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Understanding CBD and THC Ratios at Your Local Dispensary

Before visiting a dispensary, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of THC and CBD ratios.

Of course, budtenders are always available to answer any questions that you may have. However, knowing the basics of CBD:THC ratios before you go will help you make the most of your visit.

How to Understand Dispensary Ratios In Marijuana Products

Walking into a pot shop can sometimes feel like walking into a pharmacy. The terminology is very industry-specific and can be overwhelming for first time visitors.

In order to fully understand CBD and THC ratios, it’s critical to understand the basics.

Marijuana plants contain over 500 components, which includes 113 cannabinoids that have been identified. The two cannabinoids that have been studied the most for medicinal purposes are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Although these two cannabinoids come from the same plant, they result in very different effects in the body.

THC causes the stereotypical “psychoactive” high that is generally associated with marijuana. The higher the amount of THC in the product, the more intense the psychoactivity will be. Cannabis products with THC over 0.3% can only be purchased in states that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana.

CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t create a psychoactive high. It can provide physical relief to disorders such as fibromyalgia pain, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. Many people even take CBD products in order to improve their quality of sleep.

Interpreting CBD:THC Ratios

When you begin browsing products at a dispensary, you’ll notice ratios listed on the labels. Some of the most common ratios found on dispensary labels include 0:1, 1:0, 1:1, 1:9 or greater, 2:1 - 4:1, and so on.

So what exactly do these numbers mean? And how will they help you know what cannabis product to purchase?

The ratio informs you how much THC and how much CBD is in each dose.

The ratio itself consists of two numbers, comparing the ratios of milligrams of THC to CBD. The first number in the ratio represents the CBD, and the second ratio represents the THC. A simple way to remember this is with the key “CBD:THC.”

For example, a ratio of 1:1 means that there’s the same amount of CBD as THC in each dose.

However, a product with a 5:1 ratio has 5 times the amount of CBD as THC.

A Common Misconception

It’s important to note that the ratio only tells you the relationship between the CBD and THC content of a product. It does not tell you how much of each is contained.

A 1:1 ratio, for instance, might mean that there’s 5 mg of CBD and 5 mg of THC. In other words, there is an equal amount of each cannabinoid contained in the product, and it’s important not to confuse the numbers in the ratio with the amount of milligrams actually contained in the product.

Understanding Individual CBD:THC Ratio Needs for Pain

Even if you get a medical recommendation for cannabis, the process of finding the right product and ratio is reliant on trial and experimentation. This is because every human body is unique, so your body will respond differently to the various CBD or THC products on the market.

In other words, the dosing is more “personal” compared to traditional medications. What works for your friends may not work for you, and vice versa.

The general consensus is to focus on higher levels of CBD and to slowly introduce THC into your regimen. Most of the adverse side effects are caused by THC, so it’s advisable to find your perfect ratio and balance.

Another key difference between cannabis and traditional medications is that when it comes to prescription medication, “more equals more”. A higher dose has stronger therapeutic effects. The opposite is generally true when it comes to marijuana. Lower doses tend to stimulate whereas higher doses sedate.

What Products Contain CBD:THC Ratios?

When you visit a dispensary, you’ll be happy to see that marijuana products come in multiple forms. Of course, recreational marijuana comes in various forms including edibles, flower, and beverages. Fortunately, the same is true for medicinal marijuana!

Other products that carry CBD:THC ratios include:

  • Tinctures

  • Vape cartridges

  • Edibles

  • Capsules

While most labels list CBD before THC in the ratio, we recommend double checking the label to make sure you understand the ratio. Some manufacturers create their labels as THC:CBD. However, this presentation is relatively rare. It’s always best to check with your budtender if you are unsure.

What Are Common Ratios to Look For?

Some of the most common ratios include:

  • 0:1 or 1:0. A 0:1 ratio means that there’s no CBD in the product; there is only THC. Some patients prefer isolated THC because aside from providing pain and inflammation relief, it can also improve a person’s move. On the other hand, a 1:0 ratio only contains CBD, which can improve overall mood and provide some anxiety relief.

  • 1:1. This ratio means that there are equal parts CBD to THC in the product. Again, we want to emphasize that the number does not represent how many milligrams are in the product. For new users, 1:1 is generally recommended. There’s enough THC to provide medicinal effects, but the ratio is low enough to leave the consumer functional throughout the day.

  • 1:9 or greater. These products lean heavily towards THC. People suffering from migraines, nausea, pain, and insomnia will likely want to test these ratios.

  • 2:1 to 4:1. For patients who want to avoid intense psychoactivity, ratios ranging from 2:1 to 4:1 are very popular. These ratios still provide pain relief, but the psychoactive high isn’t as dramatic compared to products with ratios 1:9 or greater.

  • 10:1 to 25:1. If you don’t want to experience a psychoactive high but want pain relief with the benefits of the entourage effect, then a ratio of 10:1 to 25:1 might be right for you. Why choose a product with both THC and CBD rather than isolated CBD? Well, the inclusion of THC can actually help to accentuate the benefits of CBD.

If you Google “dispensaries near me,” you’ll want to make sure that the dispensaries on your radar carry a wide range of products that provide these ratios.

For customers in Seattle, Washington, American Mary is an excellent choice for both recreational and medicinal users.

With locations in Ballard and on 45th Street, American Mary is easily accessible for anyone in the city. You can view their locations here.

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