Do CBD:THC Ratios Really Matter? Is There a Perfect THC CBD Ratio?

Do CBD:THC Ratios Really Matter? Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect THC CBD Ratio?

When it comes to cannabis products, ratios are everywhere. That’s due to the number of different compounds found in cannabis. From cannabinoids like THC and CBD to other contents like terpenes and flavonoids, there is an endless variety of ratios and blends that brands can create products from. . The industry has actually trained users to think about the relationship between THC and CBD in terms of numbers, even when those numbers don’t say very much. In fact, many users look at the CBD to THC ratio as the primary method for guiding their cannabis experience. However, this method isn’t without hurdles and nuances.. Some studies even indicate that the over-reliance on ratios could negatively impact research into the positive effects of cannabis.

As a result, most cannabis users have an oversimplified understanding of ratios; paradoxically, it makes them complicate their method of using cannabis, as it sends them searching or even blending for the “perfect ratios.” To make matters worse, this approach of “identifying a perfect ratio” has caused somewhat of a false value proposition in which some products seem more attractive to others based on the ratio alone. In today’s guide, we are going to debunk some of the myths surrounding CBD:THC ratios and provide you with better ways to control and improve your cannabis experience.

The Problem with Looking for Your Perfect CBD THC Ratio

Ratios can be confusing. When it comes to cannabis, most users don’t fully understand them and are therefore not using cannabis to its full potential. Since cannabis ratios are already a complex and misunderstood topic, it can help to think of cannabis like you would any dish that requires a recipe.

For example, if you want to make a cake, you will need ingredients in specific amounts. You might need a recipe that looks something like this:

  • One cup of sugar
  • One-half cup of butter
  • Two eggs
  • Two tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • One cup of all-purpose flour
  • One teaspoon of baking powder
  • One-half cup of milk

As you can see, all of the ingredients are necessary. You couldn’t remove anything and still have a complete finished product. At first glance, you might think that the ratios are important — and they are, to a certain degree. If you wanted to make a cake that was twice as big, you would need to double all of the amounts while keeping the ratios consistent.

However, the quantity of each ingredient is extremely important as well. For example, if you were to increase the amount of sugar and butter, you could keep the same sugar to butter ratio while also ruining your cake. Thus, the ratios between specific ingredients are only one piece of the puzzle! When it comes to cannabis, people forget to consider the compounds other than cannabinoids that play a crucial role in their experience.

The Most Commonly Used THC:CBD Ratios

As you will see later in the article, there is no such thing as a “best” THC:CBD ratio. That’s based on the numerous variables at play, making each case unique. That said, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a best  ratio for you, just that there’s no blanket statement that can be applied to all, or even most medical and recreational consumers. In situations like this, it is important to collect data on your own experiences and slowly dial in your dose to what best delivers your desired results. For users of medical cannabis products or medicinal hemp products, determining a starting point can prove to be confusing.

Those experiencing inflammatory or neuropathic pain typically report effects of relief when using products with a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1 and 10:1. While this isn’t guaranteed to work in your specific situation, anecdotal patient reports often land between these ratios as a baseline. Additionally, these lower THC blends will usually allow users the ability to avoid feelings of intoxication from THC. This is especially valuable to those who need to medicate, but have responsibilities to tend to as well.

For those who are trying to mitigate or reduce symptoms of anxiety, many report finding success in CBD dominate products that contain minimal THC. There’s research available that also suggests products high in THC may induce anxiety while those with low doses of THC can mitigate symptoms. For users suffering from sleep disorders, like insomnia, users also report success with low-dosed THC products, usually falling into that 20:1-10:1 ratio range. Many people think that THC before bed is benefiting their sleep, when in fact, some research suggests high amounts of THC may be impairing the deeper stages of sleep like REM cycles.

The Best CBD THC Ratio… Doesn’t Exist

The same principle applies to cannabis. If you’re only thinking about the best THC:CBD ratio, you’re not going to have controlled, repeatable, or predictable experiences. For example, if you have a one-to-one ratio, this could mean virtually anything. It could be 1 mg of THC to 1 mg of CBD or 10 mg of THC to 10 mg of CBD. Needless to say, these two variations would result in completely different experiences. So, if you try a 1mg:1mg product once and you like it, your takeaway might be that 1:1 is the best THC:CBD ratio for you. However, when you go to the dispensary and ask for a 1:1 ratio, you could get a product with a different dosage and delivery method, take too much (or too little) and not achieve the effects you’re seeking.

It’s also important to note that people almost always think about the CBD:THC ratio as a standalone metric of cannabis, but that’s only part of the story. To return to the example of the cake recipe, this would be the same as only thinking about the ratio of sugar and butter. If you forget about the rest, your cake will be a disaster. When it comes to cannabis, people rarely consider the other compounds that play a role in their experience — namely terpenes. In fact, terpenes work in synergy with cannabinoids and can have a major impact on emotional experiences (a-bisabolol, d-limonene and beta ocimene). In essence, when it comes to your emotional experience, cannabinoids like THC and CBD are like the engine, while terpenes are the steering wheel. In other words, cannabinoids provide the power needed for the journey, but terpenes allow the user to actually direct the journey.

The False Narrative Cannabis Industry Has Led You to Believe

We live in a society that tends to frequently fall into the “more is better” trap. The industry has trained consumers to look for high THC content, while brands have trended toward higher THC content over the last few decades. A common misconception (reinforced by many brands) is that high THC content results in a more valuable or effective product. Brands suggest that if a product has higher THC, then it must be better, and you should be willing to pay more. Subsequently, you’re encouraged to look for ratios that include higher THC content because you perceive them as being more valuable — but this is not true.

If you think about it, the value comes from your experience with the product, not necessarily the amount of THC or CBD. For example, if you have anxiety, you might want to search for a low-THC formula like Koan’s Calm Cordial.  That’s based on a new movement by canna-consumers to purchase the experience, not the product. Consider it as investing in a relaxing state and managing your symptoms of anxiety, rather than simply purchasing a product with a more controllable dosage of THC..

To add to the complexity, many brands don’t place much emphasis on the terpene composition of their products. This is extremely troubling given that, without terpenes, you would likely not be able to create the experience you’re seeking. There is even evidence that THC, when taken on its own in higher dosages, can possibly lead to undesired effects like increased anxiety and paranoia. Therefore, leaving CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids out of the conversation can have unfortunate consequences.

In short, the industry has fed many consumers three myths that make it harder to choose the best product for yourself:

Three Cannabis Product Myths 

  • THC and CBD are the only compounds that matter
  • CBD to THC ratio is the best metric for controlling your experience
  • More THC = more value

All three of these statements are false and make it difficult to shop for experiences. When you are solely concerned with the best CBD:THC ratio for anxiety or the best CBD:THC ratio for pain, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

What You Really Need to Know When it Comes to CBD to THC Ratios

Shopping for cannabis products doesn’t need to be complicated. Essentially, you just need to know how you want to feel and then find a product and delivery method that will get you there. People rely too much on ratios when they should be considering the dosage and the full-panel of their product’s contents (including terpenes).. These factors — along with others — can affect the onset time, peak time, and overall duration of your experience, to say nothing of the emotional effects. So, if you want to have a particular experience, shopping by ratio shouldn’t be your primary approach..

With Koan cordials, we want to create unique experiences for our customers. This means that we use precisely and accurately blended cannabinoid and terpene dosages to create a particular experience. If it just so happens to be, for example, a one-to-one CBD:THC ratio, that’s a happy coincidence. However, it’s nothing more than that. We don’t create our blends based on “what the rest of the industry is doing” ; we formulate to deliver a mood. By using precisely measured, single-serving cordials, Koan ensures complete control over the experience — something that cannot be said for the majority of other delivery methods.

So, what are you looking for in your cannabis experience? Do you want to enjoy a sense of Calm? Do you want to have a more energizing experience with Play? Or do you want to find harmony and creativity with Balance? You don’t have to think about the CBD to THC ratio (or any other ratio) at all. We’ve already done the hard work for you.

To learn more about creating your own personalized cannabis experience, check out Koan Cordials today!

This article is for informational purposes only and not to be used as medical advice. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your diet, medications, or daily routine. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.