Ask A Stoner: What’s A 1:1 Cannabis Strain?

Every now and then weed just doesn’t hit quite right. All of a sudden, your heart is racing, your hands get clammy, and you may start to feel a bit anxious, distrustful, panicked — even fearful.

THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, affects everyone differently, and it sometimes produces unpleasantly strong sensations, especially for inexperienced users.

The good news is that experts say CBD — the other primary ingredient in cannabis — can help reduce the effects of THC, mellowing out the overwhelming sensation that you’re “just too high.”

Finding the right blend of THC and CBD can be challenging because ratios vary greatly from one cannabis strain to the next. But some products make it easier for users to keep track.

One-to-one (1:1) cannabis products are designed to have equal parts CBD and THC. For example, a flower strain that contains 15% CBD and 15% THC would be considered a 1:1, while a strain with 20% CBD and 10% THC would be called a 2:1, and so on.

Before I got a medical cannabis card in Washington, D.C., I would grind up some CBD flower with a roughly equivalent amount of THC flower, roll it up and call it a 1:1 joint. But that do-it-yourself method only got me so far.

A number of medical cannabis dispensaries in the District now carry 1:1, 2:1, and even 20:1 products that help patients find the right mix of THC and CBD.

Cultivating cannabis is a tricky process that’s often more art than science, so don’t be surprised if you can’t find the exact ratio you’re looking for. Local grower Alternative Solutions offers a strain called Sour LSD that weighs in at 18% CBD and 10% THC. That’s not quite 2:1, but it’s close enough, right?

Many cannabis users favor 1:1 products. According to a survey by New Frontier Data, around 52% of registered U.S. medical cannabis patients say they prefer weed with equal amounts of THC and CBD, while roughly 22% prefer products with more CBD than THC.

For me, using weed with a higher ratio of CBD — like a 2:1 or 4:1 strain — helps reduce my anxiety while keeping me productive throughout the day. In fact, I medicated with a 2:1 cannabis strain right before writing this week’s Ask A Stoner column.

CBD also has specific effects that THC doesn’t provide. Many studies have shown that CBD can ease the physical symptoms of seizures, which is why some patients who suffer from epilepsy may prefer 2:1 or 4:1 flower strains.

And ratio-ed products aren’t limited to raw cannabis flower. You can find 1:1 edibles, vapes, tinctures and even suppositories — if that’s your kind of thing. I recently put a dash of 20:1 CBD honey in my morning coffee, and it gave me just the right buzz to kick off the day.

Local D.C. cultivators like District Cannabis, Alternative Solutions and Abatin Wellness offer an entire array of balanced cannabis products, so if you’re striving for the perfect high, ask your budtender about finding the right ratio.


Ask A Stoner is a weekly column that answers our readers’ most burning questions on the ever-shifting, oft-misunderstood world of cannabis in the D.C. region. You can submit your questions using this Google Form, or by messaging Jason, our stoner-in-residence, on Twitter.

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