Latelly, a lot of us have heard about CBD, strains, high CBD strains… But what are they? Here, you will learn the basics about hemp, genetics, and why high CBD strains are all the rage nowadays when it comes to pain and other conditions!
Dealing with pain…
Pain is a symptom we’ve all experienced at some point; but it is sometimes so intense, or so permanent, that it alters our daily lives in unforeseen ways.
Eventually, people start taking painkillers, or even strong opioids, in order to lessen the discomfort, but those are just covering something up, not helping with inflammation, not to mention they can be dangerously addictive.
In the past decade, CBD has been identified as a promising alternative for pain management, since it provides a safe, natural, non addictive way to lessen in and even contributing to the healing process of its cause. So maybe high CBD strains for pain are the way to go.
What are High CBD Strains?
Alright, let’s go back to basics. A cannabis strain refers to its genetics and how they differ from one another. The main, three classifications, or subspecies of cannabis are:
However, there are also several hybrid strains or subspecies, that have been created as sativa and indica have crossbred, naturally or with human intervention, and created new ones with different characteristics.
Unlike high THC strains, high CBD strains are, genetically, mostly sativa dominant hybrids, with varying percentages of the other subspecies; though this doesn’t mean that some of these might contain a high percentage of indica genetics.
The Sativa subspecies was first identified in 1753, by biologist Carl Linnaeus. It originated close to the equator and grows better in warm climates. Now, biologists have realized all sativa varieties can be traced back to hemp, making it the original one.
The Indica subspecies was identified as different from Sativa in 1785, by plant biologist Jean-Baptiste Lanmarck. It originated in the middle east, and has a tendency to grow better in cool temperatures and high altitudes.
Ruderalis is the least known of the subspecies, and is often unknown. The plants are commonly referred to as wild cannabis, because they grow wildly in different parts of Russia. It was identified as an independent subspecies in 1924, in Siberia. It has close to no THC, so it is highly medicinal. However, being a “wild” plant, it is not generally used for breeding.
The Medicinal Effects of High CBD Strains…
In the past decade, a lot has been discovered about cannabinoids, particularly cannabidiol. Strains that are high in CBD, have a lot of medicinal value, since they have been known to have several properties, such as:
- They are the best strains for treating pain and anxiety
- They have been shown to contribute to depression treatment
- They slow brain degeneration, significantly improving basic functions
- They have anti inflammatory properties
- They relieve pain, both chronic and acute
- They are antibacterial and antifungal
- They help promote better, deeper sleep
High CBD Strains
There are several high CBD cannabis strains out there; almost too many to count. And most of them have been developed through selective breeding. Hemp is one of the better known strains, since it has been around for centuries, and has been used for different purposes, both medicinal and industrial.
Most of the highest CBD strains are only available as clones, since seeds have an unreliable CBD ratio consistency. There are several high CBD subspecies in the world of cannabis. Latelly, these have been the ones sought after for their array of health benefits. Here are a few of them:
Hemp is a well-known, extremely old strain. It has been used throughout history for fiber, food, and medicine, though it’s main worldwide use was primarily due to its fiber. Hemp is thought to be the genetic origin of all high CBD strains. The mother, or grandmother, of the high CBD strains we see today.
Hemp is extremely low in THC, not causing any psychoactive effects. And though it does have a significant amount of CBD, a lot of hemp plants are needed in order to obtain enough CBD isolate for direct consumption. There are other strains that have been specifically developed to produce a lot more CBD, therefore requiring less plants to obtain the same amount of the component.
Cannatonic was, in a way, the origin of the recent high CBD strain boom. In 2008, it was bred in hopes of developing the highest CBD strain possible. It is one of the most effective medicinal strains and, from it, a lot of other high CBD strains have been developed. However, it has an inconsistent concentration ratio, shifting from balanced CBD:THC to high CBD. It can range from a 1:1 ratio, to a 22:1 ratio. It has several beneficial effects for pain, insomnia, spasms, cancer related symptoms, relaxation, anxiety, migraines, and mood disorders.
Also referred to as Oracle, this strain has been used exclusively for its medicinal properties. It has a high CBD/low THC ratio, and ranges between 20:1 and 26:1. It is commonly recommended for first time consumers, and has proven to be extremely effective for those who take it for epilepsy, pain, and other conditions. It was bred from cannatonic seeds, which, as we saw before, sparked the CBD revolution.
However, in 2011, Dr. William Courtney was able to obtain a 22:1 ratio plant from the seeds, and proceeded to clone it.
Genetically speaking, it’s both sativa and indica (50-50), however it has its own unique characteristics and isn’t clearly identifiable with one or the other.
Also known as CBD Therapy, this strain was developed by an international project of experienced breeders. It was the highest CBD strain they had managed to produce, obtaining an average ratio of 24:1. It is grown from seeds, which makes their ratio variable. Mostly between 30:1 and 20:1; however, some still grow to have lower ratios. Therapy A has been effective for treating some forms of childhood epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, inflammation, pain, anxiety and depression.
This strain is known for having a varied terpene profile, and is particularly known for its anti inflammatory properties, which are boosted by beta-caryophyllene, a terpene with known medicinal properties; this is why it can combat pain and several inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, bladder cystitis and multiple sclerosis. This strain is only available from clones, not seeds. However, its ratio hasn’t stabilized, varying between 10:1 and 25:1.
This strain was named after St. Valentine, the patron saint of epilepsy, due to it being extremely effective for treating epilepsy, thanks to its consistently high CBD, low THC ratio (22:1 to 26:1). It is a variation of AC/DC, which was previously mentioned, and it’s highly effective for reducing pain, inflammation and its related issues, muscle spasms, tremors, and tension. It also has uplifting and energizing effects, and is good for daytime consumption. Its effect is almost immediate, and causes feelings of joy and well-being.
This is another popular high CBD cannabis strain, which was originally called “Hippie’s Disappointment”. The funny name was due to it being high in CBD and extremely low in THC (30:1 ratio), not producing any psychoactive effects, even in small children. It helps treat pain, muscle spasms, and headaches. Interestingly, this strain is thought to be a cross between cannatonic and hemp, which might explain its low THC level; but when it comes to genetics, it is a sativa-dominant hybrid. The strain was renamed by the developers after they met Charlotte Figi, who, at five, was already suffering from a very difficult and complex form of epilepsy, which was causing her to have around 300 seizures per week, quickly damaging her brain.
As her parents looked into alternative treatments, they came across cannabis, which was already being used for epilepsy patients. After trying “Hippie’s Disappointment”, Charlotte’s condition improved more than had been expected, and she was able to completely go off her strong epilepsy medication. This is why the developers decided to rename it after her.
Due to the amount of terpenes and cannabinoids it contains, this strain is a perfect example of the entourage effect in action. All the components work together and complement each other to generate beneficial effects. It has a high CBD, low THC ratio, ranging from 18:1 to 24:1, which is why it is mostly used for ALS, anxiety, nausea, bipolar disorder, Crohn’s disease, depression, epilepsy, inflammation, MS, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, pain, stress, head trauma, restless leg syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.
This is the last strain created by Lawrence Ringo before he passed away in 2014. It is used for pain and inflammatory disorders, epilepsy, stress, among other conditions. The main goal while developing this strain was to have a high medicinal effect by making it a high CBD plant, while making it sturdier and more resistant, with high yields and growth. The reason for this is that, generally, AC/DC and other high CBD strains have a tendency to be fragile and provide low yields. Its ratio varies from 15:1 to 25:1.
There we go…
These are some of the many high CBD strains that can currently be found around the world.
This is in no way intended as a complete list, since that would be pages long! It’s just a small snippet of the wide and interesting world of the medicinal compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD. All high CBD strains are in some way helpful when it comes to pain management, some being more effective than others for some people, but they have all shown promising results in the treatment of pain and inflammation, which often come hand in hand.
It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to different strains; those that work better for some, might not be the best option for others. This is due to each person’s body, the different CBD:THC ratios, and to the entourage effect caused by the variety of components in each plant, which might contribute to the desired beneficial effect in every particular case…
So we hope this information was helpful and you now know a little more about CBD, strains, and their different medicinal properties.