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For anyone who has used cannabis before knows, you achieve different effects based on the strains you try. Two common types that you’ll probably hear pop up in every cannabis-related conversation are Indica and Sativa.
Indica strains contain higher levels of CBD to help reduce pain, muscle tension, increase relaxation, and promote sleep. Sativa strains hold high amounts of THC and are known for their “head high” as a result of elevated moods, improved focus, and battling depression. Experts recommend using Sativa strains during the day where they won’t interfere with daily activities.
With so many types available on the market, consumers have a variety of choices to find the perfect high. But to understand the kind of high you want, you need to know about the chemicals in cannabis plants.
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Researchers have uncovered the chemical compounds responsible for the effects associated with cannabis called cannabinoids. Among the dozens of cannabinoids, five common ones seen in products are:
THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive ingredient to produce head highs.
CBD: Cannabidiol improves health conditions such as nausea, prevents seizures and migraines.
CBN: Cannabinol is another medical aid for neurological conditions such as epilepsy, seizures, and uncontrollable muscle stiffness.
THCA: Tetrahydrocannabinol acid acts the same way THC does without any psychoactive effects. It’s used as medication primarily by patients who have body aches and autoimmune diseases.
CBG: Cannabigerol helps ease mental health problems like anxiety, PTSD, and depression.
THC and CBD are the most popular for their effects.
When you need an extra boost for physical activities or socializing, many shops will recommend Sativa dominant strains. Sativa dominant strains also help with productivity, creativity, and mood disorders. Here are some popular products and the outcomes from THC:
- THC: 19%
- CBD: –
- Effects: Dreamy, cerebral, energizing, uplifted
- THC: 17%
- CBG: 1%
- Effects: Energizing, happy, uplifted
- THC: 19%
- CBD: 1%
- Effects: Uplifting, motivating, chatty
For people who are looking to relax, it’s best to use Indica dominant strains at night. CBD is also the main ingredient in medical cannabis to combat pain, inflammation and anxiety disorders. CBD helps calm the user without the sedation or intoxication that comes with THC.
- CBD: 15%
- THC: 1%
- Effects: Calming, energy, social, uplifting
- CBD: 9%
- THC: 5%
- Effects: Relaxed, focused, happy, alert
- CBD: 77%
- THC: 2%
- Effects: Energizing, focused, creative
Can THC and CBD be used together?
Now that we’ve seen the diverse results THC and CBD produce, how can they be used to create the perfect high? Cultivators have tackled this question for years, experimenting with the ratio of THC to CBD to create hundreds of cannabis products that we see today.
Seeking the best high depends on each person, as we’ve discussed with THC and CBD. Experts recommend using THC and CBD together when you want to feel energized without the side effects like anxiety or paranoia.
Today, many experts and scientific studies show that using CBD and THC together creates a stronger synergy, coined the entourage effect. The British Journal of Pharmacology released a study in 2011, concluding the entourage effect is beneficial for people who suffer pain, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, cancer, and fungal infection. In the clinical trials, patients also reported reduced side effects including hunger and sedation after taking THC.
It’s important to point out that not all drugs that have psychoactive effects contain THC. Magic mushrooms, like Eden Shrooms, for example, are not dependent on THC but rather on other psychoactive ingredients.
What is the perfect ratio?
Again, this is different for everyone but a good one for many people is the 1:1 CBD to THC ratio. In this guide from Modern Aging, the site calls 1:1 a perfect balance and with a weaker head high due to the low content of CBD. People who are new to marijuana or wish to avoid this should start with something less to reduce the chances of getting too high.
2:1 CBD to THC has twice the CBD, resulting in higher lucidity. You will feel some high but won’t be intoxicated.
8:1 increases the calming effect and reduces the high. Beneficial for daytime productivity.
A 20:1 ratio is recommended for beginners who are seeking the entourage effect without impeding their daily activities.
The 1:0 ratio is ideal for people who undergo any drug tests but still need CBD for medical purposes since it doesn’t show on tests. However, without any THC, you won’t feel high.
Nowadays, people are trying hybrid strains due to their outcomes. According to Leafly, hybrids are “enjoyable and can be both energizing and relaxing, depending on specific strain lineage”. Aside from an array of calming results and health benefits, hybrid strains play with different ratios of CBD to THC for the perfect high, resulting in hundreds of products for people to try. Below are some popular hybrid strains with distinct outcomes.
Starting off the list, we have Alien Cookies from Fresh and One Eye’s Weedery. Alien Cookies is an evenly balanced hybrid of Alien Dawg and Platinum Cookies. Its beautifully dense and frost-covered purple-tipped flowers are highly sought after.
Alien Cookies acts as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety aid. It also helps to relieve nausea and improve mood. Anyone who uses Alien Cookies can expect the terpenes to carry a smooth fruity flavour with mandarin and jasmine with an earthy finish.
- THC: 20%
- CBD: 1%
- Effects: Happy, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant
Blue Dream is Leafly’s most highly reviewed hybrid strain. Blue Dream is a Sativa-dominant hybrid strain, from the parents Blueberry and Haze. The THC and CBD levels blend to create a balanced high for novice and veteran users.
Customers find this product highly favourable for its balanced high, cerebral stimulation, and full-body relaxation. Reviewers commented that this strain has helped with their medical conditions, including chronic pain, nausea, and depression.
When consuming Blue Dream, it produces happiness, euphoria, and increased creativity. It also helps with stress, anxiety, and depression. Leafly warns some side effects are dry mouth, dry eyes, and 7% report paranoia.
Blue Dream’s dominant terpene is myrcene, which releases earthy, peppery aromas and flavours. The most common flavours people reported were blueberry and berries, and overall has a fruity/sweet flavour profile. Other terpenes inside this strain are pinene and caryophyllene which give it pine and peppery tastes.
- THC: 18%
- CBD: –
- Effects: Creative
Way of Leaf calls Cannatonic the #1 high-CBD marijuana strain in the world and the finest hybrid ever due to its high levels of THC and CBD. Cannatonic, like its name suggests, provides a short but sweet mellow high, leaving you happy and relaxed.
It’s useful for people who don’t want to deal with couch-lock but it doesn’t offer energy either. This strain has made a name for itself in the medical field for its analgesic effects. Healthcare providers recommend it for chronic pain and cerebral palsy.
- THC: 7%
- CBD: 12%
- Top effect: Happy, relaxed, uplifting
With various types of cannabis coming to the market, there are many options to consider and try. Combining THC and CBD not only helps with longer lasting highs but also comes with many benefits now. People and medical professionals are now recommending cannabis as a new medicinal alternative for anxiety symptoms, people with arthritis and other body aches, and cancer patients.
Talk to your local cannabis operator or doctor about any safety risks to create a well-informed decision. Remember to check your local laws before purchasing.