Although there are a lot of people who enjoy the psychoactive high offered by high THC marijuana strains, an increasing number of people understand the medicinal benefits of high CBD strains. Only recently has CBD become such an important factor when choosing a marijuana strain and with so many different strains to choose from, it can often become overwhelming.
That’s where we come in to the picture. We’ve done the research and tested quite a few of the top CBD strains. So without further ado, here is all you need to know about CBD marijuana strains and which ranked the best for 2017.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a well-known cannabis compound that has virtually no psychoactivity. This means you won’t experience the mind-altering high synonymous with THC. Today, CBD comes in a variety of formats and can be extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant, whether it be Cannabis or Hemp. CBD is mainly used for medical purposes those who smoke cannabis may choose an equal THC/CBD ratio as CBD is known for countering the “high” effect, associated with THC.
Like all cannabinoids, CBD attaches itself to specific receptors in the body. The human body produces its own cannabinoids using the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The majority of CB1 receptors are found in the brain and deal with pain, mood, emotions, and coordination & movement.
CB2 receptors are commonly associated with the immune system and have an impact on pain and inflammation. Originally, it was believed that CBD acts on CB2 receptors, but further research suggests it helps the body produce more cannabinoids.
What is THC?
THC is a chemical compound found in cannabis, and its official name is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is one of the 80+ known cannabinoids in cannabis sativa and binds to the receptors systems in our body. THC works by binding to the receptors concentrated in the brain and CNS to produce the psychoactive effects it is famed for.
THC results in a variety of short-term soothing effects which varies from person to person but could include calm, euphoria, and a reduction in anxiety. You may also experience ‘couch lock’ and an increase in appetite; otherwise known as ‘the munchies.’
What Medical Conditions Do High CBD/Low THC Strains Help?
As CBD acts on the body in a certain way, it is normally consumed orally, topically or is inhaled through vapour. CBD ‘edibles’ and oil tinctures are also an increasingly popular ways to consume this cannabinoid.
One of its most common uses is to alleviate chronic pain and reduce the reliance on prescription and over the counter medication. A 2012 study by Xiong et al. which was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, found that CBD significantly reduced pain and inflammation in rats and mice. The researchers concluded that cannabidiol could be used to treat chronic pain and it is currently used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
CBD is also being looked at as a viable method of treating arthritic pain. A 2016 study by Hammell et al. gave CBD gel to rats over the course of four days. The dosage was increased each day, and the researchers discovered that the rats experienced reduced overall pain and inflammation in their affected joints with no side effects.
A high CBD/low THC strain called Charlotte’s Web helped significantly reduce the number of seizures suffered by Charlotte Figi. She suffers from Dravet’s Syndrome and was experiencing hundreds of seizures a day. Soon after consuming Charlotte’s Web, the number of seizures dramatically reduced and now she gets one or two a month, usually when she is asleep.
CBD is also the preferred treatment for people suffering from anxiety and stress as high THC strains could bring about feelings of paranoia. A 2015 study by Blessing et al. concluded that CBD was an effective treatment for people with certain anxiety disorders. You can use CBD to help with social anxiety disorder, PTSD, panic disorder, OCD and general anxiety disorder. Researchers have yet to discover any serious side effects from CBD consumption.
5 of the Most Popular High CBD /Low THC Strains
1 – ACDC (The Marijuana Strain That Leaves You Feeling Thunderstruck)
This strain is a 50/50 hybrid and has one of the highest CBD: THC ratios around. You can get up to 20% CBD versions of ACDC, and while some contain up to 6% of THC, it is possible to get one with as little as 0.42%. As it is still above the 0.3% threshold, you won’t find ACDC in CBD oil form.
Once you consume ACDC, you’ll experience a strong euphoric feeling which makes you calm and happy. It is ideal for daytime use as it tends to make users more focused on their work and it also increases your sociability.
ACDC is generally used to treat anxiety, inflammation, migraines, nausea, neuropathy, arthritis and bipolar disorder. It is also a favorite for people with chronic pain, and it is even a good choice if you’re looking to mitigate the effects of chemotherapy treatment.
2 – Charlotte’s Web (The World’s Most Famous Marijuana Strain)
This world famous strain is indica dominant (60%) and was the focus of a bid to legalize high CBD strains. It helped reduce the seizures of Charlotte Figi, and it has a CBD content as high as 20%. Charlotte’s Web is extremely low in THC which means it can be sold as a food supplement.
Obviously, there is no ‘high’ associated with this strain, and it provides users with no cerebral effect. In fact, if it weren’t for its pain relieving ability, you wouldn’t even realize you’ve taken anything. Charlotte’s Web is typically consumed in CBD oil form rather than being smoked.
As well as its known effectiveness when treating pediatric seizure disorders such as Dravet’s Syndrome, Charlotte’s Web is used to help with migraines, fatigue, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, and arthritis.
3 – Ringo’s Gift (The Marijuana Strain That Has Nothing to do With Ringo Starr!)
This is a slightly sativa dominant (60%) strain with a CBD: THC ratio as high as 20:1. You can find strains of Ringo’s Gift with up to 20% CBD and as little as 1% THC. It is a cross of ACDC and Harle-Tsu; both are known for their high level of CBD.
Ringo’s Gift has an earthy hash taste, and aroma and users tend to experience an element of cerebral activity while their body feels soothed and relaxed. Due to the low THC content, the high you receive is mild yet noticeable. It begins in the head and slowly but surely, you benefit from a body buzz that keeps you relaxed but not couch locked.
It is a popular strain for people with chronic pain, anxiety, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorder, stress, PTSD and muscle spasms. As Ringo’s Gift keeps you relaxed yet alert and ensures you remain sociable, it is a good choice for daytime medication.
4 – Harle-Tsu (The Painkilling Marijuana Strain)
This indica dominant (60%) strain is a cross of Sour Tsunami and Harlequin strains and contains up to 22% CBD against less than 1% THC. It is a relatively rare bud, but we imagine that won’t be the case for long given its popularity.
The Harle-Tsu high is rather mellow, and instead of providing you with a body or cerebral high, this strain works well as a painkiller. You will feel something of a buzz behind the eyes at first and then your body will feel completely free and relaxed.
You should feel energized and motivated with Harle-Tsu which means it is excellent for daytime use. It works well to treat conditions such as PMS, PTSD, migraines, depression, inflammation, and insomnia.
5 – Harlequin (The Unique Hybrid Marijuana Strain)
This famous sativa dominant (75%) strain has the highest level of THC on the list, but it is also notable for having a high level of CBD of at least 10%. The resulting 5:2 CBD: THC ratio means Harlequin is ideal for use during the day as it keeps you alert and energetic.
Oddly enough, Harlequin is also useful for relaxing and staying calm, and it has a soothing effect all over the body and in the head. The high THC content is somewhat negated by the high CBD content so it should be okay to smoke it during the day, although dry eyes are a side effect.
Harlequin is used to combat chronic pain, depression, inflammation, migraines, PTSD, and stress. Overall, this strain is an excellent pain reliever, so we recommend using it as a means of helping you wean yourself off pharmaceutical drugs.