Best CBD/THC Ratio for Sleep
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Ready to talk about sleep? Yawn.
Honestly, it’s an important subject. If you’ve ever gone through a spell of sleeplessness, you know how it can impact your ability to function during the day.
And if you suffer from a chronic problem falling or staying asleep, it can take a serious toll on your work, your relationships, and your overall good health.
But did you know the right combination of CBD and THC in your system at bedtime can help solve such problems? It can!
CBD and THC Definitions
Before we delve into the proper makeup, however, let’s first review what CBD and THC actually are.
CBD is short for cannabidiol–not the easiest term to say–and it is just one of 113 cannabinoids present in both hemp and marijuana plants. As far as active compounds go, it is second only to THC. However, CBD does not have the intoxicating properties that are found in THC, and, in fact, it can diminish the intensity of the high one gets from THC. Remember that fact. It will come up again later.
CBD is associated with a number of health and wellness benefits. It is often taken in oil form, administered by a few drops under the tongue.
CBD oil is used to treat a wide variety of different conditions, including providing support for healthy sleep cycles.
This cannabinoid is an even bigger mouthful. It is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and as mentioned earlier is the substance responsible for that euphoric feeling you get when you ingest marijuana.
Unlike CBD, this cannabinoid can only be obtained from the marijuana plant. The effects of THC can be enjoyed in a number of ways including smoking and vaping.
THC can also be extracted from the plant as a concentrate or as an oil. THC has other magical powers as well, such as the ability to stimulate your appetite and (in low doses) help with stress and anxiety.
Believe it or not, CBD and THC are very similar molecularly. They have the same set of atoms; they’re just arranged differently.
CBD to THC Ratio Breakdown
So what do these two important cannabinoids have to do with aiding people with their sleep issues? Both help, but in different ways.
THC tends to cause users to become drowsy fairly quickly after partaking. This has been backed up by research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.
However, other studies have found that it also shortens the REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of sleep which is the period when people are in their deepest slumber. And you really do need to have that deeper sleep.
That’s where CBD comes in. While THC can bring on sleep, clinical research suggests that CBD interacts with the body’s regulation of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters used by the nervous system that affect various processes such as mood, emotion, and, yes–your ability to sleep.
In various studies, CBD has been found to help participants sleep a greater length of time. It also has been found to reduce the number of times participants awaken from their sleep.
This combination of the two cannabinoids which brings out the best qualities in each is called the “Entourage Effect.” Thus, insomnia and other problems with sleeping can often be effectively treated with a combination of THC and CBD.
The trick is finding the right ratio that works for you.
What are the common CBD/THC ratios?
Common CBD to THC ratios include:
0 to 1 – meaning no CBD at all.
25 to 1
18 to 1
8 to 1
4 to 1
Not unsurprisingly, sleep research on marijuana is limited, and like any medication, not every person reacts in the same way. If you are trying to find a ratio that improves your sleep situation, the best ratio may depend on what type of sleeping problems you are experiencing.
For example, if falling asleep in the first place is your problem, a ratio of 5 to 10 mg of vaporized Indica (THC) combined with 50 to 150 mg of CBD taken by mouth proportionally throughout the day and night may work best.
If, however, your problem is staying asleep throughout the night, a better option might be placing 10 mg of Indica oil (THC) drops under your tongue about two hours before retiring combined with 50 to 150 mg of CBD, again taken proportionally throughout the day.
Of course, you may have to play around with ratios to see what works best for you.
How do different ratios affect us?
The common ratios list above tends to produce certain results across the board. However, it is important to keep in mind that every person’s body reacts differently to different strains and quantities, so no rule is hard and fast.
Basically, the greater the THC in the ratio, the greater the psychotropic effect. For example, the first item on the list (0 to 1) tends to result in a strong “high,” whereas the third on the list (18 to 1) in favor of CBD rarely produces any psychotropic effect.
What are the benefits of combining THC and CBD?
Many people might assume that marijuana with any reasonable amount of THC content can’t possibly be helpful in bringing about a good night’s sleep. That’s why they tend to think of THC for getting high only and CBD for settling down.
But it’s really not that simple.
As you now know, following the high THC gives you, it also brings on that all-important drowsy feel. Adding CBD to the mix won’t eliminate the effects of THC, but it does tone it down. (We told you to remember that!) By interfering with the way THC connects with the brain, it ends up taking the edge off.
By mixing the two in whole plant preparations, THC and CBD work together synergistically to bring out the best qualities of each type of cannabinoid. It creates that “Entourage Effect” we mentioned previously.
Drugs That Don’t Mix With THC and CBD
Most of us don’t know much about the liver, but it is a triangular-shaped organ that uses enzymes to metabolize and eliminate drugs in the body. That includes both CBD and THC. However, there are a number of prescription medications that when taken with cannabis, can create a negative drug-drug interaction with CBD or THC in the body.
Clobazam, a prescription medication form of CBD used to control seizures, was the first drug approved by the FDA that was derived from marijuana. When extra CBD gets into the body with direct marijuana use, the efficacy of Clobazam is increased.
That sounds like a good thing, right? However, one of the side effects of Clobazam is sedation. Physicians who prescribe Clobazam to marijuana users need to provide lower doses of the medication to reduce this unwanted side effect.
Theophylline is a prescription medication used by asthma patients to control wheezing and shortness of breath, and some believe that smoking marijuana reduces the efficacy of the drug. There is a fair argument, however, that this side effect is not due to CBD or THC in the body.
Why? Ingesting marijuana in other ways does not appear to have the same negative interaction with the drug. However, smoking tobacco does.
Valproate is a drug used to treat epileptic seizures, migraine headaches, and bouts of bipolar disorder. However, mixing the medication with CBD is known to cause liver enzyme levels to rise too high and even cause liver damage.
Warfarin, a drug commonly used to treat blood clots, should never be used with marijuana as it increases the risk of bleeding.
And here’s one that should be no surprise–alcohol. It’s never wise to mix alcohol with any drug, be it a prescription medication, or one you get over the counter.
That includes the counter at your local liquor store, a nearby bar, or your counter at home. Mixing the two has been found to cause THC levels to immediately rise in the user at least for a short period of time.
Best CBD/THC Ratio for Sleep
If your goal is to get some much needed shut-eye, then the best THC to CBD ratio should one that is either an even match of the two cannabinoids or something with a higher amount of THC. That’s because CBD alone tends to make users feel alert and energetic.
Start out trying an Indica strain with a 2 to 1 ratio or go a little lower and you should soon be on your way to some sweet dreams.
Yawn. Has all this reading tired you out? Getting a good night’s sleep can be a challenge, but if you don’t want to get too friendly with over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills, marijuana could be your answer.
If, however, you are taking any other medications, be sure to talk to your doctor about any potential side effects from mixing the two.
That being said, just be patient and keep in mind that you may have to play around with various strains and ratios a bit before you find the right mix that works for you. Your height and weight, age, diet, heredity, and overall health will also play a role.
With a little effort and experimentation, however, you should be on your way to your first good night’s sleep in ages.