With new evidence supporting the medicinal benefits of CBD coming out all the time, more and more cannabis consumers are seeking out high CBD strains. CBD has shown remarkable promise for treating severe medical conditions, from reducing the frequency of seizures to helping addicts avoid relapses. But CBD is also quite helpful for those with more mundane health concerns like mild anxiety, back pain, headaches, and stress.
Part of the beauty of CBD is its ability to provide relief from anxiety, pain, or stress without the intoxicating effects typically associated with consuming cannabis. The psychoactive effect of cannabis comes primarily from THC, and CBD not only doesn’t cause this effect, but it actually mitigates the psychoactive impact of the THC when the two are consumed together. THC does have its own medicinal benefits, and certain conditions are best treated with a combination of both, but for many consumers, the pure THC high is too distracting or disorienting for regular use.
As interest in CBD has grown over the last several years, more cannabis cultivators are developing strains with high CBD content, and consumers now have a wide variety of CBD strains to choose from. Some have very little THC – less than 1% – providing all of the medicinal benefits of CBD with essentially no psychoactive effects at all. Others have a more balanced ratio of CBD and THC, creating a mild psychoactive effect while providing the medicinal relief of both cannabinoids.
- Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web was the first CBD strain to gain widespread recognition, following the story of Charlotte Figi. Charlotte has Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy characterized by frequent, severe, debilitating seizures. After exhausting all conventional medical approaches, Charlotte’s parents sought out medical cannabis as a last-ditch effort. After finding some relief for Charlotte with medical cannabis extract, they connected with the Stanley brothers, Colorado-based cannabis growers who were breeding a high CBD, low THC strain. Using an extract derived from the strain, Charlotte’s parents were able to treat her condition with remarkable success, reducing the number of seizures she suffered from 300 per week to just a few per month. Charlotte’s Web was named after the little girl whose life it changed.
The strain contains just trace amounts of THC, and in 2014 the Stanley brothers announced that they would ensure it consistently contains less than 0.3%. With virtually no THC, Charlotte’s Web produces no noticeable high but is very effective for pain relief and relaxation. It’s a sativa strain, so despite the relaxation from high CBD content, it typically provides a clear experience without sleepiness.
- Ringo’s Gift
Ringo’s Gift is named for CBD pioneer and cannabis activist Lawrence Ringo. There are multiple phenotypes of Ringo’s Gift, which have varying ratios between CBD and THC. Some phenotypes have a near 1:1 balance of CBD and THC, while others have as little as 0.3% THC. It provides a gently uplifting experience, relieving pain and stress in equal measure.
ACDC is a sativa dominant strain, with a CBD content upwards of 20% in some cases. It typically contains around 1-2% THC, which combined with such a high CBD content means it has little to no intoxicating effects. The high CBD content provides powerful pain relief, reduces inflammation, and soothes muscle cramps.
Harle-Tsu (usually pronounced Harley Sue) is a cross of two popular CBD strains, Harlequin and Sour Tsunami. With CBD percentages often reaching around 20%, it’s one of the most potent CBD strains. It is known for powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can be helpful for treating migraines, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. With THC content typically around 1%, it has minimal intoxicating effects.
Cannatonic is a balanced CBD/THC strain, with ratios typically ranging from 1:1 – 2:1. Bred by crossing MK Ultra and G13 Haze, it has a higher THC content than most of the strains on this list. The higher THC content gives it a more intoxicating effect compared to other high CBD strains, but the psychoactive properties are typically much milder than those of popular high THC strains. The balance of CBD and THC makes this strain particularly helpful for treating nausea and stimulating appetite, while still avoiding overwhelming psychoactive effects.