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Exploring the Ratio Between CBD and THC

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The cannabis industry presents a panoply of product options. Some people may not be looking for products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), due to the intoxicating effects that this cannabinoid can have. Instead, these consumers may be after cannabidiol (CBD). There are others who may still be looking for the benefits that THC provides in addition to the combined benefits that THC and CBD can have together. [1]

Fortunately, product manufacturers have already thought about this and there are several kinds of products that utilize CBD and THC. If you have heard about CBD products containing THC or vice versa, here is a bit more information to help you understand the interaction between the two cannabinoids.

What Are CBD and THC?

THC and CBD are two plant-based chemicals known as cannabinoids found within Cannabis sativa. They are just two out of more than 100 cannabinoids. They are said to have a wide variety of benefits as they directly or indirectly interact with a system of cannabinoid receptors within our body which are part of the endocannabinoid system. [2]

When THC interacts with our bodies, we experience a host of medical and psychoactive effects. A survey of the main medical conditions patients used cannabis for treating includes chronic pain, anxiety, depression, headaches, and muscle spasticity. [3] Cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy use cannabis for its appetite stimulant effects and to control nausea (anti-emetic).

CBD, on the other hand, is said to provide many medical benefits that you can experience without the “high” that THC induces. For example, CBD can be utilized for its anti-inflammatory properties [4] and in treating neuropathy. [5]


Some people believe that substances are more effective when you dose larger quantities. Taking too much THC can cause undesired effects like anxiety. You can minimize this and still get the most of your substance by microdosing cannabis. This is the practice of taking smaller doses throughout the day that help you to receive the benefits of cannabinoids without taking more than is necessary.

Manage Psychoactivity

As stated above, taking too much THC is not always an enjoyable experience. Using a vaporizer or a dab rig can often get you too high, if not used properly. Some say that the best ways to rid yourself of THC-induced anxiety are taking a shower, eating, drinking water, distracting yourself by watching something on television or listening to music, or consuming something with terpenes like limonene (citrus), beta-caryophyllene (black pepper) or linalool (lavender).

Fortunately, when you have low levels of THC mixed with CBD, the CBD helps to shield the user from the psychoactive effects of THC so that they can receive the benefits. [4] The lower doses of THC will also prevent the user from experiencing the typical psychoactive effects of the substance.

Different Ratios

When you begin shopping around for CBD and THC products, you may notice the various ratios that are utilized in the product descriptions. You can find different ratios in all forms of CBD from hemp flowers to cannabis oils. To get a better idea of what these numbers mean, here are a few of the ratios that you might encounter.


A CBD/THC product featuring a 1:1 ratio will have equal amounts of CBD and THC and is designed to help users receive the benefits of THC without giving them a one-dimensional product that only contains THC. In addition, the CBD can help enhance the benefits of THC while taking away some of the high that the user may experience. [6]

A 1:1 ratio has been found to be a good balance for daytime users. It helps with those that get anxiety from THC. A 1:1 ratio is also useful for its neuroprotective effects. [7] This is why the FDA-approved cannabis-based medicine Sativex comes in a 1:1 form of CBD to THC. [8]


It’s important to remember that as the numbers climb in either direction, so to do the amounts of the various substances. In this case, there is a greater amount of THC, so you can expect some of the benefits of the CBD, but the effects of THC will be stronger in this type of product.


With a 1:10 ratio, you can expect the feelings and effects of THC to be more pronounced, giving you a stronger high. The CBD effects will still be present but will not be the dominant contributor in this formulation.


A 1:20 solution will allow you to ingest some CBD but will mostly be like using a THC-based product. The THC effects will be very noticeable while the CBD effects will be nominal.

This ratio can be very beneficial for younger seizure patients. Patients under 10 years old saw the biggest benefits of this 20:1 ratio during a clinical trial by The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. [9]


Understanding that CBD and THC can be combined opens up to a new world of possibilities in terms of physiological benefits. If you were looking into products with both CBD and THC, use this guide to better understand how they work together and what you should be looking for when you are shopping for a combination of the two.


[1] Boggs, D. et al. “Clinical and Preclinical Evidence for Functional Interactions of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol”, Neuropsychopharmacology, 2018, Volume 43(1): 142–154. [journal impact factor = 7.160; cited by 22]


[2] Zou, S. and Kumar, U. “Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System”, Int J Mol Sci., 2018, Volume 19(3): 833. [journal impact factor = 4.183; cited by 24]


[3] Sexton, M. et al. “A Cross-Sectional Survey of Medical Cannabis Users: Patterns of Use and Perceived Efficacy”, Cannabinoids and Cannabis Research, 2016, Volume 1.1: Pages 131-138. [journal impact factor = N/A; cited by 38]


[4] Burnstein, S. “Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation”, Bioorg Med Chem. 2015, Volume 23(7):1377-85. [journal impact factor = 2.793; cited by 87]


[5] Harris, H. et al. “Effects of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol on Cisplatin-Induced Neuropathy in Mice”, Planta Med., 2016, Volume 82(13): 1169-1172. [journal impact factor = 2.342; cited by 14]


[6] Zuardi, A. et al. “Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by delta 9-THC in normal subjects”, Psychopharmacology (Berl)., 1982, Volume 76(3):245-50. [journal impact factor = 3.875; cited by 337]


[7] Maroon, J. and Bost, J. “Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids”, Surg Neurol Int. 2018, Volume 9: 91. [journal impact factor = N/A; cited by 7]


[8] Valdeolivas, S. et al. “Sativex-like combination of phytocannabinoids is neuroprotective in malonate-lesioned rats, an inflammatory model of Huntington’s disease: role of CB1 and CB2 receptors”, ACS Chem Neurosci., 2012, Volume 3(5):400-6. [journal impact factor = 4.21; cited by 62]


[9] Hausman-Kedem M. et al. “Efficacy of CBD-enriched medical cannabis for treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adolescents – An observational, longitudinal study”, Brain Dev., 2018, Volume 40(7): 544-551. [journal impact factor = 1.756; cited by 7]

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