Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. While many consumers enjoy the high induced by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an increasing number of consumers are gaining a better understanding of the benefits associated with CBD consumption. Many use it to treat a variety of medical conditions. What makes one opt for THC and another for CBD? Which cannabis strains are high in CBD? One cannot talk of high-CBD strains without referring to THC, so let us begin by explaining the very basics.
What is the difference between THC and CBD?
THC and CBD are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The two compounds have the same chemical formula, but the atoms are arranged differently. The different atomic structure results in different chemical properties, and therefore cause different effects on the body. While THC is found in all cannabis plants and is a psychoactive compound inducing the feeling of “high,” hemp-derived CBD does not have this property. Hemp has an extremely low amount of THC, and therefore is non-intoxicating. Hemp-derived CBD can be ingested in many forms, and people take CBD supplements for a variety of reasons. However, it is thought that CBD can aid the body in maintaining overall health and wellness and can possibly reduce stress levels in some people.
What is the ratio of CBD to THC in a strain?
THC and CBD is present in all strains of cannabis, typically in three different ratios:
- High THC, low CBD
- Balanced THC and CBD
- High CBD, low THC
Cannabis with over 0.3% THC is considered to be marijuana, while cannabis with THC levels below 0.3% are hemp plants. It is from hemp that legal CBD is made from, as it will always contain under 0.3% THC.
What does this mean for CBD?
To go a bit further in depth, cannabis plants are divided into two main categories: indica and sativa, and a variety of cannabis plants fall into these categories. Besides the two strains appearing differently and growing better in different climates, their CBD to THC ratios are different.
Cannabis indica is better suited for warm climates and has longer outstretched leaves, while cannabis sativa is more suited for colder climates and are shorter plants that appear as small bushes.
All the strains of indica and sativa have varying levels of CBD and THC. There are even hybrids out there that make this even more confusing. Hemp is strain of cannabis that falls in with the sativa family and is a unique strain of cannabis, as it contains less than 0.3% THC. However, is still high in many other cannabinoids, such as CBD.
Due to its low THC content, the legal CBD products you see popping up everywhere are all derived from hemp. This allows users to obtain all the benefits CBD has to offer without the risk of being high or failing a drug test.