CBD (short for Cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid that has been proven to help with managing chronic pain, reducing inflammation, and work many other wonders (those who haven’t seen it should watch this video, one of many about the miracle power of CBD for those using it to combat the effects of epilepsy and other neurological disorders:)
While just about anyone who is familiar with how marijuana works has heard of THC as the most active of the cannabinoids, CBD has only in the last few years gotten more attention thanks to several high profile reports. THC is the compound most responsible for the “head” high that most people seek; it is CBD that tends to do the most amount of work towards helping with pain relief and relaxation. The entire concept of “medical marijuana” is due to the overwhelming evidence that CBD is great for pain relief and many other ailments. In addition to pure flower, just about every other kind of product infused with cannabis is available for both medical and recreational use, including edibles, concentrates, and especially topical creams.
Those using cannabis in a more recreational way can still get amazing benefits from strains that are high in CBD. Flower that is higher in CBD and lower in THC is perfect for people who want to be able to smoke during the day without getting too high to function, since CBD will often not cause such a “stoney” high; typical reactions from CBD cannabis include extreme relaxation without paranoia and a sleepy feeling that works very well for those smoking to help with insomnia. As much as we all love the feeling from marijuana that is high in THC, extreme paranoia and disorientation is most often because of too much THC.
I recently came across a wonderful strain that is high in CBD and feels like it: Harlequin. Officially considered a sativa-dominant hybrid, this is a great strain for pain relief and relaxation. Consistent with most CBD strains I’ve personally encountered, this batch of Harlequin had a strong fruity smell and dense, tight bud structure. The effect was a predictable mixture of calming and relaxing with relatively little head high; I will admit that the after-effect was a bit stronger then I was expecting, and I had trouble keeping my eyes open an hour or two after I finished a session. Since I was smoking at night after a long day, however, that just so happened to be exactly what I needed. With only around 6% THC and a whopping 13% CBD, I felt great and slept like a baby.
For anyone that uses cannabis for pain relief, anxiety management, or any other medical benefit, strains high in THC will probably work decently, but will most certainly make it harder to function after you use. However, a strain that is higher in CBD is highly recommended for pain relief over typical strains higher in THC, as it will work much better for a medicinal effect and should not cause as much of a head high. Strains like Harlequin and other CBD-rich strains are truly what makes cannabis such a magical plant.