Selecting quality cannabis products takes some time and careful consideration. Knowing what is in the products you choose is important. Knowing how much of each of those ingredients or components is in a product - not just the amount but also the ratio of one key ingredient to another - is also key to anticipating the potential effects that product may produce.
When we’re talking about cannabis products, the term “ratio” typically refers to the ratio of CBD to THC. These types of ratios can be expressed as CBD:THC (the amount of CBD versus THC).
As we discussed in “The Entourage or Ensemble Effect”, the relationship between THC and CBD is interesting because it is both complementary and antagonistic meaning they both work together in some ways, but in other ways, they work to modify the effects of the other.
Here are some examples of ratios and what those ratios could mean:
40:1 - 40 parts CBD to 1 part THC. This ratio contains a significantly higher amount of CBD that will impact the way the low amount of THC works overall. The focus of a product with this combination is on the benefits of CBD.
18:1 - 18 parts CBD to 1 part THC. With a higher CBD content compared to the THC content, this ratio is not overly psychoactive and can be a good starting point for someone new to CBD or THC.
8:1 - 8 parts CBD to 1 part THC which is more of a mid-range amount of CBD. Again, the CBD content dominates the THC content for a tempering effect that minimizes overt psychoactivity.
4:1 - 4 parts CBD to 1 part THC. This ratio still has a CBD content higher than the THC, which is in the mid-range, but the THC will produce some more pronounced psychoactive effects.
2:1 - 2 parts CBD to 1 part THC. There could be more overt psychoactivity depending on a person’s THC tolerance level since this ratio is a little more equal, with less CBD to temper the THC.
1:1 - 1 part CBD to 1 part THC. While this ratio looks the most balanced, it will actually produce more of an overall psychoactivity and may be better suited for a person with a higher tolerance to THC.
Picking the right ratio is an individual thing - no two people’s bodies or brains (or endocannabinoid systems) are alike. If a person is a novice, a reasonable place to start is at the ratio with the highest amount of CBD versus the THC content. Over time, easing into trying ratios with higher THC will, inevitably, produce different effects but how strong is to be determined person to person.
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- Cannabis study reveals how CBD offsets the psychiatric side-effects of THC (University of Western Ontario)
- The United Chemicals of Cannabis: Beneficial Effects of Cannabis Phytochemicals on the Brain and Cognition (Recent Advances in Cannabinoid Research)
- The analgesic effect of oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), morphine, and a THC-morphine combination in healthy subjects under experimental pain conditions (Pain)
- Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: A review of their effects on inflammation (Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry)
- Cannabidiol interferes with the effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in man (European Journal of Pharmacology)