Why Does the 1:1 THC:CBD Ratio Work So Well?

graphics of CBD 1:1 THC

Table of contents

  1. What Is the 1:1 THC:CBD Ratio?
  2. Are There Any Health Benefits?
  3. Potential Adverse Side Effects and Risks
  4. Other THC:CBD Ratios to Consider
  5. Strains (Varietals) with a 1:1 THC:CBD Ratio
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

Is the 1:1 THC:CBD ratio the best for consuming cannabis? Anecdotal evidence indicates that this equally distributed ratio is optimal for experiencing the benefits of cannabis. This combination of cannabinoids is sometimes referred to as the “Golden Ratio.” But why?

Together, these two cannabinoids are considered by some to be more powerful anti-inflammatories than they are alone, in what is called the “entourage effect.”  The cannabis-derived spray Sativex is a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD and, in the trials conducted so far, has been effective in reducing severe pain and muscle spasms in some people with multiple sclerosis (MS).  

Learn more about why this equal ratio of CBD to THC works so well and discover other ratios that you can try in your medical cannabis regimen. 

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What Is the 1:1 THC:CBD Ratio?

The 1:1 THC:CBD ratio means that your cannabis product contains (ideally) an equal amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These are the two main chemical compounds or cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

One of the main reasons given as to why so many people find the 1:1 THC:CBD ratio so appealing is because the effects are considered tolerable, at least according to anecdotal evidence. CBD may “tame” or “dampen” THC’s psychoactivity and side-effects to some extent.

Always check for the THC content if you want to see how psychoactive the product is, regardless of the ratio, as the THC will still exert a psychoactive effect. A product containing only 3 mg of THC and CBD might not be very psychoactive for some people, but one that contains 100 mg of both may well be. 

Be sure to consult with your doctor about the best ingestion method for you and how much THC you should consume before trying any cannabis products. 

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Are There Any Health Benefits?

The 1:1 ratio may be useful for those looking to relieve pain, including neuropathic (nerve) pain, but beyond the studies conducted on Sativex for MS, we do not have any evidence for specific “health benefits”. Other potential uses of the 1:1 THC:CBD ratio include:

relax if you've had too much cannabis

Potential Adverse Side Effects and Risks

Whenever you consume THC, there is the risk of a psychoactive experience. This risk can be mitigated by careful dosing, choosing high quality products, and developing a medical marijuana treatment plan customized for you. You can also try a product containing more CBD, or a 1:1 product with a lower total of THC.

But even if you take all necessary precautions, you may still experience the following side effects after consuming a cannabis product, including one with a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio:

  • Anxiety
  • Racing Heart
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations or disturbed dreams
  • Red eyes
  • Headache
  • Cottonmouth
  • Sleeplessness (or, alternatively, drowsiness and sedation)

In most cases, the side effects of too much THC will pass on their own within 12 hours (or even less), but seek medical attention in case of an emergency. 

Other THC:CBD Ratios to Consider

Although it’s been dubbed the “Golden Ratio,” the 1:1 THC:CBD combo is not for everyone. For some people, a THC-only product may be better, or perhaps one that just contains CBD – it’s all highly individual, and we do not have specific dosage guidelines for medical cannabis yet.

Here’s some information on other ratios:

1:0 (THC Only)

Cannabis products containing only THC could be helpful for people experiencing nausea and vomiting. The anti-nausea drug dronabinol (brand name Marinol) is a synthetic form of THC and prescribed to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea. THC-only products have also been reported to relieve pain and reducing muscle spasms. A THC-only product can be quite psychoactive.

0:1 (CBD Only)

The benefits of using a CBD-only product include a potential reduction in anxiety and improved sleep patterns. Some people prefer CBD-exclusive products simply because they don’t want THC’s intoxicating effects. (It should be remembered that CBD is technically psychoactive.) 

10:1 (CBD:THC)

The ratio of 10:1 tips the see-saw towards CBD, which some may find dampen’s THC’s psychoactivity. However, sedation is still possible in higher doses. The ratio of 20:1 CBD:THC may produce similar sedative effects.

Other CBD-rich ratios like 3:1 or 6:1 may also tip the scale in favor of CBD’s effects.

1:2 or 1:3 CBD:THC

These are products that contain both THC and CBD, but this time with more THC. The CBD can buffer some of THC’s psychoactivity in such products, but actually also may elongate the experience as well. 

High-CBD-low-THC ratios are generally recommended for cannabis novices who don’t know how their bodies and brains will react to THC. 

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Strains (Varietals) with a 1:1 THC:CBD Ratio

Some breeders, like Resin Seeds and CBD Crew, specialize in developing CBD-rich cannabis varieties.

The following balanced cannabis strains (“varietals”) are some varieties bred with a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio in mind:

  • Pennywise
  • Cannatonic
  • Sweet and Sour Widow
  • Royal Highness
  • Shark Shock
  • Pure Love

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Frequently Asked Questions

What ratio of THC to CBD is good for anxiety?

Nobody knows for sure, although some recommend starting off with a CBD-rich product. Reports also suggest that low doses of THC may help alleviate anxiety, whereas higher doses of THC may prompt it.

What percentage of THC is in CBD Hemp Products?

CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC to be considered legal. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products fall into this category (but not always), while CBD isolate products contain should technically contain no THC at all. 

How does a 2:1 CBD to THC strain feel?

Any ratio will feel different for each individual, so we cannot determine what effect a particular ratio will have on you. You will also need to consider the other cannabinoids and terpenes in the product you are using to get a better idea of the effect it may have.

A medical marijuana recommendation is the best way to learn which THC:CBD ratio works for you. Reach out to the doctors at Leafwell and we’ll guide you through the simple application process for a medical marijuana card. 

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