As mainstream society is more accepting of marijuana, scientists and botanists are studying and breeding new strains with gusto. As legalization spreads and demand grows, new strains are emerging with unique properties. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD, are the two most famous cannabinoids. Every strain has its own ratio of them, and every ratio promises a different buzz.
Defining THC and CBD
Understanding cannabis ratios and the properties they represent is essential to choosing strains suitable for your needs and desired effects. Under the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, new regulations state that companies must label all marijuana products with their exact THC and CBD levels, and ratios between them. This allows consumers to make informed choices and to know what they are buying.
CBD, which occurs naturally in the resin of cannabis plants, is non-psychoactive and does not make users feel “high.” It interacts with the endocannabinoid system, specifically its receptors, located throughout the body. In this way, it relieves mental and physical pain, anxiety, depression, and more, just without the “high,” sedation, or physical fatigue commonly associated with marijuana use.
THC, on the other hand, is the cannabinoid responsible for altering mind and body. It is psychoactive, what makes users “high.” Also found in resin glands of marijuana plants, it also attaches to endocannabinoid receptors to affect its effects, primarily those in the brain and immune system, and mostly to transform pleasure, concentration, thinking, consciousness, coordination, and perception.
The Entourage Effect
A big misconception is that CBD is strictly for medical use and THC for recreational. However, this is misleading. Both are effective medically and recreationally, and, if fact, they should be used together. The U.S. National Library of Medicine calls this the “entourage effect,” and it is the biggest benefit of combining not just CBD and THC, but other cannabinoids too, as well as flavonoids and terpenes.
For strains heavy in THC, adding CBD can tone down its psychoactive intensity, making it milder, more bearable. Those preferring CBD-heavy strains will benefit from adding some THC to help ease pain and relieve other symptoms. CBD changes the ability of THC to connect to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, and ultimately, the reaction it causes.
CBD will not erase the psychoactive effects of THC altogether. It will just make the buzz less hectic. Those who consume too much THC can take CBD to help them feel better, but it will not stop the “high” entirely. Mixing CBD and THC promises a range of benefits for users, but understanding the ratio between them is the difference between finding a good strain for you and a bad one.
Understanding Cannabis Ratios
To know which ratio is right for you, you will need to do some experimenting first. Play around with strains high in THC and CBD on their own before delving into the world of hybrids. Learn how you react to each cannabinoid first, as this will help you choose the best ratio for your specific needs. Some ratios are standard and offer an easy guide to follow. CBD always comes first. Use this as your starting point:
- 0:1 – This means there is no CBD, only THC, with powerful psychotropic effects and lots of giggles.
- 25:1 – There are 25 parts CBD to one part THC in this ratio, which is the highest CBD to THC ratio currently available.
- 18:1 – With 18 parts CBD to one part THC, this is a high CBD, low THC ratio ideal for beginners and those who do not enjoy the “high.”
- 8:1 – At eight parts CBD to one part THC, this ratio still has high CBD and low THC. It is rarely, if ever, psychoactive, so you will not feel stoned.
- 4:1 – Considered middle of the range, four parts CBD to one part THC is mildly psychoactive, but not much. You should still enjoy a productive day.
- 2:1 – Two parts CBD to one part THC offers a more balanced option for those looking for a mild buzz in moderate doses.
- 1:1 – The most common ratio on the market, equal parts CBD and THC offers the most balanced option. It is psychoactive, especially in large doses, so some enjoyment of the “high” is necessary.
- 1:2 – One part CBD to two parts THC promises a notable “high,” with calm, euphoric effects.
- 1:0 – This ratio is typical of CBD isolates, since it means there is no THC at all, so no recreational benefit and no side effects.
Choosing the Right Ratio
The more CBD a product contains the less chance its THC will make you “high.” If experimenting with cannabis ratios for the first time, start with the high CBD and low THC ratios before the THC-heavy ones. Some stores will have samples on offer, which you should try out at home. Samples are both cost-effective and informative, and they will help you identify the correct ratio for you.
Choosing the Right Strain
The strain of cannabis you consume is even more important than just the ratios. It will play an even bigger role in how your body responds, so picking the right strain should be your first consideration. If you want a high THC strain, for example, that does not cause the munchies, then you can choose a low to even ratio. Higher CBD ratios famously eliminate the munchies, and it improves fatigue too.
Understanding CBD to THC ratios is the first step in maximizing your overall marijuana experience. The strain from which the ratio comes is just as important, for many even more so. As with the ratio, the strain plays a pivotal role in how you feel, with each strain grown for specific characteristics and properties. All these factors will influence the effect their cannabinoids have on your body.
Although a ratio guide is useful, experimentation remains key. You will need to play around with different strains and different ratios to find the best ones for you. A marijuana delivery service can help you narrow down some choices, and offer a big menu to experiment with, but only you can identify which will benefit you most, whether medically, recreationally, even both.