thc

CBD and THC: Finding your ideal Cannabinoid Ratio

CBD:THC Vape carts from Winberry Farms

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that all of us cannabis users know and love. It’s the cannabinoid that gives you that euphoric “high” effect. Many of us have also learned about THC’s sibling chemical CBD; toted in the news and drug stores as the latest miracle drug that can cure anything. Though this isn’t exactly true.

CBD + THC = Better

CBD, when paired with THC, has amazing medicinal benefits that differ from smoking any ol’ joint from your local weed dealer. There is a synergistic experience known as The Entourage Effect that occurs when multiple cannabinoids are consumed at the same time. In turn, you need fewer of each cannabinoid in order to reach a desired medicinal effect when you have as many of those cannabinoids as possible.

Depending on which ratio of the cannabinoids present in what you’re smoking, you can receive different effects. For example, CBD has shown evidence of quelling some of the negative side effects from consuming high levels of high THC like anxiety, paranoia, raised blood pressure and other feelings of “being out of control.” In turn, it makes for a calmer high that can be intense but manageable if you’re used to feeling too intoxicated by straight THC.

Cannabinoid Ratios Explained

Products that include both THC and CBD will have the quantity of both of these compounds, in relation to each other, listed as a ratio on their packaging. For example, if you have a product with 120mg of CBD and 40mg of THC, it will have a ratio of 3:1, CBD:THC. These ratios can vary in any direction of being CBD dominant, THC dominant, or equal parts of both.

Most modern cannabis breeding has produced strains of flower that are much higher in THC but much lower in CBD and other therapeutic cannabinoids. This means you’ll often see THC:CBD ratios at 300:1 and higher. Though this high THC can be fun for, and sought after by, the recreational user, it limits the amount of medicinal application for those that want relief but don’t want to be “high”. Luckily there are amazing breeders and cultivators who are creating and reviving high CBD flower strains that are the source of true full-spectrum and cannabinoid rich oils.

Different ratios of CBD:THC from High Gorgeous

You can now find strains like AC/DC that come naturally with a 20:1 CBD:THC ratio which has worked wonders for mood disorders, depression, inflammation, epilepsy and many more. Ratios higher than a 12:1 CBD:THC ratio show little signs of creating an intoxicating effect for consumers. However, this is not a steadfast rule, as we all have differing sensitivities and tolerances to THC.

While high levels of THC may lead to intoxication, recent findings have shown that THC is favored as the most medicinal cannabinoid in cannabis, not CBD. This is not to discredit CBD entirely, as it has worked wonders for adolescents and adults alike who suffer from diseases and syndromes that can be completely reverted with CBD. Simply put though, having combinations of CBD and THC together show the broadest range of treatment options with increased efficacy. Finding your ratio is a matter of trial and error. If you aren’t sure what is right for you try talking with your budtender at Mankind in San Diego for some guidance.

Remember if you are taking cannabis for medicinal reasons it is important to speak with your doctor and get their recommendations for dosage and frequency of use. While budtenders can help you find the right strain in store, we are not doctors and therefore shouldn’t be consulted as such.

Mankind Dispensary is located at 7128 Miramar Rd in San Diego. We offer a wide array of flower, concentrates, vape, edibles, and other cannabis products. Mankind Delivery is available to those within a 20 mile radius from the store for those who may not be able to come in. Delivery is available from 12m to 7pm daily. Our online budtenders are there to answer questions during delivery operating hours.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Facebook. Follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, and now Pinterest for specials, promotions and sales. And don’t miss out on our Mankind Spotify channel for tunes hand picked to go with your cannabis mood. Finally coming soon the Mankind podcast, THE KIND CAST, where our budtenders talk about products and recommendations to make your shopping experience easier and keep you informed.

Understanding Cannabinoid Test Results and “Total Active Cannabinoids”

weed testing for cannabinoids
Testing for cannabinoids

So, you’re at Mankind and you’re looking through the 50+ plus strains of marijuana the dispensary has on the flower wall. You end up with a bag of Sonoma Pacific’s Alien Rock Candy in your hands, and find it has a “Total Active Cannabinoids” of 21.04%. What does this number actually mean? What does “active” mean in this case? As consumers we are often looking for high THC percentage, yet THC makes up only a portion of the percentage of total cannabinoids. What else makes up a plant’s Total Active Cannabinoids, and why is this number important?

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, Rob’s “Cannabinoid Reference Guide and Breakdown”, cannabinoids are the main chemical component that gives cannabis its effects. There are over 85 cannabinoids documented by science. Some of the most common ones are THC (delta9-THC), CBD, CBN, CBG, and THCV. Each strain has what we call a Cannabinoid Profile, or the amount of each cannabinoid present in that specific strain. This profile is typically what testing results are referring to when listing a strain’s percentage of Total Active Cannabinoids.

What are “active” cannabinoids?

Companies like Sonoma Pacific, who cultivate cannabis flower, list “Total Active Cannabinoids,” along with levels of delta9-THC and CBD. However, listing delta9-THC on flower can be confusing. Total Active Cannabinoids on most Sonoma strains range from 15%-32%, yet delta9-THC is often listed around 0.3%-5%. If levels of THC dominate most cannabinoid profiles, why is the delta9-THC so low?

weed from sonoma pacific at mankind dispensary
Marijuana flower from Sonoma Pacific

To answer this, we must address the descriptive words used in test results; more specifically, what the term “Active” means in the context of cannabinoids. Cannabis does not produce delta-9-THC, but its precursor THCa (Tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid). THCa becomes “active” after going through the process of decarboxylation, where heat energy is applied to the THCa (usually during the smoking or vaporizing method of consumption). Here the acidic portion of the non-psychoactive THCa is removed. The THC can now be processed by the body to create the euphoric, pain-relieving and calming experience we all know and love. Other cannabinoids with acidic properties are also activated in the decarboxylation process.

However, referring to decarboxylation as activation should not cause you to think a cannabinoid’s acidic form is useless. Cannabinoids in this form are able to be processed by the body, and produce beneficial medical effects. Yet they do not create the psychoactive and more powerful effect most users are looking for from their cannabis. Common terminology has simply referred to THC as the popular and readily desired chemical. This is why a more accurate labeling of THC in a finished flower will be Total Potential Cannabinoids and will isolate the detected amounts of THCa combined with THC.

marijuana vape carts local dispensary
Marijuana in oil form

What else is in a cannabinoid profile?

When listing isolated cannabinoids most companies will only provide potential THC and CBD percentages in the plant, as they are the most well-known and sought-after cannabinoids. Unless selectively bred otherwise, most cannabinoid profiles will be dominated by THC and low in CBD and other minor cannabinoids. Yet when you add up these other 85 phytocannabinoids potentially present in that strain, they can make up around 2%-15+%, of the total cannabinoid profile. Though small in comparison to the levels of potential THC (often around 10%-30+%), these others can have a major influence on the type of high and experience you get from consuming that specific strain.

These complex and infinitely unique effects are why it is important to individually list the levels of all potential cannabinoids in a specific strain. As conscious cannabis consumers searching through dispensaries in San Diego like Mankind, we hope the future brings more accurate testing and transparency. The listing of major and minor cannabinoid levels will help to better understand how the cannabis we are inhaling will affect us. Knowing what ratios of specific cannabinoids work best for your body can create a more consistent and fulfilling experience. It can also make shopping for the perfect strain at Mankind a bit easier.

About the author: Zac is a cannabis devotee and one of our lead cannabis consultants at Mankind Dispensary. He is San Diego county born and raised (Carlsbad) and has been a professional in the cannabis industry for 8 years. You can find him on instagram at zabadaba.sd .

The Potency Paradox – Edibles and Vape

How Strong Is That Weed?

san-diego-couple-smoking-marijuana
Higher THC isn’t always better

It’s a question as old as time. Everyone remembers talking to their guy and asking what the strongest weed they had was. There might have been a little science in the answer if your guy was on point. More often than not the answer was “this one will send you into outer space”. That was good enough and out the door we went. Things have changed a bit but the question still remains, how strong is it and how high will I get?

Cannabis has evolved. More science is being put into each grow. Strains are combined to get specific effects. THC content is documented. The list goes on. So how do you know what to get? We asked resident cannabis science guy Rob, to give us a little knowledge on what he refers to as the Potency Paradox.

The Great Potency Question

When a large percent of cannabis consumers are shopping, they have very similar questions before they make their final decision. What is the cheapest product I can get with the highest THC content? What is the strongest cartridge? Which edibles hit the hardest? This isn’t as easy to answer as you might think. Let me explain.

There are so many variables when it comes to potency that it’s basically impossible to predict how something will effect you. What we can provide are key pieces of information to aid you in finding the product that’s right for you.  Let’s run it down and get a little education flowing.

Edibles On The Move

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District Edibles cannabis infused gummie

In the world of edibles, we’ve come a long way from dumping an oz of shake into some brownie batter and knocking your family out on thanksgiving. Almost all edibles used to be made from a full spectrum cannabis butter or oil. This led to the usual brownies, cookies and rice krispy treats, even at dispensaries. Most consumers complained that there was very little homogeneity or consistency between edibles and that doses were all over the place. Which they were. The general consensus was edibles were not going to effect you until they knocked you out. My favorite adage was, “the edibles don’t kick in until you start talking smack about them”.

There were brownies with 1000mg a pop, and cannabis syrup with 2500 mg in a tiny bottle. It was a glorious time. Alas, things change with regulation and these days the market has definitely changed a lot.

Edibles in California have to be 10mg max per dose, and 100mg max per package. The other big change in the market is the shift to distillate. With a pure 99% THC cannabis distillate you can very easily get a homogeneous product from batch to batch. You can also ensure that the edible will not have an overwhelming cannabis flavor unlike a full spectrum cannabis butter even at only 60% THC. Here’s where it gets funky.

That 99% cannabis distillate has a very narrow spectrum of cannabinoids, usually just delta 9 THC. That 60% THC butter has almost all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were found in the whole plant. CBG, CBD, THC-A. Not to mention the flavonoids, one of largest nutrient families known to science. As well as the lipids and fatty acids that your body needs. All these other compounds have a marked effect on the potency of a product. So for my money, a 100mg full spectrum edible is worth 2 of it’s distillate competitors. 

Vape Is Your Friend

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Lowell preroll marijuana stashed in a park

When I was a kid if I wanted to get high on the go, I had to hide rolling papers and one hitter pipes all over the city. I had to make sure I had my bag of weed on me and constantly make sure the lighter fairies hadn’t nabbed my ability to make fire. If all that was handled, I needed to find a nice place to hide and discreetly smoke my small amount of mid grade cannabis. These days you just pull your vape out of your pocket and take a deep breath. What a time to be alive.

It’s super easy to look at the packages on the wall and see what has the highest THC content these days. That’s not where the information ends dear reader. There are still more questions to know.

For Instance is it a cartridge with botanical terpenes or are they cannabis derived? Is it a CO2 cartridge or a distillate cartridge? Did you spend the extra money on a HTFSE cartridge? Is it worth it?

Much like edibles, the advent of distillate swept the market and changed what most producers use in their cartridges. It’s easy to get a cartridge that’s over 90% THC when you use the narrow spectrum distillate. However you will sacrifice flavor and a lot of the broad spectrum effect for the sake of a high test. Some brands like Finch & Sons use a blend of distillate and high terpene full spectrum extract to find a happy medium between the two. This provides more flavor while keeping costs down and potency up.

Other brands like Friendly Farms use only the HTFSE oil in their cartridges giving you a much more flavorful and broad spectrum effect. Generally these cost you much more for the treat and sometimes the oil will only test around 75%. Brands like Select choose to use distillate and large batch terpene blends to keep potency as high as possible and keep prices competitive. Our local favorites Outco use a small batch C02 oil with single source terpenes reintroduced for a very unique and flavorful cartridge experience that’s much more true to the cannabis flower it came from.

They all have their place and you’ll need to experiment to find what you like the best. Just keep in mind, it’s not all about that THC test result. It is a combination of factors. At Mankind we have an amazing staff that can guide you the right product when you stop in. It’s all about personal choice and what you are looking for. Knowing what to look for is where we come in. See you soon.

Rob Espinosa is Mankind Dispensary’s very own cannabis whiz. Rob handles product purchases and has a long history of love, and education, within the cannabis world. You can find out what new hotness Rob has found for Mankind customers by stopping in at 7128 Miramar Rd in San Diego. You can find him on IG @blue_ridge_rob. He smiles more there.