New Research Shows High CBD Doses May Boost THC’s Kick-in Edibles


A study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers challenged the idea that CBD reduces the effects of THC. Their findings reveal that CBD intensifies the impact.

This new understanding paves the way for enthusiasts to explore different edibles online. Patients on medicinal marijuana now have the chance to experience longer-lasting symptom relief with high CBD products.

Key Takeaways:

  • Research reports that CBD enhances the effects of THC, effectively doubling its potency compared to consuming high-THC edibles.
  • Eating edibles containing both cannabinoids enhances their medicinal benefits since they work together to improve the endocannabinoid system.
  • The breakdown of edibles leads to the formation of 11-hydroxy-THC, a potent metabolite of THC.

The Study

The study’s findings, featured in the issue of JAMA Network Open, reveal a significant difference in THC levels in participants’ bloodstream post-consumption. The presence of CBD alongside THC in a brownie led to nearly double the maximum THC concentration compared to consuming a brownie containing THC alone. This occurred despite both brownies having an equal THC dose of 20 mg.

The brownie with high CBD extract resulted in a tenfold increase in the maximum concentration of 11-OH-THC compared to the brownie containing high THC extract.

The study enlisted 18 adult volunteers who refrained from cannabis use for at least 30 days before experimentation. Each participant underwent three sessions, spaced at least a week apart. During these sessions, they consumed a brownie containing one of three formulations:

  • 20 mg of THC alone
  • 20 mg of THC combined with 640 mg of CBD,
  • Placebo devoid of THC or CBD.

After consuming the brownie, participants received a mixture comprising five cytochrome probe drugs:

  • 100 mg caffeine
  • 30 mg dextromethorphan
  • 25 mg losartan
  • 20 mg omeprazole
  • 2 mg midazolam.

These drugs elucidate how CBD and THC influence the body’s metabolism of commonly used medications and dietary supplements.

Compared to Previous Studies

Earlier studies often suggested that CBD could mitigate some of the adverse outcomes associated with THC consumption.

A prior fMRI investigation by University College London researchers revealed less brain activity disruption. This occurred when subjects consumed cannabis strains rich in CBD compared to those with minimal CBD but equivalent THC levels.

An animal study by researchers at Western University, Canada, indicated that CBD could potentially alleviate some of the adverse psychiatric effects linked to THC. This happens through modulation of the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway.

The Major Cannabinoids

The main psychotropic ingredient in cannabis plants is called THC. It brings about the “high” effects of cannabis.

They act as signalling molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors and facilitate cell communication. THC can also bind to these receptors by displacing natural endocannabinoids and inducing various effects.

CBD is a cannabinoid known for its non-psychoactive properties, so it doesn’t induce euphoria. Early research indicates that CBD might inhibit specific enzymes involved in regulating endocannabinoids while also supporting the proliferation of cannabinoid receptors.

Weed Edibles

Cannabis edibles, derived from marijuana flower, oil, or concentrates, offer a smoke-free option for consuming THC and CBD. These products are particularly beneficial if you have lung or respiratory concerns. Available in various discreet and portable formats. The onset of effects from edibles may be slower compared to smoking, but their duration tends to be longer-lasting.

Types of Edibles

  • Gummies: These chewy delights are available in various shapes, sizes, and fruity flavours. What makes them particularly appealing is the precise dosage packed into each gummy.
  • Chocolates: Chocolates with cannabis infusions combine cocoa’s delicious aromas with THC and CBD’s health benefits. Created in various shapes, including truffles, bars, and bits. These sweets provide a lovely experience for the taste buds and the mind.
  • Baked Goods: Merge the comforting flavours of beloved treats such as cookies, brownies, and muffins with the therapeutic properties of cannabis.

Digestion and Absorption

After consumption, THC enters the bloodstream and then disperses throughout the body to initiate its intended effects.

Orally ingested cannabis undergoes absorption in the intestines before it goes to the liver. Within the liver, THC undergoes metabolic processing by liver cells in a process known as first-pass metabolism.

THC yields 11-OH-THC, a highly pharmacologically active metabolite renowned for its soothing and psychoactive properties. The liver initially breaks down THC before it enters circulation, which leads to a more significant proportion metabolizing into 11-OH-THC.

Other cannabinoids, such as CBD, undergo analogous metabolic pathways. CBD is less bioavailable; some of it is eliminated undisturbed in feces. THC and CBD metabolism variations may result from genetic diversity in the phase 1 metabolism-related enzymes.

Consuming Different Ratios of THC and CBD Edibles

CBD: THC 0:1

A product with a CBD-to-THC ratio of 0:1 means there’s no CBD present. You’re likely to experience the full force of THC’s euphoric effects. Isolated THC holds appeal for some, as it offers potential relief from pain and inflammation and even mood and energy boosts.

CBD: THC 1:0

For those seeking solely the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC, the 1:0 CBD-to-THC ratio products are the ideal choice. With zero THC content, these products ensure no intoxicating high. While they may not pack the same punch as blends containing both cannabinoids, they still offer mood enhancement and relief from pain and inflammation.

CBD: THC 1:1

A 1:1 CBD to THC ratio means both cannabinoids are present equally. This balance is frequently for newcomers to cannabis, as it offers a blend that combines the euphoric potential of THC with the therapeutic properties of CBD. With this ratio, users can experience mild psychoactive effects that enhance well-being without compromising functionality.

CBD: THC 1:9

High-THC ratios, such as 1:9, are often classified as potent THC-dominant products. Though not as concentrated as THC concentrates, they share similar characteristics associated with high THC content.

These THC-rich strains and products are for patients with migraines, nausea, pain, and insomnia.

Tips When Using Both Cannabinoids

  • Select a low-CBD edible to prevent the effects of THC from being amplified.
  • A 1:1 edible ratio is a good option to get high without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Take a look at each edible’s dosage as well as its ratio.
  • If you don’t have any experience with cannabis at all, you can try smoking it because edibles are more potent and have a longer shelf life than inhalation.

Dosage Recommendation

THC per Dose Dose Level What to Expect Product Type
1 to 2.5mg Microdose Mild alleviation of pain, stress, and anxiety

Enhanced focus and creativity

No intoxication

Recommended for: First-time consumers or regular consumers microdosing.

Mints or Microdose Edibles
3 to 5mg Low Stronger relief for pain and anxiety symptoms


Impairment of coordination and altered perception.

Recommended for: Standard recreational use

Low-Dosed Gummies or Infused Drinks
10 to 15mg Moderate ​​Effective relief for pain, nausea, and anxiety symptoms

Impaired coordination and altered perception

Recommended for: THC consumers with high tolerance (both recreational users and medical patients)

Moderate Dose Gummies or Single-Dose Baked Goods
20 to 30 mg High Intense euphoria

Impaired coordination and altered perception

Recommended for: Consumers with substantial THC tolerances; patients with decreased gastrointestinal absorption

High-Dose Gummies and Chocolate Bars
50 to 100mg Acute Severely impaired coordination and perception

Recommended for: Experienced, high-tolerance THC consumers; patients coping with cancer, inflammatory disorders, or conditions requiring high doses.

Baked Goods, Concentrated Tinctures, and Capsules
100 to 500mg Macrodose Intensely impaired coordination and perception

Increased heart rate

Recommended for: Experienced, high-tolerance THC consumers; patients living with cancer, inflammatory disorders, or conditions necessitating high doses.

High-Dose Infused Oil, Tinctures, and Medical-Grade Edibles


This recent study highlighting CBD’s ability to amplify THC effects is just the beginning of the new way to consume edibles. For cannabis enthusiasts with high tolerance levels, this discovery offers the opportunity to explore more potent products while benefiting from CBD’s therapeutic properties. Medical marijuana patients, in particular, may find edible products containing both cannabinoids advantageous in managing symptoms more effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of edibles offer a combination of both CBD and THC?

When browsing various edible options online, you’ll notice that most offer a combination of CBD and THC. If you’re interested in exploring the effects of both cannabinoids, start with CBD—and THC-infused gummies. Be sure to carefully check the dosage per gummy as well as the ratio of each cannabinoid to tailor your experience according to your tolerance level.

What are the advantages of consuming both cannabinoids together?

THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain, while CBD targets the CB2 receptors found throughout the body. They can combine to form a specialized receptor complex known as a heterodimer.


Although CB1 receptors are predominantly present in the brain and CB2 receptors are more distributed throughout the body, both receptors exist throughout the entire system. By encouraging the formation of these heterodimeric structures, CBD and THC synergize to enhance the endocannabinoid system’s function.

Does CBD prolong the effects of THC in edible products?

CBD amplifies the potency of THC by up to tenfold, yet the study above doesn’t specify whether it extends the duration of these effects. Considering that edibles have a delayed onset and a protracted duration, the heightened potency could result in a longer-lasting experience. It’s not uncommon for the effects of edibles to persist for up to 8 hours.

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