With the healthy, natural living movement more popular than ever, an increasing number of people are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products to help them deal with everyday ailments and symptoms of more serious conditions. While studies show promising evidence that cannabis products, especially those with THC, have a number of potential benefits, and people are gushing about how CBD has helped them or someone they know, nothing is conclusive. Much more research is needed before any concrete claims can be made. However, available scientific evidence and anecdotal claims shouldn’t be ignored. As the saying goes, where there is smoke, there’s fire, and people have been taking note of the evidence and trying CBD for themselves. As popularity grows, knowledge about the THC:CBD ratio has become more important than ever. The only problem is, how do you know what the best THC:CBD ratio is?
While studies are still being done on the benefits of different formulations and doses, some useful information and guides have come to light on which ratio works best for various ailments you are trying to manage. Many combinations are being tested, some that are CBD dominant and others THC dominant. The challenge is deciding on which ratio to use on individual people to best help with their ailments. And while there are numerous studies and web pages you can scour through on the internet to find answers, we’ve made things much simpler for you, by putting everything you need to know about the THC:CBD ratio right here.
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THC:CBD ratio – What is it?
Simply put, a THC:CBD ratio is the amount of THC compared to the amount of CBD in a single dose. Studies show that CBD and THC, while beneficial when taken individually, are a potent combination, with the entourage effect leading to better results than if the compounds were taken separately.
An example of a THC:CBD ratio is 1:1. This means that there are equal parts THC and CBD in each dose. Furthermore, a ratio of 10:1 means that there is 10 times more THC than CBD in a dose. Many CBD brands play around with ratios to create bespoke products that use the effects of either of the two cannabinoids or a combination of both to get a particular therapeutic effect.
Most medical cannabis products contain mainly CBD, with only trace amounts of THC. Legally, no finished CBD product is allowed to have more than 1 mg of THC, as it is a psychoactive compound. Legal CBD products don’t contain enough THC to induce a high. However, besides the fact that such trace amounts can’t make you high, there are many people that are against using a psychoactive compound such as THC. Even so, many people are turning to THC to experience the entourage effect and get stronger therapeutic benefits.
Common THC:CBD ratios
Before deciding on a ratio, keep in mind that not everyone reacts to CBD and THC the same way. If you are a beginner, it is best to start with a low dose and work your way up from there.
Roughly, a few of the most common THC:CBD ratios are:
- 1:2 to 1:5
- 1:10 and above
THC:CBD – 1:1
This ratio is considered very strong and will have intoxicating effects, especially on beginners. It is recommended that such a ratio should only be taken at nighttime. Never start such a high dose at first use. As mentioned above, start low and work your way up to such a ratio.
THC:CBD – 1.2 to 1:5
A ratio between 1.2 and 1:5 is best suited for people who have some tolerance to THC and should be taken at night. Such a ratio is not very likely to cause impairment.
THC:CBD – 1:10 and above
Rarely intoxicating, a 1:10 and above ratio is best for those who don’t want to risk a chance of getting intoxicated, but who want something a bit stronger. It is a good option for someone who still wants to experience the entourage effect, but without getting high.
This is the best option for beginners and daytime use, as this ratio won’t impair users.
Different THC:CBD ratio meets different needs. Let’s discuss the best ratios for pain, insomnia and anxiety.
What's the best ratio for pain?
There is no single option that works for everyone, and different ratios have various effects. Many ratios can be used to help with pain, such as the 1:1 ratio, which allows for effective pain relief thanks to equal parts THC and CBD, which activates the entourage effect. In fact, many studies on CBD/THC and pain show evidence that chronic pain can be reduced by using 1:1 THC:CBD ratios.
However, this ratio will most likely get you high, especially if you are a novice. Luckily, there are other options for you. If you want to experience the entourage effect, just without the high, go with a ratio of THC:CBD 1:10 or above.
You can also change up the ratio you use to target different areas and kinds of pains:
- Mild to moderate pain – go with a ratio of 1:10 THC:CBD or above.
- Neuropathic to extreme pain – use a ratio of 1:1 or higher, depending on severity.
Remember, high THC ratios have the potential to get you high and lethargic. Take great care to use it at an appropriate time, such as nighttime, and start with a small dose.
What's the best THC:CBD ratio for insomnia?
Many people turn to CBD and THC to get a better night's sleep or help with insomnia. Unlike heavy sleeping medication, CBD and THC are natural and don’t leave you feeling drowsy the following day.
THC has a sedative effect, but it can cause anxiety if used by itself. This is where CBD comes in. By finding the sweet spot ratio of THC:CBD, you can get the sedative effects of THC, without the anxiety. This is thanks to the simple addition of CBD. Recent studies show a THC:CBD ratio of 1:20 could be the perfect ratio to help improve sleep and help with insomnia.
What's the best THC:CBD ratio for anxiety?
Even though THC can cause anxiety spikes, many anxiety sufferers have turned to cannabis products to help with their condition. Research shows cannabis can help soothe anxiety when it has the correct ratio of THC:CBD. Usually, a ratio of 1:1 is the sweet spot, but as long as you stick to products that have a ratio of equal parts THC and CBD or more CBD than THC, you can’t go wrong and will feel the calming benefits of these compounds without the THC triggering more stress.
Best THC:CBD ratio – Key takeaways
At the end of the day, there is no set answer as to what the best THC:CBD ratio is for certain conditions. There is no way to be sure until more studies are conducted. Hopefully, information such as the above will help you in making your choice.
Having the ability to adjust the THC:CBD ratio is a huge advantage. You can maximise the specific effects and benefits you are looking for while minimising unwanted side effects. However, before using any cannabis products, speak to your doctor first. You need to ensure it won’t affect the metabolic rate of any medication you are on or negatively affect any existing medical conditions you may have. Make sure it is the right choice for you, and start with a low dosage before working your way up. You’ll soon find the best THC:CBD ratio for you.
You may also like to read: CBD vs THC: What is the difference?