Traditionally, the THC content has been the sole indicator of a strain’s potency and quality, but this is changing as the merits of the other cannabinoids, and particularly CBD, are being scientifically recognised. THC is the cannabinoid largely responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, and is still the most sought after compound by recreational users for its trippy qualities. For this reason, most breeders have focused on pushing THC levels, but neglected other cannabinoids such as CBD.
With more and more scientific evidence backing up the medicinal effects of cannabis, we are seeing not only a revival of legal and socially accepted use of medical cannabis, but also a shift in focus towards other cannabinoids. THC has been shown to hold its own medicinal qualities, but it is CBD that has moved into the spotlight for its wide range of medicinal qualities. Particularly the absence of any psychoactive effects makes CBD attractive for a wide range of applications, as it has been successfully given to children without causing a high. As a result, cannabis seed breeders are now producing many new strains that exhibit high levels of CBD.
With mainstream media picking up CBD stories, such as of the little girl Charlotte who beat epilepsy with a high CBD strain, awareness about the potent medicinal qualities of this cannabinoid is spreading. The legalisation of recreational and medical cannabis in a number of U.S. states has further made CBD rich stains widely available. However, not all medical users are lucky enough to buy from legal dispensaries, and illegal cannabis from the streets isn‘t fit for medical use. For this reason, many take it into their own hands and grow their own supply, from which they create their own medicines, such as tinctures and concentrates.
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, the second most prevalent and important cannabinoid found in cannabis, after THC. When looking at a strain’s cannabinoid content, it is quite common to find a THC content ranging from around 12 – 20 percent, with anything at 20 or more being considered very strong. This is not the case when it comes to CBD, it is rare to find such high numbers; any CBD content level that is 4 percent or higher is considered a high CBD strain. While already 1% CBD is much better than nothing, strains with up 18% CBD have emerged in the last few years, although they still tend to be difficult to get ahold of. Commercially available high CBD strains contain between 8% - 12% CBD.
Initially, it was always thought that CBD only acted to modulate and dampen some of the effects of THC – giving breeders good reason to cast it aside. However, new studies have shown that it is in fact CBD that potentially holds the greatest medicinal value. It is true that CBD alters the way THC interacts with our body, but not necessarily in a negative way. It counteracts some of the unwanted side-effects that can come with high doses of THC, as well as prolonging its effects.
On its own, CBD has been shown to be applicable and useful for a wide range of diseases, ailments and problems. Research has shown CBD to exhibit very promising results in treating multiple sclerosis, Chrohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and PTSD. CBD is also a component of cannabis can help patients cope with chronic pain, aches, spasms and arthritis.
It is worth mentioning again that, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. Hence tinctures and extracts can, and are, used to treat children suffering from debilitating disorders – such as the above mentioned case of Charlotte who takes a cannabis tincture made from the aptly named CBD rich strain „Charlotte’s Web“, in order to beat her seizures. Before taking cannabis, Charlotte was having around 1,200 seizures a month, she now has around 3, and displays balanced behaviour.
Furthermore, CBD has no negative side effects, does not damage the body or mind, is not addictive, and cannot be overdosed on.
The following 5 strains are ones that have been shown to have a very high CBD content, and are well suited for those who are looking to produce their own medicine and/or grow it themselves. They are highly recommended.
Shark Shock is one of the fine creations of the breeders from CBD Crew. The CBD Crew is a cannabis breeder who is defying the norm. They are not interested in mass marketing high THC strains, and have focused all their energy to produce CBD rich, high quality, medical strains. Shark Shock is no exception here, it is one of the few strains where the CBD content outweighs the THC. With an average THC content of 6.33% and a CBD content of a whopping 7.28%, it is a perfect strain for the medical user.
Should you choose to vaporise it (smoking is never really recommended), Shark Shock produces a sweet, fruity vapour. Having a predominantly indica heritage, Shark Shock grows small in stature, has a fast flowering time of around 8 weeks, and can yield in the region of 400 grams/m2. She is a strong little grower, and an asset to any medical grower’s collection.
The result of a joint venture by CBD Crew and the breeders at Dutch Passion, CBD Skunkhaze is a great medical enhancement of a classic strain. CBD Skunkhaze has definitely been bred with the medical user in mind. This strain has been bred to achieve the desirable 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD, resulting in 5% THC and 5% CBD. The result is a mellow and pleasant stone, but more importantly, a potent medicine to beat back the many ailments that are affected by CBD.
CBD Skunkhaze produces a vapour that is spicy, fresh, citrusy and minty all at the same time. As the name suggests, CBD Skunkhaze is a 50/50 sativa/indica hybrid. It grows tall, but not overwhelmingly so, and has a flowering time of around 10 weeks. It can produce yields in the region of 450 gram/m2.
Royal Highness is Royal Queen Seeds' answer to medical strains. Although the specific THC and CBD content are unknown, both are listed as being very high by the breeder – and both us here at Zamnesia and medical patients agree. It produces a very clear headed, focused high, whilst also effectively going to work the ailments being treated.
When vaporised, Royal Highness has a distinctively sweet taste that has skunky undertones. It is another strain that is easy for even novice cultivators to manage. It grows like an indica, small and sturdy in stature, and has a flowering time of roughly 8-9 weeks.
Yet another strain produced by the breeders of CBD Crew, CBD Nordle pushes the boundaries of CBD to the next level. It boasts a maximum tested CBD content of 8.97 percent, whilst the THC content sits at at 6.43 percent. It is a work of breeding art and a testament to the skill of CBD Crew. There are few strains out there that would make a finer medicine, (the emphasis with these strains is to medicate, not get high). Rarely will you find a strain with higher CBD content (although we are sure CBD Crew will manage).
When vaporised, CBD Nordle has a very strong and herbal flavour. It is a very novice friendly strain that grows short in stature, resembling a Christmas tree in shape. CBD Nordle is an indica dominant hybrid that will take in the region of 8-10 weeks to flower, and can produce up to 500 grams/m2.
CBD Medi Haze is one of the most recent creations from CBD Crew. It is a sativa dominant strain that has been enriched with insane levels of CBD. Tests have shown that the CBD level within this strain can reach up to 8 percent! Whilst the THC only ever really reaches 4! It is yet again an astounding feat of breeding, and perfect for medical patients.
Should you vaporise CBD Medi Haze, it will produce a spicy, minty flavour. As a sativa dominant strain, CBD Medi Haze can grow quite tall. However, after its flowering period of 9-10 weeks it can produce a yield in the region of 450 – 550 grams/m2