The Ultimate Guide to Understanding THC & CBD Ratios
The Ultimate Guide to Understanding THC & CBD Ratios
Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a psychoactive plant that contains over 500 components, of which 113 cannabinoids have been identified. Two of these cannabinoids have been studied for their medicinal properties: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The potency of marijuana is determined based off of the THC concentration of the plant. This cannabinoid is the reason a person will experience psychoactive effects. The higher the amount of THC in a product, the more intense psychoactivity.
Cannabidiol, on the other hand, has shown to potentially have protective effects against certain side effects from THC. Certain cultivars of the plant can cause people to have anxiety, but with an additional dose of CBD a person’s anxiety might just melt away.
In the more recent years, the way marijuana can be used has changed significantly. What used to be as simple as smoking the plant through combustion has morphed into finding the ideal relief through an arrangement of different oils, edibles, lotions, and flowers. For some, this can be extremely overwhelming, especially when you throw in different ratios of milligrams of THC to CBD.
Of course, consulting with a qualified Medical Marijuana Doctor will give you the idea of what products work best for you; however, it is quite easy to understand how ratios work on your own as well. Once you grasp the idea of ratios and how your body reacts to different quantities of cannabinoids, you will be able to find your ideal relief.
What Are Ratio Marijuana Products?
The understanding of cannabinoid ratios is still in the early stages; however, cannabinoid’s medical and therapeutic properties are still distinct. THC and cannabidiol CBD differ in the way their molecules act on receptors located throughout the entire body. In the brain, THC binds with the CB1 receptor and CBD binds with the CB2 receptor while also blocking CB1 receptors from binding with THC. This means CBD can potentially decrease some of THC’s effects, like anxiety, as well as psychoactivity.
Whenever you see a marijuana product that has a ratio on it, it is indicating the amount of milligrams of CBD to THC. For example, a product labeled as a 1:1 means for every milligram of CBD in the product, there will be one milligram of THC as well. THC acts as an anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. It also provides you with a psychoactive “high” feeling. This means a higher ratio of CBD to THC means less of a “high” and vice versa. CBD also shares the above THC traits. However, at the same time, it acts as an anti-anxiety and anti-seizure. However, CBD doesn’t produce a “high” sensation like THC. Because of this reason, many people prefer marijuana having a higher ratio of CBD to THC, because consuming a low THC product comes with less adverse side effects.
Some studies have shown that CBD might have antipsychotic properties. One recent case-control study found that the use of marijuana with high levels of THC may be associated with an increased risk of psychosis, especially when its CBD levels are low.  In countries such as England and the Netherlands where highly THC-concentrated cannabis is regularly used, recent studies have shown an increased incidence of schizophrenia, in comparison to countries like Italy where more traditional cannabis varieties that have lower concentrations of THC are used. 
Figuring Out Individual Needs
Every human body is unique; therefore every person’s experience with CBD or THC products differs, too. Recommendations from friends might work or offer some relief, but there might be a product or formulation that works better for you. By starting with high levels of CBD and titrating THC into your system slowly, you will be able to find the ideal amount of each for your individual needs.
Adverse effects are mainly caused because of THC and are dose-dependent. High doses are more likely to cause unwanted side effects for users. For most prescription medications, a higher dose will have stronger therapeutic effects. However, with marijuana THC, CBD, and other parts of the plant have biphasic properties. This means that low and high doses generate the opposite effect – small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate while large doses sedate.
A 0:1 ratio means that there’s no CBD mixed in with THC in the product. This means you’ll likely experience THC’s euphoric effects, so if you are sensitive to THC, you might experience its adverse effects. Some people prefer isolated THC, because it can provide pain and inflammation relief. It can also potentially boost a person’s mood and energy. If you enjoy a strong psychoactive high, this ratio may be a good option.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are products that have a 1:0 CBD to THC ratio. This means that the product does not have any THC and should not produce psychoactivity. These products typically do not provide the best relief as to ones that have a little of both of the cannabinoids, but it is still likely to enhance a person’s overall mood and offer some anxiety relief.
A 1:1 ratio means that there are equal parts of CBD to THC in a product. This is often recommended as the most effective option to start with for new users. It has the right amount of THC to give medicinal effects, but also plenty of CBD to lower THC’s adverse effects. It typically provides mild psychoactive effects that are pleasant and leave the consumer able to be functional throughout the day.
1:9 OR GREATER
Ratios like 1:9 or 1 to any number higher than 9 are considered high-THC ratios. While these products are not as intense as THC concentrates they will still have many of the same high-THC characteristics.
These THC-rich strains and products can usually help those facing health challenges like:
These ratios are great options for those who want to avoid intense psychoactivity but still recieve the right amount of relief. These ratios have more CBD than THC, such as:
In these ratios, the CBD keeps euphoric effects at a minimum, but the THC helps make the products more effective.
For those who do not want to experience any type of high but would like the benefits of the entourage effect, go for 10:1 or higher CBD to THC ratio such as an 18:1 or a 25:1
While these don’t offer much in the way of a psychoactive high, the THC gives the CBD a little extra kick that could make it more effective than isolated CBD. For people who want to avoid getting high but have found pure CBD less effective and are looking for the entourage effect, these are great options to try.
A good rule of thumb: the higher the CBD, the less of a high you’ll get from the THC. When you’re deciding which ratio is right for you, it will take some experimenting. By booking an appointment with a qualified Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor, you can take the first step to legally be able to purchase medical marijuana products in different ratios.
Dr. Glider is a board certified Internal Medicine Specialist. He received his Florida Medical Marijuana Physicians Certification in 2017 and was one of the first recommending physicians with DocMJ. In addition to medical marijuana recommendations, Dr. Glider continues to practice Internal and Geriatric Medicine in private practice. Additionally, he serves as Medical Director for a home health company, supervising and educating staff, as well as supervising an advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners for a transitional care program.
Dr. Glider graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine & Surgery in Des Moines, IA and completed his residency at Saddlebrook General Hospital in Saddlebrook, NJ. He has received several honors and awards throughout his professional career, including a City of Des Moines Merit Award and a Chamber of Commerce Award (Port St. Lucie, FL). Dr. Glider is an experienced and caring physician who is loved and respected by his peers and his patients.