Thursday May 10, 2018

By Paul Barach

The Top 10 High-CBD, Low-THC Cannabis Strains Growing

Low-THC, high-CBD cannabis strains are gaining popularity among marijuana consumers looking to experience the medicinal benefits of the plant without heightened psychoactive effects.



Thanks to medical and recreational legalization in the past decade, consumers more than ever have their pick of the litter when it comes to low-dose products or high-CBD strain varieties.

High-CBD Cannabis Strains

For those curious about some of the high-CBD strains currently on the market, check out our curated list below highlighting some key details.

Charlotte’s Web (20% CBD)

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte’s Web is perhaps the most famous high-CBD strain due to the worldwide news coverage of Charlotte Figi, for whom the strain was named for. Charlotte was suffering from up to 300 grand mal seizures a week until her parents tried CBD as a treatment, which miraculously reduced her seizures to one or less a week. Created by Colorado growers the Stanley Brothers, Charlotte’s Web has a 30:1 CBD:THC ratio and is essentially non-psychoactive. 

Known to treat:

  • Pediatric epilepsy
  • Dravet’s syndrome
  • PTSD
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Arthritis

Harlequin (15% CBD)

A cultured, diverse descendant of Colombian Gold, Nepali Indica, Thai, and Swiss strains, Harlequin is highly regarded for its relaxing effects that don’t sedate or intoxicate. This strain’s other claim to fame is its consistent CBD:THC ratio of 5:2, exhibiting none of the minor fluctuations common to other CBD strains. This pain-relieving strain is often used for weaning users off of pharmaceuticals and opioids.

Known to treat:

  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Migraines
  • PTSD
  • Stress

Sour Tsunami (11% CBD)

One of the first strains bred specifically for its CBD content, Sour Tsunami’s parentage of Sour Diesel and NY Diesel makes it an alert, uplifting 1:1 CBD:THC ratio, which has a great reputation for treating depression related issues as well as body pain. 

Known to treat:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Inflammation

Harle-Tsu (22% CBD)

The popular lovechild of Sour Tsunami and Harlequin, the only thing holding this strain back from widespread distribution is its rarity. Boasting a 20:1 CBD ratio, this painkilling strain leads with a light buzz behind the eyes before following with a free and relaxed body high. Harle-Tsu is perfect for daytime use for its minimal psychoactive effects.

Known to treat

Ringo’s Gift (20% CBD)

Named for the legendary CBD trailblazer and cannabis advocate Lawrence Ringo, and not legendary adequate drummer Ringo Starr, Ringo’s Gift is a cross between ACDC and Harle-Tsu. At a 24:1 CBD ratio, the strain delivers a mild, focused mental high alongside a soothing and relaxed body feel.

Known to treat:

  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Gastrointestinal Disorder
  • Stress
  • PTSD
  • Muscle Spasms

ACDC (19% CBD)

ACDC Strain

A calm and happy strain descended from Cannatonic and Ruderalis, ACDC is known for helping marijuana enthusiasts focus on their work during the day and sharpen their social skills at night. While ACDC’s 20:1 CBD:THC ratio has been traditionally used for chronic pain and anxiety, it’s become a go-to for chemotherapy patients looking to ease the effects of their treatment.

Known to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic Pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Neuropathy
  • Arthritis

Stephen Hawking Kush (22% CBD)

Named for the most famous astrophysicist of the last century, and the second most famous case of Lou Gehrig's disease, this strain is best known for mitigating the symptoms of muscular degenerative diseases like ALS, Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy. Descended from Harle-Tsu and Sin City Kush, this 1:1 CBD:THC strain is a daytime indica that imparts a relaxing, serene vibe without being sleepy.

Known to treat:

  • ALS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Other conditions related to involuntary muscle contractions and spasms

Valentine X (17% CBD)

Boasting a remarkable 25:1 CBD:THC ratio, medical marijuana patients revere Valentine X as the go-to for a number of health issues from seizures and inflammation to cancer treatment. Despite the association with love and courtship, this potent strain’s name instead refers to St. Valentine’s other title: the patron saint of epilepsy.

Known to treat:

  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Cancer-Related Pains

Zen (9% CBD)

While this strain contains the lowest CBD percentage on our list, Zen earns its place on the list for the relief given to those suffering from digestive and stomach issues. A cross of Afghani and Mexican Sativa with a dash of calming Lavender hybrid, Zen delivers swift relief for GI problems ranging from anorexia to Crohn’s disease.

Known to treat:

  • Anorexia
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Nausea
  • Appetite Loss
  • Anxiety

Warlock (13% CBD)

A cross between Skunk and Afghani varieties, this strain boasts a nearly 1:1 CBD:THC ratio. Unlike most CBD strains, Warlock was bred to contain a high level of THC to enhance its effects. This strain’s CBD:THC ratio has users with ADD and ADHD celebrating its “sharpening” of their focus and engagement while relieving the inattention and boredom common with that issue.

Known to treat:

  • Focus Issues
  • Social Anxiety
  • Stress

The Future of CBD Strains and Products

As knowledge of CBD’s health benefits continues to spread through word of mouth and, hopefully soon, federally funded research, we can expect more low-THC, high-CBD strains to be developed. Already growers have developed Corazon, which boasts a CBD content of 22.5%, the highest ever tested. There’s a lot of interest in breaking this record in the coming years as well.

In addition to CBD products sold in dispensaries, the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill has allowed for hemp-derived CBD products to become extremely popular. Many large retailers like CVS and Walgreens have started carrying CBD products, and e-commerce sales for the hemp industry are booming as well. If you're not in an area where recreational or medical cannabis is legal, buying CBD online can be a great way to gain access to a variety of products. One of the industry's leading CBD manufacturers and retailers is Pure Relief, a North Carolina company that prides itself on providing naturally-derived products made from industral hemp.

Pure Relief
Pure Relief offers a wide variety of high-quality CBD products. photo credit

Pure Relief offers consumers some of the most innovative CBD products on the market, like their line of raw hemp flower products featuring a 2.5 gram joint rolled with CBD flower, wax and kief! On top of that, Pure Relief gives consumers peace of mind with unparalleled customer service and satisfaction. Companies like Pure Relief are more than just hemp and CBD suppliers, they're pioneers in this growing industry. As we look into the future of marijuana, CBD may be what finally pushes federal legalization past its legislative inertia. With the epidemic of opioid abuse front and center in the media and in the minds of those affected by it, marijuana is appearing more and more harmless to the US voter’s eye.


What are your thoughts on high-CBD strains and the CBD movement in general? Comment below!


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors.


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