Researchers from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus analyzed the impact of cannabis flowers with almost equal ratios of THC and CBD, and its effects on subjects.
The study, published in the journal Addiction Biology, examined subjects who were tasked to smoke cannabis flower with various ratios, which were randomly assigned. These included 24% THC and 1% CBD, 23% CBD and 1% THC, as well as flowers that had almost equal ratios of each, 10% THC and 9% CBD. After an hour, the researchers measured their effects.
They found that the patients who smoked the THC dominant cannabis and those who smoked nearly equal ratios and those who smoked the flowers with almost equal ratios experienced similar positive benefits. The difference was that the participants who consumed samples with nearly equal ratios reported less negative side effects including paranoia and anxiety.
“This is one of the first studies to examine the differential effects of various THC and CBD ratios using cannabis flower chemovars that are widely available in state-regulated markets. The present findings suggest that CBD may be associated with an overall reduction of THC exposure and may mitigate the negative psychotomimetic effects of THC without diminishing the effects of THC that individuals report liking,” they write.
“The results of the present study suggest that participants using the THC+CBD chemovar had significantly lower plasma THC levels and reported less paranoia and anxiety as compared to participants using the THC dominant chemovar. Importantly, despite these differences, participants in both the THC+CBD and THC conditions reported similar positive subjective effects… The harm reduction implication of these findings is that cannabis chemovars containing CBD may result in less overall exposure to THC and subsequently less potential for harm, particularly with respect to the psychotomimetic effects of THC,” they concluded.
Why Ratio Matters
CBD and THC are the two primary cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. They each have their own properties; THC is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for making you feel high. The more THC a flower or product contains, the higher you will feel. But aside from just getting you high, THC is widely used for its medicinal properties such as its ability to induce appetite, treat insomnia, stop nausea, and provide relief from pain. However, the right dose is essential because too much THC can make people feel paranoid and anxious. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and is used for relaxation, insomnia, anxiety, pain, and much more.
When the two are combined in varying ratios, they enhance each other’s beneficial properties synergistically in what is known as the “entourage effect”. Aside from that, all of us have a different biological makeup which is why how you react to CBD may be different from how your friend reacts to CBD, even if you both took exactly the same dose.
It has been recognized by scientists that the ideal dose for most people who want to achieve the most therapeutic benefits is an equal ratio of each, or 1:1 THC CBD. This ratio can help you stay productive without feeling too high since CBD counteracts the highs of THC, while also offering a wide range of health benefits including pain management, anxiety reduction, and better sleep among others.
When shopping around for cannabis products, those that use a combination of both cannabinoids present various ratios. Here are the most common ratios:
0:1 CBD THC: With no CBD in the product, you will be able to feel the highs of THC which many find to be uplifting and euphoric, while reducing stress. If you are one of those people who are sensitive to THC or have a low tolerance, you may be prone to anxiety and paranoia. However, many people prefer it because it provides relief from pain and inflammation while improving energy and mood.
1:0 CBD THC: A product that has no THC will not make you feel any kind of high. People who enjoy the relaxation brought about by CBD will appreciate these types of products as they can mildly sedate while still improving your mood and helping to reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
1:1 CBD THC: For people who aren’t familiar with CBD and THC, this is the recommended ratio to start with. You will be able to experience the best of both worlds, but also the presence of CBD will negate getting too high from the THC. In addition, you will be able to stay functional and productive.
1:9 or more: These are usually high-THC products, which means that you will likely experience the characteristics that are typically associated with THC. These may be beneficial for people who are suffering from severe pain, nausea, migraines, lack of appetite due to chemotherapy or radiation, and more. Just keep in mind that it also means you will get a high.
Aside from these, you will also encounter other ratios in the market such as 2:1, 3:1, or 4:1 as well as 25: 1 and others. If you aren’t sure where to start, remember that the more CBD it contains, the less THC psychoactivity you will experience. If you don’t want to get high, always opt for a product that has a higher CBD content or an equal ratio.
Talk to a budtender at your nearest dispensary to learn more about recommendations based on your personal needs. These ratios are available in many cannabis products from oils to tinctures, edibles, and so much more.