What are CBD:THC ratios and their benefits?
You’ve probably encountered different CBD:THC ratios when shopping for edibles and some strains, but what do they all mean? Each CBD:THC ratio plays an important role in how cannabis works in the human body.
Instead of just considering a cannabis dose based on milligrams or percentage, ratios are becoming increasingly important information as more people begin to use cannabis for healing. Each ratio can help diseases effectively, but while more research is needed in this field, here’s what we know so far:
CBD vs. THC
The two primary cannabinoids have distinct and valuable medicinal properties, as well as effects on the body when taken alone or together. The way CBD and THC differ depends on how their molecules react with cannabinoid receptors. For example, THC tends to bind with CB1, while CBD usually binds with CB2. CBD also reduces some of the effects of THC, particularly paranoia, anxiety, and the psychoactive high because it partially blocks CB1 receptors.
Science tells us that THC is what makes us sleepy, while CBD is known to promote alertness. The therapeutic and medical properties of each cannabinoid is already pretty distinct; THC gets you high while acting as an anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, and an analgesic which CBD shares several of these traits but is also anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic. Both CBD and THC are also beneficial in the treatment of cancer. In fact, CBD is thought to enhance the anti-cancer and painkilling properties of THC.
In a Brazilian study from the 70’s patients were administered with between 15-60mg of CBD together with 30mg of THC. The participants reported experiencing more pleasure with less anxiety with the given ratio compared to when they took THC alone. Another study was also conducted to analyze the effects of CBD when it was administered at a dose that was 6 times as much as the THC. The scientists found that 73% of the subjects felt less “high” than when they took THC alone.
When dosing for medicine, many patients and doctors prefer to measure the ratio of CBD and THC. Depending on the condition, some patients respond better with small doses of CBD combined with a little THC, some prefer a balanced 1:1 ratio, while others mix up the ratio depending on the time of day that they medicate.
Consuming THC-only strains or products in high doses will experience intense psychoactive effects. Some people actually enjoy this, while others are looking for the medicinal properties of THC only. In the case of the Rick Simpson oil, he advocates making it using a strain that has as much THC as possible.
Strains that are high in THC are known to be uplifting, euphoric, and happy while also promoting laughter and sometimes dizziness. The unwanted effects of too much THC include paranoia, anxiety, and tachycardia. While there is no such thing (that we know of) as a strain containing absolutely no CBD, there are some hybrids that are close to this ratio – meaning if you smoke them, you’ll be high as a kite.
With a 1:2 CBD:THC ratio, you’ll still feel the high from the THC but due to the presence of CBD, this will result in a much more relaxed feel while reducing the risk for paranoia, anxiety, and tachycardia.
Out of all the cannabinoid ratios, patients seem to find that a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio provides the most effective medicinal properties for a vast range of conditions: insomnia, cancer, fibromyalgia, autism, and much more. Using a cannabis strain or product with this ratio delivers a relaxing effect with a minimal high, and is described to feel mildly euphoric, calm, and tranquil with very little side effects.
A higher CBD content in strains gets rid of the common associated effects of THC – the good and the bad, such as euphoria as well as paranoia and anxiety. This kind of ratio is ideal for sensitive patients, or those who prefer not to get high. Some products that have a very high CBD content will mean that the patient won’t feel the effects of THC at all; in some cases it might be so mild that it’s barely noticeable.
This ratio doesn’t produce any kind of high but is known to improve overall mood. Additionally, it also has high therapeutic potential for the treatment of psychosis and other mood disorders, epilepsy, and more without any side effects.
Implications for Patients and Recreational Users
Ask any cannabis consumer and everyone will likely have their preferred cannabinoid. Historically speaking, when people didn’t really know much about CBD and its medicinal properties, THC was the preferred cannabinoid because everyone wanted to get as high as possible. This is the reason why cultivators, for several decades, continued to breed and grow strains that had a high THC content.
Dispensaries usually have CBD:THC ratios today to help patients and recreational users choose the benefits that they want or need. Now that CBD is sharing the spotlight with THC, it’s more important to learn about different cannabinoid ratios and how they will interact with your body or your specific condition.
What we know about cannabinoid ratios is still in the early stages, but we need to keep in mind an inclusive approach of whole plant medicine. Although CBD is emerging as medicine, we can no longer think that one cannabinoid is more superior than others – who knows, we may just discover that another cannabinoid that’s just as beneficial?