High-CBD, Low-THC Cannabis Strains
Today, cannabis (aka the grownup name for weed, marijuana, or pot) has become an ultra-curated industry, with countless strains to suit nearly every desired effect — whether you want to feel energized and euphoric, ultra mellowed out, or somewhere in between.
Enter: high-CBD, low-THC cannabis strains.
These strains have been bred to contain a higher percentage of cannabidiol (CBD) than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the main psychotropic compound in cannabis that gets you high and alters your mental state (and sometimes makes you paranoid), while CBD is the main nonintoxicating compound in cannabis with relaxing properties and a variety of mind-body health benefits.
So a high-CBD, low-THC cannabis strain may be ideal for someone who’s looking to keep a clear head, while getting some much needed relief from anxiety, stress, pain, seizures, inflammation, and more.
Here are some specific high-CBD, low-THC strains to look for at your local dispensary.
15 high-CBD, low-THC cannabis strains to consider
Before you dive in here, keep in mind: Chatting up knowledgeable dispensary staff is probably your best bet for finding the ideal strain of cannabis for your specific needs (some actually have doctors on site). But going in with some knowledge of what you’re looking for is a good idea.
We did some digging to find high-CBD strains you might enjoy if you’re not looking to get blazed out of your mind. Just remember, cannabis strains aren’t an exact science, and they may affect people differently.
Most of the characteristics and effects mentioned below are not based on research, but on user experience and reviews.
A cross between Harlequin and Sour Tsunami (both of which are also on this list), the Harle-Tsu cannabis strain is *generally* 20–24 percent CBD, 1 percent THC, and has a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1. But this can vary depending on the grower and the season.
So there’s basically no chance of getting high from this stuff! With its ultra high CBD content, it’s often used to reduce chronic pain and inflammation. Like many of these strains, it also aids in relaxation and many users liken its effects to a “focused, happy calm.”
Harle-Tsu has earthy notes, along with pepper and pine, and a subtly sweet taste.
Suzy Q features around 10 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC, with a pleasant piney taste. It’s been described as relaxing and uplifting and may help relieve chronic pain, nausea, arthritis, muscle spasms, and anxiety without the intoxicating effects of THC.
One user even claims it wiped out her 2-day headache in less than 10 minutes. We’ll puff to that!
Another ultra-popular high-CBD strain, Charlotte’s Web contains about 13 percent CBD, less than 1 percent THC, and a CBD:THC ratio of 30:1. This strain was actually bred specifically for the Stanley Brothers of Colorado who use it in their Charlotte’s Web health and wellness products (CBD oils, gummies, capsules, etc).
This strain is calming and thought to be particularly well suited for managing seizures, chronic pain, and muscle spasms. It got its name after a young girl named Charlotte Figi was able to manage her seizures with the help of Charlotte’s Web capsules.
While you can find Charlotte’s Web in a range of flavors, its natural flavor is said to be sweet, delicate, and citrusy.
This high-CBD strain is about 11–15 percent CBD, 1 percent THC, and has an average CBD:THC ratio of 13:1 — but strains as high as 24:1 can be found.
It typically provides a soothing feeling of relaxation that begins in the head and spreads throughout the body, but does not have a sedative or “couch lock” effect (where you basically melt into the couch and can’t get up).
Users claim it helps with anxiety, PTSD, migraines, pain relief, sleep, and more. Ringo’s Gift has notes of pine, citrus, mint, and spice.
Remedy clocks in at about 13 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC. It’s a very high-CBD strain with little psychoactive effects that delivers mellow relaxation.
It’s also a strain that may be particularly useful for chronic pain — one user on Leafly with severe joint and bone pain reported “great pain relief without the head high!” Remedy is also said to help with anxiety, sleep, and more.
Remedy has sweet, floral notes that some find similar to a cup of herbal tea.
Calling all foodies and wine snobs! The Cherry Wine cannabis strain actually has aromas of sweet cherry and hints of cheese and black pepper. It ranges from 15–25 percent CBD with less than 1 percent THC, and many users mention its mood-elevating properties.
One user says, “I have anxiety and depression, and this strain culled the demons,” while another said, “If you suffer from anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, or depression then this strain will lend a decent helping hand in calming the nerves.”
Don’t worry, ACDC will not leave you… thunderstruck (saw that one coming, didn’t you? Instead, this strain — which averages around 14 percent CBD, 1 percent THC, and has a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1 — has basically no intoxicating effects and may help alleviate pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and more, while leaving you with a clear head.
Users describe it as relaxing and uplifting and it’s said to be a bit earthy, with notes of citrus.
Elektra gets big props for its great smell — it gives off a sweet aroma with notes of red wine, citrus, chocolate. YUM. Even better, it is around 15 percent relaxing CBD with less than 1 percent THC, and gets praise for helping with sleep, relaxation, and even social anxiety.
Sour Space Candy
Gotta love this one for the name alone! Sour Space Candy has an average of 15 percent CBD and just 1 percent THC. One user says, “It clears out my thoughts, improves my focus, gives me a nice uplift and at the same time relaxes my body,” while several others praise its relaxing and sleep-promoting properties.
Lifter contains around 18 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC. Leafly describes its buds as having “a funky cheese aroma with a hint of fuel.” Which is super weird, but the stuff seems to work.
Reported benefits include feeling uplifted, happy, and relaxed but simultaneously focused. Users have reported it’s great for pain relief, too.
Harlequin typically clocks in around 8 percent CBD, 7 percent THC, and has a CBD:THC ratio of 5:2. It’s often used to help manage pain and anxiety without making you drowsy, and provides an alert, clear-headed state with mild euphoria. Many users consider it an uplifting, energizing, happy weed.
Harlequin’s scent and flavor profile can range from woody and musky to sweet and mango-like.
Sour Tsunami was one of the first high-CBD strains bred, and it remains quite popular. Typically, it has 12 percent CBD, 10 percent THC, and has a CBD:THC ratio of around 3:1.
It’s thought to be a strain that’s effective for treating pain and inflammation, but that does not cause the cerebral buzz associated with high THC.
Sour Tsunami’s scent is reminiscent of diesel with sweet undertones.
CBD Critical Mass
Not to be confused with regular Critical Mass (which is a high-THC strain), CBD Critical Mass is about 9 percent CBD, 6 percent THC, and has a 3:2 ratio of CBD:THC — so it can be a good choice if you’re looking for an ever so subtle buzz or sense of euphoria, along with the therapeutic and relaxing properties of CBD.
One user wrote, “every time I smoke it it’s perfect,” and that “ it feels like I imagine the weed that Gandalf is smoking in Lord of the Rings would feel.” Honestly, we have no idea what that means, but it sounds amazing!
Pennywise is the highest THC strain on this list, but still considered a high-CBD strain. It has a CBD:THC ratio of 1:1, with 8 percet of each of these compounds.
What does that mean? Pennywise delivers a subtle sense of euphoria and mental clarity, but the psychotropic effects of THC are mellowed by the CBD. It’s also been described as uplifting, and may help with stress, anxiety, and conditions like PTSD.
Don’t worry, this strain certainly won’t leave you catatonic. It’s 10 percent CBD, 5 percent THC, with a CBD:THC ratio of 2:1, which provides a mellow high that’s both uplifting and relaxing.
Cannatonic is considered a premier medical strain, and it’s been used to treat migraines, chronic pain, anxiety, and more. As one user describes it, cannatonic delivers “very nice, broad body buzz,” and after about 10 minutes, “all pain melts away, physical, emotional, and mental.”
Cannatonic has an aroma and flavor that’s described as earthy, sweet, and mildly citrusy.
This Premium Sour Diesel CBD Flower is what you need when a mellow mood is the need of the hour. Its relatively high-CBD content, amounting to about 20.165%, gives it one of the most quirky-portfolios and high potency strains. As you may have guessed from the name, Sour Diesel has a sour and kerosene-like smell. It has a sweet and tangy essence, topped with a strong kerosene aroma as soon as you light it up. Your mind will instantly feel energized while your body goes in a soothing, tranquil state.
This sativa-rich strain contains 0.094% THC and provides instant effects. Especially if you are tolerant to low CBD levels, the Sour Diesel will work best for you. It is an excellent day-time strain that relaxes your body and activates the creative side of your brain. The Premium Sour Diesel CBD Flower strain is grown with 100% natural processes and is GMO-free. Plus, it is crossbred with premium hemp to reduce THC levels to comply with the Federal Farm Bill.
Time to ride off into the intergalactic space far, far away with Skywalker OG: this super potent strain is the key ingredient to getting a good night’s sleep as it puts you in a couch-lock mode. Skywalker OG stands out in the cannabis crowd with its distinct smell and taste that is hard to replicate. Apart from the kush-like flavors inherited from OG Kush, you also get hints of spicy notes with a herbal aftertaste.
The aroma almost makes you think of spicy herbal jet fuel or diesel! Like the character it’s named after, Skywalker OG is highly regarded among its fanbase for its powerful performance. This is thanks to the sky-high CBD count of over 20% and low THC levels at 0.13%. Skywalker OG will get your mind and body where it wants to be, and with just a few puffs you will be off to sleep!
This list would not be complete without the honorable mention of the legendary strain, the literal OG Kush. The strain induces a considerable buzz, putting you into a chill state to unwind after a long day. OG Kush also provides a breath of fresh air for your senses.
Kush terpenes produce a pungent aroma with hashy, citrusy, and earthy notes. The taste is a unique blend of earthy and sweet lemon flavors that make you drool! That’s right, the power of its effects should not be underestimated as it has a total CBD count of 18.08%. But this isn’t even the highlight: one of the best things about OG Kush is that there are no detectable traces of THC in it.
So, you can enjoy a euphoric and uplifting state of mind, sans the heaviness caused by THC. Not only that, OG Kush has the potential to elevate your mood while keeping your mental faculties fully functional – yes, that is an important factor to keep in mind because one must always remain responsible enough to be able to take charge in unforeseen events.
How Did We Pick The Best Weed Strains?
Picking the best high CBD strains from a plethora of CBD flower strains in the market can be a task and a half. Top that up with uncertainty over authenticity and effectiveness and you’ve got yourself a classic case of ‘the overwhelmed shopper’.
So to guide you through this dilemma, we have based our ranking of the strains on the quality of hemp flowers they are extracted from. After all, the potency of any CBD strain relies heavily on the precision control exercised when growing its original flower.
The art of differentiating between an excellent high-CBD strain and an above average one, therefore, requires a deeper dive into factors such as seeds, harvest, management, cure, and final storage of the hemp flowers.
- Growth Techniques
The finest hemp flowers are grown with little to no use of chemicals and pesticides. Instead, their farming employs ethical growth techniques; of which, sustainability is part and parcel. For our list of top 10 high-CBD strains, we have handpicked 100% natural, non-GMO CBD strains to ensure a calming experience for you, minus the harmful effects.
- The Cure Process
After the flower is harvested, it needs to be cured slowly to bring out the terpene flavor profile fully. This is one of the most vital steps that maintains the correct moisture content in the strains, as it should neither be too moist nor too dry. In fact, the optimal moisture content in a CBD strain should ideally be around 60%.
- Aromas and Flavors
In curating our ranking, another thing we kept in mind was the aroma and flavor of the hemp flower. From fruity and floral to spicy and minty, a unique blend of flavors can significantly impact your experience. Which is why we have chosen only the best combinations, you can savor from the first drag to the last. Moreover, their pungent aromas are sure to linger for hours, enhancing the relaxation gradually but consistently.
The strength or potency of CBD is of utmost importance. You are smoking this flower to enjoy its benefits, and the stronger ones will let you experience these effects the most. Flowers with 14-19% CBD content are quite potent, providing satisfactory results. But choosing the 17-24% ones can further amplify the results. However, apart from what it offers in terms of experience, the strength or potency of the flower can also dictate a dose. For example, one would use lesser amounts of a stronger strain.
- Third-Party Lab Verification
What further cements the high-quality status of a strain is a lab-test that proves it. Most authentic CBD providers will get their CBD hemp flowers tested from an independent or third-party lab – this means, a lab-tested CBD pack will be free from impurities, ensuring complete satisfaction and peace of mind to its buyer.
- Legal Compliance
An important aspect to keep in mind when on the lookout for high-CBD strains is being transparent with their legalities. Needless to say, our list of top 10 strains comply with the Federal Farm Bill that caps delta-9 THC content at 0.3%.
CBD Buds Buying Guide For Beginners
Are you entering the eccentric world of CBD strains for the first time? Perhaps, you always had your peers picking the correct option for you. Well, doing it all by yourself is perfectly easy too. Our team of experts has outlined all the aspects that CBD beginners need to bear in mind. Read along!
Factors To Consider
So, how do you pick the most optimum CBD strain? Apart from the aspects mentioned in the selection criteria above, walk through these factors when choosing the right hemp flower! Composition: While CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, they display differing traits. THC is the compound that might make you feel stoned and euphoric, while CBD just relaxes your mind and body. Additionally, it also minimizes any side effects that THC might exhibit. Therefore, you need to pick the strain with the minutest THC content while keeping the CBD portion low for starters.
Aroma And Flavor: The terpenes present in CBD flowers are the compounds determining the smell and taste of your strain. Here is what each of them means:
- Caryophyllene: Woody aroma with a spicy, mint-like sensation.
- Pinene: Piney scent with earthy essence.
- Humulene: Smells like wood with an earthy flavor.
- Limonene: Fruity scent and a sweet taste.
- Linalool: Floral aroma with a crisp, lavender-like essence.
- Myrcene: Dampish cannabis smell with traces of mango flavor.
- Terpinolene: Multiple aromas with a fruity and floral zest.
Effect: CBD flowers provide the entourage effect, referring to the synergy of various components in a strain (excluding THC). You can modify this effect based on three options: indica, sativa, and hybrid. While indica-rich strains aim at providing relaxing effects, sativa delivers energizing sensations. A hybrid strain, on the contrary, produces a balanced outcome of the two!
Ways To Use CBD Strains
You have purchased your favorite CBD hemp flower. What now? You can use it in more than one way. Here’s how!
- Smoking: One of the most popular methods of using CBD strains is smoking it up. You can do so through a water pipe in the form of a bong or a paper roll (joint) like a cigarette. And why won’t it be famous? Smoking CBD flowers has the maximum benefits from the entire lot. Through this method, the CBD content blends with your bloodstream rapidly, letting you experience the effects within 1-3 minutes.
- Vaping: Though CBD hemp flowers are grown 100% naturally, smoking is still not preferred by all since it can harm your lungs. If you wish to vape these strains, use dry herb vaporizers you can enjoy on-the-go. Besides saving you from the smoke, vapes are better than smoking in terms of preserving the terpene flavor. Plus, you can better control the dosage when using a vape.
- Eating: Did you know you could also eat CBD hemp flowers? But know that you cannot just gobble them up raw. That will not produce the effects you desire, as you need to heat CBD to activate its components fully. The best way to ‘eat’ CBD plants is by cooking them in oil, butter, or other similar items. Make sure to keep the temperature low, so you do not burn the plant. Once cooked well, strain the leftover CBD and use the oil to prepare food.
CBD Dosage Tips
Whether you are a novice or have been relishing CBD strains for a while, a little precaution is always wise. Skim through these CBD dosage tips for beginners to minimize repercussions.
- Strains greatly vary in their CBD and THC concentrations. Start with lower ones and work your way up gradually.
- Consider vaping as it produces less heat and lets you enjoy the maximum flavor. On the contrary, smoking reduces the CBD essence due to combustion, making you use more CBD to reach the desired effect.
- You may build up a tolerance to CBD after some time. Resultantly, you will not get the required effects with the same dose and may have to increase or switch the strain.
- Individuals with greater body weight may require a higher CBD dosage to enjoy the full benefits of CBD. Therefore, if you weigh less, you must start with strains with low CBD concentrations.
FAQs About CBD Strains:
Is CBD Strain Legal?
After the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, hemp has become legal in most states, given its THC content is below 0.3%. Therefore, hemp-derived CBD is legal in almost all 50 states of the US, except those with strict regional laws: these include South Dakota, Idaho, and Iowa. Apart from that, marijuana-derived CBD is also legal in some states, but only for medicinal purposes. However, the THC level in these strains must also be less than 0.3%.
Can CBD Show Up Through Drug Tests?
No, CBD will not show up in your drug test because that is not what the doctors are screening you for. Nonetheless, CBD products can contain THC which can show up in the test – so yes, you can fail a drug test after consuming CBD products.
Does CBD Make You Feel High?
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound and does not make you feel high. These strains contain negligible amounts of THC—the prime component that makes you high. The legal, hemp-derived CBD, makes your mind feel energized and takes your body to a relaxed, tranquil state.
Is CBD Addictive?
According to a report on CBD, produced by the World Health Organization, CBD seems to be well tolerated with a good safety profile. Moreover, controlled human studies have also not found potential for physical dependence or withdrawal when consumed responsibly.
Can You OD On CBD?
With any drug, overdosing is always a possibility. It is, therefore, recommended to follow manufacturer instructions on the CBD products you purchase. If any adverse symptoms start to surface, immediately stop and seek medical help.
Conclusion: Which High CBD Strains Should You Buy?
Cannabidiol or CBD puts your body at ease and helps treat ailments like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and seizures. Thus, it is an excellent natural remedy for multiple afflictions. However, you must exercise complete caution when purchasing CBD, as every option available in the market is not authentic. Moreover, strains vary in their CBD and THC content, which can affect your body differently. Thoroughly consider the factors mentioned above and take your pick from our top 10 high-CBD strains and from that have picked our top two favorites which are Lifter and Sour Diesel. Rest assured, things will start looking up the minute you do.