One of the questions we get asked a lot is about CBD THC ratio numbers and what are the best ratios for anxiety, pain, and sleep disorders. Although we recommend discussing your personal needs with a healthcare professional, this guide goes through everything you need to know about CBD THC ratios in products to be a better-informed consumer of hemp and cannabis products.
CBD THC Ratio
With the flurry of new numbers being slapped on cannabis and marijuana labels— trying to figure out what these ratios mean can make it feel like you’re trying to solve a math problem. But rest assured, there is a method to all this madness.
Tinctures, vape oils, edibles, and salves that display numbers like 1:1, 4:1, and 18:1 are referencing the amount of CBD to THC. THC makes you high, but its sister cannabinoid CBD won’t.
The majority of marijuana strains contain about 18-20 percent THC and less than 1 percent CBD because growers have made it a focus to breed plants with more and more THC for the past couple of decades to elevate the consumers “high.”
Today, growers are starting to breed strains with larger amounts of CBD in them. Unfortunately, since research and evidence regarding THC and CBD ratios are still scant, which is why we recommend that consumers do a little bit of trial and error.
CBD and THC Definitions
To better understand the ratio properties understanding what each is will be very beneficial. Both CBD and THC are labeled clearly on marijuana products from dispensaries so you will never have to question what you’re getting.
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is a naturally occurring compound found within the resinous plant. It does not contain any psychedelic effects and does not give people the classic high feeling so often associated with weed.
Cannabidiol works by interacting with ECS receptors in the body’s cell, organ, and tissue systems, including receptors in the brain. Its receptors have the ability to react in a way that helps physical and mental pain. CBD leaves users with a clear mind that won’t affect their overall body.
Those looking for non-psychedelic effects and no couch-lock or body fatigue often turn to CBD so they can continue to function throughout the day. Users are less likely to experience anxiety with Cannabidiol heavy strains.
THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main mind-altering ingredient found in the resinous plant. It is marijuana’s main source for providing psychological effects. People are often surprised to learn that THC acts in the same nature as the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body.
Tetrahydrocannabinol attaches to the receptors found within the brain and activates them. Once attached the reaction transforms a person’s consciousness, pleasure, thinking, concentration, coordination, overall sensory and time perception.
Consumers looking for the classic high feeling with mind and body altering effects like to use THC. Relief from stubborn or deep medical pain leaves users coming back for more. Those with high anxiety might be even more triggered by the use of high THC strains, however, a heavy sedative outcome can also calm overactive minds down.
Benefits of CBD with THC
A common misconception people often practice is the guideline stating that CBD is strictly medical marijuana and THC is the recreational kind. Both can be used medically or recreationally, and they can even be used together. When used in different increments various outcomes will occur.
Those who prefer THC heavy strains can find that mixing CBD with it can tone down the psychological effects a bit so they aren’t so intense. On the same token, users that like to indulge in CBD heavy strains prefer a bit of THC added to give them a mild body buzz that can ease pain or discomfort from physical illnesses. This is because CBD changes THC’s ability to connect and react to brain receptors.
It is to be noted that CBD does not erase THC psychoactive effects entirely. Those who are having a bad reaction to a high THC strain can not just use a high CBD strain afterward to come back down to zero.
Mixing the two compounds in different ratios can give users a wide range of benefits. Understanding the ratio differences is key in fulfilling the correct wants and needs of marijuana use.
Science has made it clear that whole-plant preparations are much superior to single preparations because the raw plant contains a blend of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that work synergistically to create what is known as “the entourage effect.” (Does Intrinsic Hemp have “cannabinoid”, “terpene”, “flavonoid”, or “entourage effect” articles to link?)
The California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco published a study that discovered combining CBD and THC produces stronger, anti-tumor effects on breast and brain cancer than when used alone.
Those of you lucky enough to have full legal access to a dispensary, you’ll have no issue finding flower, edibles, topicals, and concentrates that offer a wide range of different CBD to THC ratios.
CBD to THC Ratio Breakdown
To better understand which ratio is the best for you, play around with CBD and THC strains individually before you dive into hybrids and different ratios. Knowing how your body reacts to each cannabinoid will be helpful in picking out the most beneficial ratio for you.
There are a few standard CBD to THC ratios that can be a helpful guide to follow. These ratios can be found in all forms of marijuana consumption including smoking, edibles, oil, wax, topical lotions, and vape.
Ratio aside, all weed consumption follows the same ingestible rules. Smoking will give users the fastest results and edibles will come on smooth and last longer.
Common CBD THC Ratio Amounts
- 0:1 – contains only THC and no CBD. Great for any type of marijuana user. Strong “high” psychotropic effect that can cause a mean case of the giggles.
- 25:1 – contains the highest CBD to THC ratio currently made. Used by all types of users.
- 18:1 – contains a high overall amount of CBD in one dose. High CBD, Low THC. Used by beginner users or those who don’t want to get high. Never or rarely psychoactive.
- 8:1 – contains less overall amounts of CBD. High CBD within the dosage, Low THC. Used by beginner users or those who don’t want to get high. Rarely psychoactive.
- 4:1 – contains a small amount of overall CBD. Considered mid-range and is best for those who have tried THC before. Some tolerance to THC might be useful in a ratio like this.
- 2:1 – overall, a more balanced amount of total CBD. Medium CBD and THC levels make it great for those that can tolerate THC. It can be psychoactive at moderate doses, so it is not suggested for a beginner or first-time user.
- 1:1 – the most balanced ratio of CBD to THC that can be made. For people who can tolerate THC. Suggested for medium to experience leveled users, especially when large doses are used.
- 1:2 – will give a remarkable high and a small sense of euphoria with underlining calm feelings.
- 1:0 – no high at all and will give users the most therapeutic experience because it contains zero side effects.
Picking the Correct CBD to THC Ratio
The higher the CBD, the less high you will get off of the THC. Start with the high 18:1 ratio and work your way down if you are new to CBD THC strain ratios. Some dispensaries will sell sampler packs which can be not only informative but cost-effective.
For places that don’t sell sampler packs, have a chat with the employees at the dispensaries and they might give you a few samples to try. At the end of the day, employees want you to be able to use weed in the correct way you are looking for. It is not their intent to just sell the product to just get you out the door. However, they’re not doctors, but they will be well informed on the product and how it works within the body.
A quick caveat: if the THC levels in your sample are very high, use it with caution and stick to the recommended dosage. If you start feeling intoxicated or bad in general, remember that you can’t die or contract any disease or medical issue because of the THC. Don’t try to fight the feelings you’re experiencing — in fact, one of the best ways to get rid of them is to surrender to the feelings you’re having.
It can not be stressed enough that you first look at the strain you are buying before you look at the ratio. The marijuana strain is going to play a bigger factor in the way your body responds.
People looking for a THC ratio, but do not want the munchies, can pick a lower to even ratio mix. Typically munchies are the first side effect to be eliminated by mixing CBD in the THC strain. Fatigue is the second side effect that can be improved with the use of CBD added to the mix, and in that case, you will want a higher CBD ratio.
Popular CBD-dominant strains:
Popular THC/CBD strains:
- Critical Cure
- Critical Mass
- Stephen Hawking Kush
- Sweet and Sour Widow
- Aliens On Moonshine
For those seeking out a strain that offers both the wellness benefits of CBD and gentle euphoria of THC — balanced strains are the way to go.
Medicating with CBD and THC
While there is a broad ratio spectrum that we have already gone over, consumers can follow a more in-depth breakdown. This can be useful for those wanting to use marijuana cannabinoids, instead of pharmaceutical drugs, to help treat illnesses. In this case, a basic CBD THC ratio chart can be as follows:
20:1 – Targets Neurological Issues
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brain Tumors
- Restless Leg Syndrome
3:1 – Targets Autoimmune Conditions
- Crohn’s Disease / Colitis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain and Inflammation
- Type 1 Diabetes
1:1 – Targets Cancer and Pain Issues
- Severe Pain
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Chronic Pain
Drugs That Don’t Mix With THC and CBD
Now that we have a better grasp of what type of ailments CBD and THC/CBD products can help, here is a breakdown of common prescription medications that have interactions with CBD and/or THC.
Cannabinoids increase the risk of bleeding in patients taking warfarin; a common blood thinner. THC and CBD inhibit the activity of enzyme CYP2C9, which increases warfarin levels and the risk of bleeding.
A benzodiazepine is used for seizures in adults and children suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. When CBD and clobazam are used together, the CBD increases the efficacy of the drug, which results in a nearly three-fold increase in plasma concentration.
Another drug used to aid epileptic seizures, it also treats manic bipolar disorder and migraines. Using CBD and valproate together has been shown to raise liver enzymes — which can lead to liver injury.
A bronchodilator used for bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and other lung diseases, and smoking marijuana (only smoking) can speed up the drug’s half-life, thus lowering its effectiveness. It’s not completely clear if this is caused by cannabis, or by the actual act of smoking because smoking tobacco produces the same outcome.
While it’s not a prescription drug, alcohol is still a drug. That being said, researchers have discovered that alcohol can increase THC levels shortly after smoking — but only for a short time.
CBD THC Ratio for Anxiety
As we have already discussed, THC can cause anxiety, even for those who typically don’t have any. Those who already experience anxiety daily might have a negative experience with THC heavy/dominant strains because it will make them more anxious, paranoid, and will put them into an even darker headspace.
To help curb anxious emotions from happening, it is suggested people use a high CBD to THC strain, to help cure the anxiety and put users in a stress-free headspace. A few of the best strains with high CBD to THC for Anxiety are listed below.
People looking for a strain to help with anxiety should stick to a 6:1 ratio or higher. Some strains that follow this formula include:
- ACDC – has one of the highest CBD THC ratios around. Up to 20% CBD is typically found and typically 0.42% – 0.4% THC. Used frequently in oil form.
- Ringo’s Gift – this Sativa-dominant strain has a CBD THC ratio of 20:1. It typically has 20% CBD and 1% THC. Will leave you feeling a bit more relaxed with a slight body buzz.
- Harle-Tsu – this heavy hitter has 22% CBD and less than 1% THC! Will leave you feeling energized and motivated.
- Charlotte’s Web – one of the most famous CBD medical strains on the market. 20% of CBD can be found with little to no THC. A great strain for adults, children, and everyone in-between.
- Valentine X – has a 25:1 CBD THC ratio. Not only great for anxiety but it works great for curing seizure-related disorders.
CBD THC Ratio for Pain
The level and type of pain you are experiencing is going to play a key role in determining what ratio is going to be best to use. Those experiencing heavy pain will want to use ratios 8:1 or lower, and those with light pain can use 8:1 or higher.
Heavy pain means some users will prefer a higher level of THC to give them more of a body buzz, and in large doses even knock them out. Medium pain users will want the benefits of THC while still having a clear head, and therefore will want an even CBD THC ratio. On the opposite end, mild pain users can use a heavy CBD ratio to THC and find their much-needed results. In any case, pain users will want to make sure there is at least 15% CBD found within the product strain.
Great CBD THC Strains for Pain Include:
- Cannatonic – ideal for medium to heavy pain. 12% CBD and 7%-15% THC is found within this strain. It can be helpful for all types of pain including cerebral palsy and stomach issues.
- Stephen Hawking Kush – there are actually 3 lines in this strain that are all CBD heavy and provide exceptional pain and nausea relief.
- Pennywise – high CBD Indica cross. It contains a 1:1 ratio of CBD THC leaving users with a pleasant high and nice body tingle.
Best CBD THC Ratio for Sleep
Since CBD alone leaves users feeling clear-headed and energetic, those looking for the golden ratio to help them sleep should be looking for one with an even or higher amount of THC in the Ratio. Anything 2:1 or lower will be excellent for those wanting to use CBD to sleep.
Any Indica or Indica-dominant strain will be ideal for aiding in sleep, so look for CBD to THC ratios in those strains first.
Suggested Marijuana Strains Include:
- Grape Ape – THC level in this range from 15%-23% and CBD levels at 0-0.07%, making it a heavy hitter sure to knock you into dreamland.
- Cookie Jar – with more of a consistent THC level measuring in at 24%, even a small dose of this is sure to help relax a person’s mind and body into a heavy slumber, that will have users out until the morning hours.
- White Widow Strain – this Sativa/Indica hybrid comes in a 1:1 ratio making it the best choice for those who are sensitive to THC. Having a perfect ratio will provide a more soothing effect to lull users to sleep with no chance of psychedelic nightmares.
CBD THC Ratio for Cancer
Any strain and ratio we have gone over so far are going to be exceptional for Cancer patients. CBD/THC ratios can be helpful in treating the side effects of cancer itself, chemo, or other side effects from medications cancer patients may already be on. It’s usually standard practice for cancer patients to choose a 1:1 ratio.
CBD and THC have provided chemo patients the opportunity of being able to not only eat but to keep the food they eat down. The number one slow death of chemo patients is malnutrition because they can’t eat and retain the proper nutrients they need to live. Being able to stomach food is a real lifesaver within the cancer community.
Depending on the severity of the ailments cancer patients have, they typically want to stick to an 8:1 ratio and lower. To achieve maximum results users are urged to take a medium to large dose, and slim back when necessary.
CBD THC Cancer Patients Ingesting Guide
No matter what ratio of CBD THC is used it is suggested cancer patients stay away from ingesting cannabis in the form of smoke or vape. Any type of smoke in the lungs is going to be troublesome and irritating for cancer patients and they should stick to edibles, oils, and topical lotions when they can.
Knowing the ratio of CBD to THC is the first step in improving your overall cannabis experience. The second most important thing to keep in mind is going to be the strain the ratio is found in. Just like the ratio, the marijuana strain is going to play a key role in overall outcomes. Each strain is grown to have certain properties and characteristics that will also influence how your body receives the cannabinoids.
The ratio is a useful guideline to know, and at the end of the day, everyone will have their own unique experience. Things such as body weight, heredity, diet, and height can all play a role in effects felt. It is crucial to play around with different strains and ratios to find one that can benefit you both medically and recreationally.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.