Why 5:1 CBD:THC Ratio? What the Health!
We’ve Only Just Begun
As you may have already heard, Baked Bros™ just launched a new 5:1 CBD to THC ratio product! In this blog, we are going to explore why we choose this ratio, specifically from the viewpoint of this exact ratio’s impact on health. We will break down some of the available science behind using cannabinoids for things like sleep, stress, and pain, as well as why a 5:1 ratio is a great place to start. We feel it is crucial to understand how cannabinoids work together to increase our health and well-being.
If you haven’t done so already, you will want to check out our blog explaining why 5:1 CBD:THC ratios are the most diverse ratio on the market . That article will provide the foundation you need to understand why we feel a 5:1 ratio is the optimal “balance” between CBD and THC, based on what we could gather from current cannabinoid research and patient feedback. With that framework in place, let’s dive into the science!
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
Currently, an estimated 70 million Americans are suffering from some form of sleep disorder. Not getting enough sleep or sleeping poorly is directly linked to the development of several chronic conditions including: depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. This unfortunate link is further supported by the fact that lack of sleep leads to disruptions in the immune system, leading to decreased immunity to things such as the common cold and increased inflammation within the body.
With so many people having a hard time getting a good night’s rest, it’s not surprising that the public is increasingly turning to cannabis. Unfortunately, many people do not look any further than their run-of-the-mill THC dominant product, which may do more harm than good in the long run.
A recent review of the effects that cannabis has on sleep found that the use of THC is excellent for reducing the amount of time required to fall asleep. On the surface, this is great news for those who suffer from insomnia. Unfortunately, when used for long periods and at high dosages, THC can actually decrease the quality of your sleep, causing a negative impact on your memory, daytime sleepiness, and mood disruptions. One of the leading theories behind why these things happen is because THC suppresses REM sleep or dream sleep, which is a vital component of high-quality sleep.
On the other hand, CBD was found to be particularly useful for insomnia and in some cases, it can counter the effects of THC. CBD, in mid-range dosages, has a favorable impact on REM sleep and in low dosages, was able to combat excessive daytime sleepiness. CBD, on its own, was able to increase the time spent sleeping, reduce movement during sleep, and improve overall sleep quality.
When you consider all this information together, a few things stand out. Based on the research available, CBD is a better option for sleep and may potentially counter the adverse side-effects that THC has on sleep. This is one of many reasons why Baked Bros™ felt a 5:1 CBD to THC ratio gummy was the BEST option for sleep. This ratio keeps you in the ideal “balance” for psychoactive effects, while optimizing for a good night’s sleep. This allows you to wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day!
Every Little Thing Will Be Alright
Our body’s stress response was designed through millions of years of evolution to help us in times of extreme danger, such as being attacked by a large predator. In modern life, however, this stress response has been hijacked by demanding jobs, urban living, bills, and always being “in-the-know” for all of the problems that face the world. Being exposed to such a wide variety of stressors over long periods of time can lead to high levels of stress hormones that can spell out disaster for our health. Chronic stress is associated with increased risk of anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and cognitive impairment, to name a few.
Cannabis has long been hailed as an effective stress reliever by consumers. In fact, 72% of daily cannabis users report that they used cannabis to relax or relieve tension associated with stress. When comparing the stress responses of cannabis users and non-users, cannabis consumers have a blunted stress response . When subjected to a stress test, which involves holding your hand in ice water or having to perform math while being socially judged, cannabis users experienced no increase in the stress hormone cortisol.
Taking this idea of using cannabis for stress one step further, researchers have looked into what cannabinoid content can tell us about how we experience stress along with related symptoms such as anxiety and depression. High CBD and low THC content was associated with reductions in feelings of depression, while high CBD and high THC content was associated with a decrease in feelings of stress. Interestingly, reductions in anxiety did not seem to have any correlation with cannabinoid content. The authors noted that high CBD content was consistent with reductions in stress and depression, while high THC content alone was not. It is also important to note that these effects were found for consumers who smoked or vaped cannabis.
In terms of edibles, low doses of THC have been demonstrated to be effective at alleviating stress, while high doses actually increased feelings of stress and negative mood. High doses of CBD were shown to be able to reduce overall activity in key regions of the brain directly associated with the stress response that led to reductions in feelings of stress and anxiety.
Again, based on our research of the available scientific literature, we came to the realization that high CBD and low THC ratios were ideal for combating stress. Baked Bros™ 5:1 CBD to THC products provide the perfect ratio for relaxing and relieving tension without having to worry about increased paranoia or anxiety when dosed correctly. Don’t worry, we did our homework!
Pain, Pain Go Away
Pain is an aspect of life that cannot be ignored. Physical pain is the result of our body’s “pain detection” system, which is made up of peripheral nerves called nociceptors (no-sih-SEP-turs). When these “pain detectors” get a signal (either by tissue or nerve damage) they relay the message via the spinal cord. The brain receives these messages, which are influenced by our personalities and external environments.
Oftentimes, CBD-only products are touted as being a cure for chronic pain. Much to the dismay of patients, those products don’t usually meet their expectations. This is because THC is the most effective cannabinoid at relieving pain. The endocannabinoid system regulates pain through several different channels within the body, which is a significant reason why THC can be effective at alleviating pain. You can increase the pain-relieving properties of THC by adding CBD . This will also help make the pain more tolerable by potentially mitigating unwanted side effects.
CBD itself does not interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the same way THC does, but instead interacts with a variety of ion channels, enzymes, and other receptors. CBD has been shown to increase the efficacy of the endocannabinoid system, which helps our bodies become better at managing pain.
When trying to find a cannabinoid ratio that can help with pain while not causing unwanted side effects, most products have followed the traditional wisdom of a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio. In our previous blog mentioned at the beginning of the article, we provided a clear example of why 1:1 ratios fail to meet the expectations of most patients. Baked Bros™ 5:1 CBD to THC product line aims to give patients the ability to maximally alleviate pain and tension while keeping them in the right state of mind.
That was probably an information overload and a rabbit hole you didn’t expect to find yourself going down. Neither did we! At Baked Bros™, we believe in providing patients with the best possible experience when using cannabis products. We feel the only way to fulfill that commitment is by utilizing the insights provided by scientific research and what we see when working with patients.
If you couldn’t tell already, we fully stand behind the research that a 5:1 CBD to THC ratio is the best place to start when working with cannabis! If you are looking for clarity and focus alongside alleviating stress, anxiety, and physical discomfort, this product may be for you in smaller doses. On the other hand, if you want to get a great night’s rest, reduce pain and tension, and wake up without feeling groggy, higher doses are probably your best bet. All in all, Baked Bros 5:1 CBD to THC product line has something to offer everyone; and that’s comfort backed by science.
Reading Time: 5 min 22 sec We’ve Only Just Begun As you may have already heard, Baked Bros™ just launched a new 5:1 CBD to THC ratio product! In this blog, we are going to explore why we choose this ratio, specifically from the viewpoint of this exact ratio’s impact on health. We will break down some of the available s
Best CBD to THC Ratio for Anxiety base on Research (finally)
This question comes up quite a bit.
There’s a great deal of confusion in the market on the interaction between CBD and THC especially as it pertains to anxiety.
The pathways for anxiety are very different than for sleep or pain (the other two main reasons people question THC and CBD ratios).
See our article on CBD and sleep.
First, this question assumes that you have access to the product with THC levels above .3%.
Most of the CBD on the market comes from cannabis with less than .3% THC.
That’s the definition of “industrial hemp” which is what can be found legally online.
Keep in mind that .3% THC is almost a rounding error.
Yes, it can make you fail a drug test depending on quantity and how your body processes it but in terms of anxiety or other health attributes, it’s negligible.
So for the CBD to THC ratio questions, we’ll assume you live in a state where both are available.
Let’s get into it. the research will surprise a lot of people.
We’ll cover these areas:
- How do THC and CBD interact for anxiety
- Understanding the THC to CBD ratio for anxiety
- The Histamine and THC connection for anxiety
- Best THC to CBD ratio for anxiety
How do THC and CBD interact for anxiety
We’ve covered CBD’s benefits for anxiety in detail here and across dozens of detailed articles.
There’s clear research on CBD’s effects across both short term (GABA levels) and long term (neurogenesis) as well as supportive (inflammation and stress response) pathways for anxiety.
See our article on CBD and GABA.
The research shows that THC has a “biphasic” effect in terms of anxiety.
At lower levels, it can cause a reduction in anxiety while at higher levels, it can actually create anxiety.
It’s really hard to get THC separated out from “cannabis” which also has CBD.
THC by itself is very different than the effect people get with cannabis.
In a study on healthy individuals, the reported effects of just THC were:
Delta-9-THC (1) produced schizophrenia-like positive and negative symptoms; (2) altered perception; (3) increased anxiety; (4) produced euphoria; (5) disrupted immediate and delayed word recall, sparing recognition recall; (6) impaired performance on tests of distractibility, verbal fluency, and working memory (7) did not impair orientation; (8) increased plasma cortisol.
Two things jump out there for anxiety.
First. “increased anxiety” (#3)!
Secondly, an increase in cortisol (our main stress hormone).
So why do people report relaxation when using cannabis with THC?
There are two main reasons for this.
First, cannabis also has CBD in it which is showing a powerful effect in offsetting the negatives of THC.
This really gets to the THC to CBD ratio in ALL cannabis consumption.
You want to make sure you have a significant level of CBD with THC regardless.
In fact, that’s the root of the much proffered “entourage effect” which is used to push full spectrum CBD everywhere (incorrectly).
There’s a great synopsis here from Scientific American:
It goes deeper than that.
CBD can also protect the brain from some of the effects of THC:
Higher THC and lower CBD were associated with this volume reduction indicating neurotoxic effects of THC and neuroprotective effects of CBD.
You see this across a range of different effects from THC such as increased appetite:
Cannabidiol Attenuates the Appetitive Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Humans Smoking Their Chosen Cannabis
CBD does two major things to calm the effects of THC.
First, it blocks its metabolism in the liver.
The “high” from THC actually comes from a metabolite or byproduct of its processing in the liver.
If the liver is busy metabolizing CBD (same p450 pathway), it is unable to change THC into its psychoactive form.
Secondly, in the brain itself, THC has been shown to adversely impact key connectors of white matter between different brain areas tied directly to the anxiety circuit.
We literally look at NIH studies on THC and CBD effects across brain areas here:
When we look at studies that actually break out THC versus CBD for anxiety:
THC alone increased subjective anxiety as well as the skin conductance response to the fearful faces while CBD alone trended toward a reduction in anxiety.
Look. we’re not anti-cannabis but the research is clearly showing THC doesn’t help that circuit other than with small levels and sparingly.
Long term, it affects the very brain areas we’re trying to improve (see CBD for neurogenesis here) in a negative way.
That’s the wrong direction.
THC’s real strength (outside of what CBD can do) is with increased appetite and perhaps pain.
Let’s help to clear up the CBD to THC ratio question.
Understanding the THC to CBD ratio for anxiety
It can be confusing if you’re in a state with legal cannabis.
What do all the ratios mean?
The people behind the counter are giving out all sorts of incorrect information based more on folklore and word of mouth.
Our favorite is “you need some THC to activate CBD”
We just learned above that CBD and THC actually work counter to each other with one negating the effects of the other!
That is probably the most common thing you’ll hear to start the question of the ratio of CBD to THC.
So. what are the parameters.
First, we established above and at our CBD versus THC for anxiety article that CBD alone is the better fit for anxiety.
If we want to go based on actual research!
We have experimented with the full range of CBD THC ratio products.
They can swing from 30:1 THC to CBD all the way to the other extreme: 30:1 CBD to THC.
Let’s look at an example: 30:1 CBD to THC.
This just means that for 1 part THC (usually measured in mg), you’ll have 30 parts CBD.
We’ve actually looked at 30:1 or 50:1 and higher cannabis flower to test.
Interestingly, if a person has histamine or allergy to THC (about 24-36% of the population. see CBD histamine and anxiety here), they can still have a negative effect on even this low THC to CBD ratio.
In other people, it’s very calming.
The general rule of thumb (everyone’s different) is that anything higher than 10:1 CBD: THC ratio should not elicit a high.
As you go down the scale from there, you may start to experience more of the psychoactive effects of THC.
Again, this completely depends on your chemistry.
Quick note. you can fail a drug test on any of these ratios!
You can even fail a drug test on industrial hemp (used for full spectrum CBD) which is .3% THC.
That ratio may be 100’s:1 CBD: THC.
Again, CBD “cannibalizes” the liver metabolism of THC so we’re not sure why you would have THC present except for recreational effects.
Since we’re looking specifically at anxiety, it makes no sense based on THC’s effect on that pathway.
There’s one more really important piece to look at which speaks to many people’s negative reactions to most of the CBD on the marketplace.
The Histamine and THC connection for anxiety
Just yesterday, a good friend was saying he was having trouble sleeping.
He wakes up around 4 am and he’s. wide awake.
Of course, he crashes early afternoon.
His doctor gave him diazepam which is a benzodiazepine (see CBD versus benzos for anxiety here).
He wakes up feeling like a zombie though.
His doctor didn’t seem to mention that they’re incredibly addictive, lose their power with time, and can be brutal to come off of (see how I used CBD to wean off benzos here).
Anyway, I brought up CBD and magnesium glycinate.
“I’ve tried the 3:1 ration CBD and it doesn’t work my system”.
The number of times we’ve heard that!
I gave him our 2000 CBD isolate to take with magnesium glycinate (or theorate) at the 4 am time and it works beautifully.
This change in reaction from one CBD product is not unusual.
The common thread with anxiety and sleep is GABA.
It’s our calming and “inhibitory” chemical in the brain.
A boost in GABA and we’re calm. Boost more and we’re sleepy.
Check CBD and GABA for more info (very fascinating).
That’s the hammer that benzos (Ativan, Xanax, Valium), as well as many sleep agents, hit on.
Pure GABA effect (but with nasty side effects).
Here’s why he had such a different response and THC: CBD ratio comes into play here.
He obviously has a histamine release from either the THC or the other plant material in full-spectrum CBD.
Histamine is excitatory!
It directly opposes GABA. eats it up.
Roughly 40-60% of the population has histamine (think allergies) issues and growing.
This number goes higher for women and as we get older.
That can occur to all that plant material in full-spectrum CBD which makes up 90% of the market!
They’re slinging this stuff when the research shows many reasons not to!
That’s all the plant material in full spectrum or cannabis itself.
As for the THC: CBD ratio question specifically:
It’s estimated that 73% of people with allergy issues are allergic to THC.
So roughly 24-36% of the population will not respond well to THC.
That speaks to his negative reaction to full-spectrum CBD.
We literally crafted IndigoNaturals after a similar reaction (see that story here).
We had to roll through 3-4 of the biggest CBD brands with bad reactions to figure out the CBD Isolate effect.
CBD by itself calms the histamine response.
In fact, we have clients to say their allergies clear right up.
You can literally test this effect (if you have money to burn) with CBD isolate versus CBD full spectrum.
Very different response.
Interestingly, histamine release can feel exactly like. anxiety!
24-36% of the population is a lot of people.
It’s one reason that some people say that CBD makes their anxiety worse.
So. based on that…
Best THC to CBD ratio for anxiety
Hopefully, we established that for anxiety, zero THC is the best ratio.
Pure CBD isolate (CBD by itself).
Again, it’s easy to test your reaction for anxiety.
Of course, we want the following attributes:
- THC free (see THC versus CBD for anxiety)
- 3rd party tested
- CO2 extraction process
- Organically grown in the US
- No pesticides
- No solvents
- No mold
- No bacteria
- No heavy metals
Those are the basic requirements and we built IndigoNaturals with this in mind.
We actually test twice (once at the biomass level and once at the finished product).
Our entire families use it so we’re adamant on this point.
We base everything on research.
Everything else is just slick marketing and we want people to feel better.
Master overview of CBD and anxiety pathways to look at various aspects we can directly affect.
Links to CBD and anxiety research with dozens of anxiety-specific topics.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.
Let's dispel with all the folk wisdom and look at how THC and CBD affect anxiety