Do CBD:THC Ratios Really Matter?

In the cannabis industry, ratios are a widely accepted concept. 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 lacks nuance and accuracy. Some studies even indicate that the overreliance 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 overcomplicate their ways of using cannabis, as it sends them searching or even blending for the “perfect ratios.” To make matters worse, ratios have caused 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 the right 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 Best THC:CBD 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 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 variants 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 enjoy your experience at all.

It’s also important to note that people almost always think about the CBD:THC ratio on its own. 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 have a major impact on emotional experiences. In essence, when it comes to your emotional experience, cannabinoids like THC and CBD are like the engine, while terpenes are the steering wheel.

The False Narrative Cannabis Industry Has Led You to Believe

The industry has trained consumers to look for high THC content, while manufacturers have trended toward higher THC content over the last few decades. The common misconception (reinforced by many brands) is that high THC content equates to a more valuable 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. It’s also not true that THC is expensive in itself; THC is just a part of a larger whole.

If you think about it, the value comes from your experience with the product, not necessarily the amount of THC. For example, if you have anxiety, you might want to buy a low-THC formula like Koan Calm. Even though you’re buying something with less THC, you’re actually buying something that has greater value for you. You’re buying a relaxing state and managing your symptoms of anxiety, rather than simply purchasing a “low-value” amount of THC.

To make matters worse, most brands say little (if anything) about the terpene compositions of their products. This is extremely troubling given that, without terpenes, you would not be able to create the kind of experience you want. There is even some evidence that THC when taken on its own, can create negative effects like increased anxiety and paranoia. Therefore, leaving CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids out of the conversation can have dangerous consequences.

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

  1. THC and CBD are the only compounds that matter
  2. CBD to THC ratio is the best metric for controlling your experience
  3. 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 how much of each compound is actually going into their bloodstream (including terpenes). These factors can all 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, ratios don’t need to be part of the equation at all.

With Koan cordials, we want to create unique experiences for our customers. This means that we use carefully considered dosages and botanical compositions 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 formulate to a meaningless ratio; we formulate to the effect. By using precisely measured cordials, Koan ensures complete control over the experience — something that cannot be said for most 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 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!

References:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435777/
  2. https://www.koan.life/post/best-ways-to-consume-cannabis-a-full-list-comparison-of-delivery-methods
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763918/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312155/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4332941/