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Balance your high with these California 1:1 CBD and THC edibles

I f you’ve had mixed results with cannabis and worry about getting paranoid, anxious, or losing control, consider counter-balancing your high.

Gone are the days of selecting cannabis purely for the most euphoria. In the new era of modern, legal herb, more people are dialing in wellness benefits and avoiding feeling disoriented.

Be patient. Stick to one serving size every two hours, max.

Combining cannabis’ main and secondary active ingredients—THC and CBD—in equal amounts tames the euphoria of THC while calming anxiety. Look for the golden ratio of “one-to-one” — signified as “1:1” on recreational and medical cannabis product packages in California.

A 1:1 dose of CBD:THC can induce a state of mind where you feel really good, but without too many racing thoughts or jittery impulses. On the cellular level, cannabidiol (CBD) confounds the action of THC, blunting the trippy effects of the main active molecule. Eating edibles with a one-to-one ratio of THC to CBD brings you the best of both worlds, taking the edge off while leaving you in control, blissful and relaxed.

Keep responsible dosing in mind, since it’s still possible to overdo it on one-to-one edibles if you eat too much.

  • Read packages to understand how much of each molecule comes in a single serving size.
  • Choose edibles that pair five to ten milligrams of THC with an equal amount of CBD in each piece.
  • Start with a small “microdose” of just 2.5 mg of THC and 2.5 mg of CBD if this is your first experience with cannabis edibles.
  • And be patient. Stick to one serving size every two hours, max.

You can find a variety of high-quality edibles in California containing the one-to-one ratio, including cookies, gummies, chocolates, mints and even licorice!

Cinnamon CBD mints by Breez Mints

Tuck these mints into your purse or desk drawer for discreet relief throughout the day, along with breath-freshening cinnamon flavor similar to a Red Hot candy. Packing 5 mg of THC and 5 mg of CBD into each little mint, Breez Cinnamon CBD Mints helps you maintain a subtle level of highness throughout the day, just eat one mint every four to six hours for consistent relief. With 20 mints per bottle, Breez offers convenience for those seeking relief from pain or anxiety.

Price: $30

Places to find it:

  • The Green Door, San Francisco
  • Sonoma Patient Group, Santa Rosa
  • The Higher Path, Los Angeles

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Ruby Fruits by Emerald Sky

This newly launched product is the brainchild of Joshua Taylor, a confectioner with 20 years experience who decided to add cannabis to his candies. Making the first-ever infused licorice in the California marketplace from a facility in Oakland, this upstart brand wisely included a 1:1 product in their initial release. Look for Emerald Sky Ruby Fruits , a flavorful combination of berries, acai and pomegranate, with each piece containing five milligrams of THC and five milligrams of CBD, and ten pieces per package.

Price: $25

Places to find it:

CBD dark chocolate caramels by Chill Chocolates

(Elise McDonough for Leafly)

Coming on strong after their January 2018 debut, Chill Chocolate can be found at a great many dispensaries in California, challenging longtime leaders like Kiva for domination of the cannabis chocolate market. With a wide variety of flavors, Chill makes two different bars that use the 1:1 ratio, an Acai Berry and Dark Chocolate Caramel, each containing five milligrams CBD and five milligrams of THC in a serving, with ten servings per bar.

Price: $19

Places to find it:

  • Barbary Coast, San Francisco
  • Harborside, Oakland
  • CannaCruz, Santa Cruz
  • CBCB, Berkeley

Tropical gummies by District Edibles

(Elise McDonough for Leafly)

Powered by cannabis oil from Organa Labs, this brand is a subsidiary of the company that produces O.penvapes along with other products available in California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Gluten-free and low in sugar and fat, District Edibles gummies contain gelatin, which absorbs slowly into the body for long-lasting effects. Look for the 1:1 Tropical Punch gummies, each piece contains five milligrams of CBD and five milligrams of THC, with ten pieces per pack for a total of 50 mg of each cannabinoid.

Price: $14

Places to find it:

Looking for legal cannabis? Leafly has all your local menus

Churro cookies by Venice Cookie Co.

Created by one of the pioneers of cannabis edibles, Venice Cookie Co. has been in business since 2008, providing sweet and savory infused snacks to Californians during the medical marijuana era and beyond. Deliciously dusted with cinnamon, these vegan, mini-churro cookies deliver 10 mg of CBD and 10 mg of THC in each piece for a satisfying bite-size serving of cannabis. Widely available in Southern California, Venice Cookie Co. is spreading throughout Nor-Cal as well.

Price: $32

Places to find it:

Sublingual drops by Care By Design

(Elise McDonough for Leafly)

Widely available throughout California, Care By Design is the original innovator, popularizing products with varying ratios of THC to CBD. Producing tinctures, topicals, capsules and vape carts with a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, Care By Design also makes blends that combine these two cannabinoids in ratios of 2:1, 4:1, 8:1 and 18:1, so there’s something for everyone, appropriate for every level of cannabis tolerance. Try this tincture for fast-acting relief throughout the day.

These balanced edibles with a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC can offer you a great high without the racing thoughts or jittery impulses.

Understanding the confusing world of CBD and THC ratios

The world of CBD-rich marijuana products is getting bigger.

This post is part of our High-tech High series, which explores weed innovations, and our cultural relationship with cannabis, as legalization in several U.S. states, Canada, and Uruguay moves the market further out of the shadows.

There’s a flurry of new numbers on marijuana product labels, and the ratios can feel like a confusing math problem.

But there’s a method to the madness — one based more on anecdotes than broadly recognized scientific research.

A variety of vape oils, tinctures, salves, and edibles with numbers like 18:1, 4:1, and 1:1 — noting the amount of CBD to THC — have been showing up at dispensaries in recent years in both medical and recreational states. THC will make you high, while its sister compound CBD generally won’t — and has therapeutic potential. Most marijuana strains have around 18 percent THC with less than 1 percent CBD (with THC sometimes being pushed beyond 20 percent).

The cannabis companies behind the trend aren’t chucking THC; they’re just flipping the ratios. For decades, growers have focused on breeding weed with increased amounts of THC. That’s still the case to a large degree, but a sliver of the market sees big things for CBD-rich marijuana products.

“They kept getting bred to go higher and higher in THC, so most strains have very low CBD,” said Dennis Hunter, cofounder of Cannacraft, a Santa Rosa cannabis producer with a line of CBD-rich products under the brand name Care by Design. “Now they’re starting to breed those to be higher and higher in CBD.”

Care by Design, and other companies like Pure Ratios in San Diego, use previous customers’ experiences to guide new users toward their preferred ratio.

But with scant evidence-backed scientific research regarding the impact of each ratio, consumers resort to trial and error to see what works for them.

A 1:1 CBD to THC vape pen.

Image: Care by Design

An 18:1 CBD to THC vape pen.

Image: Care by Design

CBD-rich products are marketed toward those seeking relief from anxiety, arthritis, seizures, stress, inflammation, and overall wellness, not necessarily a high. They’re also being used to ease those once spooked off by a bad marijuana experience back in. Baby boomers are Care by Design’s biggest growing customer base.

There are plenty of anecdotes from customers reporting life-changing relief with unregulated CBD-rich products, but it’s still a gamble and you’re the guinea pig. And these products aren’t cheap. Care by Design’s cartridges are $50 and its droppers are $40. Pure Ratios’ droppers are around $30. CBD oil made from hemp, which has less than 0.3 percent THC, from Bloom Farms, for example, ranges from $60 to $90.

Cinnamon Bidwell, a neurobiologist at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Cognitive Science, cautions not to get swept up in the testimonials promoted by cannabis manufacturers.

“The marketing and the consumer lure is far ahead of what the research can really support,” said Bidwell. That seems to be the case for marijuana in general since its classification as a so-called Schedule 1 drug — which means the federal government believes it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” — makes it difficult to study. Bidwell’s lab, which is in a state that has legalized recreational marijuana, is conducting a 5-year study comparing the cannabinoids subjects ingest to what shows up in their bloodstreams in relation to clinical outcomes.

What’s more, all the ratios can be hard to understand. Care by Design offers five (18:1, 8:1, 4:1, 2:1, and 1:1), while Pure Ratios cut down to three (18:1, 4:1, and 1:1) because customers were confused by the variety, said CEO Chad Conner.

Image: Bob Al-Greene / Mashable

Here’s a rule of thumb: The higher the CBD, the less of a high you’ll get from the THC, both because there’s less of it and CBD generally combats THC’s psychoactive effects, depending on the amount of THC you’ve consumed, according to cannabis researchers and producers.

When you’re deciding which ratio is right for you, it’ll take some experimenting. Both Hunter and Conner suggest starting with a high-level of CBD and working your way down to a more balanced product. You’ll have to play around with the amount, too, but take it slow.

Care by Design sells a sampler pack to help in the guessing game. The ends of the spectrum, 18:1 or 1:1, are its best sellers; either consumers don’t want to feel psychoactive effects or they do, it seems.

The trial and error, Bidwell said, is what happens when cannabis products rush into the market before there’s sufficient research.

There is, however, a prescription 1:1 CBD to THC mouth spray called Sativex made in the UK and available in several countries including Spain, Germany, Canada, and Brazil that’s meant to treat spasms in MS patients. It’s undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved cannabis-derived drug in the states, is high in CBD with trace amounts of THC (not enough to have any pharmacological effect). It’s used to treat seizures.

“We’re starting to understand what CBD does, but even that is very minimal. And in terms of these different ratios, there’s an idea or a hypothesis that there’s something there in terms of THC facilitating CBD’s action in a different way, if not more in different amounts. But in terms of the science being able to contribute to that in any kind of clear way, we’re not there yet,” Bidwell said.

Elliot Altman, biology director of the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research, disagrees with that assessment when it comes to CBD’s therapeutic benefits. His lab at Middle Tennessee State University studies CBD and hemp. Marijuana isn’t legal in Tennessee, but hemp is. Most CBD products are made from hemp extract, while the ratio products tend to include a variety of cannabis strains to get the right proportion.

It’s clear to Altman, who does not study THC, that CBD provides relief for those with inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, but if you’re looking for pain relief, that’s going to come from THC. Altman’s lab works with private groups looking to sell CBD from hemp as a nutritional supplement.

“THC is for pain, and CBD is for when your immune system is compromised,” Altman said. His take on these emerging products is pretty simple: “If what you’re really after is CBD, but you’re in a marijuana state, take a little THC to take the edge off, don’t take excessive THC.”

What do CBD to THC ratios mean and what can they really do?