Medical marijuana will always be the central pillar of the cannabis industry. No matter how big the recreational industry gets, the medical benefits are the reason that the population truly needs free access to grow, buy, and consume cannabis products at all. A big part of the legalization victory has been the ability to cultivate stronger strains including more THC and more CBD in the mix.
As a medical cannabis consumer, you may be wondering just how much CBD and THC can be found in medical marijuana. That is a good question, and you can get the precise answer every time you purchase a flower, joint, or cart. But let’s dive into the details.
How Much CBD and THC Can You Find in Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana often reaches some of the highest possible CBD and/or THC contents. However, because everyone’s medical needs are different, there are also very low-dose strains to choose from.
This chart from Leafly can help you visualize the percentage ranges.
The maximum biological limit for a cannabis plant of any type is 35% THC or CBD. You will not find un-treated flower of any higher percentage, and will rarely find percentages above 25% for either compound. If you see flower listed higher, it’s more likely to be fraud or sprayed with concentrates “infused” to increase the potency.
The lowest possible potency is zero. This is possible with just one axis, with a CBD-dominant or THC-dominant strain. Balanced strains range between 5% and 15% for both THC and CBD.
What Does the THC Percent Mean?
When you see a strain of cannabis listed as, say, 17% THC, this relates to how it was tested by dry weight. Some flower from each batch is processed with CO2 and the amount of THC extracted determines the percentage of the leaf. The same is true of CBD.
THC Dominant: Most Recreational Strains | Mental Health Assistive
10-35% THC, 0-2% CBD
Most dispensaries and growers focus on THC-dominant strains which have high concentrations of THC, between 12% and 25%, and 0% to trace amounts of CBD. To find strains with more than a half-percent of CBD, you will often need to go to specifically medical cannabis dispensaries or seek CBD-heavy products directly.
THC-dominant strains tend to be more mental and less physical in experience. though they are found in Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid varieties. A THC-dominant strain may help with mood and Sativa leaning strains are often mentally focusing in regards to anxiety or attention deficit-related issues.
CBD-Dominant: Hemp and Medical Strains | Physical Health Assistive
0-3% THC, 5-25% CBD
CBD-dominant strains are almost universally cultivated by medical marijuana growers or Hemp-CBD brands. CBD-dominant strains in legal states can be grown with up to about 3% THC and peak at around 25% CBD. Products that come from the hemp industry are only permitted to have 0.3% THC in order to be federally legal and permitted in non-legalized states. The maximum typical CBD percent you will see in CBD-dominant strains is around 20% CBD.
For medical marijuana patients, CBD-dominant strains are often preferable to help with physical symptoms and long-term comfort.
Balanced Strains: Medically Balanced
THC Strains: 2-12% THC, 2-15% CBD
Then there are the strains that contain around a balanced amount of THC to CBD. These tend to range between 5% and 15% for both THC and CBD, though there is a potential for lower THC in closely balanced strains. Your range will usually be in the 1:1, 10% THC, 10% CBD range.
While balanced strains tend to be moderate in strength, they are uniquely well-suited for medical marijuana users. The balance of THC to CBD provides an even mood-lifting, mildly giddy, and physically easing experience that, of course, is unique to each user.
How Much CBD and THC is in Medical Marijuana?
The average strength of cannabis today is around 17% THC and 0% CBD for the recreational crowd. However, medical dispensaries often carry CBD-heavy and balanced strains for medical patients who need more CBD or the heady entourage effect of both THC and CBD working together.