There’s certainly no shortage of high-THC cultivars lining dispensary shelves, but to conflate higher THC percentages with a more luxurious, complex, or altogether more effective high is at best misguided and at worst, a bit dangerous. Though canna-tech advancements continue to progress the agricultural end of cannabis cultivation, high-THC cannabis and cannabis products simply aren’t designed to be enjoyed by a wide swath of users. One-to-one strains, however, can be appealing to both newcomers and seasoned potheads alike.
Folks shopping for a low-stakes date night strain might consider Royal Highness for its sunny, jubilant high that can potentially dissolve into something sexy, but even ace smokers can appreciate the moderate exhilaration and soft bliss of this hybrid.
Below, the following strains are contemporary examples of cultivars typically bred with balanced THC:CBD ratios. Consumers, proceed with caution, cannabinoid values will vary between cultivators, so check with your budtender to make sure your selections feature harmoniously propagated, 1:1 cannabinoid tableaus that sweeten your mood rather than lay you out.
It is a slightly sativa-dominant (60%) hybrid with approximately 9% THC and up to 16% CBD depending on the strain. Although Dancehall’s THC content is in single-digit territory, it routinely surprises people by how quickly it acts. The initial clear-headed high boosts creativity and, in some users, it stimulates arousal! The invigorating feeling lasts for several hours, and users may also feel a pleasant tingling sensation in the body.
The name of the strain is something of a misnomer. When using Pennywise, users are not hit with a powerful high right away. Instead, it gradually provides cerebral effects and boosts mood. Perhaps surprisingly, it keeps users calm and focused. After a while, the indica elements of the strain take over allowing for full-body relaxation. Because of these relaxing properties, it’s recommended users take Pennywise in the evening.
1 – Argyle (The Relaxing Marijuana Strain)
Dancehall is a marijuana strain with interesting origins. It comes from breeder Reggae Seeds in Jamaica, and is a cross of Kalijah and Juanita la Lagrimosa. Dancehall quickly became popular when introduced to North America and has won the silver Canadian Cannabis Award for best CBD Flower, amongst other accolades. Although the strain cannot improve performance, it can ease the anxiety associated with performance, allowing users to relax and enjoy themselves.
The earthy and citrus scent is popular, as are the stunning pine and fruity flavors which make Cannatonic one of the finest strains to smoke. Side effects are rare but can include dizziness and red eyes. It is among the best healing strains and is used for migraines, muscle spasms, cerebral palsy, and a host of other conditions.
3 – Sweet and Sour Widow (The Marijuana Strain That Builds on a Classic)
Although it may not be potent enough for experienced weed users, neophytes will get plenty of effects from Sweet and Sour Widow. It offers a subtle cerebral high and provides a mood boost. Users report feeling more energetic and motivated which makes this an excellent morning or early afternoon strain. Eventually, users feel a gradual soothing of the muscles. Also known to act as a natural aphrodisiac, it is common for “nighttime use.”
If this ratio doesn’t work for you, slowly start increasing your ratio of THC, again starting low and going slow. This may feel tedious and perhaps even expensive as you try new products, but know that as long as you’re careful with your math, you can always combine products to create your own perfect CBD:THC ratio.
But when THC is consumed with CBD, CBD is actually able to bind to our receptors as well — and it changes their shape, weakening THC’s ability to bind to the receptor and ultimately impacting how “high” we feel.
You can typically find CBD:THC ratios such as 1:1, 2:1, 1:2, 3:1 or even 10:1 or 20:1. When shopping, know that CBD-dominant products are relatively new; most cannabis strains have been bred to be THC-dominant — but as more research is done on the benefits of more balanced and CBD-dominant strains, this is changing. Ask your budtender to direct you to the CBD-dominant options in your dispensary.
If you recall from our hemp CBD video, THC binds to endocannabinoid system receptors primarily found in our brain and central nervous system, which is why it can create intoxicating experiences — while CBD’s primary function is to slow the breakdown of our body’s own naturally produced endocannabinoids so that we can use more of them.
The Entourage Effect
On the flip side, if you are already experienced with THC and are looking for a product ratio that would allow you to get the relief you’re seeking while still remaining alert and productive during the day, you may want to start with a bit more THC in your ratio, perhaps 2:1 or even 1:1 parts CBD:THC.
In our video about Hemp CBD products, we mentioned that ideally you want to be looking for “full spectrum” or “whole plant” extracts that have trace amounts of THC, as they’ve been found to be more effective than CBD isolates — and this is because of a concept in cannabis called the “entourage effect.”
Even with this ratio, you’ll still want to start low and go slow, paying attention to how many milligrams (MG) of THC is in the dose you are consuming. For tips on getting started with dosing THC, check out Video 03 on Finding your Minimum Effective Dose of THC here.
So what’s this look like in practice?
Now, if you have no experience with THC and are particularly concerned about getting “high,” then starting with the highest CBD:THC ratio available is the way to go. Many medical patients have reported that a 20:1 CBD:THC ratio has been helpful for their symptoms without making them feel intoxicated at all.
In today’s episode of “How to NOT get high with cannabis,” we’re exploring cannabinoid ratios. In Video 1 we talked about hemp CBD, and in Video 3 we talked about finding your minimum effective dose of THC — but at the end of the day, if we’re really trying to use cannabis as medicine, then we want to use both THC and CBD together .