The use of cannabis is now mainstream. Everywhere you go, there is an advert that highlights the benefits of CBD. From alternative medicine, beauty products, weight loss supplements, to recreational products, CBD products are everywhere. However, the CBD market, just like the weight loss supplement market, is still unregulated. The FDA does not regulate the selling of CBD products.
However, a lot of people are still curious about this chemical compound. With research indicating that this compound can possibly cure a wide range of health conditions, millions of people are now using it as an alternative source of medicine. This means that the number of growers who want to cultivate CBD-rich cannabis plants is increasing. But is it possible to grow CBD-rich cannabis strains? And if so, how do you go about it?
What’s the difference between CBD, THC and other cannabinoids?
CBD and THC are just like siblings. This is because when it comes to choosing a cannabis strain, most people normally compare the THC vs CBD content. But these two distinct compounds use different mechanisms to interact with the body. For instance, CBD does not bind itself directly to CB1 receptors. It normally interacts with other receptors as well as pathways in the body. It’s for this reason that it has a wide range of medical benefits. On the other hand, THC usually binds itself to the CB1 receptors. Note that these receptors are found all over the nervous system and in the brain. As a result, its psychoactive effect on these receptors normally leads to the “high” feeling.
Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids. This “sister molecules” can also work together to create an entourage effect. They are the most popular chemical compounds from the cannabis plant. However, there are still other cannabinoids found in cannabis. For instance, the first type of cannabinoid to be discovered is known as Cannabinol (CBN). Cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and cannabichromene (CBC) are other cannabinoids which also have health benefits. Note that there are hundreds of cannabinoids in the cannabis plants. However, there is very limited information about many of them.
Benefits of CBD
CBD is a powerful compound. Its health benefits range from physical to mental. This popular cannabis chemical is perfect for easing symptoms of chronic diseases as well as mild symptoms of everyday diseases. The benefits of using CBD include:
1. Easing Pain
CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s a strong painkiller that can soothe pain. Research studies show that this compound works by increasing the levels of anandamide in the bran. Note that anandamide is a type of endocannabinoid and it reduces the effect of pain signals. Besides that, CBD has the ability to stimulate the production of CB2. These are receptors which are found in the immune system. CB2 helps to increase the body’s natural immune response. It effectively fights chronic inflammation e.g. multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and arthritis.
2. Effective Anti-Seizure
CBD has strong anticonvulsant properties. It’s an effective remedy in treating diseases with symptoms such as convulsions, tremors, and seizures. The use of CBD for epilepsy treatment continuous to show positive results. Besides that, this compound can manage diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome. The anti-tremor and anti-seizure effect come from its interactions with brain receptors. This chemical compound helps to stabilize the movement of certain neurons in the brain which trigger these conditions.
3. Treating Mental Disorders
Those suffering from depression, chronic stress, and anxiety, CBD interacts with 5-HT1A brain receptors. As a result, it boosts the production of serotonin which helps to balance and improve moods. Note that serotonin plays a crucial role in managing these mental disorders. It creates the perfect mood balance. In addition to that, it eases the symptoms of these mental disorders. But unlike conventional medications, this chemical compound doesn’t have serious side effects.
What is considered a “High CBD” Strain?
A high-CBD strain needs to have an average of 2 percent CBD content or more. But to most patients, the ratio between CBD and THC content is all that matters and not individual percentages. A CBD to THC ratio of 1:1 means that the user may still experience the mild effects of THC. However, higher CBD to THC ratios such as 2:1 or 3:1 mean that the THC effect will be mute. Users will no experience the psychoactive effects of THC.
The Best CBD-Rich Strains
Marijuana has is available in numerous varieties. Some of the strains have high THC content while others have high CBD content. But most people go for CBD-rich strains because of their wide range of health benefits. The top strains which have high CBD content include:
- Dinamed CBD: This is Dinafem’s flagship. Dinamed is a sativa-dominant hybrid which has high CBD content. On average, this plant usually hits the highs of 14 percent.
- Candida CD-1: This is another popular and CBD-rich strain. On average, Candida CD-1 usually tops the highs of 20 percent. It has two unique phenotypes of sativa and indica.
- Cannatonic: This medical marijuana has a CBD to THC ratio of 1:1. It’s a 50/50 marijuana hybrid which contains noticeable THC concentrations.
Where to Get High-CBD Strains
- You can get CBD-rich seeds by making purchases online. There are many retail stores which sell high-quality strains. Some of them also have verifiable lab reports which offer proof of the high CBD content.
- Unlike their photoperiod counterparts, you can get high CBD strains in cannabis varieties that auto-flower.
- Getting clones of high-CBD plants. These strains already have high CBD content so you can use their clones.
Growing Tactics to Increase CBD Levels
Because of their massive popularity, most growers are now looking for techniques to grow CBD-Rich strains. But is it possible to increase the CBD levels of cannabis plants? Well, there are several growing tactics that you can apply to achieve this.
1. Choose high-quality strain
This is one of the ways that you can ensure that you harvest yields with high CBD content. So, choose the right type of high-quality strain. Note that the only way that you can be sure of the right results is by picking the right seeds.
2. Disease and Pest Prevention
Cannabis plants are highly susceptible to pests and diseases. If you can’t protect or control them, your plants will end up with a much lower of potency. This is because pests and disease suck nutrients out of the plants and interfere with their healthy development. Protect your plants through all the growth cycles. Some of the come pests and diseases that you need to monitor are bud root, root rot, tobacco mosaic virus, aphids, spider mites, and the yellow leaf spot.
3. Soil and Temperature
Soil and level of temperature may also influence the level of CBD content. Even though there isn’t a study that can confirm this, multiple growers attribute these two factors to CBD-rich cannabis strains. Generally, it is advisable to keep your weed in an environment that is warm. You need to make sure that the soil is not cold. The right type of temperature should not be less than 70 degrees-Fahrenheit.
4. Right Harvesting Time
If you didn’t know, the level of cannabis’ potency also depends on the harvesting time. So, make sure that you pick your harvests at the right time. If you want to collect yields with high CBD content, then you need to harvest slightly earlier. This is because the level of CBD usually peaks before the level of THC which is usually high during harvesting. You can also harvest the plants when you notice that the trichomes are partly cloudy.
Note: when it comes to harvesting time, this period varies from one strain of marijuana to another. Additionally, the growing conditions also may also change the harvesting time. So, it’s important to put these two factors into consideration.
Cannabinoids offer users a wide range of medical benefits. THC has the ability to ease chronic pain while CBD has the ability to ease anxiety and depression. Overall, these two chemical compounds work like sisters to produce the entourage effect. However, most people love CBD-rich strains because of their significant health benefits. Unlike THC, CBD-rich cannabis plants produce a calming effect without the psychotic “high “feeling. This means that more growers are now focusing on cultivating strains which have high CBD.
Although genetics plays a vital role in determining the content of CBD in a marijuana strain, growers can still apply certain techniques to ensure that they get yields with high cannabidiol. Preventing and controlling pests and diseases, ensuring that the growing environment is warm, and harvesting at the right time are some of the growing tactics that can increase the level of CBD.