High CBD Cannabis - The Pros and Cons: A Truthful Account From A Medical Cannabis User and Breeder
Updated: Apr 24
NOTE: This is not medical advice! These are simply the firsthand experiences of a licensed medical marijuana patient using himself as a human guinea pig.
There is a lot of hype around CBD these days. Cannabidiol (CBD) is being touted by many authorities as the diamond in the rough - the single most medicinal compound in the myriad of over 100 other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It’s healing properties are claimed to range from anti-inflammatory and anti-epileptic, to anti-anxiety, anti-fungal and even anti-cancer. And while there is certainly research to back these bold claims, there is little first hand information from actual medical cannabis users as to the real world effect of high CBD cannabis.
This is largely a result of true high CBD cannabis being a relatively rare item. Up until just a few years ago it was almost completely unheard of. This is partly due to the fact that laboratory testing on cannabis was all but impossible to obtain. In the past you could have been unknowingly smoking some high CBD bud and not realized it. The other issue creating obstacles to obtaining CBD laden pot was the lack of reliable seed stock for such varieties.
But due to some recent developments in the cannabis breeding world and improved access to laboratory testing, CBD rich ganja has now emerged from the shadows to take centre stage in the international spotlight on medical marijuana. This pot-on-a-pedestal has garnered much attention from medical associations and governments the world over. So much so that some states that have been traditionally hostile to cannabis in any form have now begun allowing the cultivation or importation of pure CBD cannabis and it’s extracts for medical use.
But where does all this leave you, the patient, in your quest to find relief from what ails you? Is high CBD cannabis worth the considerable investment of time and effort to grow for yourself? Does it really live up to the hype? Or is this all just a clever ploy by the powers that be to steer us away from the more psychoactive and consciousness enhancing effect of THC?
To answer these questions I enlisted myself as human guinea pig. I grew a vast number of high CBD cannabis strains from multiple breeders and then tested the effects on myself. I also gave away a number of samples to other willing medical cannabis users to evaluate the effect high CBD cannabis has on different individual’s personal biochemistry.
The results? CBD shines in some areas, and in others falls desperately short. I believe it has the potential to provide tremendous benefit to certain medical marijuana patients, yet others will likely find it to be lacklustre.
So let’s dig into this some more and cover the areas where high CBD cannabis strains live up to the hype and where they fall short.
Part 1: High CBD Con - Cultivation Difficulty
I didn’t really expect this when setting out to test a number of high CBD cannabis strains. I figured they would be no more or less difficult to grow than any other variety, but I was proven wrong. The vast majority of high CBD strains I grew from other breeders were an absolute bitch to get right. They grew extremely tall with massive internode spacing (space between the buds); more than tripling their height in the bloom phase. This lead to major issues with headroom. Many took up to 16 weeks to finish (way past their advertised flowering time of 10 weeks). Yields were almost universally piss poor with the exception of a handful of above-average yielders. Resin production was almost non-existent in many varieties, and in these examples aroma was virtually absent as well. Many plants were extremely sensitive to nutrients and would curl their leaves with even the slightest overestimation of feeding requirements.
Worse yet, a large number of the plants inexplicably died on me. Just flat out died. No signs of distress, no warning, just fucking toast. And these were grown in the exact same environmental conditions, in the exact room, in the exact same soil. Now I’ll readily admit that I’m not a master grower. I still make mistakes and fuck up from time to time, but in my many years of growing, I have never EVER had a plant actually die on me.
I also don’t believe it is a coincidence that all of the plants that died were from the same breeder. In fact, for one particular strain all but of one of plants died. I’m not going to name names and throw anyone under the bus, but my experience tells me this was a result of the breeder re-feminizing and inbreeding this strain too many times in an attempt to stabilize the CBD levels across all phenotypes. Think of it this way: Two genetically identical retarded twin plants fuck each other and have then have even more retarded offspring. Sure they will all be the same. But they’re all going to be soooper-retarded. And I mean that in the most literal, scientific, politically correct definition of the term. Derp.