD extract
Many companies producing CBD products may be misinterpreting the 2018 Farm Bill and assuming all uses of CBD are legal. Anyone interested in the legalities surrounding CBD should refer to the FDA website .
In terms of CBD topicals, to comply with federal rulings, the CBD must be extracted solely from hemp plants. Hemp plants are a variation of the Cannabis sativa plant – some call it a “sister plant” – a low resin plant specially cultivated to contain negligible amounts of THC. In order to be sold legally in the United States outside of a cannabis dispensary, a product must contain less than 0.3% of THC. The product should not make any claims that it can “ affect the structure or function of the body, or to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease”, or it may be classified as a drug that falls under FDA oversight.
Something to note as you’re shopping for CBD: You may have seen products on the market that say they contain hemp seed oil or hemp seed extract. While they may be marketed as “cannabis” or suggest they contain CBD, they do not. Any product using hemp seeds or hemp seed derivatives do not contain any CBD or THC.
Is CBD naturally gluten-free?
As a plant, hemp is naturally gluten-free. Because it is an agricultural crop, hemp could come into contact with gluten at any point from growing to harvesting, shipping, storing or processing, like any other agricultural product.
The hemp plant is a phytoextractor and phyto-accumulator, meaning that it pulls heavy metals from the earth and can hold onto them in its parts. Extractions from hemp plants need to be processed in a way that removes heavy metals and other contaminants, but this is not always the case.
While CBD product manufacturers are not required to get their products tested, savvy companies pay the extra money to invest in third-party lab testing to verify the purity of their products (free from pesticides, mold, fungus, heavy metals and other contaminants) and the accuracy of the concentration of CBD printed on the product label. Current lab testing for CBD products does not include testing for gluten.
If a CBD company is claiming that their product is gluten-free, deciding to buy and use that product becomes a matter of whether you trust the source and the seller.
CBD can be processed in several different ways with different compositions after processing. The three main compositions of CBD extracts are:
Full spectrum – whole plant extractions that include all cannabinoids including CBD and small or trace amounts of THC
Broad spectrum – whole plant extractions where the THC has been removed but CBD and other cannabinoids remain
Isolate – a more thorough extraction and distillation process that isolates the CBD from the rest of the plant matter
The risk of gluten being present in a CBD product can depend on how the hemp was processed and handled and what other ingredients were added during manufacturing.
What is in a CBD topical?
CBD topicals could potentially contain gluten. If a CBD product is labeled gluten-free, there are currently no regulations or checks to ensure the claim is accurate. Note that CBD topical products are not covered by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) and are not obligated to follow gluten-free labeling regulations. As of Summer 2021, there is no governmental agency overseeing the quality or compliance of CBD product manufacturing.
Most CBD topicals contain ingredients other than CBD, such as a carrier substance like an oil. Companies also add other plant extracts, such as lavender, peppermint, turmeric, and arnica, to enhance effectiveness. They may also contain emulsifiers, binders, preservatives, or even active ingredients to increase absorption. Check ingredients listed on CBD product labels to make sure you don’t have a known allergy or sensitivity to any of the added ingredients.
Is Hemp Gluten Free?
The hemp plant itself does not contain any gluten. Hemp is often grown in rotation with plants that do contain gluten and cross-contamination is possible when the same harvesting, storage, and transportation equipment is used across crops. If you’d like to avoid gluten, you should look for products labeled gluten free. Manufacturers can only use this description on their packaging if the product contains less than 20 ppm of gluten.
Nearly 5 million Americans follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten, a protein found in certain grains (like wheat, rye, and barley), is linked to inflammation and digestive issues for people who suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Eliminating gluten can be a way to control gastrointestinal symptoms and (for those with celiac disease) avoid causing damage in their small intestine.
If you are interested in trying products made from the hemp plant – such as CBD oil – you may be curious about whether hemp is gluten free (GF). The good news is that hemp itself is gluten-free (GF). However, hemp can be grown in the same fields as grains that do contain gluten. If you are on a GF diet, you should be sure to only purchase products that are certified gluten free.
Green Wellness Life offers a full range of products made from hemp, including CBD oil capsules, topicals, and edibles. Many of our products are gluten free, making them a safe choice for anyone who wants to explore hemp and/or CBD while maintaining a gluten free diet.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is a type of cannabis, a flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family. It is very similar to the marijuana plant, with one key difference: the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana that makes you feel high or stoned.
Under U.S. law, to be considered hemp, a cannabis plant must contain no more than 0.3% THC. Hemp that has 0.3% or less THC content by dry weight can be legally grown and sold in the United States. By contrast, the THC content of marijuana is often 30% or greater.
Hemp has a number of uses. It can be turned into a number of products, including paper, textiles, animal feed, plastic, and clothing. It can also be used to make food products, such as hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, hemp milk, and hemp oil.
There are a number of nutritional benefits associated with hemp seed, which is considered a complete protein that is high in fiber. The stalks, leaves and flowers of hemp also contain compounds known as cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD). When CBD is extracted from hemp, it can be made into CBD oil and various other products.
Is Hemp GF?
The hemp plant itself does not contain any gluten. However, hemp is often grown in rotation with other crops that contain gluten, such as wheat. Crop rotation is a practice used by farmers to return nutrients to the soil and increase soil health.
Because farmers rotate hemp with grains, they often use the same equipment to harvest, store, and transport these crops. This raises the possibility of cross-contamination. While hemp is GF, there is a chance that some hemp could be above the legal limit of 20 parts per million of gluten.
If you are interested in products made from hemp, the best way to avoid gluten cross contamination is to seek out products that are gluten free. Manufacturers can only use this description on their packaging or in their advertising if their product has less than 20 ppm of gluten.
Should I Take a Hemp Product If I Am on a Gluten Free Diet?
There are many potential benefits associated with hemp and products derived from the hemp plant (such as CBD oil). Hemp itself is a great source of fiber, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. As noted above, early research shows that CBD may reduce the symptoms of certain conditions – including digestive issues that often lead people to adopt a gluten free diet.
Before adding any supplement to your diet, you should always consult with your doctor. They will be able to advise you on potential interactions, proper serving sizes, and whether the supplement may help your specific condition.
If you do decide to try a hemp product, be sure to only purchase items that are certified gluten free. For CBD oils and other products, look for a “GF” designation on the label. In particular, be sure that the carrier oil used for a CBD tincture is gluten free and that a CBD capsule is not made with wheat starch.
You should also seek out CBD products that are made from industrial hemp grown in the United States, and that have been independently tested for quality. This can help to assure you that you are getting what you pay for – and nothing else.
Green Wellness Life offers an array of gluten free CBD products, including:
We also offer highly nutritious, GF hemp products, such as Patsy’s hemp hearts.
Buy Gluten Free Hemp Products Online
There are a lot of great reasons to add hemp to your diet, whether you chose to sprinkle hemp hearts on your salad, use hemp oil for cooking, or take CBD as a supplement. If you are following a gluten free diet, you can still take advantage of the benefits of hemp by looking for a product that is labeled GF.
At Green Wellness Life, we aren’t doctors and cannot diagnose or treat any condition. However, we can offer you the latest research into the benefits of CBD and hemp, and help you choose a product that is right for you. To learn more, press the live chat button, call us at (888) 772-7875 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST), or fill out our online contact form.
About David Kranker
David Kranker is the digital marketing manager at Green Wellness Life. David is passionate about CBD and making well-sourced CBD information/research accessible to all. David likes to keep his finger on the pulse of the CBD industry to report the latest studies, statistics, and findings from the community.