Which Canadian cannabis strains are highest in CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most common cannabinoid found in cannabis—trailing only behind tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabis constituent that tends to deliver clear-headed, functional effects without the “stoned” feeling.
High-CBD, low-THC strains can benefit consumers needing to steer away from the high and keep a clear head while also controlling pain, inflammation, or other chronic conditions. CBD strains will also appeal to those who may be sensitive to any side effects of THC such as anxiety, paranoia, or dizziness.
Below, we summarize details for high-CBD dried flower listings placed on web stores with Canadian recreational cannabis products for sale.
For this summary, we filter dried flower cannabis product listings by cannabinoid ratio, only selecting listings with a high amount of CBD and a negligible amount of THC, using the average of the cannabinoid content range given by each vendor.
Check out the top nine offerings with the highest CBD content in Canada.
Cannatonic by Tantalus Labs
Tantalus Labs has their version of Cannatonic listed on BC Cannabis Stores with an average of 17.5% CBD and a negligible amount of THC.
Dominant terpenes differ from the typical Cannatonic cultivar; humulene, guiol, and pinene are dominant. The vendor describes this cultivar’s flavour profile as “lemony sweetness with undertones of earthy cedar.” Available for a short period in November 2018, this listing was replaced by a similar Cannatonic with a 14% average CBD content, that ran until January 2019.
Island Mist by Emerald Health Therapeutics
Another offering from Newfoundland is Emerald Health Therapeutics’ listing for their Island Mist. Likely of proprietary genetics, the producer reports in a news release that Island Mist “came out of Emerald’s broad seed bank through extensive screening and characterization.”
This offering’s most attractive feature is the relatively high CBD content (16%, on average) and low THC content (0.5%, on average). The producer reports this cultivar is capable of producing a 40:1 ratio of CBD to THC.
Terra by HEXO
With an average CBD content of 15.5%, Terra by HEXO is amongst the cultivars in the market with above average CBD content that make very little THC. The producer notes this offering is a variant of CBD Remedy, which is also known as the CBD Crew’s Z7, a cross of Cannatonic with an Afghan/Skunk cross sourced from Mr. Nice.
Dominant terpenes for the HEXO variety are myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene which supposedly gives the product a sweet, earthy flavour profile. Previously, HEXO flower was only available in Quebec but as of July 2019, it is also available in Alberta.
Fleur de CBD by Dubon
On Quebec’s SQDC, High Park Farms has a high CBD listings called Fleur de CBD available under their Dubon Select brand that features an average CBD content of 15%, alongside a negligible amount of THC.
Translating to ‘CBD Flower’ in English, the producer doesn’t disclose the genetics in the listing, but they list a dried flower product in Alberta with a similar cannabinoid ratio, which they call Great North CBD, and note it’s a “unique cannabis variety.” Dominant terpenes are myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene, and the vendor describes the tastes as “earthy and woody.”
North Star CBD by AltaVie
Sold under the AltaVie brand, MedReleaf’s North Star CBD produces a high CBD content with a negligible amount of THC. In both BC and Ontario, there are listings for North Star CBD with average CBD levels ranging from 14.5% to 14.75%.
High in myrcene, limonene, and both pinene conformations, the vendor claims this sativa dominant cultivar makes “powerful floral” aromas. This listing is similar to a discontinued cultivar by Holland’s Sumo Seeds called North Star, their version was also high in CBD and was a combination of Northern Lights and Afghan genetics.
Free CBD by Solei
Aphria has been running this cultivar for years. They sell it as Tremblant in their medical store and in the recreational market they call it Free (or Liberer) by Solei. The cultivar is actually Treasure Island by Sin City Seeds, a cross of Swiss Gold and the AC/DC phenotype of Cannatonic.
The breeder notes the plant likes to make a ratio of 4:1 CBD to THC, but the phenotype Aphria has runs consistently high in CBD with a negligible amount of THC. This listing ranks consistently between 13% and 14% CBD, with a half percent of THC and typically produces flower dominant in caryophyllene, humulene, limonene, linanlool, myrcene, and pinene.
Temple by Aurora
Aurora calls their widely available version of Cannatonic, Temple. On average, this cultivar is listed as having between 10% and 11% CBD with a half percent of THC.
Cannabinoid content does fluctuate as high as 18% CBD in the maximum end, and as low as 8% CBD on the minimum. Dominant terpenes for Aurora’s version of Cannatonic differ slightly from those mentioned above. Temple is high in mycrene, pinene, and terpineol but like the others, the vendor describes the flavour profile as “sweet, earthy with vague citrus.”
AC/DC by WeedMD
As mentioned above, AC/DC is a unique Cannatonic phenotype attributable to the Californian breeder, NorStar Genetics. The cut makes reliably high CBD and low THC, and thus, has generated some popularity. WeedMD’s version ranks in at 12.5% CBD on average but the range swings from 8% to 17% with a negligible amount of THC.
Like its sibling Cannatonic, AC/DC’s flavour profile is described by vendors as “sweet” and “citrusy.”
AC/DC by Kiwi
Licensed producer Maricann also has listings for their version of AC/DC on the market, which ranges from 12% to 20% CBD, landing at an average of 16%, with 1.75% THC. Sold under their Kiwi brand from November to December 2018, this version of AC/DC was described as having a “spicy bouquet” of “earth and musk,” somewhat different than the competing listings within this well known lineage.
The range average for CBD dominant dried cannabis flower is about 13.7% THC% + CBD%, which is a bit lower than the range average observed for a THC dominant offering (17.8% THC%+CBD%).
Six of the nine cultivars on this list is comprised of Cannatonic or are its progeny and, many were described similarly, as sweet and citrusy with earth tones. If these tastes become redundant, many other CBD baring cultivars exist, but you might have to make some allowances with cannabinoid content. Many will have higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD.
What is the Best Way to Store Your CBD Flowers?
When it comes to CBD flowers, most people want to get the most bang for their buck, and that includes maximizing shelf-life. The way CBD flowers are stored can also affect their long-term potency.
Hemp and cannabis are packed full of interesting compounds, flavonoids, and terpenes that give each variety and species its unique aroma, taste, and effects. Many people put a lot of time, energy, and money into procuring the finest CBD flowers they can find. On top of that, many of those people will tend to purchase an ounce (28 grams) at a time – or more – for convenience and cost-effectiveness. That means they need a good storage solution to ensure the longevity of their CBD flowers, and that’s a complex area to understand.
When it comes to the storage of cannabis and CBD flowers, the main factors to consider are things like humidity, temperature, and darkness. That’s why we’re giving this quick 101 on CBD flower storage so that you can get the best from your buds without worrying about them losing potency or developing mold.
Spoiler alert: the best storage option is NOT in the freezer.
The Perfect CBD Flower Container
While most people from the pre-prohibition days will remember buying cannabis in small resealable baggies most of the time, that’s certainly not the best way to store buds. You may have noticed that hemp buds contain a complex myriad of trichomes and crystals. This is where most of the goodness from the intrinsic compounds are, as well as flavonoids and terpenes, which add to the overall “Entourage Effect” of a fully rounded experience.
After hemp is harvested and dried, it is put by those in the know into airtight glass mason jars and “burped” regularly to allow some oxygen inside. These jars are left in a cool, dark environment for a few weeks as the process of ‘curing’ takes place. The jar will be around two-thirds full, with the lid only lightly in place.
A little amount of air helps the buds to naturally breakdown sugars and chlorophyll. The result of properly cured flowers is that the smoking or vaping experience is smoother, and more potent according to many. You should receive top-quality CBD flowers that are already cured to perfection, but if you don’t store them right – especially during the summer – you could see some negative results.
Storing CBD Flowers
Let’s start with the fact that hemp and cannabis flowers prefer dark, cool areas to be stored in. These areas need to be less than 77ºF (around 50-60°F) so that the oils and waxes inside the buds don’t dry out over time. Some people think that freezing hemp buds is the way to go, but this comes with a bunch of problems. For starters, cannabis needs some air when being cured but not for storage purposes. Furthermore, the fragile crystals on the flowers need to remain intact, but they freeze and drop off if frozen, making the buds less potent over time.
Now we’ve established that once you’ve received your CBD Flowers you need to place them into a glass jar, we can move on to where to store them. There are specialist glass insert jars made by a company called Juarz. The buds sit in glass, but the outer casing is hard plastic meaning the container is light-proof. This is probably the best option for CBD flowers, but where should they be stored? The fridge would be a logical option for the flowers if it weren’t for huge fluctuations in humidity and temperature. This opens the buds up to the risk of mildew and mold, and that is something best avoided at all costs.
In short, the best storage method for cannabis and CBD flowers is in a dark, glass, airtight container, left in a cool room with the right humidity. You can also pick up a hygrometer if you want to be really precise about it, as this will monitor humidity levels in your storage area. You can also opt for a special (and expensive) UV-blocking jar made by a firm called Cannador, and this is useful but not totally necessary.
Finally, we recommend handling your CBD flowers as little as possible with your fingers. Every time you touch them or move them to another container, valuable trichomes, and other goodies can fall off and be lost
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CBD FLOWER IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE POPULAR IN THE UK AS A FAST AND HIGHLY EFFECTIVE METHOD OF GETTING CBD INTO YOUR BODY’S ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM.
Should You Buy CBD Flower?
CBD oil is all the rage, infused into everything from CBD capsules to CBD drops to CBD edibles, and even CBD infused drinks. With all the attention on CBD oil, it can be easily forgotten that without CBD flower there would be no CBD oil.
When the cannabis (CBD rich) plant comes to maturity it produces CBD flowers which is where the vast majority of CBD oil is contained. (There is a small amount on the leaves and stems)
CBD oil is extracted from the flower but there are many reasons why rather than extract CBD it would be more beneficial to use the flower itself.
When CBD flower is vaped or smoked it is breathed into the lungs where it is quickly absorbed into circulation via pulmonary absorption.
For those who need immediate relief, vaping or smoking CBD flower is the fastest method of getting CBD to work.
CBD Flower Offers High Bio-availability
All vitamins and minerals and CBD included have varying percentages of bioavailability. This is the amount absorbed that enters the circulatory system as opposed to being removed from the body.
Vaping and smoking CBD flower has one of the highest rates of bioavailability (bar the intravenous method) at around 60-70%. Compare this to edibles which can be as low as 6% and you see how cost-effective CBD flower can be also.
CBD Flower Offers A Great Tasting Experience
One thing that hits you before the actual effects of CBD, is the taste. CBD flower is natural and as such will contain all of nature’s natural terpenes which offer immense flavour and taste.
With so many different strains containing so many different terpenes, you can have a unique taste experience every time.
Extensive CBD Flower Product Range
Those familiar with THC rich cannabis strains legally available in the Netherlands, America, Canada etc will be aware of the numerous range of strains available.
Each with its own unique make-up of phytocannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids, all combining to give you different effects.
Just like THC-rich flower, CBD flower comes in AK47, lemon haze, Amnezia, skunk, as well as all the other famous strains, which can be purchased online.
Balance Out THC
Those who consume THC-rich cannabis are encouraged to combine CBD flower with their THC-rich flower as it has been shown to reduce the negative effects that may come from the high associated with THC-rich flower.
By combining both flowers you get a more balanced effect and in a time when growers are focused on THC high strains, it is well advised to mix CBD flowers to balance out the effect.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Some CBD oils on the market will be just that, CBD, they will not contain all the other compounds that work together synergistically in what is known as the entourage effect.
Some others still, known as broad-spectrum oils will contain all the compounds bar THC, again not utilising the full power of the plant.
THC is the intoxicating compound and although only present in negligible amounts in the CBD flower it is nonetheless invaluable.
CBD flower will contain everything that nature intended and next, we look at the 10 best places in the UK online market to purchase full-spectrum, fully legal CBD flower.
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CBD Flower In The UK
When the cannabis plant comes to maturity it produces flowers commonly referred to as buds. These flowers have tiny hair-like resinous glands which contain CBD along with other phytocannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids.
The majority of manufacturers, using different methods, extract CBD and the other compounds from the plant resulting in an oil.
CBD oil is of course incredibly popular but there are many benefits to using CBD flower instead, most notably in vaping, smoking and even juicing!
CBD Flower Versus CBD E-Liquid
Vaping has become incredibly popular as an alternative to smoking and so too has vaping CBD e-liquid as a tastier alternative to CBD drops for example.
Vaping CBD e-liquid or CBD flower has been shown to have one of the highest rates of bio-availability meaning more CBD goes into your system compared to other methods of consuming CBD oil.
Although the ingredients in CBD e-liquid, propylene glycol (PG) & Vegetable glycerin (VG) are FDA approved food ingredients contained in all e-liquids, the debate as to the safety of these ingredients still rages on.
Anyone with doubts or concerns can always try the safer alternative of vaping CBD flower. Nothing added, just CBD flower.
Benefits Of Vaping CBD Flower
CBD flower contains terpenes and other phytocannabinoids that “activate” at different temperatures. Some activate at lower temperatures such as the terpene a-Pinene which activates at 311°F whereas other compounds require hotter temperatures.
With a vaporizer, you can vape CBD and control the temperature to the exact degree. This allows you to have the best possible experience of aromas and flavours
That said, some people prefer the more “traditional” method of consuming flower, that is by smoking it in a pipe, bong etc.
For those who enjoy CBD intoxicating cousin THC, research suggests mixing CBD flower together with THC rich flower may have additional benefits.
CBD Flower Mixed With THC Flower
Prior to recent times cannabis contained higher amounts of CBD, unfortunately there is a trend nowadays of growers producing cannabis flower which contains very high amounts of the intoxicating THC
THC has the very unfortunate negative effect of creating paranoia in some users but scientific research has shown that adding CBD flower to THC flower counteracts these negative effects.
In particular in the UK where skunk, the most common type of illegal cannabis available, contains a very high amount of THC. It would be in the best interests of both the consumer and the NHS for CBD flower to be readily available for those who choose THC dominant flower.
How To Vape CBD Flower
Vaping CBD flower is incredibly simple. First, you purchase an electronic vaporizer which can be handheld or desktop, ranging in price from £30 to £300. Then you add the CBD flower to the ‘oven’ of the vaporizer.
The CBD flower can then be heated to your chosen temperature precisely, activating the compounds , before the device cools the vapour which is then breathed in for fast effective relief.
No food ingredients, no waste, just CBD flower.
Full Spectrum CBD Flower
When manufactures produce CBD oil from CBD flower they often isolate the CBD compound. This is ideal for athletes who must not have any trace of THC but the downfall to this is that CBD isolate does not contain all the other phytocannabinoids , terpenoids, and flavonoids.
Others still will isolate the THC and leave the other compounds in what is known as a broad-spectrum CBD. Again this may be good for athletes who are tested but it is not as effective as full-spectrum CBD flower.
CBD flower, on the other hand, is full-spectrum and will contain all the plant’s compounds working together in what is known as the entourage effect.
What Is The Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect is the commonly accepted theory in the scientific community that the whole of the plant is greater than its parts.
It was originally hypothesised by eminent cannabis researcher Dr Raphael Mechoulam and gained further popularity by GW pharma researcher Dr Ethan Russo.
With CBD flower you can be assured you will receive the full entourage effect as CBD flower will contain all of the compounds of the plant working synergistically together.
Another way to enjoy the synergistic, holistic effect of CBD flower is in the form of a juice.
CBD Cannabis Strains
Here are some underrated high-CBD strains that are worth seeking out.
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