CBD: Choosing And Growing The Right Strain
If you’re growing with the idea of producing Cannabidiol (CBD), to get the most out of your investment you want a high CBD/low THC marijuana strain or a high CBD producing strain of industrial hemp. This article explains the various methods of growing and provides some information on the top strains for CBD.
What is CBD and why is it such a big deal?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the hottest trends in the cannabis industry. Consumers are using it to combat pain, inflammation, anxiety and generally improve the quality of their lives. And it’s legal in all 50 states.
CBD is one of hundreds of components of marijuana and the second most prevalent of the active ingredients. By itself, however, unlike THC, it does not cause a high. CBD is produced from cannabis plants bred to have a high CBD to THC ratio or industrial hemp plants (cannabis plants with a THC concentration of .3% or less)
What do I need to know to grow my own high CBD strains?
First check the cannabis laws in your state. Although CBD is legal in all states, there might legal limits in your state regarding growing, processing and distribution.
The next step is of critical importance: choose the right high CBD strain.
CBD-heavy cannabis includes:
- Valentine X – 25:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- Ringo’s Gift – 24:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- Harle-Tsu – 22:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- ACDC – 20:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- Dancehall – 20:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- Charlotte’s Web – 20:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- Cannatonic – 5:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- Harlequin – 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC
- Stephen Hawking Kush – 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC
- Sweet and Sour Widow – 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC
Other high CBD strains to consider include Suzy Q, Remedy, Sour Tsunami, Hawaiian Dream and Nordle.
NOTE: These percentages are approximations, there are varieties of some strains that might fluctuate slightly from these numbers. Speak with our licensed professional cultivators for more precise information and grow techniques on their specific plants.
Should I grow from seeds or clones?
There are benefits of growing using CBD hemp seeds (read more about the full pros and cons for seeds vs clones). If you are targeting a specific attribute in a cannabis plant, the only way to be sure of the result is by using a clone. It’s all about genetics and two offspring from the same cannabis plant can have different genetic features.
A good example is the high CBD strain Cannatonic, known for its low THC content (typically 6% or below) and high CBD content (6-17%). According to United Seed Banks, only about 50% of the Cannatonic plants grown from seed will mirror the original plants’ CBD to THC ratio while approximately 25% of will be high-THC plants and the remaining 25% could have a CBD to THC ratio of anywhere from 2:1 to 20:1.
A few tips for growing a high CBD strain
- Keep temperatures between 72-85͑º F
- Soil should be warm about 2-inches down
- Water less as opposed to more
- If you want to test CBD levels, do it 3-4 weeks after seedlings emerge
- Expect flowers in about 8 weeks
- Harvest early (CBD levels breakdown faster than THC levels)
Should I consider growing hemp?
Hemp is often called industrial hemp, because it has hundreds of commercial uses including clothing, biofuel, building materials and paper. That being said, today CBD oil products are the primary market for hemp growers.
Hemp and marijuana are both members of the Cannabis Sativa family and share certain similarities. One of the primary differences is that hemp plants always have .3% or less of THC while marijuana can have concentrations up to 40%.
CBD is the same plant compound, regardless of whether it’s found in a high-THC cannabis plant such as marijuana or a low-THC cannabis plant such as hemp.
Because of its low THC content, hemp is legal in many parts of the world, but before considering hemp production, review your state laws for hemp cultivation, transportation, sales and usage. Because of the demand for CBD oils, many laws are being changed (for example, California).
To sum up
- There are a number of varieties of high CBD strains of cannabis sativa
- Pick the plant with the CBD/THC ratio that best suits your needs
- Clones are vastly more reliable in delivering the expected CBD/THC ratio than seeds
- Check your local, state and country laws before planting marijuana or hemp