Is Growing CBD Seeds Different from Growing High-THC Seeds?
Next to THC, cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant chemical compound in cannabis. Though THC is known to create psychoactive effects, CBD has no intoxicant properties. Since 2018’s Hemp Farming Act was passed, CBD has enjoyed a more relaxed legal status.
CBD research is ongoing, and scientists have found more than 60 molecular pathways via which it works. Cannabidiol binds to receptors in the human endocannabinoid system, and it’s believed to have strong anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-anxiety properties. With its medical benefits and the abundance of information on cannabis cultivation, it’s no surprise that growers and patients across the country are attempting to grow high-CBD strains. Here, you’ll learn about the differences between the cultivation of high-CBD and high-THC cannabis.
The Legality of Hemp
With the passing of the Hemp Farming Act, hemp was made legal across the United States. How does hemp differ from cannabis? There’s only one difference: THC content. It’s possible to have two cannabis strains that look alike, but if one has more than 0.3% THC, the government would consider it marijuana, not hemp.
Industrial hemp includes the cannabis plant and its derivatives, whether they’re used for seed, fiber, or other industrial purposes. As said before, THC concentration is the distinguishing factor between marijuana and industrial hemp.
The Health Benefits of CBD
Cannabidiol’s list of medicinal benefits is expanding quickly, but additional research is required to understand the range and efficacy of these benefits. CBD is often used to help with conditions such as:
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Inflammation and pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Withdrawal from opiates
CBD first became well-known as a treatment for a debilitating epileptic condition known as Dravet Syndrome. Sufferers often experience hundreds of seizures per day, and the conditioning may become life-threatening with time. Current treatments have mixed results, but CBD shows great promise under the microscope.
Growing High-CBD or High-THC Cannabis: Focus on Genetics
Whether you’re growing a high-THC or a high-CBD strain, there’s no way to force your plants to produce CBD in excess of their genetic limits. During the reproductive process, cannabis grown from seeds may express a range of phenotypes (unless it’s a clone). Simply put, offspring from a single plant may have radically different features. If you’re trying to grow high-CBD plants from a seed strain with an elevated CBD content, your chances of success aren’t 100%.
Apart from using clones of high-CBD plants, another option is to learn about phenotypes that may develop from certain strains. It’s frustrating and expensive to invest weeks into a crop with high CBD potential, only to find that the plants are THC-dominant.
The testing requirements for high-CBD and high-THC strains are similar. If you’re growing high-CBD plants from seed, be sure to lab-test your seeds to ensure your product is aligned with your goals. Industry experts suggest performing these tests three to four weeks after the seeds sprout. With this step, it’s possible to separate high-CBD plants from those with more THC.
Perform the test by taking a few top nodes from the plant. Be sure they’re dry before taking them to the lab. During this process, the lab will identify CBD-dominant plants and you can take cuttings from them. However, if lab testing is a challenge, you’ll have to wait until the plants mature and flower.
How the Cultivation Process Affects High-CBD and High-THC Cannabis Strains
Though it’s impossible to force plants to produce more cannabidiol than their genetics allow, it’s simple to encourage them to produce as much as possible. There are specific growing conditions linked to high-CBD and high-THC plants. If growers select seeds with desirable genetics, they should be planted about five centimeters down into warm soil.
The growing environment may affect the CBD content of cannabis. For instance, outdoor plants exposed to substantial amounts of precipitation may have a lower CBD content. However, if the plants are grown indoors, the grow room’s temperature should be kept between 68 – 70°F. To ensure CBD dominance, these plants should be watered carefully.
Popular High-CBD Strains for Indoor Cultivation
Most growers who focus on high-CBD strains do so for medical reasons. Before proceeding with a cannabis cultivation effort, please refer to your state’s laws as growing is still disallowed in some states with medicinal cannabis laws. Though your power bill may increase, the additional expense is offset by the money saved with fewer dispensary visits.
The amount of CBD a plant produces may vary according to lighting, genotype, phenotype, and other factors. For simplicity’s sake, it’s best to assume that you’ll get a gram of consumable cannabis for every watt of lighting. For instance, the usage of a 400W lamp will yield 400 grams or 14 ounces of cannabis.
Here are three popular high-CBD cannabis strains:
- CBD Blue Shark: This mild strain typically has a 1:1 CBD/THC ratio and rarely has more than 7% of either of these cannabinoids. As an Indica-dominant cross, it offers a mellow high. a short 65-day flowering time and a high yield per square meter, it’s ideal for indoor cultivators.
- CBD Critical Cure: This high-CBD strain usually contains 7 – 11% THC and 7% CBD. It’s another Indica-dominant cross that offers numbing, sleepy effects, making it a great choice for those suffering from chronic pain, depression, and inflammation. Flowering time can be as short as 55 days, and this strain may yield upwards of 600 grams per square meter.
- CBD Kush: This balanced hybrid usually has a 1:1 ratio, but some varieties have 7% CBD and only 1% THC. CBD Kush is an effective treatment for chronic anxiety, stress, and muscle spasms. This strain is perfect for small grow rooms, because its maximum height is only 60cm. CBD Kush takes approximately 70 days to flower and offers 400 grams per square meter.
The most important step in growing high-CBD strains is to find those that are likely to produce CBD in equal (or greater) quantities as THC. Once you’ve found a strain with the right genetics, growing from clones rather than seed will eliminate future guesswork and frustration.
After selecting clones, grow them in a high-temperature room and water them carefully. In the end, those efforts will provide high-quality, high-CBD medicinal cannabis at a fraction of the cost of the products you’d find in a dispensary.
Growing Cannabis for its CBD Content
For those who want to grow their own high-CBD cannabis, the first step is to choose a high-CBD strain. Many of the most popular strains contain much more THC than CBD, so choose wisely and follow these tips.
- Focus on strains with known high-CBD content. If plants have more than 0.3% THC, they’re not If THC is a medicinal or legal concern, be sure to get strains from reputable breeders.
- Follow the basic rules of cannabis cultivation. Growing CBD-rich weed is much like growing for THC content.
- Harvest carefully. For optimal CBD levels, pick buds at the start of harvest time. THC and CBD gradually degrade as buds mature. Because of how cannabinoids interact with one another, it’s best to experiment with harvest times to see what’s most effective.
- Hold onto the leaves. CBD isn’t just in the plant’s buds, but in its leaves as well. Though the CBD concentration in leaves is low, it’s possible to extract their CBD by decarboxylating them into tinctures, oils, and butter. CBD extracts derived from the leaves are usually less potent than those made from the flowers.
- Extracting CBD: Unlike the plants’ leaves, the CBD-laden buds are often vaped or smoked. However, many users like to consume them in edible form. Edibles typically come on slower but last longer. Any THC extraction method will also serve to extract CBD, as both cannabinoids easily bind to oil. It’s very challenging to separate the two, so if the plants have no THC, a simple oil or butter extraction will suffice. However, if you’re trying to pull CBD from a plant that has both cannabinoids, special equipment is required. That’s why strain selection is so crucial. With the right choice, all that’s left to do is to extract and enjoy the desired cannabinoid.
Growing High-THC Cannabis
When it comes to cannabis cultivation, different growers have different goals. Some people grow cannabis for medicinal purposes, while others cultivate it for recreational use. For growers on both sides, high THC production is a common goal. Here are a few reasons that some growers prefer high-THC strains.
- High-THC strains provide greater psychoactive effects from an equivalent amount of flower.
- Some medicinal cannabis growers prefer high-THC products for the relief of intense pain, nausea, spasticity, and MS symptoms.
- Many steps undertaken to increase THC levels also increase overall yield.
However, not all growers want high THC levels. For example, many medicinal cannabis users actively seek other cannabinoids such as CBD, which helps with seizures and anxiety. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to maximize CBD content without beginning with a high-CBD cannabis seed.
Increasing THC Levels and Potency
In this section, we will discuss the factors affecting THC levels and cannabis potency.
- Plant and strain genetics: A cannabis plant’s genes are the most crucial aspect of predictable potency in a particular strain. The plant’s genetics set an upper limit on THC and CBD production. Although cultivators use certain methods to maximize the production of these phytocannabinoids, it’s impossible to overcome the plant’s genetic blueprint. To get the most potent THC-rich buds, start with high-quality seeds from a reputable distributor.
- Harvest time: Many cannabis cultivators fail to realize that they’re picking their buds too early, and the crop’s potency and yield suffers as a result. There’s a two- to three-week period during the plants’ flowering stage where they’re considered mature and have the highest possible level of THC. At that time, the trichomes (resin glands) on the plants’ buds turn white, and most of the pistils (white hairs) have curled up and turned yellow, orange, or amber. If the plants continue to mature, their cannabinoid profile may change. Buds picked later on often provide a body high, though THC’s psychoactive effects might be diminished. When buds are harvested too early, they don’t reach their full potential. Some early-picked buds produce undesirable effects such as headaches, so try to avoid early harvesting if possible.
- Plant care and health: The standards of care are much the same whether you’re cultivating cannabis for THC or CBD content. However, to get the plants to yield the most powerful buds possible, start with healthy, robust plants and give them plenty of light during flowering. Avoid mistakes such as underwatering, overwatering (leads to root rot or plant death), low/high temperature stress, nutrient insufficiencies, and irregular lighting. When cannabis plants get what they need, they give the grower what they want.
- Light levels: Cannabis won’t produce many buds without bright lighting during the flowering stage. Marijuana thrives on light, using it to power bud growth as well as THC and CBD generation. Outdoor plants should get eight or more hours of direct sunlight per day, while indoor plants need bright, strong HPS, metal halide, or LED grow lamps for high THC content.
- The curing process: There’s no proof that curing increases THC content, but some growers speculate that curing increases potency, despite the fact that the process isn’t well understood. The potent effects may be caused to chemical changes that occur in the curing stage. Bud curing has several other benefits for growers. For example, newly dry buds sometimes smell like hay or cut grass and curing helps to eliminate unpleasant smells and tastes.
Though the methods by which high-CBD and high-THC seeds are grown are largely the same, the results of these growth efforts are vastly different. By choosing the right seed strain, growers are more likely to achieve the desired result. Start at i49 for a massive selection of cannabis seeds.
High-THC And High-CBD Seeds