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10 CBD-dominant weed strains that our users love

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most common cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike its euphoric sister, THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD plays it cool, offering relaxing, non-intoxicating effects that lend themselves to a variety of personal and medicinal uses. Because CBD lacks the stoney side effects typical of high-THC strains, it’s a great choice for patients needing to keep a clear head while treating pain, nausea, headaches, stress, anxiety, muscle spasms, epilepsy, and more.

It’s clear that many people have experienced the upsides of CBD, but with so many high-CBD strains hitting the market today, it can be difficult to choose the one for you. Here, we’ll go over what it means for a strain to be high in CBD along with identifying which high-CBD strains are the most popular and easy-to-find based on Leafly user-submitted reviews.

What does it mean for a strain to be high in CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabis molecule with a variety of anecdotal and studied benefits. Strains high in CBD are popular with users for help with:

Just as you can search for strains high in THC, sativa, or indica, you can also search for strains high in CBD – and Leafly users do just that.

If you’re interested in finding high CBD strains yourself, look for strains that contain only circles in their Leafly strain flower. This will help you find strains that consistently express high levels of CBD, which is more likely to bring you clear-headed relief. But if you’re ready to cut to the chase, here are the top picks from our users:

1. Harlequin

Harlequin is one of the most popular CBD strains available. Typically testing around the 5:2 CBD/THC ratio, it exhibits a clear-headed alertness with only mild euphoria. Harlequin has a happy bent that most will find enhances whatever activity they are engaged in.

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2. Ringo’s Gift

Ringo’s Gift—named for activist, CBD specialist, and founder of SoHum Seeds, Lawrence Ringo—is a hybrid cross of Harle-Tsu and ACDC. It keeps on giving to patients seeking a nearly full-on CBD-driven strain, with an average ratio of 24:1 CBD/THC.

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3. Sweet and Sour Widow

Sweet and Sour Widow lands in the middle ground with a 1:1 CBD/THC ratio. This even split offers first-time cannabis consumers an enjoyable entry point to both THC and CBD without sending them into orbit. It also makes for good medicine while being slightly euphoric and stoney.

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4. Stephen Hawking Kush

Stephen Hawking Kush offers mild, relaxing effects while doling out a healthy dose of CBD, too. This indica-dominant strain is one of the more unique CBD cuts out there, offering both heady and soothing effects.

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5. ACDC

ACDC makes an easy favorite.The cannabinoid content is usually heavily CBD-dominant, sitting on average at 20:1 in its CBD/THC ratio. An imperceptible amount of THC makes ACDC an outstanding companion for daily medicinal cannabis consumers seeking to relieve tension, pain, or anxiety.

Bonus staff review: “Known for its keen ability to lift anxiety of all shades, this strain is a godsend to consumers susceptible to the side effects of THC. This strain allows you to harness many of the desirable traits of cannabis, like light-footed physical relaxation and gentle mood elevation, without the cost of a clear, calm mind.”

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6. Cannatonic

Cannatonic isn’t nearly as sedative as the name implies. This strain usually brings a smaller CBD/THC split, ranging from 5:1 down to 1:1. This even-keeled cannabinoid profile gives consumers a great deal of flexibility to use Cannatonic as medicine or as an enjoyable, mild mannered strain to unwind with.

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7. Harle-Tsu

Harle-Tsu, one of a few lovingly handcrafted strains created by the late Lawrence Ringo, is an outstandingly functional CBD cut. By combining Harlequin and Sour Tsunami, Harle-Tsu achieves a pleasant disposition without encumbering the consumer with strong sedation.

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8. Canna-Tsu

Canna-Tsu is a more balanced CBD/THC strain that offers a unique bouquet of smells. With aromas of citrus and sweet earth, Canna-Tsu gives the CBD enthusiast a complex palate of flavor and terpenes to enjoy.

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9. Sour Tsunami

Created by the larger-than-life grower and activist Lawrence Ringo, Sour Tsunami was brought into being by combining Sour Diesel and NYC Diesel. This unlikely pair of stimulating plants bred the high-CBD phenotype that has since redefined the medicinal qualities of cannabis.

Bonus staff review: “This strain has become a household name among high-CBD strains. This variety tends to produce less than 1-2% of THC, so you can reap its medicinal benefits without the high. Sour Tsunami is fairly prolific, so keep an eye out for this strain at your next dispensary visit if you’re looking to quell pain or anxiety symptoms without the interference of THC.”

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10. Pennywise

Pennywise certainly has the scariest of all the names that made this list, or at least it does for those familiar with the Stephen King book responsible for its namesake. But fear not, Pennywise truly gets its name from its genetic cross of Harlequin and Jack the Ripper. It synthesizes Jack the Ripper’s mental clarity and an even 1:1 CBD/THC to make a strain that is functional and enjoyable at almost any dose.

CBD can offer relaxing or non-intoxicating effects when used. Discover 10 of the best high-CBD and low-THC strains that our users rave about from Leafly.

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
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
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 [1] , anticonvulsant [2] , and anxiolytic [3] 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!