There are many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The primary cannabinoids in cannabis, like THC and CBD, are praised for their benefits, recreational and medicinal uses, and vastly different effects.
While THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid that produces the infamous weed high, CBD is its non-psychoactive cousin that doesn’t produce a high but does promote relaxation, stress relief, and pain relief. Because these cannabinoids are so different, what happens when you use them together?
Let’s discuss whether CBD counteracts the high from THC and makes it less effective. Although this question is quite popular, far too many consumers are confused about the outcome of using these cannabinoids together.
Before we dive into what happens when using CBD and THC simultaneously, understanding the phenomenon known as the entourage effect is essential.
As mentioned, cannabis has many cannabinoids, roughly over 100. Although the modern cannabis industry has found ways to isolate these cannabinoids for their own individual products, this isn’t really how cannabis was intended to be used.
Instead, this special plant was used in its entirety, containing all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Using different plant compounds simultaneously produces a naturally occurring phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
Because these compounds all stem from the same source, they’re nearly related, meaning they work off each other to augment their effects and produce a more well-rounded and complete experience. For example, a tincture labeled CBD isolate only contains CBD, no THC, terpenes, or other cannabinoids.
On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD uses the full spectrum of compounds and terpenes but in trace amounts. It’s arguable that full-spectrum CBD is more effective than CBD isolate because it contains a broad array of plant compounds that work together to produce your desired effect.
So, now that you know THC can enhance CBD, does CBD enhance or counteract the psychoactive effects of THC? Read on to find out.
Interestingly, trace amounts of THC in a CBD-dominant product can produce a more pronounced effect, meaning the CBD is more effective when taken with other cannabinoids like THC.
However, in a THC-dominant product, this is where things get fascinating. Products rich in THC and low in CBD are a great option for those who struggle with THC-induced anxiety and paranoia. That’s because CBD can tame the negative effects of THC, which are mainly paranoia and anxiety.
What’s even more interesting is that while CBD tames the negative effects of THC, it enhances the positive ones, like relaxation, euphoria, and physical/mental bliss. Research explains that CBD can actually block some of the effects of THC on the CB1 receptor, and luckily, it only blocks the negative effects.
Some products will provide CBD:THC ratios on the packaging. These ratios can help you predict the experience of the product and how the effects will feel.
For beginners to THC who want to try dabbling in THC and CBD simultaneously, we recommend the following ratios
Let’s break down what these ratios mean. If discussing 18:1 CBD:THC ratios, there are 18 times the CBD as there is THC. These ratios rarely produce psychoactive effects.
On the other hand, seasoned users or those with higher tolerances may want to consider the following ratios:
Does CBD counteract THC? The answer is yes and no. CBD does counteract the negative effects of THC, like anxiety and paranoia.
However, the fascinating entourage effect helps promote a more pronounced and well-rounded experience, meaning CBD augments the positive effects of THC, like euphoria and relaxation.
The key to narrowing down which CBD:THC ratio is right for you is based on your personal tolerance and desired outcome. Using our CBD:THC ratio chart above might help. For more information about this subject, visit our guide on why CBD:THC ratios matter.