Although many enjoy the psychoactive high offered by high THC marijuana strains, an increasing number of people are understanding the medicinal benefits of high CBD strains. For some, CBD has actually become an important factor when choosing their medicine. With so many strains to choose from, however, the choice can often be an overwhelming – and confusing – one.
In this article we’ve researched several of the most popular CBD strains on the market. Reviewing cannabis strains is an ongoing task, so feel free to browse the strains section on this site for our most up-to-date feedback. Of course, CBD-dominant phenotypes are a relatively “new addition” to the industry, so expect to be seeing more of these types of cultivars in the future.
Without further ado, here are several of the best high-CBD marijuana strains, reviewed and ranked for 2020…
Defining CBD in Cannabis: An Overview
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 both types of Cannabis (marijuana and hemp).
CBD is commonly used for medical purposes. Many who smoke cannabis but want the benefits of CBD may want to choose an equal THC/CBD ratio, as CBD is known for countering the “high” effect associated with THC.
What is THC? An Overview
THC is another chemical compound found in cannabis. Its official name is delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol. It is one of the 100+ known cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa, and it binds to receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system. THC works by binding to CB1 receptors, which are largely concentrated in the brain and central nervous system. These produce the psychoactive effects for which marijuana is famous.
THC results in a variety of short-term soothing effects. These effects vary from person to person but can include calmness, euphoria, and a reduction in anxiety. You may also experience ‘couch lock’ and an increase in appetite, otherwise known as ‘the munchies.’
Medical Conditions & CBD/Low THC Strains
Although CBD acts on the body in a certain way, there are several ways it can be consumed. CBD is taken orally, as well as applied topically or inhaled through a vaporizer. CBD edibles and oil tinctures are also increasingly popular ways to consume this cannabinoid.
One of CBD’s 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., published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, found that CBD significantly reduced chronic pain in rats and mice. The researchers concluded that cannabidiol could treat chronic pain, and it is currently used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
CBD and Its Effects
CBD is also being looked at as a viable method of treating arthritic pain. A 2016 study by Hammell et al. applied 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 ushered in the use of CBD as a treatment for pediatric seizures, as CBD has helped decrease the seizure frequency in so many children that it was eventually incorporated into a pharmaceutical treatment called Epidiolex.
CBD and Anxiety Disorders
CBD is also the preferred form of cannabis treatment for people suffering from anxiety and stress, as high THC strains can 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. CBD may help with various types of anxiety including:
Researchers have yet to discover any serious side effects of CBD consumption.
5 of the Most Popular High CBD / Low THC Strains
1 – ACDC (The Marijuana Strain That Doesn’t Leave You Feeling Thunderstruck)
This strain is a 50/50 hybrid and it 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%. ACDC generally leads to a strong euphoric feeling, making the user feel calm and happy. It is ideal for daytime use as it tends to make users more focused on their work and also increases sociability.
ACDC is generally used to help alleviate symptoms of 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 has a CBD content as high as 20%. Oil made from Charlotte’s Web is extremely low in THC, which means it can be sold nationwide.
Obviously, there is no ‘high’ associated with this strain, and it provides users with no cerebral effect. Charlotte’s Web is typically consumed in CBD oil form rather than being smoked.
As well as its 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
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 levels 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 leads to 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 and 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 may feel something of a buzz behind the eyes at first and then your body may feel free and relaxed afterward.
People often 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 (at a range of 7 – 15%), but it is also notable for having a high CBD content of at least 10%. The result 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 eye is a possible side effect.
Harlequin is used to combat chronic pain, depression, inflammation, migraines, PTSD, and stress. Overall, this strain is an excellent pain reliever, so it can be a good alternative to OTC and prescription pain killers.
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