CBD: THC Ratio: The Guide to the Proper Proportions to Fit Your Needs


If you’re here, you likely already know you’d like to take CBD or THC, but the ratios can be daunting.

With a little help from us, you can fully understand just what you need to get the effect you’re seeking.

First, we’ll go over what THC and CBD actually are to understand these cannabinoid components better. We’ll then get into the ratios: what they mean, how to read them, and suggested proportions for your desired effects.

What is a Cannabinoid?

The cannabis plant contains over 100 naturally occurring chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Each one interacts differently with the receptors in your body through its endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

What Is The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

Your ECS regulates your mood, sleep, appetite, and memory and is active in your body regardless of whether or not you use cannabinoid-containing products. 

Endocannabinoids, which are your internal, naturally produced cannabinoids that are a primary component of the ECS, help keep your body in homeostasis. The endocannabinoids adhere to receptors within your body, namely the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Depending on where the receptors are located will determine the effect it produces on your body.

Once the endocannabinoids have bound to their receptors and performed their role, enzymes break down their components.

When you introduce external cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, into your body, they too bind to the same receptors as the endocannabinoids and work much in the same way.

Now that we understand cannabinoids and how they affect your body, let’s discuss the two most well-known cannabinoids in cannabis, beginning with THC.

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and the one that creates the well-known psychoactive effect of marijuana. 

THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors that are most abundant in the central nervous system and brain, which contributes to its psychoactive effects.

In addition to the “high” that THC causes, it has many other short-term feelings it creates, both positive and negative. These can range from stress-free and peaceful to reductions in pain and can vary from person to person. Some other feelings and effects, according to Leafly, include:

  • Elation
  • Relaxation
  • Energy
  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Eye redness
  • Slowed perception of time
  • Dry mouth
  • Laughter
  • Dizziness
  • “Couch-lock” or heavy feeling
  • Paranoia

CBD is another main cannabinoid component of cannabis that has been in the news lately for the optimism of its positive effects.

What is CBD?

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is another compound found in cannabis. CBD does not have psychoactive effects like THC does, so it will not give you a high.

There are exceptions to this, however. 5% of people claim to feel altered after taking CBD, but they tend to be the same individuals that would also feel their body altered by something as simple as Tylenol.

According to Healthline, CBD has many potential benefits, including:

  • Reduction in anxiety and depression
  • Pain relief
  • Insomnia relief
  • Alleviation of cancer-related symptoms
  • Acne reduction
  • Heart health benefits
  • Antipsychotic Effects
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Neuroprotection
  • Anti-tumor effects

While more research is needed to confirm the above benefits, the side-effects are few and far between. While they can occur, they mainly include diarrhea and fatigue. 

CBD can also interact with medications, so it’s best to consult a doctor before self-dosing.

Now that you understand CBD and THC, and know the main difference is in their psychoactive effects, let’s talk about the ratios you may need for your intended use. The chart below can help you learn which cannabinoid may be more likely to benefit your specific ailment.

*While marijuana is federally illegal, and therefore THC, some states have exceptions, such as being medically legal. CBD also has exceptions to its legality, such as needing to contain less than .3% THC. You can read your state’s medical marijuana laws here.

What Does a CBD:THC Ratio Mean?

CBD oils can contain small amounts of THC, and medical marijuana strains can be comprised of both THC and CBD. 

The ratios of each cannabinoid in the strain may determine the benefits you receive, as well as any side effects. So it’s essential to understand these ratios to potentially help the ailment or medical condition you intended.

Understanding that both cannabinoids can be in a CBD or THC-containing product is the first step in understanding the ratios. It’s also important to know how to read them.

How to Read CBD:THC Ratios

Since medical marijuana products that contain THC sometimes contain CBD as well, there is generally a shown ratio on the product. 

Reading the ratios is very simple. The first number refers to the parts that are CBD vs. the parts that are THC. For example, a ratio you see displayed as 1:2 means that it is one part CBD for every two THC parts. In other words, there is two times as much THC than there is CBD. A ratio of 1:0 would mean that it’s CBD with no THC (therefore no high at all).

Different ratios produce different effects; therefore, it’s necessary to know which is best for your personal circumstances.

Common CBD:THC Ratios

One purpose for having CBD in the product is that this cannabinoid is known to counteract some of THC’s adverse psychoactive effects in some people. For this reason, CBD makes the experience with THC containing products a bit more pleasant.

Other reasons for including CBD are that certain combinations of the two cannabinoids can present particular impacts and benefits. Here are some common ratios and how they may benefit you:

CBD:THC Ratio of 1:1

While still impairing, the equal parts tend to produce a milder “high”. While you can still receive the potential benefits of both cannabinoids, they balance each other out for a more mild psychoactive effect. 

CBD:THC Ratio of 5:1

This ratio means there is a medium to high amount of CBD and a medium amount of THC. This is a good ratio for someone who has some tolerance to THC, but would prefer more of CBD’s benefits.

CBD:THC Ratio of 1:2

This ratio may be good for those who want the effect of THC with an offset by CBD. Patients who take medical marijuana with these ratios tend to have less of the anxiety and paranoia associated with the higher-THC strains.

CBD:THC Ratio of 1:10 or more

These are very high THC strains and are generally helpful for pain, but will have an intense psychoactive effect as well. 

CBD:THC Ratio of 10:1

This is a good choice for beginners who aren’t quite sure how THC will affect them. You’ll receive the benefits of the CBD, with low amounts of THC.

CBD:THC Ratio of 5:2

This ratio gives you more CBD than THC but still has a mild euphoria.

Your choice of ratio comes down to how much of the “high” you wish to suppress with the CBD and whether you can benefit from the effects of both cannabinoids.

While researchers are consistently studying the benefits of both CBD and THC, initial studies do show potential. If you feel your medical condition can benefit from marijuana, and you’re ready to take action, you can refer to this quiz to determine your medical marijuana card eligibility. 

Medically reviewed by Howard Seth Meiselman, DO — Written by Mark Conklin 


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Author

Mark Conklin, RN, MHA

Mark Conklin is the founder and CEO of Tierra Healthcare Concepts. He has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field working at the executive management level and as a medical professional. Education RN, BS Biology, and Master of Health Administration course curriculum.

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