What is the best CBD:THC ratio in cannabis?
Your options for cannabis strains have never been wider, and now you can choose based on the ratio of CBD to THC in the buds. Some strains contain CBD with little THC, others vice versa, and another group, known as 1:1 strains, feature the two in equal measure. There are benefits to each ratio, and there are fine strains in each category.
- Why Is the CBD to THC Ratio in Cannabis Important?
- Different CBD to THC Ratios and Their Benefits
- What Is the Best CBD:THC Ratio in Cannabis?
- The CBD to THC Ratio Matters
With the staggering variety of cannabis strains out there nowadays, you’re more than likely to find one that fits your exact preferences. You can find almost any aroma and flavour profile, all sorts of indica and sativa genetic combinations, and, of course, whatever ratio of CBD to THC you desire.
Now, if you just want to get high, you may be wondering why you’d want any CBD in your herb at all. On the other end, if you use CBD as a wellness supplement, the idea of having THC blended in there could seem counterintuitive. However, if you try out strains with different ratios, you’ll find that each has its own benefits. So, which ratio is best for you?
Why Is the CBD to THC Ratio in Cannabis Important?
For starters, CBD and THC naturally occur in the highest concentrations, so their effects are predominantly what users experience when enjoying cannabis. Second, they represent the two main benefits people seek out when partaking in the herb: the high (courtesy of THC), and the relief (THC and CBD). Having more of one or the other in a strain, then, can significantly alter the cannabis experience.
What Is the Difference Between CBD and THC?
To explain why that is, we should make a brief aside to break down the differences between CBD and THC.
The former, as many health stores selling it will inform you, won’t get you high like the latter, but it can exert a variety of other effects on the body via the endocannabinoid system. That system, which resides throughout the body, is full of receptors meant to interact with endocannabinoids—internal cannabinoids we naturally produce.
CBD, however, doesn’t directly interact with the system, instead inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, which is one of those endocannabinoids. Uninhibited thanks to CBD, anandamide helps to do a lot, including manage anxiety and motivation, enhance our mood, and generally maintain our body’s dynamic equilibrium—known as homeostasis.
THC, on the flip side, is famous for its psychotropic effects. Depending on the strain, it could make you feel cosy and relaxed or uninhibited and ready for life—glueing you to the couch or having you dance around the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, though, you’ll usually end up hungry, regardless of the strain.
As you may have guessed, THC has a strong relationship with the endocannabinoid system. Mainly, you’ll notice its notorious relationship with CB1 receptors, as this interaction is what leads to the euphoric high. Interestingly enough, anandamide interacts with the same receptor type, although to a lesser degree. THC also interacts with CB2 receptors, which are mainly in charge of maintaining our immune system, amongst other duties.
The Entourage Effect
If you’ve been paying attention, you might have picked up on an interplay between THC and CBD. CBD boosts natural levels of anandamide, which binds to CB1, and THC stimulates the same receptors, but with greater euphoria and changes in perception.
Even beyond the high or changes in mood, there’s increasing evidence that the effects of these cannabinoids against various physical and mental ailments can be enhanced when they’re combined. This is known as the entourage effect, and while it’s considered just a theory now, research endorsing it has been piling up on a regular basis.
Different CBD to THC Ratios and Their Benefits
So, with a better idea of what CBD and THC are, we can more confidently detail the effects and benefits of different ratios across strains.
Percentage-wise, you won’t usually find buds with more than 30% cannabinoids; so the strongest THC strains will contain around 30% THC, and the most potent CBD strains will have 30% CBD. In turn, a strain could contain up to 15% of both, or even 7% of both in a less-concentrated cultivar. On the labels, however, you’ll see it denoted as 1:1, 2:1, 1:2, 14:1, etc., referring to the ratio of CBD relative to THC in the strain (or vice versa).
Below, we’ll explain the traits of each ratio "category", along with the benefits they can potentially offer users.
High CBD, No THC
Realistically, you won’t find a hemp strain out there with no THC at all (read: a true 1:0 CBD:THC strain). However, there are many out there with around 0.3% THC or so, which isn’t enough to get you high, but enough to work with the CBD in some capacity.
All that being considered, of course, these strains are best for those who need CBD specifically and don’t want to worry about their focus or energy being thrown off.
High CBD, Little THC
If you don’t mind an ever-so-slight buzz, however, strains with a 2:1, 5:1, and even 12:1 CBD:THC ratio can potentially offer enhanced relief and relaxation.
This, as we discussed earlier, is due to what many cannabis experts consider the entourage effect. As they put it, THC binds with the orthosteric sites of cannabinoid receptors, and CBD’s interactions with the allosteric sites regulate THC’s behaviour. Specifically, some experts believe it could possibly help inhibit the onset of anxiety and rapid heart rate THC sometimes causes.
Considering the possibilities, if you’re okay with the subtle effects, the extra touch of THC can go a longer way than you’d expect.
CBD and THC in 1:1 Balance
Playing off the same logic as the high-CBD/low-THC strains, 1:1 varieties pack equal doses of CBD and THC, offering a light but pleasant high that hits like a soft wave on the shore. You’ll definitely be mellowed out, but you shouldn’t have any trouble moving around and functioning normally. These aren’t bred for inducing a high, really, and are geared more toward those who just want to take the edge off during their day.
High THC, Little CBD
Now, if you’re looking for an experience that’s mainly psychoactive, but still has the noticeably soft touch of CBD, you can find many strains out there with a 1:2 ratio of CBD:THC or something similar. The high will lead the way when you enjoy this sort of weed, but it’ll be cushioned by the complementary effects we discussed earlier. It’s not as much of a minimised high, but one smoothed out and clarified enough to help you avoid a potentially anxiety-inducing headspace.
High THC, No CBD
As was the case with CBD-rich strains, you’re unlikely to find a THC-rich strain that has no CBD at all. That being said, this is what most people tend to look for when they buy cannabis: lots of THC and not much else. This will provide you with the strongest high of any ratio, but you won’t be able to capitalise on the entourage effect. They’re still very enjoyable, of course, although they’re often more for fun than wellness.
What Is the Best CBD:THC Ratio in Cannabis?
So, out of all the possible cannabinoid ratios, which one is the best? Well, it’ll depend on your personal situation and preference, of course. They all have advantages over another in certain capacities, and it’s worth learning about all of your options.
Best High-CBD Strains
Nowadays, you’ve got plenty of options for strains that mainly feature CBD. Some high-CBD strains stand out above the others, though, whether they offer a higher percentage of the cannabinoid, a solid terpene balance, or a combination of both. Let’s walk through some of our favourites.
Much like the band it’s named after, ACDC has a powerful legacy. It’s a genetic descendant of Cannatonic, and you’ll find the best of that legendary strain featured in these buds.
ACDC makes an ideal first impression by welcoming your nose with the fresh scents of the forest. Once you light up, you’ll find that aroma pairs perfectly with the invigorating lemon flavour. As you enjoy this revitalising feast for the senses, you’ll find yourself lulled by the 19–22% CBD buds. They’re topped off by a subtle 1% THC, and the indica:sativa balance is an even 50:50.
It’s a rather challenging plant, being fairly vulnerable to pests, fungi, and the like, and we’d recommend growing it indoors. One can achieve ideal yields outdoors, but this is best suited to experienced growers. Give it around 9–10 weeks to flower indoors, and expect an October harvest outdoors. When that time comes, you’ll ideally obtain around 400g/m² indoors and 455g/plant outdoors.
Charlotte’s Web is one of the first and most popular CBD strains ever. Developed in 2011 by the Stanley brothers in Colorado, it gained a public profile when the parents of a young girl named Charlotte Figi began treating her with an extract from the then-unnamed strain. Considering everyone’s body is different, we can’t guarantee any specific outcomes, but there’s still a lot to look forward to with this strain.
For starters, many users report a wave of relaxation from these indica-dominant flowers, which clock in at anywhere between 10 and 20% CBD alongside the US legal limit of 0.3% THC. As far as how it’ll welcome your nose and taste buds, you’ll find pine and lemon performing a tried and true dance, keeping you feeling bright and lucid while being swaddled with each hit.
This strain is easy enough to grow, performing well both indoors and out, but you’ll still want to keep an eye on it like any other. It can take anywhere between 7 and 10 weeks to flower if you’re indoors, and it’ll end up around 180cm tall in ideal conditions, yielding somewhere between 340 and 455g/m², while outdoor growers will enjoy a respectable 455g/plant or more in September–October.
The descendant of Asia CBD Auto and Diesel CBD, Solomatic CBD is one of the most potent strains of its kind, boasting 21% CBD and less than 1% THC. That heavy cannabinoid load is complemented by a host of terpenes that help to produce the clear-headed, soothing sensation this strain is known for.
Along with enhancing the effects, these terpenes boost the overall experience by offering a stunning flavour and aroma. As pine and ginger offer a sharp but enthusiastic knock on your nose’s door, a sweet, fruity, citrus-kissed flavour follows once they’re invited in with a hit.
Boasting autoflowering genetics, it can go from seed to harvest in a snappy 9–10 weeks whether you’re indoors or out. It’s also fairly easy to grow, which is especially impressive when you consider the potential 425–475g/m² you can obtain indoors, or the 110–150g/plant that can be harvested outdoors.
Best Strains With Balanced CBD:THC Ratio
Both major cannabinoids have something to offer users, and there’s no better way to explore their relationship than to enjoy a high-quality 1:1 strain.
CBD-Chronic is perfect for newcomers to 1:1 strains, and cannabis in general. The product of Remedy and Chronic, reputable CBD-rich and THC-heavy strains, respectively, this strain offers a pleasant balance of 5.8% CBD and 5.4% THC.
You’ll notice a light psychoactive wave with a few puffs, but the main sensation is a serene, clear energy washing over your body and mind. Going hand-in-hand with this pleasant set of effects, the strain also offers a delightful contrast of earthy and fruity flavours.
Along with being suitable for beginner users, beginner growers will have a great time with this plant as well. If you make the right moves, you’ll have it ready to harvest after 8–9 weeks of flowering (mid–late October if you’re outdoors). As a reward for your efforts, plants will yield anywhere between 350 and 600g/m² indoors, and a similar proportion per plant outdoors.
Growers at Barney’s Farm combined the forces of Tijuana, Afghan, and Kerala to create the balanced and powerful Widow Remedy.
Its modest 90–110cm height range isn’t too impressive, but it becomes a bigger deal when you find out this strain offers anywhere between 500 and 600g/plant outdoors, and a similar proportion per square metre indoors. Just give it 8–9 weeks to flower (or wait until late September if you’re outside), and make sure to keep an eye on its environment.
Once you dried and cured the buds, notes of flowers, sugar, fruit, and pine will carry you into the stash room like you’re a cartoon character. Once you grind them up and puff away, those same sensations will stroll across your tongue. After that, just kick back and enjoy 15% CBD and 10–15% THC. Although it’s a sativa-dominant strain, this subtle but noticeable high is marked by mellow vibrations through the mind alongside a general relaxing sensation through the body.
Bubba Kush CBD
Many strains on this list keep a lower profile in the garden, but Bubba Kush CBD is far from demure. To start, this specimen can get taller than most people, reaching up to 2.5 metres in ideal circumstances. Give it about 8–9 weeks to flower and watch it produce an astounding 900g/plant outdoors, which translates to around 450g/m² indoors.
What’s smoking it like, though? Although the plant is quite imposing, the effect is more subtly dreamy and pacifying than anything. These sensations are driven by indica-dominant genetics, 10% CBD, and 8% THC.
As it soothes the nerves, the terpene profile conjures images of sipping coffee on a sun-kissed balcony, serving earthy, spicy, and fruity notes.
Best High-THC Strains
To cap off our list, we’ll go through some of the most beloved high-THC strains on the market today. They can contribute to our wellness in quite a few ways, along with offering potent highs, captivating flavours, and enticing aromas.
Even if you’re a novice stoner, Gorilla Glue is likely one of the first strains you think of when picturing potent weed in your mind. That’s for good reason: It averages at a mind-melting 26% THC alongside less than 1% CBD, uplifting users and sending a pleasant buzz through the body, relaxing the mind in turn.
This high performance is to be expected, of course, given its Chocolate Diesel and Chem’s Sister parentage. These genetics also help it grow decently tall, hitting around 150cm indoors and 190cm outdoors. In turn, the tall, hefty plant yields 550–600g/m² indoors, and the same amount per plant outdoors.
This strain smells and tastes as good as it feels and looks. Specifically, sugar and citrus find themselves in a stark yet stimulating contrast with hints of pine, fuel, and earth. It may not seem like it’d work at first, but Gorilla Glue was an instant classic for a reason.
Bruce Banner 3
This strain may bear the name the Hulk uses to appear ordinary, but Bruce Banner 3 is more than forthright about its power.
How powerful is it, you wonder? Try anywhere between 20 and 27% THC, with nearly no CBD to be found. Each hit packs a wallop, and you’ll feel more than ready to save the world when this sativa-dominant beast boosts your energy level and lifts your spirits. It’s delicious, too! Each pull offers nothing but hits of citrus, berries, and fruit, tasting more like a fresh smoothie than weed.
What’s really sweet, though, is the fact that you can get up to 700g/plant if you grow this strain outdoors. The indoor yield isn’t too bad, either, topping out at 500g/m² if you play your cards right. Watch it grow to a staggering 2–3m outdoors (or a more manageable 120–150cm indoors), and give it 9–10 weeks to flower.
If you’re a beginner grower looking to start their cultivation career right, look no further than HulkBerry. Just provide enough light, perhaps try a SOG or ScrOG setup if it fits your space, and give it about 9–10 weeks to flower to mature those delicious berries.
When that time comes, usually around the end of September, you’ll find yourself staring at an 80–140cm plant indoors, or a 160–200cm specimen if you’re growing outside. You’ll be able to harvest 400–450g/m² in the former case, and 650–700g/plant in the latter. Although it won’t take much effort, you’ll be generously rewarded with buds containing an awe-inspiring 27% THC and a negligible CBD content.
HulkBerry is a sativa-dominant specimen, so you’re likely to find yourself feeling creative and energetic. These effects largely impact the mind, hitting harder and lasting longer than most other strains. This descendant of OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel also offers a wealth of delicious flavours and scents. Lemon, sugar, and berries parade through the nostrils and across the taste buds, with a subtle yet exciting peck of fuel.
The CBD to THC Ratio Matters
At this point, it should go without saying that the CBD to THC ratio in your cannabis absolutely matters. Whether you just want to centre yourself a bit, get a subtle psychoactive kick, or get absolutely stoned, it’s key you know what ratios work best for you. From there, the only way to know how each ratio makes you feel is to try out some strains!