CBD-Rich Cannabis Strains: An Introduction
- 1. What are CBD strains?
- 2. Who uses CBD strains, and why?
- 3. The endocannabinoid system
- 4. How CBD affects the endocannabinoid system
- 5. CBD: Versatile benefits without the high
- 6. CBD, THC, and the entourage effect
- 7. The important CBD:THC ratio
With research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis flourishing, and with more studies on the benefits of individual cannabinoids being released, cannabis has become a widely discussed topic within the health and wellness sphere.
Below, we delve into the ever-expanding world of CBD strains. We’ll touch upon how CBD affects the endocannabinoid system, then we’ll offer you some guidance on CBD:THC ratios so you can make an informed choice when selecting a CBD-rich strain.
WHAT ARE CBD STRAINS?
While in previous times cultivators and consumers were chasing higher and higher THC levels, today, strains are being bred to contain high levels of CBD with almost no THC. While these strains won’t get users high, they are extremely worthwhile.
It was only in the mid-2000s that “commercial” CBD strains first started to emerge. Groundbreaking cultivars like the Diesel-derived Juanita la Lagrimosa paved the way for CBD-rich, low-THC varieties.
Using this and a few other strains as the breeding stock, industrious cultivators got to work selectively breeding different cultivars for higher and higher CBD content, while doing their best to eliminate or mediate the presence of THC.
Still, to satisfy consumer demand, it was necessary for these strains to feature good production and easy growth, as well as nice flavour and an overall sellable appearance.
WHO USES CBD STRAINS, AND WHY?
Today, medicinal and recreational users enjoy CBD-rich cannabis strains for similar and different reasons. Aside from the benefits experienced by those dealing with health conditions, even healthy individuals report enjoying the holistic effects provided by CBD.
Instead of the characteristic THC “high”, CBD induces a mellow, calming state that eases tension without altering your ability to focus or remain productive.
As such, it’s often enjoyed by those looking to take the edge off a stressful day, or by those looking to add a clear-headed edge to their nightly bong. Indeed, just like other cannabis strains, you can consume CBD strains in joints or bongs or can make them into edibles and concentrates.
While some people like to use it exclusively, others use CBD to temper their THC use or to remain alert and balanced during the day.
On the Royal Queen Seeds website, you can find some top-tier high-CBD, low-THC strains like Solomatic CBD (21% CBD and never more than 1% THC) and the delicious Purplematic CBD.
|RQS CBD STRAINS|
|Tatanka Pure CBD
THC: 0,15 – 0,25% / CBD: High
THC: 1 % / CBD: 21%
THC: 0,5 % / CBD: 17%
THC: 0,25 – 0,75% / CBD: 15%
THC: 12 % / CBD: High
THC: 9 % / CBD: High
THC: 10 % / CBD: High
THC: 14 % / CBD: High
THC: 9 % / CBD: High
|Stress Killer Automatic
THC: 11 % / CBD: High
THC: 10 % / CBD: High
THC: 9 % / CBD: High
|RQS CBD STRAINS|
|Tatanka Pure CBD (THC: CBD: High)|
|Solomatic CBD (THC: 1 % / CBD: 21%)|
|Purplematic CBD (THC: 0,5 % / CBD: 17%)|
|Joanne’s CBD (THC: 0,25 – 0,75% / CBD: 15%)|
|Dance World (THC: 12 % / CBD: High)|
|Fast Eddy (THC: 9 % / CBD: High)|
|Royal Medic (THC: 10 % / CBD: High)|
|Royal Highness (THC: 14 % / CBD: High)|
|Euphoria (THC: 9 % / CBD: High)|
|Stress Killer Automatic (THC: 11 % / CBD: High)|
|Medical Mass (THC: 10 % / CBD: High)|
|Painkiller XL (THC: 9 % / CBD: High)|
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endocannabinoid system is innately involved in many physiological processes. It uses internally produced “endocannabinoids” to help regulate our mood, appetite, sleep cycle, and perception of pain, among other functions.
Named after the cannabis plant, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was actually discovered when studying the effects of marijuana on humans. This physiological system consists of receptors located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, immune system, and beyond.
Cannabinoids found outside the human body, called exogenous cannabinoids or “phytocannabinoids” (derived from plants), can activate this system to a potentially higher degree than endocannabinoids. This allows the endocannabinoid system to work in novel, productive, and powerful ways.
A perfect example of this is the psychoactive effect experienced when smoking or otherwise consuming THC-rich cannabis. From here, researchers are uncovering many other ways in which cannabis can stimulate the ECS to exert potentially therapeutic outcomes in humans.
While THC is one cannabinoid being studied for this purpose, it’s not the only one.
HOW CBD AFFECTS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
What makes CBD interesting is that it interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body differently than THC. Instead of binding to CB1 or CB2 receptors, it modulates their activity indirectly.
For instance, CBD works against the production of fatty acid amide hydrolase, an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, a prominent endocannabinoid.
In doing so, CBD increases the availability of this internal cannabinoid in the brain, without binding directly to endocannabinoid receptors. Ultimately, anandamide triggers the same receptor as THC, resulting in therapeutic effects throughout the body.
CBD: VERSATILE BENEFITS WITHOUT THE HIGH
Because of this, CBD does not have any intoxicating or psychotropic effects. It is therefore more widely respected by medical professionals and consequently easier to source.
CBD is being invoked as a possible treatment for a range of conditions; however, it’s crucial to note that much of the research on CBD’s therapeutic potential is preclinical or inconclusive.
While studies suggest many beneficial actions, including anti-inflammatory  , anticonvulsant  , and anxiolytic  functions, there are very few conditions for which CBD is considered an actual treatment.
Perhaps the best known example is the synthetic CBD spray Epidiolex, an FDA-approved treatment for two rare types of childhood epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Still, the scope of CBD’s potential appears to span far beyond this. As more human trials come to light, we are bound to see the landscape of these developments change.
CBD, THC, AND THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT
Interestingly, CBD appears to modulate the psychoactive effects of THC when the two cannabinoids are taken together. By weakening THC’s bond with the CB1 receptor, the resulting high is less intense.
This lends to a larger theory that the chemical compounds in cannabis, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, are more effective when used together than in isolation—the “entourage effect”.
For recreational users, CBD can help delay and mediate the effects of THC to allow for a more pleasant overall experience.
THE IMPORTANT CBD:THC RATIO
When browsing CBD-rich strains, you will often come across their CBD:THC ratio. This is the amount of CBD relative to THC contained in a particular cannabis strain.
Due to potential synergy between these two cannabinoids, selecting strains with different ratios can be advantageous for different types of users.
If you’re still new to cannabis, it can be a good idea to start out with a low-THC strain and see how you feel. If desired, you can gradually work your way up to strains with higher THC concentrations.
Here’s a breakdown of the different CBD:THC ratios you’ll come across:
• 1:0 | Contains no THC at all, so there is no psychoactive effect whatsoever. Suitable for all users, including those with zero tolerance to THC.
• 20:1–25:1 | Very high levels of CBD and little THC results in no real psychoactive effect. Recommended for new cannabis users and medicinal users seeking maximum CBD without a high.
• 8:1–4:1 | These strains have a relatively low amount of THC, resulting in a very mild high. This ratio is advised for people who enjoy CBD but find that some THC helps them.
• 2:1 | With double the amount of CBD to THC, users can fully benefit from both cannabinoids when choosing this highly sought-after ratio. These strains are somewhat psychoactive, so they may not be recommended for beginners or first-time users.
• 1:1 | Perfectly balanced CBD:THC ratio. Recommended for experienced users who can tolerate the effects of THC.
It all comes down to you. If you enjoy the psychoactive high of cannabis but want to give CBD a try, look for strains with a 1:1 or 1:2 CBD:THC ratio. This way, you will still feel elevated, without being stoned out of your mind.
Find out more about what CBD-rich cannabis can do therapeutically. There are a lot of strains to choose from!
12 High-CBD Cannabis Strains to Ease Anxiety
Cannabis is a go-to remedy for some folks living with anxiety. But not all cannabis is created equal. Some strains can actually bring on or worsen anxiety.
The key is to choose a strain with a high CBD-to-THC ratio.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the main active compounds in cannabis. They’re both similar in structure, but there’s one very big difference.
THC is a psychoactive compound, and CBD is not. It’s THC that causes the “high” associated with cannabis, including the anxiety and paranoia that some people experience.
While not a treatment for anxiety, using high-CBD strains might help ease certain symptoms, especially when combined with other tools, like therapy.
We combed through Leafly’s strain explorer to find 12 CBD-dominant strains worth trying if you’re looking for something on the mellower side.
Keep in mind that strains aren’t an exact science. The effects aren’t always consistent, even among products of the same strain.
Remedy is a 14 percent CBD strain that produces little to no psychoactive effects.
It’s got a lemon-pine scent. Most users recommend it for its ability to mellow you out without the intense head and body effects of high-THC strains.
This is another 14 percent CBD strain preferred by people looking to relieve stress, anxiety, and pain without feeling stoned.
It contains no relevant amount of THC. The two most common words used to describe its effects are “relaxed” and “happy,” according to reviews on Leafly.
Lifter is a newer player in the cannabis game. It averages around 16 percent CBD with next to no THC.
Its aroma is described as “funky cheese with a hint of fuel” (weird flex, but OK). It’s uber-relaxing effects won’t put a damper on your focus or function.
This is one of the best-known high-CBD strains. It contains around 13 percent CBD with little to no THC.
It’s used in several health and wellness products to help ease anxiety, pain, and depression without any psychoactive effects.
If you like the smell of wine and cheese, Cherry Wine’s your strain.
It averages around 17 percent CBD with less than 1 percent THC. According to user reviews, it relaxes your brain and muscles without mind-altering effects.
This CBD strain has an average CBD-to-THC ratio of 13:1, but strains as high as 20:1 can be found.
Ringo’s Gift is a cross of two high-CBD strains: ACDC and Harle-Tsu, which is actually next on our list.
Users report a big improvement in anxiety and stress levels after using this strain. Improved sleep is another effect users rave about.
This award-winning strain averages around 13 percent CBD but often tests much higher.
It was named best CBD flower at the 2014 Emerald Cup. Lab tests found it to contain 21.05 percent CBD and 0.86 percent THC.
This ratio makes it a favorite for people looking to lower anxiety and boost their mood and focus.
This was one of the first high-CBD strains ever bred and remains a fan favorite.
It has an average CBD:THC ratio of 13:1 or even lower THC. Users report feeling relaxed and happy without that “heavy body” feeling.
Elektra averages around 16 percent CBD with less than 1 percent THC. Some user reviews say it’s tested as high as around 20 percent CBD.
Its pungent smoke and aroma get mixed reviews, but people love it for its relaxing effect that doesn’t totally wipe you out.
This high-CBD strain has some sour notes as far as aroma, but it gets props from people who use it to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Sour Space Candy has an average of 17 percent CBD and only a trace amount of THC.
Suzy Q isn’t as high in CBD as some other strains. It comes in at about 11 percent CBD with little to no THC.
It’s considered a good choice for helping to relax an anxious mind and tense muscles without getting you high or knocking you out.
This strain contains more THC than the others we’ve listed, making it a good option if you’re still looking for a light buzz. It can contain anywhere from 4 to 7 percent THC and 8 to 10 percent CBD.
According to user reviews, people who don’t generally do well with THC find that this strain relaxes and calms without causing a green out.
Even if you’re going with a high-CBD strain, most still contain some THC, even if just a trace amount. Still, since it’s hard to predict exactly how any amount of THC will affect someone, a little caution is always a good idea.
Here are some tips that can help make your experience a little safer when trying a new strain:
- Go low and slow by choosing a strain with the lowest THC you can find. Give it ample time to work before considering having more.
- Consider nonsmoking methods, like CBD oils, to protect your lungs. Cannabis smoke contains a lot of the same toxins and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.
- If you do smoke, avoid deep inhalation or holding your breath to limit exposure to smoke’s harmful byproducts.
- Don’t drive for at least 6 hours after use, or longer if you’re still feeling any effects.
- Avoid cannabis entirely if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Also keep in mind that individual states have their own legislation regarding legal levels of CBD and THC. Check your state’s legislation for specific information. Be mindful of other state laws when traveling with cannabis.
Research continues into cannabis, specifically CBD, as a potential way to manage anxiety. While it isn’t a tried-and-true remedy, some people do find it helpful for easing some of their symptoms.
If you want to give high-CBD strains a try, just be sure to keep up with any anxiety treatments prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.
Cannabis and anxiety have a complicated relationship. For some, cannabis works wonders for their symptoms, but for others, it ramps them up. If you're looking to use cannabis for anxiety, high-CBD strains are probably your safest bet.