Understand The Benefits Of CBD To THC Ratio
CBD or THC; which one should you choose and how should you make that decision? The simple answer is, it depends. However, the good news is that you don’t always have to choose between these two cannabinoids. Each one offers its own effects and list of pros and cons, and when working together, their effects range even more.
Instead of choosing one or the other, a better option may be finding a ratio of CBD and THC that works best for you. Here’s how to find it and why this magical combo can be a game-changer for you.
But first, let’s understand the main differences between CBD and THC.
What’s The Difference Between CBD and THC?
It’s pretty likely that you’ve heard the terms CBD and THC before, but what they mean and the differences between the two aren’t as obvious. CBD stands for cannabidiol and THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol.
CBD is a compound in the Cannabis Sativa plant that has no psychoactive properties (it won’t make you feel ‘high’) and THC is one of the main compounds in cannabis that has psychoactive effects, giving you the high that many people are seeking when smoking marijuana.
Each compound is thought to have different medicinal properties too. THC has been shown to help with pain relief, nausea in cancer patients, and spasms in MS patients. CBD, on the other hand, has been shown to help aid in better sleep and reduction in anxiety. And, it’s now being used to help treat severe epilepsy symptoms.
While CBD and THC have the same molecular structure, they bind to different receptors in your brain, which is why they produce such different effects. THC binds to receptors in the brain like CB1 and CB2, producing euphoria, a high, or modifying the way the body’s immune response acts to things like inflammation.
CBD can influence a variety of receptors in the brain to potentially produce medicinal benefits and has the ability to block receptors from THC, lessening its ability to get you high. This is one of the main reasons why a CBD and THC ratio is important because it can drastically change the effects these compounds have on your body.
What does a CBD to THC ratio mean?
The CBD to THC ratio refers to how much of each compound is in a particular strain of cannabis flower or cannabis product. Cannabis strains can range from high THC and low CBD to high CBD and low THC, while others fall somewhere in the middle.
Many marijuana strains contain about 18 to 20 percent of THC with just one percent or less of CBD. The CBD to THC content of cannabis is largely determined by the genetics of the plant and how they are expressed.
In the past, the THC content of cannabis has been a primary concern for many consumers. However, now that the effects and benefits of CBD are becoming better understood, more cannabis consumers are looking for products with higher CBD ratios.
When shopping at a licensed and reputable dispensary, you may find products on the shelves with labels featuring ratios. They may look like, 18:1, or 18 percent CBD to 1 percent THC, meaning there is 18 times more CBD than THC in the product.
You may find these ratios listed on a variety of products like vape oils, salves, edibles, and tinctures. Some methods, like vaping, can offer faster effects than others. When shopping for these products, keep in mind that some brands may label ratios THC:CBD instead of CBD:THC, so always double-check and ask an employee if you’re not sure.
Why does the CBD to THC ratio matter?
Okay, so you now understand what these ratios are, but why do they matter? Since each of these compounds affect the body differently and have varying medicinal benefits, you can essentially mix and match them to create new results. For example, combining a high ratio of CBD with lower levels of THC can give you many of THC’s benefits without feeling high.
A 2010 study on pain showed that CBD-THC combinations appeared to be more beneficial than THC-only treatments. Studies dating back to the 1970s showed a decrease in anxiety when combining CBD and THC as opposed to just consuming THC.
Keep in mind that there are many combinations, and it’s difficult to say how each one will make you feel. The scientific community has not yet produced enough research to explain the effects of different ratios. Through trial and error, many companies have gathered insights that have helped them develop these ratios for their products.
Examples of THC to CBD ratios and their typical effects
How you react to CBD and THC ratios will vary depending on your weight, tolerance level, and overall genetics. However, there are a few popular ratios that are said to have somewhat consistent effects:
18:1: High CBD and low THC. This is great for people who are new to cannabis and don’t want to feel the psychoactive effects.
8:1: High CBD and low THC. Great for new cannabis users and people who don’t want to feel high.
4:1: High CBD, medium amount of THC. This is a mid-range that is often good for people who have a tolerance to THC.
2:1: A more balanced dose that is good for people who have experience with THC. There may be some psychoactive effects.
1:1: A balanced ratio that is good for people who can tolerate THC as it may be psychoactive in moderate doses.
There are other combinations as well that have been known to help people with specific physical and mental ailments. Since there aren’t many scientific studies to prove the benefits of each ratio, it’s great to read about the stories of others who have found the perfect ratio for them.
Online forums like Reddit are also great places to learn about the experiences of others as you try to figure out your own ratio. Here are a few quotes from Reddit users on CBD:THC ratios.
“I'm a medical patient and have been using both THC and CBD for my autoimmune disorder and pain management. I use a 12:1 (CBD:THC) vape pen to make sure I'm getting the proper dosage of the anti-inflammatory properties consistently but without any psychoactive effect...I switch between various ratios (1:1, 1:4 and 1:9) when I am trying to find something for nights/weekends that can offer more pain relief than my high CBD pen.”
“I buy 8:1 carts...I am primarily a CBD vaper (3-4 puffs per night off pure oil carts), but do occasionally like to do one or two hits off the 8:1 carts and then follow it with the pure CBD as usual...this is the dosage that works well for me. I'm clear during the day, sleep well at night, and people have said since I started this "routine" I am way more chill.”
“I use a 1:1 vape pen during the day at work. Reasons being a combination of chronic back pain and many years at my job - it is the Thin Gold Line between a good day at work and going postal due to pain+boredom. Slight buzz at the outset, really doesn't last too long and a nice relaxation sets in after that.”
“The ratios give a different sort of high, but more importantly ratios tend to be tailored towards a certain medical need...It isn't quite as straightforward as just the amounts you see on paper. Seasoned people will tell you that the terpenes in each strain effect the high...The only way to know is to get a few samples and see what you like.”
Experimenting with CBD:THC ratios is a great way to find what makes you feel best. Always remember to shop for products at a licensed and trusted dispensary to ensure that you’re embarking on your journey with the safest products possible. Whether you decide to vape, smoke, or ingest these ratios, always be patient and document how each ratio makes you feel so you can determine what’s best for you.
Read more: CBD vs. THC: What's the Difference?