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The Top 10 High CBD Strains


Once upon a time, the most important cannabinoid in marijuana was THC. But then, scientists discovered CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) offers plenty of its own medicinal value and lets the user bypass some of the “side effects” of weed, such as being stoned.

High CBD Strains: The Highlights

  • Most marijuana farmers used to breed their plants so they would maximize their THC content
  • Since studies have shown that CBD produces important health benefits, farmers started developing strains rich in CBD
  • High CBD strains contain around 4% CBD, but the percentage varies from grower to grower
  • Those who consume marijuana with a high CBD content are looking for health benefits, not to get high
  • Several strains have proved to be more effective than their competitors

What Are High CBD Strains?

In general, most strains are grown to maximize THC content. That’s because this is the cannabinoid responsible for making you feel high. So as you might imagine, a high CBD strain is one that was grown with the focus on maximizing CBD rather than THC. These strains usually have a much higher CBD content, and CBD: THC ratios that are completely different from weed that we have become accustomed to using in the past.

The immediate effects of consuming a high CBD strain is different to what you might imagine from weed. There is less of the cerebral high that we usually associate with cannabis, much less psycho-activity and the physical repercussions are also much less pronounced.

In short – you don’t feel stoned! Rather, CBD has a more peripheral effect, treating many different health conditions including mood disorders (anxiety and depression) and having a lot of medicinal value.

What’s Considered A High CBD Strain?

Flowering marijuana

You’re probably wondering exactly what constitutes a high CBD strain. In general, it is the ratio that dictates whether the strain is high in CBD rather than the percentage itself. We consider a strain to be high in THC when it contains between 15-20% THC.

However, for a strain to be considered high in CBD, it needs to only contain around 4% CBD. As we said, you’re usually looking out for strains that have at least an equal ratio of CBD: THC for them to be considered high CBD.

The ratio of CBD: THC is usually labeled on a product and has been tested in a laboratory. However, it’s important always to that strains vary from grower to grower. While we know certain strains to have higher CBD, the final result is going to depend on who grew it, their skills as a grower and the environment in which they were grown.

Benefits Of High CBD Strains

So why does someone go shopping for a high CBD strain anyway? In a world where pharmaceutical medicine simply isn’t helping everybody, alternative treatments are always sought after. CBD just happens to be one of those naturally occurring molecules that can work magic for a number of different ailments.

It is able to treat anxiety and depression because it encourages the body to produce its own natural “bliss” molecule called anandamide. It is also able to treat inflammation, nausea, pain and even seizures.

However, the most obvious benefit of high CBD strains is that they do not make the user very high. For THC sensitive people, this is a dream come true. CBD offers the ability to medicate with marijuana without having to deal with a few hours of intoxication. This also makes it readily available to children and to elderly who don’t want to feel intoxicated by cannabis but want to enjoy its medicinal value.

We’re going to have a look at some of the different strains that are marketed as “high CBD”, their effects and the different medicinal value that they can offer.

Top 10 High CBD Strains

High CBD Strains


This strain was developed by mixing strains Colombian Gold, Nepal Indica and Thai and Swiss landraces. Interestingly, this strain expresses sativa qualities. Harlequin is considered to be quite dependable when it comes to CBD: THC ratios, testing almost always at 5:2 CBD: THC. That puts it up there as quite rich in CBD compared to other strains.

Use Harlequin to deal with pain or inflammation without the sedative effect that weed can sometimes induce. Small amounts of THC also mean the added healing benefits of THC, but not enough to make the user feel intoxicated.

Stephen Hawking Kush

Alphakronic Genes are the master breeders that gave birth to the Stephen Hawking Kush strain. It is the offspring of a Harle-Tsu mother and a Sin City Kush father. The final product is a strain that offers a CBD: THC ratio of 5:1. The hybridization process that this strain undergoes was developed by Alphakronic to maximize the levels of CBD in a cannabis strain.

Anxiety, nausea and pain-related symptoms are no match for Stephen Hawking Kush. Plus, the user will definitely enjoy the floral and fruity tastes that come out of burning up a joint of SHK!


Now we’re really talking about the bees-knees of high CBD cannabis. The Southern Humboldt Seed Company are the ones to praise for this strain, which has a CBD: THC ratio of 20:1. It is one of the biggest hits of CBD that someone can get out of a strain of cannabis without extracting the CBD.

This strain is generally used for pain and inflammation. It can also be used to relax or decrease stress. There is virtually no psychoactivity from this strain, so it can be enjoyed very much by those who are very sensitive to THC.


Some tests for ACDC have shown it to have up to 19% CBD! That’s enormous CBD expression for a strain of marijuana, making it a medical ally to a lot of people. Those with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, pain and nausea experience a lot of relief from ACDC strain. This stain is also used a lot by those who undergo chemotherapy and need some relief from the challenges associated with it.

Interestingly, this strain is actually a cross between cannabis ruderalis and another high CBD strain, Cannatonic. The cross with ruderalis makes it look very different to the cannabis we usually see in stores.

Ringo’s Gift

If you have managed to get your hands on Ringo’s Gift, you have found a true gift indeed. It’s very difficult to find strains with as high a CBD concentration as Ringo’s Gift. Going above and beyond expectations, this strain sometimes measures in at 24:1 CBD: THC ratio. It doesn’t always come in this high, sometimes coming in at only 1:1 CBD: THC. However, it has been known to jump to huge CBD levels.

This strain is often found in the coffee shops of Barcelona. Even recreational users enjoy Ringo’s Gift because it is able to relax the body completely with very minor cerebral effects. They can still be felt but in a very subtle and enjoyable way – rather than a full-blown stoned experience.

Sour Tsunami

weed pouring out of medicine bottle

Sour Tsunami was one of the first strains specifically grown by breeders to contain higher levels of CBD. For that, it has quite the name among CBD breeders. In general, the CBD: THC ratio sits at around 1:1, with CBD levels being as high as 11% and THC levels usually sitting just below 10%.

It took four years for Southern Humboldt’s Seed Company to successfully create the strain, which they did by mixing genetics of Sour Diesel and New York Diesel. It is most commonly used to treat pain, depression, and inflammation.

Sweet and Sour Widow

Sweet and Sour Widow is one of the few indica strains that come out with high CBD! This strain is not usually recommended for those who want to completely avoid the effects of THC, as the ratio is quite balanced, at 1:1. The effects of THC can be felt mildly while the effects of CBD counteract the cerebral high.

The effects are mild and relaxing and will decrease any pain, stress or anxiety that might be lurking around.


Pennywise is the result of a cross between Harlequin and Jack The Ripper. There are quite a number of different phenotypes for this plant, although most express a 1:1 CBD: THC ratio. The psychoactive effects of this indica strain are not so pronounced, but can be felt quite mildly.

Interestingly, this strain works wonders for those who have arthritis. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, as well as being anti-spasmodic, and neuroprotective. These qualities make it good medicine for anyone with epilepsy, PTSD or even cancer-related discomfort.


The Spaniards are responsible for the birth of the strain, Cannatonic. Resin Seeds bred this strain particularly for its low THC content and higher CBD prevalence. THC levels of Cannatonic rarely exceed 6%, while CBD levels reach up to 17%. The CBD levels can vary greatly between different breeders, however.

The effects of Cannatonic are felt physically much more than cerebrally. The cerebral effects of Cannatonic are very short-lived, usually disappearing within an hour. However, physical pain can be treated quite rapidly with the use of this strain.


Nordle is one of the less well known CBD strains on the American market. It was named after Howard Mark’s code word for hash (the hash that was smuggled into the USA in the 60s). It is a half-half mix of Afghani and Skunk genetics.

The CBD: THC ratio usually sits around 1:1, and the stoned effect can be felt quite strongly. This strain is not for THC sensitive people, but rather those who don’t mind getting an equal amount of both medicinal cannabinoids. It is perfect for use before bed or in the night time in general, as it can sedate the body into a deep relaxation.

Final Thoughts

Even among high CBD strains, the amount of CBD can vary greatly. Which one you choose to use will all depend on how you intend to use the strain and what you are looking for exactly. Medicinal patients love a high CBD strain because of the medical value it can offer the body, without having to tolerate the side effects.