If you’re a living, breathing human being who’s alive in the world, odds are you’ve been hearing a lot about CBD lately. It’s become massively popular, in the last few years, as the “non-stoney” alternative to marijuana — all the medical benefits, but none of the high-getting, in other words.
People have been turning to CBD for everything from injuries and inflammation to appetite and anxiety, and with good reason. More and more studies have shown CBD extract to have positive effects…but it’s not like you can just walk to the store, grab a box of CBD, and be done with it. There are a variety of different products on the market, and a lot of them pointedly mention that they’re either completely free of THC, or they give a ratio of THC to CBD contained within the product.
So what’s the best way to go? It can get to be a little dizzying. Let’s clear the air a bit, and talk about whether or not CBD works better when combined with THC.
CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, which are compounds found within cannabis (but they can be extracted separately). CBD is responsible for a lot of the more “medicinal” effects that marijuana can have, while THC is pointedly responsible for the psychoactive part of the marijuana experience. In other words, THC is the part that gets you high.
Think of these compounds as cheat codes for your nervous system. Part of your nervous system that’s known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS) helps regulate things like mood, sleep, appetite, and more. When we supplement our bodies with cannabinoids like CBD and THC, they interact with the ECS in ways that bring about positive effects. Euphoria, in the case of THC…reduced anxiety, inflammation, and so forth, in the case of CBD.
One of the most attractive things about CBD extract is that it allows anybody to enjoy the medicinal benefits of cannabis without getting high. This leads a lot of consumers to look for products that are completely free of THC, but the truth of the matter is that CBD and THC do work best when used together.
This is due to something known as the “entourage effect,” which describes the way cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids interact with one another to increase their overall effectiveness in the body. In other words, when you add a little bit of THC to your CBD, it makes that CBD much more effective as a result.
At the same time, CBD actually works to lessen the psychoactive effects of THC — meaning that a very small amount of THC mixed into a CBD-dominant product will boost the effectiveness of the CBD, without actually presenting that much of a potential for any unwanted psychoactive consequences.
When it’s time to choose the THC to CBD ratio that’s right for you, it really comes down to the experience that you prefer. Different ratios don’t change the effectiveness or ability of CBD to help with any certain issue — the only difference is in the experience. (And the World Health Organization has reported that, “…to date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with use of pure CBD.” It’s not habit-forming, and safe to use.)
Choosing a product with a lower THC to CBD ratio will help you get the most out of the CBD it contains, while being very unlikely to produce any tangible psychoactive effects. The more THC contained in the product, of course, the more likely you are to experience a bit of that euphoric THC head-change, alongside the effects of the CBD extract.
Novice cannabis users are, of course, encouraged to get started with a lower THC to CBD ratio. But when possible, it’s always better to look for CBD products that at least incorporate a small amount of THC, because these two cannabinoids truly bring out the best in one another.