Cannabidiol, more commonly shortened to CBD, is the cannabinoid responsible for changing the conversation about medical marijuana. This unique cannabinoid has an extraordinary ability to drastically improve health issues that previously had little to no solution.
CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis, behind its acclaimed counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But the characteristic that causes CBD to stand out, particularly in the mainstream media, is that it produces none of the psychoactive “high” effects for which THC is famous. Quite the opposite actually, it has been shown to reduce the negative effects like paranoia or couch-lock commonly associated with too much THC.
Studies on animals have shown a wide variety of medicinal benefits from CBD included but not limited to:
- Suppressing seizures
- Reducing nausea and vomiting
- Alleviating psychological disorders
- Soothing inflammatory disorders
- Combatting tumor and cancer cells
- Improving neurodegenerative disorders
- Treating anxiety and depression disorders
- Preventing the progression of diabetes
- Relieving severe nerve and/or bone pain
- Calming symptoms of PTSD such as schizophrenia
CBD has surprised many patients suffering from serious diseases and disorders that are difficult if not impossible to adequately treat using traditional pharmaceuticals. Patients using marijuana strains high in CBD are finding substantial relief from Dravet Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and many other debilitating conditions.
In the recent years since CBD has made it’s healing abilities well-known, it has become an obsession to isolate this precious cannabinoid so that patients (especially children) can have access to this life-changing medicine without any psychoactive effects from THC. However, patients have discovered that CBD doesn’t quite work the same miracles when it’s completely isolated. It turns out CBD is most effective when working holistically with THC and the various terpenes found in cannabis flower and oil. These synergistic properties were coined the Entourage Effect by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in 1964. There are over 100 active cannabinoids that make up this unique flower and they all work in harmony to deliver its medicinal benefits. While CBD has unique characteristics that are attractive to many suffering with debilitating diseases, it’s important to remember this Entourage Effect and look for flower and products that contain small amounts of THC alongside your CBD.
The demand for CBD-rich strains has exploded and many seed banks are dedicated to providing unique CBD varieties. It can be hard to keep track of the ever-revolving door of new strains, so we’ve gathered a list of the top ten CBD-dominant strains.
Check out Weedmaps to find the dispensaries carrying the best CBD strains near you!
Sour Tsunami, one of the first strains bred specifically for high CBD and low THC, will immediately wash your pain away. It typically tests up to 11% CBD with THC less than 10%, making for a nice and balanced 1:1 ratio. Lawrence Ringo of Southern Humboldt Seed Collective dedicated four years to the creation of Sour Tsunami, crossing Sour Diesel and NYC Diesel until he landed upon a CBD-rich winner. This Sativa-dominant hybrid will provide pain, inflammation and anxiety relief without the high. It has a musky, diesel smell with sweet undertones causing the smooth inhale to taste like a refreshing sip of sweet tea.
Cannatonic is a migraine-melting strain out of Spain that’s one of the first strains bred for a high CBD ratio. Created by Resin Seeds, it has a mild sweet pine flavor but packs a punch with its consistently high CBD percentages (up to 23%!). Cannatonic is a cross between two favorite strains amongst patients, MK Ultra and G13 Haze. It relieves pain, anxiety, muscle spasms and migraines while uplifting your energy. It’s known for its ability to relax and loosen muscles without the couch-lock effect.
AC/DC is a Sativa-dominant phenotype of Cannatonic that has one of the highest ratios of CBD to THC at 20:1. This highly sought-after strain makes pain, anxiety, depression and migraines disappear while notably reducing symptoms in patients with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and some forms of cancer. AC/DC’s pinene-rich terpene profile provides clear-headed pain relief.
Harlequin was created by breeding classic landrace parents from regions such as Thailand, Switzerland, and Nepal. It is loved for its consistent 5:2 ratio of CBD:THC (ranges about 8-16% CBD to 4-7% THC). Harlequin’s unique flavor profile is reminiscent of a fresh pine forest with hints of delicious cherry notes. It melts away pain, stress and anxiety without any mental fogginess. This strain is a patient favorite its ability to relax and relieve without sedation.
Ringo’s Gift is a CBD creation named after the aforementioned cannabidiol pioneer, Lawrence Ringo. This Gift if a cross between AC/DC and Harle-tsu (sour tsunami x harlequin). Its CBD:THC ratio can range from 1:1 to 22:1 depending on how it’s grown. Ringo’s Gift provides full body relaxation that equally mellows the mind. Pain, stress, inflammation, depression, muscle aches and joint pain caused by arthritis are some of the symptoms that the pungent Ringo’s Gift helps melt away. Its earthy, spicy terpene profile makes this strain experience taste like a relaxing cup of herbal tea.
Pennywise may be named after the terrifying clown from Stephen King’s It, but this particular Pennywise will turn your nightmares into paradise. Pennywise is loved for its ability to reduce symptoms of arthritis, PTSD, epilepsy, anxiety attacks and cancer. It has a consistent ratio of 1:1 CBD:THC. Pennywise’s spicy, earthy yet somewhat sweet smell is passed along from its parents, Harlequin and Jack the Ripper.
The Remedy is one of my personal favorite CBD-rich strains because it’s extremely rich in terpenes while also having one of the highest CBD:THC ratios (15:1). Not only does The Remedy have a high ratio but it consistently tests at around 15% CBD. This unique profile is a result of a cross between Cannatonic and Afghan Skunk. It’s a powerful combatant to seizures, pain, anxiety, inflammation, and autism while also providing deep body relaxation.
VC/DC is amongst the many offspring of the AC/DC strain, which quickly gained notoriety for its medicinal value. This time, AC/DC is crossed with Viper City OG which creates an Indica-dominant powerhouse with a mouth-watering flavor profile reminiscent of citrus and fresh-picked berries. Bred by California-based Moxie Genetics, VC/DC won Best CBD Flower at the 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup in Southern California for its sky-high ratio of 20:1. This strain is best known for its ability to set blaze to pain, anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures.
CBD OG is another gold medal strain bred by C.R.A.F.T Cannabis who brilliantly merged the best of both worlds, because who wouldn’t want a CBD-rich OG?! Testing upwards of 19% CBD, this cross of Trident and Skywalker OG recently won Best CBD Flower at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Northern California. CBD OG runs Indica-dominant and has worked wonders on symptoms of PTSD, chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation and muscle tension. Plus, it serves a dose of CBG on the side which is the best cannabinoid for chronic sleep issues.
Dark Star is a CBD-rich Indica that is the flavorful offspring of Purple Kush and Mazar. Bred by TH Seeds, Dark Star is known for helping with fibromyalgia, nerve and bone pain, as well as insomnia. Its earthy, pine and sour terpene profile are comforting and therapeutic. Dark Star provides deep relaxation with uplifting, euphoric qualities that don’t lock you to the couch.