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Cannabidiol (CBD) Makes Its Way To The Forefront

It is no secret that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) received the most attention in the past as far as cannabinoids are concerned. Growers in search of strains with the strongest high used selective breeding techniques to build their plants’ THC levels over time.

Interest In Cannabidiol (CBD) Research Is Rising

“CBD has grabbed the attention of breeders across America.”

As a result, cannabis testing labs across the US began reporting THC results above 25%, but at a price. Many of these strains were, and still are, incredibly low in cannabidiol (CBD).

Nonetheless, there has been a recent push to focus more on the other cannabinoids like cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabichromene (CBC). CBD has grabbed the attention of breeders across America, and the compound is being researched for a number of potential benefits.

cbd chart

Research & Findings About Cannabidiol (CBD)

As we know, cannabidiol (CBD) is believed to reduce anxiety, prevent certain cancers, benefit heart health, and more. Nonetheless, there is a lot that we don’t know about it and research will be vital in the coming years.

Of course, this is no revolutionary idea – there are quite a few individuals and organizations on the job. Project CBD stands out in my mind as an organization that supports cannababinoid research.

Co-founded by Fred Gardner and Martin Lee, Project CBD’s website states that the California-based organization:

  • Updates doctors & patients on developments in cannabinoid science and therapeutics.
  • Supports the efforts of physicians and other researchers to collect, aggregate, and publish data from patients to determine patterns of CBD efficacy — or lack of efficacy.
  • Reports on the reintroduction of CBD-rich cannabis into the grassroots supply.
  • Reviews and certifies CBD-rich products.
  • Refutes the slander that medical marijuana is “a front for stoners.”

Despite their name, Project CBD supports whole-plant cannabis therapeutics, as opposed to valuing one compound over the rest. They are a great resource for patients in search of CBD-rich strains and products, as well the dispensaries that carry them.

Where Can I Find CBD-Rich Medical Cannabis?

project cbdThe increased attention toward cannabidiol (CBD) has led to a new-found interest in CBD seed projects. An increasing amount of lab testing facilities are reporting CBD-rich cannabis strains in recent years, and some breeders have made it their mission to improve their availability.

Project CBD lists a number of CBD-rich (4% CBD or more) cannabis products and providers on their website, including dispensaries, breeder collectives, and edibles. Unfortunately, their list of dispensaries dedicated to providing patients with CBD-rich wellness products reveals an obvious need for more throughout the country.

“Facilities with a CBD focus can be few and far between, but they are typically built with the patient in mind.”

Despite highlighting 14 California locations, Project CBD only includes 2 dispensaries from Colorado and 2 from Washington in their list. Facilities with a CBD focus can be few and far between, but they are typically built with the patient in mind.

How Can I Find Seeds Of CBD-Rich Strains?

Outside of states like Colorado, Washington, and California, it may be up to the patient or caregiver to grow their own CBD-rich cannabis. Of course, this begs the question of how to obtain CBD-rich strain genetics. There are two ways to go about doing so – from seed and from clone.

“It appears that the allele that encodes for cannabidiol (CBD)may be recessive.”

As mentioned above, selective breeding is often used to highlight the desirable characteristics of a given strain, including their cannabinoid content. Using this process, a number of growers have engaged themselves in seed projects to find CBD-rich varieties of their favorite strain and create new CBD-rich genetics altogether.

A few years ago, Southern Humboldt Seed Collective released Sour Tsunami – one of the first CBD-rich strains to be stabilized in seed form. Although it is said to reach 10-11% CBD, just 1 out of every 4 Sour Tsunami seeds are expected to be rich in cannabidiol (CBD).

This is a common problem in the case of CBD-rich strains. The expression of cannabinoid content is controlled by a specific gene in cannabis plants, and it appears that the allele that encodes for cannabidiol (CBD)may be recessive.

With that in mind, SoHum Seeds crossed their Sour Tsunami male, which tested at 14% CBD, with two famous CBD-rich strains – Harlequin and Cannatonic. The resulting offspring, Harle-Tsu and Canna-Tsu, are expected to be CBD-rich on a much more consistent basis – 75% and 50% respectively.

Of course, SoHum Seeds is not the only group breeding CBD-rich strain varieties. CBD Crew is a co-op between Resin Seeds (the breeder responsible for Cannatonic) and Mr. Nice Seedbank. They are based in Spain, and are working on a number of CBD-rich strains to sell in seed form.

As Jorge Cervantes explains in the video below, the CBD Crew strives for CBD-rich strains (4% CBD or more) with a minimum CBD:THC ratio of 1:1.

The CBD Crew recently announced the release of two new CBD-rich strains – CBD Mango Haze and CBD Medi Haze. They are available on the group’s website.

Where Can I Find Clones Of CBD-Rich Strains?

When cloning a CBD-rich strain, one does not have to guess as much about their plant’s cannabinoid content. The clone will carry the same characteristics as its mother plant, including any predisposition towards the production of cannabidiol (CBD).

“It’s amazing what you see when it’s not about making money or getting high.”– Bill Althouse

The Harlequin strain, for instance, is one of the most highly sought after CBD-rich clone varieties, due to its broad spectrum cannabinoid content. However, Bill Althouse, Founder of CBD Free for All, explains that seed versions of the strain have not been found to be as effective as the original.

It’s because of this that Althouse decided to create CBD Free for All – a decentralized system that allows for the distribution of CBD-rich Harlequin clones to any adult interested within the state of Colorado. It should be said, however that organization operates on a couple of important assumptions – everyone has a right to grow CBD-rich cannabis and it should cost nothing to do so.

During an interview, Althouse explained that he comes from a background that emphasizes the importance of giving, and he is not keen on capitalism. Accordingly, he believes that CBD Free for All’s approach to providing genetics attracts “the kindest, most caring people you’ve ever met.”

“It’s amazing what you see when it’s not about making money or getting high,” Althouse explained.” For those of us outside of Colorado, CBD-rich clones are most likely to be found at a reputable dispensary, or a licensed caregiver. With that said, it is advised that you ask to see test results from the clone’s plant to ensure that it is high in CBD.

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Portrait of Martin A. Lee
Martin A. Lee Co-Founder & Director of Project CBD

Martin A Lee is an activist, journalist, and author who has published a number of works, including Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific. He is Co-Founder & Director of …