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 CBD:THC Ratio
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Understanding The Importance Of Different CBD:THC Ratios

4 min
CBDshop Research

The cannabis community is ripe with development and innovation. Breeders are now creating strains with diverse CBD:THC ratios, and scientists are urgently striving to discover their potential.

The CBD:THC ratio of your cannabis is an important factor to consider. Put simply, a CBD:THC ratio is the amount of CBD in your cannabis in relation to the amount of THC. It affects the way cannabinoids interact with your body, influencing nearly every aspect of the experience. Knowing the different common ratios and their effects can help you choose the bud that is right for you or a situation.

It wasn’t long ago that medicinal and recreational users were stuffing an unknown bud into the end of a pipe and hoping for the best. Thanks to science that is all changing.

THC AND CBD: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

THC And CBD: What’s The Difference?

THC and CBD are the most thoroughly studied cannabinoids found in cannabis. Most of the research has been conducted on cell and animal models, although a handful of human trials have yielded promising results. Both molecules exert some of their effects via the endocannabinoid system, a series of receptors found on different cell types throughout the body. This system comprises two main receptor types: CB1 and CB2. Depending on the ratio they are present in, they can cause different effects as they work in tandem—a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.

THC primarily targets CB1 receptors, which are located[1] mainly in the central and peripheral nervous system. By binding to these receptors, THC is able to exert its characteristic psychoactive effects. In contrast, CBD has a low affinity for both CB1 and CB2 receptors. This lack of affinity for CB1 is why CBD doesn’t produce a high. CBD also produces its effects via serotonin, vanilloid, and other receptors. Through these mechanisms of action, THC and CBD have demonstrated some intriguing qualities.

WHY CBD:THC RATIOS ARE IMPORTANT

Why CBD:THC Ratios Are Important

As touched upon, the ratio of CBD to THC in your cannabis is important as it affects the potential chemical response in your body. When it comes to the high, CBD can temper the psychoactive nature of THC. This means the more CBD in relation to THC, the more manageable the high is likely to be. At the same time, it reduces the severity of the potential side effects of THC, such as paranoia and anxiety[2]. Conversely, if the amount of CBD is low in relation to THC, the high will likely be more psychoactive. Any potential side effect associated with THC will also be stronger.

Physiologically, research suggests both THC and CBD have a range of effects. For example, THC has implications in affecting inflammation[3], nausea[4], and pain[5]. CBD, on the other hand, has been suggested to affect seizures[6]. The ratio cannabinoids in your cannabis may alter its impact on conditions like these, so it is important to take into account if these factor into your bud selection.

As an example of how they can work together, a 2013[7] study demonstrated THC and CBD working in analgesic synergy in patients experiencing cancer-related pain. Patients received an oral spray consisting of either THC, a combination of THC and CBD, or placebo. The mix of both cannabinoids was found to be most effective at improving pain scores.

You can find out more on what research thinks these cannabinoids may affect in our article dedicated to it.

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Top 7 Cannabis Strains With A Unique THC:CBD Ratio

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POPULAR CBD:THC RATIOS

Cannabis with different ratios of CBD and THC are becoming more and more popular. Below is an explanation of some common ratios and what effect they may offer.

CBD:THC — 0:1 ("FULL THC")

CBD:THC — 0:1 (

A 0:1 ratio of CBD to THC is not common. However, those strains close to it have made quite a name for themselves. Users opt for high-THC/low-CBD strains primarily for the psychoactive high. These strains often provide extreme uplifting and euphoric experiences, as well as couch locking stoned effects. For inexperienced users, it can be hard to remain functional.

At this ratio, cannabis is more likely to induce side effects such as tachycardia (increased heart rate), anxiety, and paranoia.

As cannabinoids naturally occur together in different percentages, there are no strains with 0% CBD. Some hybrids are close to this ratio, though. For example, Gorilla Glue has a THC content of 25%, while Girl Scout Cookies produces 22%. Both varieties contain only trace levels of CBD.

Most cannabis strains close to this ratio are extreme as they are also bred for high THC content.

CBD:THC — 1:2

CBD:THC — 1:2

Cannabis strains that feature a 1:2 ratio are more common in today’s market. They offer a psychoactive high, but in a much more mellow, manageable and gradual form. It means the build-up of effects is slower, with a relaxed and happier mood being more noticeable, building to euphoria and couchlock if use continues.

This 1:2 ratio allows for a great deal more control over the experience—especially for novice users—but can still result in an experience that makes it hard to function if you go overboard. The reason for this difference is that increased levels of CBD may work at CB1 receptors to mediate some of THC’s psychoactive effects. It also means the side effects of THC are less likely[8].

A potent sativa-dominant strain with a ratio close to this is Amnesia Haze by Royal Queen Seeds.

A variety with less THC (a respectable 12–16%) and moderate CBD is Blue Widow by Dinafem, a cross between White Widow and Blueberry.

It is worth noting that most recreational cannabis strains on the market fall somewhere between the 0:1 and 1:2 ratios—very few hit them on the mark. Those that hit a middle ground between the two are considered to be the classic stoner experience and are the most common on the market.

CBD:THC — 1:1

CBD:THC — 1:1

Cannabis strains with this ratio provide an equal amount of both CBD and THC. They offer a subtle psychoactive effect and provide a more comprehensive array of qualities from both molecules. The high is often described as functional and mellow. The aim with these cannabis varieties is not to get high, but to induce a gentle buzz while allowing the user to go about their day.

Strains with a 1:1 ratio are not as common when you consider the amount of "recreational" strains available, but are still easy to find. The demand for them is increasing as users look to include more CBD in their experience. There are even a few seedbanks actively focusing on developing 1:1 strains.

Cannatonic and Critical Mass CBD are famous examples of cannabis with a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio.

The autoflowering world also offers 1:1 strains. Sweet Tooth Autoflowering provides THC and CBD levels of around 15–16%.

CBD:THC — 2:1

CBD:THC — 2:1

Cannabis strains with a 2:1 CBD:THC ratio will still induce a slight buzz, but it will be extremely minimal. They are more suited to sensitive users and those who still want both cannabinoids present in their cannabis, but don’t want the more psychoactive effects of THC to be prevalent. Traditional recreational users do not often seek 2:1 strains.

The high of a 2:1 strain is truly functional, and the growing popularity of such varieties is allowing them to carve out a niche. You can even find strains with this ratio appearing in the occasional Dutch coffeeshop.

A perfect example of this kind of strain is Kama Kush CBD by Kannabia. This cultivar delivers a calming effect with 12% CBD and 6% THC.

CBD:THC — 1:0 ("FULL CBD")

CBD:THC — 1:0 (

There are no strains out there that genuinely have 0% THC. Even hemp contains some—albeit not enough to get you high. However, breeders have developed weed with minimal THC values and have got extremely close to this 1:0 ratio. These cultivars offer all of the benefits of CBD, without any intoxicating effects. They are an ideal choice for those who are not concerned about THC in any way and want to enjoy some CBD.

Candida (CD-1) is one such strain. This variety offers CBD levels of up to 20.6% and THC values of between 0.3–0.9%. Solomatic CBD by RQS features an exceptional 21% CBD and only 1% THC. Both strains offer users a near THC-free option.

AS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY EVOLVES, IT WILL CONSIDER THE NUANCES

The cannabis industry is still young. Breeders and product manufacturers will pay more attention to the relationship between CBD and THC ratios as more high-quality research is conducted. Products and strains with evermore tailored CBD and THC ratios are on the horizon, offering users a wider range of cannabis to suit their needs and situations.

Luke Sumpter

Written by: Luke S.
Luke S. is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as Reset.me, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

Find out about our writers
Disclaimer:
We are not making medical claims. This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals sources.

External Resources:
  1. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net
  3. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/#
  4. https://www.bmj.com
  5. The effectiveness of self-directed medical cannabis treatment for pain - ScienceDirect - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0965229919308040
  6. FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy | FDA - https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms
  7. An Open-Label Extension Study to Investigate the Long-Term Safety and Tolerability of THC/CBD Oromucosal Spray and Oromucosal THC Spray in Patients With Terminal Cancer-Related Pain Refractory to Strong Opioid Analgesics - ScienceDirect - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0885392412004393
  8. https://www.researchgate.net

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