If you’re look­ing for a high­er-CBD cannabis strain, you might want to give these a try.

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CBD. You’ve seen these three let­ters adver­tised at your neigh­bor­hood cafe, fused with­in the top­i­cal your aunt has been boast­ing to the fam­i­ly about, even on the shelves of your local phar­ma­cy stores. What you might not be aware of, how­ev­er, is which cannabis strains con­tain the high­est lev­els of cannabid­i­ol (CBD), the non-intox­i­cat­ing cannabi­noid that has tak­en the health and well­ness mar­ket by storm.

Sim­i­lar to the way cul­ti­va­tors try to max­i­mize the pro­duc­tion of THC, there are also high-CBD strains specif­i­cal­ly bred to offer ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits with­out intox­i­cat­ing lev­els of THC. This has made it pos­si­ble for chil­dren suf­fer­ing from seizures to be safe­ly treat­ed with med­ical cannabis. A num­ber of stud­ies on CBD sug­gest that it offers poten­tial ther­a­peu­tic val­ue in the treat­ment of var­i­ous phys­i­cal ail­ments, such as chron­ic paininflam­ma­tion, and epilep­sy, as well as psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tions, includ­ing stressdepres­sion, and anx­i­ety.

And while CBD is often asso­ci­at­ed with oils, tinc­turesvape pens, and oth­er cannabis prod­ucts, it’s also avail­able in flower to roll in joints, pack in bowls, and load in vapor­iz­ers.

If you want to curate your CBD expe­ri­ence with strain-spe­cif­ic flower, you’ll want to know the most pop­u­lar options avail­able on the legal mar­ket. With­out fur­ther ado, here are sev­en of the world’s most his­tor­i­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant and wide­ly used high-CBD strains.

RELATED: CBD Guide: 12 Impor­tant Facts You Should Know Right Now

Charlotte’s Web

First sur­fac­ing in 2011, Char­lot­te’s Web is a high-CBD strain with an incred­i­ble his­to­ry behind it – one that helped shed the stig­ma sur­round­ing the use of med­ical cannabis to treat chil­dren. The strain is named after Char­lotte Figi, a girl who devel­oped a rare con­di­tion called Dravet syn­drome, also known as severe myoclonic epilep­sy of infan­cy (SMEI), as a baby. Severe­ly dis­abled by age three, she was suf­fer­ing about 300 grand mal seizures a week, as report­ed in a CNN arti­cle in 2013.

After find­ing ini­tial suc­cess in 2013 with a high-CBD strain called R4, the young girl’s moth­er, Paige Figi, con­tact­ed the Stan­ley Broth­ers, a group of sev­en sib­lings in Col­orado who were cross­breed­ing a strain of mar­i­jua­na with indus­tri­al hemp to pro­duce a high-CBD strain. They even­tu­al­ly devel­oped a high-CBD strain that dra­mat­i­cal­ly reduced her fre­quen­cy of seizures to two to three times per month.

The sto­ry of Char­lot­te’s Web sparked a dis­cus­sion about the pur­port­ed ben­e­fits of using CBD to treat epilep­sy in chil­dren. At the time, some fam­i­lies even uproot­ed and migrat­ed to Col­orado just to gain access the Char­lot­te’s Web CBD extract. The cul­ti­va­tor behind this strain, now incor­po­rat­ed under the name Char­lot­te’s Web, made up 14% of the mar­ket share for hemp-based CBD prod­ucts in 2018.

It’s con­sid­ered by some to be a vari­a­tion of hemp, as it has a CBD con­tent of 17% and minus­cule traces of THC. Dom­i­nant ter­penes are beta-myrcenecaryophyl­lene, and bis­abolol, giv­ing Char­lot­te’s Web flower a sweet taste and wood­land-like aro­ma.


Cre­at­ed by the Spain-based CBD genet­ics com­pa­ny Resin Seeds, the high-CBD strain Can­na­ton­ic is a cross between MK Ultra and G13 Haze. Wide­ly rec­og­nized as the “CBD queen,” this strain pre-dat­ed many oth­er CBD strains and helped spark the CBD move­ment of today. Intro­duced and ana­lyzed at Spannabis, the annu­al cannabis event in Spain, in 2008, even Resin Seeds was shocked by the ele­vat­ed lev­els of CBD it had achieved with this strain.

Some Can­na­ton­ic plants have test­ed as high as 17% CBD with a THC con­tent that typ­i­cal­ly hov­ers below the 6% mark. About half of the pop­u­la­tion of Can­na­ton­ic seeds, how­ev­er, will offer a near 1:1 CBD-to-THC ratio, accord­ing to Resin Seeds. This high-CBD strain has been laud­ed by Hel­loMD, an online med­ical resource, for its relax­ing and uplift­ing prop­er­ties, offer­ing poten­tial­ly ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits for pain relief, mus­cle spasms, migraines, and oth­er con­di­tions.

The most abun­dant ter­penes found in Can­na­ton­ic, accord­ing to one MCR Labs test­ing results, include myrcene, b‑caryophyllene, and limonene, giv­ing the flower an earthy and cit­rusy fla­vor.


A cross between two renowned high-CBD strains, Can­na­ton­ic and Rud­er­alis, AC/DC has an excep­tion­al­ly high 20:1 CBD-to-THC ratio. The strain was select­ed by Dr. William Court­ney, a med­ical expert who spe­cial­izes in the dietary uses of cannabis, after he received a pack­et of seeds from Spain-based Resin Seeds, the orig­i­nal breed­er of Can­na­ton­ic.

This CBD-heavy strain usu­al­ly con­tains between 16% to 24% CBD and 2% to 6% THC, accord­ing to the Office of Med­i­c­i­nal Cannabis (NCSM), a gov­ern­ment agency that oper­ates under the Dutch Min­istry of Health, Wel­fare, and Sports. The excep­tion­al­ly high CBD con­tent denotes that AC/DC could poten­tial­ly be used to treat seizures, anx­i­ety, and pain relief. The most abun­dant ter­penes found in AC/DC include b-pinene, b‑caryophyllene, and a‑pinene, giv­ing the flower with a sweet and herba­ceous fla­vor.

RELATED: 5 New Cannabis Trends You Need to Know


Har­le­quin is a high-CBD strain that is a descen­dant of Thai sati­va, Nepali indi­ca, Swiss sati­va, and Colom­bian Gold. This sati­va-dom­i­nant strain tends to main­tain a con­sis­tent 5:2 CBD-to-THC ratio. Lab tests con­duct­ed on Har­le­quin sam­ples found that the strain con­tained between 8% to 16% CBD con­tent and 4% to 7% THC con­tent, accord­ing to the NCSM.

The well-defined bal­ance of CBD and THC makes Har­le­quin a pre­mier can­di­date to treat a vari­ety of med­ical and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tions, includ­ing anx­i­ety, chron­ic pain, headaches, fatigue, and stress. Promi­nent ter­penes include myrcene, a‑pinene, and b‑caryophyllene, giv­ing this strain an earthy aro­ma with hints of man­go and cit­rus.

Ringo’s Gift

Ringo’s Gift is a high-CBD strain that is a cross between AC/DC and Harle-Tsu, two hybrid strains also rec­og­nized for their ther­a­peu­tic val­ue and immense amount of CBD con­tent. It’s named after its orig­i­nal breed­er, a renowned mar­i­jua­na activist and trail­blaz­er in CBD genet­ics named Lawrence Ringo, who found­ed the South­ern Hum­boldt Seed Col­lec­tive, or SoHum Seeds. There are a few vari­eties of ratios and phe­no­types of this strain, some of which offer an equal 1:1 CBD-to-THC ratio, while some strains have been report­ed to reach a whop­ping 25:1 CBD-to-THC ratio.

For vari­eties that offer a more well-bal­anced ratio, con­sumers often­times report a warm and calm­ing buzz with­out evok­ing feel­ings of tired­ness or risk of couch-lock. This high-CBD strain has been pur­port­ed to ben­e­fit a vari­ety of men­tal con­di­tions, such as post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der (PTSD), anx­i­ety, depres­sion, and stress. Phys­i­cal ail­ments can also be poten­tial­ly treat­ed with Ringo’s Gift, includ­ing epilep­sy, arthri­tis, chron­ic pain, inflam­ma­tion, mus­cle spasms, and headaches. Its ter­pene pro­file, which includes myrcene, a‑pinene, and caryophyl­lene, make this an earthy strain with a piney and minty aro­ma, giv­ing off a slight­ly spicy and tangy fla­vor.

RELATED: Here’s Why More THC Com­pa­nies Are Start­ing CBD Com­pa­nies


First cul­ti­vat­ed in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia at SoHum Seeds, the CBD genet­ics com­pa­ny found­ed by Ringo, Harle-Tsu is a high-CBD strain that is a cross between a Har­le­quin male and Sour Tsuna­mi clone. When it was award­ed first place for best CBD flower at the 2014 Emer­ald Cup, lab test­ing showed that Harle-Tsu yield­ed 21.05% CBD and 0.86% THC. On aver­age, how­ev­er, most Harle-Tsu strain sam­ples con­tain about 18% CBD.

Boast­ing a 20:1 CBD-to-THC ratio, this high-CBD strain can be con­sumed with­out any con­cern of being inun­dat­ed by the intox­i­cat­ing effects of THC. Harle-Tsu is said to give users the feel­ing of com­plete relax­ation. It com­pris­es a pletho­ra of ter­penes, includ­ing myrcene, pinene, humu­leneter­pino­lene, and ocimene. The com­bi­na­tion of ter­penes and high CBD con­tent gen­er­ates a num­ber of poten­tial­ly ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits for var­i­ous con­di­tions, such as epilep­sy, chron­ic pain, inflam­ma­tion, depres­sion, stress, and oth­ers.

Sour Tsunami

Anoth­er pop­u­lar CBD strain bred by Ringo, Sour Tsuna­mi is a sati­va-dom­i­nant hybrid with a unique lin­eage. After cross­ing an NYC Diesel with Sour Diesel and back-cross­ing it with a Sour Diesel clone, which was then crossed with a sati­va-dom­i­nant strain called Fer­rari, the result­ing genet­ics were crossed back with Sour Diesel to cre­ate Sour Tsuna­mi. It’s one of the first known cannabis strains cre­at­ed specif­i­cal­ly for med­i­c­i­nal pur­pos­es.

Despite its com­pli­cat­ed ori­gins, this high-CBD strain has become pop­u­lar for its ther­a­peu­tic prop­er­ties. Test results on Sour Tsuna­mi strain sam­ples have demon­strat­ed CBD lev­els from 10% to 11% and THC lev­els rang­ing from 1% to 10%. It could be used to relieve ail­ments such as chron­ic pain, back pain, stress, nau­sea, anx­i­ety, and insom­nia. The main ter­pences found in high-CBD strain include myrcene, ter­pino­lene, and b‑caryophyllene, giv­ing the flower a dis­tinct aro­ma of diesel and choco­late.

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