Due to its recent legalization, recreational marijuana is currently the rage in Canada. But for those people looking to receive only its medicinal benefits, however, sometimes consuming the whole plant isn’t entirely worth it. Especially for those people who don’t want to receive the “high” in order to start feeling better.  Luckily, experts have been able to harness the medicinal benefits of marijuana through the isolation of CBD—the non-psychoactive component of cannabis. But when it comes to THC vs. CBD, which component of cannabis is best?

Different weed strains have different ratios of the two components, so it mostly comes down to preference, as each has their own assortment of pros and cons. We’ll take a look at each side of the spectrum, and hopefully, you’ll be able to accurately assess which fits your own needs—whether they be purely recreational, therapeutic, or a little bit of both.

THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference

For starters, let’s get into the one question that everybody asks—what, exactly, is the difference between CBD and THC? Well, the main difference is simple—their levels of psychoactivity.

THC, in short, is the psychoactive component of cannabis. In layman’s terms, it’s the one that makes you feel “stoned.” CBD, which is the second main component of the cannabis plant, contains no psychoactive qualities. So you’re getting a lot of the benefits of marijuana without feeling an actual high.

However, on a scientific level, there’s actually not that many differences between the two components. Their chemical structures are almost identical—each contains 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The only slight difference is the way the atoms are arranged in the molecular pattern. This alone can affect the psychoactive effects in the brain.

While each component essentially mirrors each other in chemical makeup, their small differences do have an impact on how they interact with your body’s cannabinoid receptors. Therefore, each affects your body in different ways, and from a medicinal standpoint, help treat different ailments. CBD, for example, is adept at treating seizures, inflammation, chronic pain, psychosis, nausea, depression anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, and even migraines, to name just a few.

Regular THC can help treat muscle spasticity, insomnia, glaucoma, low appetite, and pain, among others. There is, obviously, some overlap here, but the main difference, again, is psychoactivity. If you’re trying to avoid feeling any sort of high, then CBD might be your best bet.

High CBD Weed Strains

But what weed strains, exactly, contain high levels of CBD? If you’re still looking to get somewhat of a high, but don’t like some of the intense psychoactive effects of high THC strains, you might want to opt for a high CBD strain. Sure, you can get concentrated forms of CBD, but you won’t actually feel anything for those. They’re simply therapeutic. So smoking some CBD-rich strains might be the way to go if you’re also a fan of smoking recreationally.

Here are some of the best high CBD weed strains available:

ACDC— ACDC is a very CBD heavy strains, and contains a pretty absurd CBD to THC ratio of 20:1. You’ll still feel something, but you’re not going to be glued to the couch or anything like that.

Harlequin— Harlequin is known to be one of the more chill weed strains out there. So it should come as no surprise that it contains a 5:2 CBD to THC ratio. This strain is sativa-dominant, so the user will likely feel alert and euphoric, with little-to-no fuzziness or haziness.

Charlotte’s Web— Named after the famous book, Charlotte’s Web also happens to contain a large dose of CBD. The indica-dominant strain contains a CBD content as high as 20%, making it the perfect strain for someone looking to get their CBD in plant form.

High THC Weed Strains

For those that prefer a traditional high when consuming their marijuana, they’re going to want to look into strains which a much higher THC to CBD ratio. For the most part, high-THC strains are more sativa-dominant, and give you a much more buzzing, stimulating high. Let’s take a look at three of the best high THC weed strains for reference.

White Fire OG has long been considered one of the strongest strains of cannabis, thanks to its high levels of THC. The hybrid strain contains THC levels of 22-29 percent, or in some cases, even higher.

Headband literally gets its name from the physical effects it has on its users—it gives them a head high comparable to wearing an actual headband. As for THC levels, it typically comes in around 20-22 percent THC, with less than one percent CBD.

Chemdawg is another strong, and popular, strain amongst hardcore tokers. It’s THC levels are typically anywhere between 15 and 20 percent.

Best THC/CBD ratio

Now, there are certain people (myself included) that don’t prefer either end of the spectrum—they want the best of both worlds. There are a few strains that contain a 1:1 THC vs. CBD ratio. Here are a few notable ones:

Cannatonic— This won’t literally put you in a catatonic state, but it will have you feeling super relaxed. It’s a pretty balanced hybrid that typically contains equal parts CBD and THC (usually around 12 to 15 percent).

Sweet and Sour Widow— This strain is a descendant of the popular strain White Widow, only it is enriched with CBD to give its users a little less of a head high. The Indica dominant strain usually has a perfect 1:1 ratio of the two components.

Pennywise— The strain certainly does not share many similarities with the evil clown of the same name. With an even 1:1 CBD to THC ratio, you’ll be able to acquire all of the beneficial effects of cannabis, without any of the paranoia or anxiousness typically associated with high-THC strains.

THC vs. CBD for pain relief?

When it comes to THC vs. CBD debate, which one ultimately wins out in pain relief? Well, both high THC and high CBD strains have an array of benefits for chronic pain, but ultimately, it appears that most doctors prefer higher CBD strains. This is mostly due to the lack of side effects. Back in 2017, a report suggested that high-CBD cannabis products are highly (no pun intended) effective for treating chronic pain. However, some argue that the psychoactive effects of THC are beneficial for pain relief, because a “medicated” state can better help the user forget, or to a lesser extent, ignore the pain they’re experiencing.

All in all, THC vs. CBD comes down to a matter of preference. If you’re looking for something psychoactive, go with a higher THC strain. If you don’t want to get high, try CBD. Either way, you’re all but guaranteed to feel better if you’re properly utilizing the cannabis plant.