The second most common cannabinoid found in cannabis, CBD has played second fiddle to THC for a long time. Now, with advanced breeding techniques and scientific understandings of how CBD can aid in everything from pain relief, tumor reduction to overall relaxation, growers are focusing on CBD-rich strains for a newly legal market.
Here is a look at some strains with high CBD content. Click through for more information on these varieties, and to see where you can buy them in your area.
Breeders TGA Subcool have created popular craft strains like Jack the Ripper and Vortex. Pennywise is their foray into medical cannabis breeding. Pennywise is crossed from Harlequin (which itself is crossed from several different landraces) and Jack the Ripper. Pennywise typically has a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio, making it suitable for simultaneous medical and recreational use. Since each of these cannabinoids comprises as moderate 12-15% of plant matter, Pennywise is relaxing and euphoric without triggering paranoid visions of its namesake, the killer clown from Stephen King’s It. Pennywise also provides substantial medical benefit, relieving chronic pain and anxiety; its indica genetics may also be helpful in counteracting insomnia. This strain has a taste that is commonly described as herbal and peppery, with a mildly funky aftertaste.
Hurricane is one double-barrelled THC/CBD-rich strain that’s perfectly suited for daytime use. Produced by Colorado growers Riserva Privada, it’s a cross between the fruity Panama Punch and L.A. Confidential. Sativa dominance from Panama Punch means that any psychoactivity from this strain is more energized and motivating than lethargic.
CBD levels around 15% make Hurricane a good option for relieving aches and pains without any immobilizing couchlock effects
This is a great choice for patients who’d like to be active and focused while medicating. Hurricane is also very tasty, especially for a CBD-engineered strain. Buds smell tropical and dank, and taste distinctly like grape when inhaled and exhaled.
Resin Seeds, a Spanish seedbank that bills itself as the “founders of the CBD movement,” developed this hybrid strain around 2008 to seize on the emerging research around the medical benefits of CBD. A cross between the popular MK Ultra and G13 Haze, Cannatonic consistently tests with high CBD levels — depending on the phenotype, they range from 6 to a stunning 17%. The taste is earthy with some citrus. At a very modest 7% THC, this is a strain that may provide a mild, spacey high but is primarily intended for pain relief. Users report enjoying Cannatonic to help medicate migraines, joint pain, and even seizure disorders. Resin sells seeds of Cannatonic for home growing, and provides some comprehensive guidance.
Sour Tsunami combines two diesel varieties — Sour Diesel and NYC Diesel — to yield a potent, skunky hybrid. Created by NorCal’s Southern Humboldt Seed Collective to alleviate breeder Larry Ringo’s back pain, the strain has a low 10% THC composition, but levels of CBD that can range between 12 and 30%.
Fans of the funky chemical odor typical of diesel varieties will appreciate Sour Tsumani’s harsh sweetness;
the smoke is smooth and tastes tangy and peppery. The strain is best for anyone looking to chase a light high while also easing chronic pain — users report an energetic, clear-headed buzz that won’t interfere with daytime tasks.
Crossed from Cannatonic and a lesser-seen, low-THC variety of ruderalis, ACDC is a CBD strain developed for heavy-duty pain relief. The cured buds smell sweet and slightly skunky. When smoked, ACDC has a fruity taste with hints of lemon. Because of its primarily medical usage, ACDC is also frequently available in alternative preparations like pills or tinctures. Because THC ranges from 1-6%, users may feel no psychoactive effects at all. Levels of CBD as high as 20%, however, ensure anti-inflammatory relief from severe afflictions like chronic, neuralgic pain, seizure disorders, and Crohn’s Disease.
Hawaiian Dream is a mellow hybrid whose moderate effects are balanced out by its bold taste. The strain is crossed from a Hawaiian landrace and Blue Dream and has an approximately 1:2 ratio of THC to CBD. THC levels between 4 and 8% may barely register for a more experienced consumer, but
CBD between 6 and 12% provides deep relaxation and pain and anxiety relief
Like its parent Blue Dream, this strain has a bright, fruity scent with some chemical acidity – some fans of the variety make comparisons to Pine Sol. Broken open or burned, the buds take on more of a tropical, pineapple scent. Smoke is smooth when inhaled and leaves a fruity taste behind.
Ubiquitous on the West Coast, Animal Cookies in an indica-heavy product of Girl Scout Cookies and Fire OG. With a high THC content but a lower CBD composition between 1 and 4%, this strain may not be a replacement for prescription medication, but will relieve minor aches and pains while giving you a soaring high. Buds are sweet and earthy and taste more sour when exhaled. The high creeps up slowly, lulling the user into a calm and sometimes couchlocked state — Animal Cookies is definitely more of a choice for nighttime relaxation.
Also known as Omrita Rx3, this strain is a cross between Romulan and the tasty indica Fucking Incredible. With moderately higher CBD (9-12%) than THC (5-7%), Rx is a primarily medical variety that can help with pain, anxiety, stress, nausea and inflammation. With a bright, spicy smell and taste, and a mildly psychoactive (but mostly calming) high, Rx is a great medication for solo or social use.