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:
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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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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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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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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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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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.