In this article, we simplify and summarise the evidence for using a different CBD:THC Ratio for the treatment of a variety of indications This printable cannabis flower to oil ratio guide will help you decide how much to use so you end up with a perfectly potent product.
CBD:THC ratio explained
The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is becoming more and more accepted throughout many countries. With the increased use of these medicines, the CBD:THC ratio is becoming more important. As popularity grows, research is being done to further understand the therapeutic benefits of different combination formulations and doses.
Currently, in New Zealand, only one medicinal cannabis product (Sativex) has been approved by Medsafe. This is for use as an add-on treatment for the symptoms of moderate to severe spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS). Sativex contains equal amounts of CBD and THC (a 1:1 ratio).
However, a broader range of CBD:THC combinations are being investigated to treat other indications, such as pain, epilepsy, anxiety, sleep disorders, etc. These combinations range from CBD-dominant to THC-dominant, for example, CBD:THC 20:1 through to CBD:THC 1:10.
Understanding which combination to use on individual patients is challenging. The following sections provide guidance to help understand how the ratio of CBD:THC works so that going forward you can improve the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.
Understanding CBD and THC
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus. Although both compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, the effects of these two compounds are very different. THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and causes feelings of euphoria or ‘a high’. CBD binds weakly to the CB1 receptor and only when THC is present. CBD does not produce euphoria or ‘a high’.
CBD and THC can be combined in medicinal products in different ratios to produce different therapeutic effects. Because the use of medical cannabis is a relatively new area in medicine, there is still a lot of research to be done in this area. We are still learning what ratios are best for managing various conditions.
What is a CBD:THC ratio?
The ratio of CBD to THC indicates the amount of CBD compared to the amount of THC in a dose. For example, a ratio of 1:1 would mean that the amount of CBD and THC are the same in each dose. 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 to THC allows for a tailor-made product that utilises the unique effects of either CBD, THC, or both for a particular patient or clinical effect.
What are the most common ratios?
Cannabis cultivars grown for the recreational market have seen a steady increase in THC content, paired with a decrease in CBD. Smoking these varieties will give the user a more potent ‘high’, but this might come at the cost of some therapeutic effects.
Medical use of CBD and THC has changed that, allowing specific ratios of CBD:THC to be selected to provide the greatest clinical benefit for each patient. Now, most medicinal cannabis products are higher in CBD than THC. Pure CBD products are considered to have less than 0.3% THC. The trend has moved towards cultivating plants or producing products that have a higher CBD to THC ratio. Ratios of CBD:THC can range between >20:1 all the way to 1:10. As a general rule of thumb, anything higher than a CBD:THC ratio of 10:1 should not elicit a high.
CBD:THC ratio for pain
By changing the ratio of CBD to THC, you are able to target and manage different types of pain.
Mild to moderate pain due to inflammation (think arthritis-type pain) can be managed well with CBD-dominant products such as CBD:THC 20:1 and 10:1. These ratios will be unlikely to induce any intoxicating effects.
Neuropathic pain, from disease or damage to the nervous system, might be better treated by increasing the ratio of THC towards a balanced ratio, 1:1. The exact ratio will depend on the severity of the condition and how well THC can be tolerated by the patient.
Very severe pain, such as cancer pain, may require THC-dominant medications. It is important to understand that THC-dominant products may induce euphoria and sedation, so care needs to be taken.
CBD:THC ratio for anxiety
Smoking cannabis can induce paranoia or extreme anxiety in certain people, so it seems counterintuitive that you could use medical cannabis preparations for the management of anxiety.
CBD has demonstrated efficacy in treating various forms of anxiety and is commonly used for this purpose. However, recreational use of high-THC cannabis is associated with increased anxiety, particularly in high doses. Reports suggest that THC has a dose-dependent effect on anxiety, where at low doses THC may be anxiolytic (reduce anxiety) but at higher doses can be anxiogenic (cause anxiety). Therefore, CBD-dominant products (CBD:THC >10:1) are likely to provide the most beneficial treatment, and in some cases, pure CBD with no THC present may be the best product to treat anxiety.
CBD:THC ratio for insomnia
Insomnia is a widespread problem and has been linked to illnesses ranging from depression to cardiovascular disease to dementia. Many allopathic medications used in the management of insomnia have adverse side effects, such as daytime drowsiness or addiction.
THC is well-known to have sedating properties via its action at the CB1 receptor; however, its use alone can cause increased anxiety and lead to other undesirable effects. By adjusting the ratio of CBD:THC, it is possible to block these undesirable effects while still retaining sedating properties. A current study is looking at a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1 in the treatment of chronic insomnia. If you are taking medicinal cannabis for other indications, it may be possible to investigate adding a slightly higher dose of THC at night-time to maximise the sedating effects and reverting to the lower THC ratio for daytime use.
How to pick the best CBD:THC ratio for your patient
This infographic provides ratios of CBD:THC and considerations of which ratio to use for certain conditions.
Currently, the only available medical cannabis in New Zealand contains a ratio of CBD:THC at 1:1; however, going forward you will be able to prescribe your patient other preparations of CBD:THC at a ratio that is optimal for what they want to achieve. The following is a rough guide of what to expect from different ratios:
CBD:THC at a ratio of 1:2
This preparation contains twice as much THC as CBD and will have intoxicating effects, especially for new or naive users. The presence of some CBD in the preparation will dampen some side effects of the higher THC, such as paranoia, but not all. This ratio would be better suited for people who have been using medical cannabis on a chronic basis, e.g., for intractable nausea, poor appetite, or glaucoma, and have developed a high degree of tolerance.
CBD:THC at a ratio of 1:1
This preparation contains equal amounts of CBD and THC and, depending on the dose, is likely to cause symptoms of euphoria or intoxication, especially in people who are naive to cannabis use. If using this ratio, it would be prudent to start with low doses and increase slowly according to tolerance.
CBD:THC at a ratio of between 2:1 and 4:1
Preparations with this ratio of CBD to THC can be psychoactive, especially to people who have poor tolerance for THC. The increased CBD does have beneficial effects and causes some dampening of the effects of THC.
CBD:THC at a ratio of more than 10:1
CBD:THC ratios >10:1 generally produce no intoxicating effects and are ideal for patients that are not able to take THC during the day (e.g., due to driving or work). Where the condition to be treated does not require THC, these products may help provide relief for certain conditions without any intoxication of the patient. This is a really safe dose for those people who want to experience the beneficial effects of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC.
The bottom line
There is definitely an advantage to being able to adjust the ratio of CBD:THC in your medical cannabis preparation. This will allow you to maximise the particular benefits that you want while minimising any unwanted negative side effects. Currently, the standard preparation contains a fixed ratio of CBD:THC; however, going forward new research may strengthen the argument for flexible dosing.
THC is psychoactive and may impair your ability to undertake certain tasks, such as driving or operating machinery. CBD is non-psychoactive and non-sedating and can be safely used at much higher doses than THC.
With all medicinal cannabis, it is important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it over a few days. This is particularly important for compositions containing THC. Remember: START LOW and GO SLOW.
Cannabis Flower-to-Oil Ratio Guide & Printable Chart
Published: Nov 9, 2021 · Modified: Sep 4, 2022 by Emily Kyle · This post may contain affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Are you ready to make cannabis butter or oil but are stuck wondering how much to use? This cannabis flower-to-oil ratio guide will help you decide how much so you end up with a perfectly-potent end product suited to your tolerance and needs.
- An easy-to-use guide to determine how much flower, kief, or trim and how much oil or butter to use in your infusions
- Expert tips to help you determine your tolerance level
- An option to download and print both the 1:1 and 1:2 chart
Why You Will Love This Guide
Edibles are a great way to consume cannabis to find relief from unwanted symptoms, but if you’re buying them from a dispensary, the costs can add up.
That’s why so many of my Well With Cannabis Community members love to save money by making edibles at home.
This can be done with a simple infusion of cannabis flower and fat like butter, coconut oil, or olive oil.
But the same question is always asked, how much cannabis and oil should I use?
It’s a great question because how much of each you decide to use will impact the potency of your final product.
This guide will discuss how you can determine the perfect flower-to-oil ratio for your infusion so you can get your chill on and save money simultaneously!
How to Use The Ratio Chart
The easy-to-use chart above will help you decide how much flower and oil to use based on how big you want your final batch to be.
This works for infusions that are made in a crockpot, Instant pot, or even an infusion machine, depending on the capacity it can hold.
The chart has two parts, a 1:2 ratio (1 ounce to 2 cups) and a 1:1 ratio (1 ounce to 1 cup).
But which chart should you use?
One of the best parts about making cannabis infusions is that you can make them as strong or mild as you prefer.
If you have a low tolerance or are looking for a mild dose, you should use the 1:2 ratio chart listed first.
If you have a high tolerance or are looking for a stronger dose, you can reference the second chart and use a 1:1 ratio.
For a 1:1 example, one ounce of decarboxylated flower will be mixed with one cup of butter.
This will create an infusion twice as potent as if you were to use the 1:2 ratio.
When deciding which ratio to pick, consider your tolerance, and if you’re new to edibles, be sure to follow the golden rule of “start low and go slow.”
Other Factors to Consider
As a general rule, it’s essential to know that the more cannabis flower you add to your infusion, the more potent your edibles will be.
You can also increase the potency by decreasing the amount of oil or butter to get the same effect.
My flower-to-oil ratio chart above breaks it down so you can easily and accurately mix the right amounts – but there are a few other factors to consider as well.
The Potency Of The Flower
While the amount of flower and oil you use matters, so does the potency of the flower you’re using.
Cannabis flowers can contain anywhere between 0-30% cannabinoids or the important compounds we want like CBD, CBG, and THC.
Different strains can have different percentages of cannabinoids. Without lab testing, it is impossible to know this exact number.
If you purchased cannabis from a dispensary, it should come with a lab report or printed number stating the total percent of cannabinoids in the product.
If you grew your flower and know the strain you used, online resources like Leafly should be able to give you an average percentage of what the strain typically produces.
Remember, the higher the percentage of cannabinoids, the more potent the final infusion will be.
If You’re Working With Trim
The chart above is was designed with the thought that you would be using traditional cannabis flower buds.
But what if you want to make an infusion with trim or shake?
If you’re working with trim, I typically recommend you double the amount of “flower” in the cart.
This is because trim, like fan leaves or sugar leaves, is typically less potent than flowers, so doubling up on the amount will help keep the potency higher.
Of course, this is just a rough guesstimate, and will again depend on the strength of the flower and your personal tolerance.
If You’re Working With Kief
Again, the chart above is was designed for using cannabis flower buds.
However, if you’re lucky enough to have collected a nice amount of kief, you can easily infuse it into butter or oil.
If you’re working with kief, I typically recommend you *at least* halve the amount of “flower” in the cart.
This is because kief has the potential to be anywhere between 50-70% more potent than traditional cannabis flower due to its high trichome content.
Take care when preparing a kief oil or kief butter, as they can be very potent depending on how they are made.
A Calculator Can Help
While it is no substitute for lab testing, an online calculator can help you determine the potency of your final product.
For this to work, you will need to know the potency of the material you are working with or at least have a general idea.
You can input values into my edibles dosage calculator and see the final potency before infusing.
Get To Know Your Tolerance
By changing the amount of flower to oil in your recipe, you can manipulate the final product to be as potent as you’d like.
The more flower you use, the more potent it will be. The more oil you use, the more you will dilute the infusion.
Since cannabis affects everyone differently and the endocannabinoid system is highly individualized from person to person, it’s essential to know your tolerance level.
Cannabis enthusiasts agree that the best way to consume THC edibles safely is to “start low and go slow.”
That way, you are less likely to experience the unpleasant side effects of too much THC consumption, like anxiety and paranoia.
It’s always advised to start with a low flower-to-oil ratio for your first batch of edibles and see whether it meets your needs.
If it’s not as potent as you’d like, you can try a stronger ratio next time.
To find the perfect ratio for your tolerance level, keep experimenting with different amounts of cannabis flower and oil.
Once you’ve got the right potency, you’ll be able to make all kinds of edible recipes at home on your own.
Traditionally, cannabis brownies are a fan favorite, but you can make anything from cookies and candies to no-bake edibles and more with your infusions.
Whether you’re just beginning your journey into homemade cannabis-infused treats, or if you’re a seasoned baker, this flower-to-oil ratio chart will help as a quick guide.
Looking For More Support?
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Want To Make This Easier? Use A Machine!
If the process of decarbing and infusing feels like too much work, an all-in-one countertop device may be a perfect all-in-one solution.
My personal favorites? The LEVO and Ardent FX, but you can review the most popular infusion machines here.
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