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High-CBD strains and extracts are more popular than ever. Thanks to the rising demand for legal CBD oils, many new brands are entering the market with all sorts of new products and delivery systems. But, what are high-CBD strains and what makes CBD extracts stand apart? To answer some of the most basic questions, here is a complete guide to CBD strains and extracts.

What are high-CBD strains?

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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. In fact, it is one of the most abundant molecules in a group of unique chemicals called cannabinoids, the active components that give the herb its medicinal value.

By some estimates, cannabis produces up to 113 of these phytochemicals, though most of them are in such trace amounts that they are not likely noticeable. Currently, there is only research on a handful of these chemicals. Of the research available, even fewer studies have been conducted in humans.

High-CBD strains are cannabis varieties that produce large amounts of cannabidiol. Unlike the more famous cannabis chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes a psychoactive “high”, CBD does not distort consciousness. Rather, it tends to lighten

Rather, it tends to lighten the mood, ease pain, and quell anxiety. CBD strains are typically described as focused, clear-headed, and relaxing.

Over the past few years, CBD has become quite popular. In 2013,  CNN released a documentary series which showed footage of a high-CBD cannabis extract stopping a young child’s seizure. Demand for CBD has skyrocketed since the incredible story made its way around the globe.

While CBD oils and products are of particular interest to parents of epileptic children, the cannabinoid has shown promise in preclinical trials for a wide range of medical conditions. Early research has shown that CBD is:

These qualities are what make CBD a powerful therapeutic agent. Currently, high-CBD strains are being used in pharmaceutical research in the areas of epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, psychiatric illness, neurological disorders, and pain.

Popular high-CBD strains

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High CBD seeds and strains are more accessible than ever. The most common type of medical cannabis is high in THC, and high-CBD strains have only recently grown in popularity.

Due to the cannabis hybridization process, different strains produce varying amount of dominant cannabinoids. Most strains are THC-dominant, some strains are CBD-dominant, and some strains have a healthy mix of both.

Here is a brief list of popular high-CBD strains and their most common ratios of CBD to THC:

The ratios are simply common, but different phenotypes of the above strains may produce varying THC levels. Not all high-CBD strains will maintain the same cannabinoid profiles every time, which is why cloning and lab testing are helpful.

Types of CBD extracts

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The cannabis strains listed above are often available in dispensaries, coffee shops, and social clubs. However, it is now possible to buy quality CBD extracts legally online. These extracts are available in many different countries around the world and can be shipped to all U.S. states.

Here are the primary differences between medical cannabis and hemp-based CBD extracts:

1. High-CBD medical cannabis

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The only difference between high-CBD medical cannabis and hemp-derived CBD oil is THC. Both hemp and medical cannabis are the same plant species. The only difference is that plants classified as hemp contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Plants classified as medical cannabis or “marijuana” naturally contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

Even though many CBD strains do not cause a psychoactive high, they are still considered illegal under most federal drug laws. Unfortunately, this means that the global public lacks access to sophisticated and craft high-CBD herb.

Strict anti-cannabis policies worldwide also mean that many global citizens miss out on the right to touch or handle cannabis flowers without potential consequences. This truth applies to both hemp and medical cannabis.

2. Hemp CBD

Hemp-derived CBD oils, tinctures, and balms are legally sold in progressive stores and on the internet. As mentioned above, CBD sold without a medical cannabis authorization is extracted from plants with less than 0.3 percent THC.

Many of these oils are created using low-quality stems and leaves from European hemp plants and are then imported by countries around the world. Since the passing of the Agricultural Act of 2014, a handful of lucky industrial hemp farmers have been able to extract CBD oil from quality “medical hemp” strains.

Leading the pack is CW Hemp, the Colorado-based company behind the Charlotte’s Web strain. Prior to the 2014 legislation, Charlotte’s Web was only available through the state’s medical cannabis program.

Many CBD hemp oils manufactured in the United States come from hemp grown through state-sanctioned industrial cultivation programs. These hemp oils can be cultivated from the flowers and leaves of hemp plants.

To learn more about CBD extractions, take a look at these related articles:

Tips for picking out great CBD oils

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With all of the variety out there, finding the best CBD oil can be a challenge. Here are a few simple tips to help you get you started in the right direction:

  • Opt for full-spectrum hemp oils over isolates
  • Check the source of your CBD oil for information on the quality of materials used in extraction
  • Avoid inhaled oils that contain propylene glycol (PG) or polyethylene glycol (PEG)
  • Avoid oils that have not been laboratory tested by a third party

For more information on how to choose the best medical cannabis oils and products, check out these related articles:

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Anna Wilcox

Anna Wilcox is a Pacific Northwest native with a passion for cannabis and natural health. Contact her on Twitter @delilahbfield.
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