What are CBD:THC ratios and what are their benefits?

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the main cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Although both interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, the effects of these two compounds are very different.

For example, THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and causes feelings of euphoria or a "high", known as psychoactive effects. But aside from just getting you high, THC is widely used for its medicinal properties, for its ability to induce appetite, treat insomnia, stop nausea or relieve pain. However, the correct dose is essential, because too much THC can cause unwanted side effects.

Unlike THC, CBD binds weakly to the CB1 receptor and, as a result, CBD will not produce euphoria or a "high" but can be used for relaxation, insomnia, anxiety, pain, and much more. And when the two cannabinoids are combined in varying proportions, they enhance each other's beneficial properties synergistically in what's known as the "entourage effect". This means that CBD has the potential to modulate certain side effects of THC that can be bothersome, such as dry mouth, tachycardia or paranoia.

What is the CBD:THC ratio?

The CBD to THC ratio indicates the amount of CBD compared to the amount of THC in a dose. For example, a 1:1 ratio would mean that the amount of CBD and THC is the same. A CBD:THC ratio of 20:1 would mean that there is 20 times the amount of CBD in a dose compared to THC. Changing the ratio of CBD and THC allows for a customized product that utilizes the unique effects of both cannabinoids for a particular medicinal or recreational purpose.

The "entourage effect" describes how all the compounds of the plant as a whole achieve greater effectiveness than acting separately
The "entourage effect" describes how all the compounds of the plant as a whole achieve greater effectiveness than acting separately

What are the most common CBD:THC ratios?

Traditionally, the genetic selection of strains for the recreational market has seen a steady increase in the THC content present in genetics, along with a decrease in CBD. Smoking these strains gives the user a more powerful "high", but this may come at the cost of some unwanted effects.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the main cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, and during the last years its therapeutic potential is finally being deeply investigated by the medical community. On this article we tell you more about Cannabidiol and how it acts on our body.

The medicinal use of CBD has changed that, allowing the selection of specific CBD:THC ratios to deliver the greatest clinical benefit for each patient. Nowadays, most medical cannabis products have more CBD than THC. Pure CBD products are considered to have less than 0.3% THC, which is the legal limit for hemp in most countries. And indeed, with the rush to commercialise this cannabinoid, the trend has moved towards growing plants or making products that have a higher CBD to THC ratio.

When it comes to buying cannabis products or growing cannabis plants, this combination of both cannabinoids has different ratios. These are the most common:

  • CBD:THC 0:1 - Consuming strains that only contain THC in high doses will produce intense psychoactive effects. Some users really enjoy this, while others are just looking for the medicinal properties of THC. High THC strains are known to be uplifting, euphoric and happy, while also causing laughter and sometimes dizziness. Although there is not (that we know of) a variety that contains absolutely no CBD, there are some hybrids that are close to this proportion, such as our Lemon OG Candy variety or, for example, some North American strains that contain Do-Si-Dos in their genetic composition, such as the powerful Key Lime Pie x Do-Si-Dos or, without going any further, the tasty Purple Punch x Dosidos, both with more than 22% THC and less than 1% CBD.
  • CBD:THC 1:2 - With a CBD:THC ratio of 1:2, you will still feel the THC high, but due to the presence of CBD, this will result in a much more relaxed feeling and reduce the risk of paranoia, anxiety, and heart palpitations. If you want to try genetics with this ratio, we recommend Jack El Frutero (Fruity Jack) or the fantastic Sweet Love, a hybrid of the well-known Juanita la Lagrimosa from Reggae Seeds with our Tropimango stud.
  • CBD:THC 1:1 - Using a cannabis strain or product with this ratio provides a relaxing effect with minimal high; and a slightly euphoric, calm, and peaceful feeling is described, with very few side effects. One of the best examples of this balance can be found in the Spicy CBD strain (a.k.a SuperJuani), which with 8% of each cannabinoid produces a serene and easygoing effect. Also, if you are a fan of auto-flowering varieties, Cheesy Auto CBD is a winner in this division of cannabis suitable to consume at any time of the day.
  • CBD:THC 2:1 - Higher CBD content in strains eliminates the common effects associated with THC: both the good and the bad, such as euphoria, paranoia, and anxiety. This type of ratio is ideal for sensitive patients or those who prefer not to get high. Genetics that are very high in CBD will mean that the user will avoid THC; in some cases, it can be so mild that it is barely noticeable.
  • CBD:THC 1:0 - This ratio does not produce any type of high, but it is known to improve the general mood. In addition, it also has high therapeutic potential for the treatment of psychosis and other mood disorders, epilepsy, and more, without any side effects. To set foot in the fantastic world of "pure CBD" strains, there's no better place to start than with our Pure CBD Punch or its sister CBD Rich Candy, strains rich in cannabidiol with barely a residual percentage of THC (below 0.3%) that will allow you to deeply relax your body and mind without any type of psychoactive effect.

If you're not sure where to start, remember that the more CBD you consume, the less THC psychoactivity you'll experience.

In addition to these, you will also find other ratios on the market, such as 3:1 or 4:1, as well as 25:1 and others.
In addition to these, you will also find other ratios on the market, such as 3:1 or 4:1, as well as 25:1 and others.

What is the best CBD:THC ratio?

This is an understandable question. If there are so many ratios, which one is the best for you? Unfortunately, there is no exact answer because CBD and THC work differently for each person. We all have a different biological makeup, so the way you react to these cannabinoids may be different from how your friend reacts, even if you both took the exact same dose.

In fact, you may find that you prefer different ratios to suit different needs. Try strains with other CBD:THC ratios to see which makes you feel more comfortable.

What does science say about it?

But if you really want to know what the optimal ratio is for most users, there's nothing quite like resorting to science. Researchers at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus looked at the impact of cannabis flowers with different ratios of THC and CBD, and their effects on people. The study, published in the journal Addiction Biology in August 2021, examined subjects who were tasked with smoking cannabis flowers at various ratios, which were randomly assigned. These included 24% THC with 1% CBD, 23% CBD with 1% THC, as well as flowers that had nearly equal proportions of each, 10% THC and 9% CBD. After an hour, the researchers measured the effects.

And they found that subjects who smoked the THC-dominant cannabis and those who smoked the flowers with roughly equal proportions experienced similar positive benefits. The difference was that participants who only consumed samples with nearly equal proportions reported fewer negative side effects, such as paranoia and anxiety.

This is one of the first studies to examine the differential effects of various ratios of THC and CBD using cannabis flower chemovars that are widely available on the market (“chemovar” means “chemical variety”, that is, it identifies the strain by the cannabis compounds they contain at the biochemical level). "Current findings suggest that CBD may be associated with an overall reduction in THC exposure and may mitigate the negative psychotomimetic effects of THC without diminishing the effects of THC that people like," the researchers wrote.

“The results of the present study suggest that participants who used the THC+CBD chemovar had significantly lower plasma THC levels and reported less paranoia and anxiety compared to participants who used the THC-dominant chemovar. Importantly, despite these differences, participants in the THC+CBD and THC conditions reported similar positive subjective effects... The harm reduction implication of these findings is that cannabis chemovars containing CBD can result in less overall exposure to THC and consequently less potential for harm, particularly with regard to the psychotomimetic effects of THC,” they concluded.

CBD counteracts the side effects of THC, making cannabis a more sustainable substance for everyday use
CBD counteracts the side effects of THC making cannabis a more sustainable substance for everyday use

Implications for patients and recreational users

Ask any cannabis user and they will probably all have their preferred cannabinoid. Historically speaking, when people didn't know much about CBD and its medicinal properties, THC was the star cannabinoid because everyone wanted to get as high as possible. This is why growers, for several decades, continued to breed and cultivate high-THC strains.

Today, seed banks often stock varieties with different CBD:THC ratios to help patients and recreational users choose the benefits they want or need. Now that CBD is sharing the spotlight with THC, it is more important to know the different ratios of cannabinoids and how they will interact with your body or your specific pathology.

What we know about cannabinoid ratios is still in the early stages, but we need to consider an inclusive approach to whole plant medicine and the “entourage effect”. Although CBD is emerging as a medicine, we can no longer think that one cannabinoid is more superior than others; who knows, maybe we will discover in the very near future that another cannabinoid is just as beneficial.



  • Effects of cannabidiol in cannabis flower: Implications for harm reduction: Laurel P Gibson, Hollis C Karoly, Jarrod M Ellingson, Jost Klawitter y Cristina Sempio.

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About this Cannabis Blog

This is the blog of the seed bank Philosopher Seeds. It is intended for the use of adults over the age of 18 years.

You'll find information on homegrowing cannabis, tips, tricks and news from the cannabis sector.

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