The 5 best 1:1 THC:CBD strains for a balanced high


There’s certainly no shortage of high-THC cultivars lining dispensary shelves, but to conflate higher THC percentages with a more luxurious, complex, or altogether more effective high is at best misguided and at worst, a bit dangerous. Though canna-tech advancements continue to progress the agricultural end of cannabis cultivation, high-THC cannabis and cannabis products simply aren’t designed to be enjoyed by a wide swath of users. One-to-one strains, however, can be appealing to both newcomers and seasoned potheads alike. 

Even-keeled, 1:1 cannabis strains are cultivars with profiles that feature balanced cannabinoid ratios, i.e. commensurate doses of both THC and CBD. While these particular cultivars might not be bred for the kind of captivating, galaxy-brained effects of higher THC strains, 1:1 strains typically deliver manageable reactions for those seeking a low-stakes psychotropic relaxation rather than a too-stoned-to-function situation. 

Discerning cannabis consumers know that there’s more to cannabis than either THC or CBD. In fact, many popular cultivars deliver a deft balance of the two cannabinoids without sacrificing one’s reputation for therapeutic efficacy or the other’s reputation for potent highs. 

Below, the following strains are contemporary examples of cultivars typically bred with balanced THC:CBD ratios. Consumers, proceed with caution, cannabinoid values will vary between cultivators, so check with your budtender to make sure your selections feature harmoniously propagated, 1:1 cannabinoid tableaus that sweeten your mood rather than lay you out. 


Argyle genetics lean sharply indica, delivering the kind of mild reactions that reviewers say cast a relaxed orbit around sleepytime without leaving them KO-ed. This hybrid cultivar’s effects arrive as mellow, cotton-soft head highs that smother stress and anxiety, with loose, elastic body highs that ease superficial pain. 

While many report more relaxed effects, some experience a dynamic, zippy body high. However the effects land, the lower THC percentage (the median is around 10%) suggests that this is a functional strain, meaning imbibers across the tolerance spectrum can enjoy the benefits of Argyle without caving into a couch-lock magic carpet ride.

Expect a dank, earthy perfume with light floral notes and a woody, botanical exhale that leaves behind a lingering breath of sweet berries. 

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Often bred for therapeutics, Dancehall can appear as both a high-CBD to low-THC phenotype or with a balanced 1:1 profile, depending on the grower. Dancehall was formulated from a cross of Juanita La Lagrimosa and Kalijah by Spanish cultivators Reggae Seeds. This strain’s reported effects include creativity and upbeat sociability.

Expect a funky skunky nose with hints of tropical fruit and a gassy exhale reminiscent of overripe pineapple. 

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Shark Shock

Shark Shock is a sativa-dominant hybrid bred from a backcrossed White Widow — aptly named Black Widow — and Skunk #1. Shark Shock’s genetics are couched in landrace cultivars, and as such, consumers report head and body highs that deliver upbeat vibes and a gentle, psychotropic energy. 

Shark Shock is often bred as a therapeutic CBD flower, and in addition to high-CBD and 1:1 varieties, it can also be found with THC amounts closer to 20%. Consumers should consult with their budtenders to confirm which camp their particular Shark Shock cultivar falls into; balanced 1:1 phenotypic variations deliver highs mild enough for daytime use but still potent enough to make the day entirely memorable.

Expect a sweet, citrus perfume with light floral top notes and a rich, dank, earthy mouthfeel.

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Strain hunters searching for a dependable 1:1 strain with a minimum of variation might enjoy this cultivated hybrid of relaxing yet bright Harlequin and deeply stoney Querkle. Hurkle, aside from being a fun word to say out loud, inherited the best of its parents’ genetics, delivering therapeutic effects such as relief from fibromyalgia, depression, and chronic pain, as well as recreational effects like clear-headed euphoria and smooth, velvety energy. The restrained cannabinoid balance buffers the more breathtaking qualities of the high without affecting the overall vibe, which Hurkle fans celebrate for being appropriate for day or night.

Expect a loud, skunky perfume complicated with notes of chocolate, wet wood, coffee, and overripe grapes, and a grassy, chocolate exhale with a lingering smack of bitter coffee. 

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Royal Highness

Royal Highness was initially bred as a Dancehall phenotype with an even 1:1 CBD:THC ratio, though variations can be found with higher THC percentages. Royal Highness inherited a strong energetic streak from her parent strain, and consumers report highs that are uplifting, euphoric, and even sensual. 

Folks shopping for a low-stakes date night strain might consider Royal Highness for its sunny, jubilant high that can potentially dissolve into something sexy, but even ace smokers can appreciate the moderate exhilaration and soft bliss of this hybrid.

Expect tart citrus notes over a skunky foundation of moldy cheese, and a flowery, if slightly funky, exhale.

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