If you’re new to CBD, you may have noticed measurements on CBD or THC products. What do they mean? Some labels list ratios such as “2:1 CBD to THC” or “1:1 CBD/THC.” These are CBD to THC ratios, and they are meant to help you understand the levels of each cannabinoid in a given product.
These CBD/THC ratios can feel a bit confusing, but it’s essential to know what you’re getting in your cannabis products. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis (both hemp and marijuana) plants. Both THC and CBD yield a range of beneficial effects, and consumers are beginning to explore how different ratios work best for them.
What is a CBD To THC Ratio?
In mathematics, a ratio denotes how much of one thing there is compared to another. So a CBD to THC ratio simply describes the ratio of CBD milligrams to THC milligrams in a given product. CBD/THC ratios can describe cannabidiol products that rarely produce psychoactive (“high”) effects because of their low levels of THC.
Think of it this way: if the ratio of kids to parents in your household is 3:2, there are three kids and two parents. However, if you were at a big pool party where the ratio of kids to parents was 3:2, there would be three kids for every two parents. So, if there were nine kids at the party, there would be six adults.
It’s crucial to think about CBD/THC ratios like the pool party, not the individual household. If you see that a product contains 3:2 CBD/THC, there will be three milligrams of CBD for every two milligrams of THC.
What is THC To CBD Ratio?
A THC to CBD ratio is the same concept as the CBD to THC ratio, just flipped! THC to CBD ratios are used for THC (marijuana) products intended to produce minimal to strong psychoactive (“high”) effects along with other benefits when consumed.
A product with a 2:1 THC/CBD ratio will contain two milligrams of THC for each milligram of CBD. Any product with a 1:1 ratio will have equal parts CBD and THC.
Which Products Are Legal?
Legality can be puzzling. Throughout the U.S, marijuana is federally illegal, although some states allow recreational and/or medical use. However, CBD products are legal nationwide for people 18 years and older, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. Let’s dig into the specifics.
CBD/THC Ratio Products
The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized the growth and sale of hemp flower and its extracts as long as they contain 0.3% or less THC. Therefore, cannabidiol products are legal in any state as long as they follow the THC limitation and are sourced from hemp. CBD to THC ratios are used to describe products with more CBD than THC that (in most cases) will meet the federal guidelines. These products can include CBD tinctures, CBD gummies, CBD hemp flower, CBD capsules, and more.
THC/CBD Ratio Products
THC to CBD ratios are used to describe THC (marijuana) products that are psychoactive. Over the past eight years, 15 states and Washington D.C. have voted to legalize recreational marijuana. In the 2020 election, four more states – Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and New Jersey – were added to that list.
Over the same timeline, 36 states voted to legalize medical marijuana, with Mississippi joining that growing list this past November.
States that allow recreational and medical marijuana can market products that contain more THC than the federally legal level of 0.3%. If you’d like to find out what THC and CBD commodities are legal in your state, here is a recently updated map.
Are CBD and THC Approved by the FDA?
For the most part, CBD has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Epidiolex, a CBD based medicine that helps with rare seizures, is the only cannabidiol product backed by the FDA.
There are no THC products at all that have gained the FDA stamp of approval. This means that it is not cleared to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical diseases. Even if cannabis is federally legalized, the FDA has all rights reserved on approving it for medical use.
Do All CBD Products List a CBD/THC Ratio?
No. Many CBD companies will list CBD and THC percentages and exact amounts rather than ratios. They are both accurate ways of describing the cannabinoid levels in a given product.
While the ratio describes how much CBD there is compared to THC, the percentage is usually used to describe how much THC is in the product. Most legal CBD products will list <0.3% THC. As for exact amounts, many times the milligram level of CBD is listed in this way.
For example, you might see a bottle of CBD tincture that claims to contain 300mg of CBD. That means that no matter the volume there are 300 milligrams of CBD in the entire container.
What Are the Benefits of CBD with THC?
Simultaneously consuming CBD and THC results in an enhanced consumer experience known as the “entourage effect.” This beneficial outcome occurs when any two cannabinoids are consumed in conjunction with other hemp compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids. The components work as a team to increase each other’s efficacy.
Benefits of consuming CBD and THC together may be:
- Change in appetite
- Relief from tension/pressure
- Mood enhancement
- Relief from worried/nervous thinking
- Discomfort relief
- Redness/irritation relief
- And many more!
However, studies show that CBD inhibits the psychoactive or “high” effects of THC. If you’re nervous about trying THC for the first time, or you’re still a novice consumer, add some CBD to the mix to potentially lower the intoxicating effects.
If you are specifically looking to experience THC’s “high” effects, look for THC to CBD ratio products that have high THC and low CBD content, such as 18:1 THC/CBD. Just keep in mind that cannabinoids work best when combined and can produce the entourage effect.
What are the potential side effects of CBD?
As CBD gains popularity, many people seem to tolerate it quite well. Side effects are few and far between, but here are some of the minimal ones that have been reported thus far:
- Change in appetite
- Slight mood change
- Slight nausea
Typically, people don’t experience these adverse effects as long as they take the dose recommended for their size. There are also instances of mild side effects for new consumers who have never tried CBD. After repeated use, or once your body adjusts to the cannabinoid, mild symptoms typically subside.
All CBD and THC products contain different ratios of each cannabinoid, and different forms of consumption (inhaling, swallowing, etc.) will affect everyone differently.
The best way to ensure you don’t have a negative experience is to start with small amounts of CBD and THC and work your way up over time.
What are the potential side effects of THC?
THC often produces psychoactive effects, meaning it alters your mindset/mood and can have a range of other effects enjoyed by some people and loathed by others. Some of the most common side effects, both good and bad, of THC consumption are:
- Increased heart rate
- Stimulated appetite
- Mood change
- Dry mouth
- Worried/Nervous Thinking – this is a common complaint among some marijuana consumers. A higher amount of CBD and the lower amount of THC should result in less of a “high,” paranoid feeling and more of a relaxed mood.
Final Thoughts – CBD To THC Ratio
As marijuana/THC becomes popularized and legalized, cannabis farmers are breeding strains with higher and higher amounts of THC. This results in less CBD, which is an added attraction for marijuana consumers that don’t want their “high” inhibited.
However, the CBD market is also expanding quickly for the opposite reason. Due to this expansion in the cannabis industry overall, you are likely to see CBD and THC ratios sprawled across more products in the future.
More than one cannabinoid must be present in products to induce the entourage effect. We recommend full-spectrum CBD, which contains 0.3% THC or less. In this way, you can enjoy the most potent benefits of hemp without any of the high!