Newbie! Meet the 1:1 Ratio!
I’d been thinking about writing a blog post about the 1:1 ratio for some time and was planning to put fingers to keys last week, but then was beset by a maleficent flu that put me down in all the worst ways. While I was aching and writhing for endless spans over three nights, a sweet riff from the beginning of a tune started playing in the back of my mind, lulling and soothing, like a cool cloth on my fevered brow.
Ding Ding…Ding Ding…Ding Ding…Ding Ding…
“One on One,” from 1983. Hall & Oates.
Let me explain: Many of you newbies say “One on One” (instead of One to One) when you talk about ratios, and it’s just another reason to love you. As I’ve mentioned before, we love everything about you, and we welcome you to the cannabis community with open arms. You’re even more endearing than you know, because when I hear you say One on One, I am transported. Suddenly, I’m a junior in high school again, swaying slowly at the Winter Dance to one of the best second verse phrasings in the history of 80s pop ballads, under a mirror ball with the shortest guy in my class. Know this, Newbie: Cannabis is like your best days at school, and we’ll never make you feel like a wallflower here.
The drum machine and sweet bass line… Ding Ding…Ding Ding…Ding Ding…Ding Ding…
When I talk about ratios, including the 1:1, I am talking about CBD to THC. Well, usually. Some product packaging still lists ratios in other, confusing ways, but the industry standard is mostly alphabetical — CBD first, then THC. That said, Newbie, just a friendly reminder to ALWAYS CHECK THE LABELS CLOSELY. This is your medicine, take a little ownership, you adorable newbie, you.
We’re so early in the game with regard to knowing how the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) works. We know that every mammal has an ECS, as does every other creature on earth. Except insects. Maybe even insects. We know that we have cannabinoid receptors all through our bodies. We know that THC locks into the CB1 receptor. We know some other more complex facts about CB receptors, too, and about endocannabinoids (cannabinoids our bodies make) as well as phytocannabinoids, (those in cannabis plants and plants like echinacea), but I’m not trying to overwhelm you with all of that delicious info. You can research more about it when and if you feel like it. Take your time!
CBD interacts with and benefits our bodies in varying ways — acting as, among other things, an anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-tumoral, and neuroprotectant. CBD can also remove beta amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, from brain cells. Like THC, CBD has many different applications. But CBD works a little bit differently than THC.
CBD doesn’t lock into the CB1 receptor like THC does. Instead, according to Project CBD Director Martin Lee, “CBD changes the interface of the CB1 receptor so that THC doesn’t lock into it as well as it would normally.” What does that mean to you, Newbie? It means that when CBD and THC is taken in equal amounts, one will experience the medicinal benefits of THC without much of the euphoria (high) or dysphoria (unease) which normally accompanies THC use. Further adding to its mystery, according to Lee, “CBD interacts with over 65 targets in the body, including many non-cannabinoid receptors,” binding to some, influencing others.
Because of all this action, scientists, including Lee, refer to CBD as a promiscuous compound. While I find this label a bit unfair due to the general derogatory common usage of the term, (preferring myself to see CBD more as the quintessential flower child, loving the one it’s with and all that), I must agree. CBD slips gracefully into more varied positions than there are poses in the Kama Sutra.
Maybe I’m just a romantic stoner, but it seems to me there is no greater love affair than that which exists between CBD and THC. In the 1:1 ratio, working together as a team, there’s really no stopping these cannabinoids. Together, they might just change the world…
Here are just a few of the many, many ways THC and CBD work together:
- CBD mitigates some of the high that makes newbies afraid to try THC.
- CBD is great for quelling THC-related anxiety; if you get too high, take a little CBD!
- CBD and THC are both anti-inflammatory powerhouses.
- CBD and THC together are great for sleep — CBD calms the nervous system and THC brings relaxation and drowsiness. (CBN — the aged cannabinoid version of THC, is even more drowsy-making.)
- On a cellular level, CBD and THC both capture free radicals to mitigate oxidative damage to cells.
- Unlike many pharmaceuticals, which are experienced by the body as toxins, cannabinoids float around freely and are interpreted by the body as natural.
- Both CBD and THC can help prevent Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), taken as a prophylactic, and even directlyfollowing impact.
- In addition to altering the CB1 receptor to keep THC from locking into it, CBD also inhibits the enzyme that breaks down THC in the liver. THC may recirculate and re-dock in a CB1 receptor, increasing the duration of effectiveness, (which is why a high may be felt some time later when using a 1:1).
- CBD decreases cravings for opioids and THC help is a powerful analgesic. This is a winning combination to help fight the opioid crisis.
How should you get your One on One…? In stereo, preferably somewhere where you’ll be comfortable dancing along. I’m sorry, Newbie, I can’t get that song off my mind. Here’s a link, in case you love it like I do.
Inhaling is definitely the fastest-acting method of delivery, and you can get excellent, clean delivery of cannabinoid medicine vaporizing flower with a good handheld or table-top vaporizer. I do NOT condone the use of vape pens, as I cannot attest to their safety), and generally, they do not feel good in my body. Please do your due diligence on any method of delivery, and listen to YOUR body, Newbie.
My vote is increasingly for sublingual tinctures as method of delivery preference — for you, Newbie, as well as for myself. For anyone, in fact. Sublingual delivery runs a very close second to inhaling for quick feedback and is definitely in first place for putting the user in the driver seat. Sold in bottles with droppers, tinctures provide the patient the most control over effects, which is what every experimenting newbie wants. With a tincture and a little bit of free time, you’ll find your minimal effective dose pretty quickly and painlessly.
I know I’ve said this before, but just a reminder, Newbie, record your dosing progress in a journal. Before each dose, record date, time, starting symptom level, product taken, how much, effects (once the dose has kicked in), time, and another rating of symptom level. Save the labels of the products you’re using so you can refer to them when you figure out what is working for you.
One to One, One Drop at A Time: The Newbie Challenge
- Start with with one drop under the tongue, (I always use a mirror – that area under the tongue isn’t sensitive enough to feel each drop). Don’t oversaturate! Be diligent!
- Hold the drop of tincture for at least a minute under the tongue, swallow, and wait 15 minutes.
- Rate your symptoms again. Choose whether you want another drop, or if you’re feeling relief already. It’s quite possible to feel relief with one drop — microdosing is very effective for many people, yours truly included. Stopping at one drop or even a couple of drops of the 1:1, you may not feel any psychoactivity whatsoever. You may just feel good.
- If you continue, dose up very, very slowly — a drop at a time — and check in with your body fifteen minutes after each drop. Ask yourself, ‘Am I feeling different?’ ‘Am I feeling better?’ And wait. Listen for the response in your body. And write it down!
At the end of this experiment, you’ll have your first baseline for dosing. HOWEVER. This does not mean that this will always be your dose. It’s more of a starting point. Some days you may need less, some days a little more. If you found you used under five drops, excellent! Your low tolerance means you will get more for your money with cannabis medicine. Continue to dose up one drop at a time.
If you find your tolerance was over ten drops, the next time you dose, you may choose to use two drops at a time, every fifteen minutes. Keep notes! Rate changes! Check in with your body, and know that you’ll feel the effects a little more quickly.
If you get too high, and you don’t have extra CBD on hand to inhale or take sublingually, don’t forget the three things I tell every newbie:
Tell yourself it will pass,
Surround yourself with things you love, and
Go to sleep!
Who knows? The 1:1 sublingual may become your go-to cannabis medicine, as it is mine.
‘Cause if it’s really right…there’s nothing else…