Cannabis chocolate has always been a top choice edible in the cannabis industry. With cannabis gummies, cookies, popcorn, soda, and even cannabis ice cream available at many dispensaries today – it can be easy to stray away from the basics.
Edibles have indeed come a long way since half-baked brownies were made at home. Cannabis chocolate is still a classic however, and for good reason! If you’re new to edibles, we’ll outline all you need to know below.
Cannabis Chocolate: Understanding THC and CBD
The most well-known compounds coming from cannabis plants today are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Though both natural compounds come from plants of the cannabis genus, each cannabinoid has its own unique effects. On a molecular level, both CBD and THC seem very similar, even at the molecular level.
However, a key difference comes with how the atoms are arranged and how they bind with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain.
THC binds with CB1 in the brain, producing the “high” that is generally associated with marijuana. Many users describe this as “euphoria” that can be felt in both the mind and the body.
CBD, on the other hand, binds weakly (or not at all) with CB1 receptors. Because of this, it is believed that CBD can provide therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects.
Here are some of the key differences between CBD and THC:
- CBD edibles cannot get you “high” – but THC edibles do produce a psychoactive effect.
- CBD is primarily derived from hemp plants (a cannabis plant that has 0.3% or less THC), whereas THC edibles are sourced from marijuana plants (cannabis plants with high THC content).
- CBD is legal throughout most of the U.S., but THC is still considered illegal at the federal level.
- Many states have legalized recreational and/or medical marijuana as well as CBD, and some states have only legalized CBD.
- As cannabis laws vary by state, it’s important to be aware of the laws of your state and never transport cannabis products across state lines.
Despite their differences, both CBD and THC have been used as supplements to help people manage the symptoms of:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Low appetite
- Seizures, and more.
When it comes to anxiety and depression, users taking SSRIs should always consult with a physician before trying any other supplements, including natural CBD products.
In some instances, CBD can interact negatively with the chemicals in SSRIs, which is known as the “grapefruit effect”. Therefore it’s very important to be transparent with your healthcare provider regarding the use of CBD.
When in doubt, it’s always best to seek guidance from your primary care provider to ensure that you are receiving the best treatments and relief from your symptoms.
Fortunately, there’s a growing body of evidence that cannabis products provide profound therapeutic relief, so many doctors across the U.S. have become more welcoming of cannabis use.
What Are CBD and THC Ratios?
If you’re looking at a cannabis chocolate bar label, all of the data can seem confusing. In some cases, the numbers are straightforward. For example, a wrapper that reads “Hemp Derived CBD Chocolate 60mg” means that the bar has 60 milligrams of CBD, and no THC.
However, what does it mean when you see ratios without any solid explanation? For example, the following ratios might be seen on a cannabis chocolate bar label:
These numbers tell you the ratio of CBD to THC (CBD mg : THC mg). CBD is generally listed as the first number, but that’s not always the case. It’s important to take a closer look for any additional labeling on the wrapper. If it’s unclear, consult your budtender and/or the manufacturer’s website for clarification.
Knowing Your Dosage
Since every human body is unique, each person’s experience with CBD and THC products will be different.
For new users, it’s generally recommended to go with a ratio of 1:1 and then to begin experimenting from there. A 1:1 ratio provides the benefits of both CBD and THC, but without too much THC. This can provide a mild yet tolerable psychoactive effect.
For THC chocolate bars, look to ratios of 1:9 or greater. This won’t provide the same high as a THC concentrate due to it’s CBD content. However it will provide the psychoactive characteristics of THC to help with migraines, nausea, pain, and insomnia.
Users who want to avoid intense psychoactivity but still need considerable relief, ratios between 2:1 and 4:1 are a good place to start. This means that the amount of CBD outweighs that of the THC.
For users who want no “high” or THC whatsoever, they may want to go with higher CBD ratios between 10:1 and 25:1.
Why look for a ratio? Can’t I just take a CBD edible or a THC edible without any combination?
Because each compound is different, consuming both THC and CBD creates an “entourage effect”. This helps the body experience the full benefits of each compound compared to taking them solo.
With the entourage effect, the THC helps “turbocharge” the CBD that can make it more effective than taking CBD alone. Users who are more interested in THC chocolate may still want some level of CBD to enjoy its therapeutic benefits.
Also, both CBD and THC are key components of the same cannabis sativa plant. Though extraction methods for CBD are common for hemp products, separating CBD and THC from the one marijuana plant is not a typical practice.
Therefore, if your CBD chocolate is derived from the marijuana plant, chances are it will have much higher levels of THC than if it was extracted front he hemp plant alone.
Remember, when it comes to managing serious symptoms, it is always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before making changes to your health regimen.
How to Find Quality Cannabis Chocolate
Not all cannabis companies are created equal.
Remember, compared to other industries, the cannabis industry is still fairly new. Furthermore, because THC is still federally prohibited, there isn’t as much regulation to keep consumers safe.
The good news is that savvy consumers can still distinguish trustworthy products and companies from the rest.
How is this done exactly? By choosing a company that lab tests their products.
The Importance of CBD Lab Testing
Lab testing is important because the organic compounds in chocolate make it hard to accurately measure CBD and THC levels. In other words, without lab testing, the concentration of CBD and THC in the product you buy may be different from what is listed on the label. This can result in mis-dosing.
Furthermore, some products might even contain heavy metals and pesticides. If the plants are grown in bad soil or are inappropriately treated, the residue can find its way into finished cannabis chocolate.
Third-party lab testing ensures there is no bias in the final results. Labs will generally release a Certificate of Analysis (COA) where you can see whether a product is free of heavy metals and pesticides.
Trustworthy companies like Gataka are open about their lab testing protocols and publish their results right on the homepage of their website. Remember that transparency is always key, and enjoy!