When They Go High, We Go Low: The Unexpected Perks Of Low THC Strains

Naima Karp
Woman having fun with a low thc, high cbd runtz cannabis

In some households, topics like religion or politics might bring about controversies. In mine, it’s cannabis. For a while now, my husband and I have had an ongoing disagreement on whether a higher THC level always gets you a stronger and better high. While he prefers to opt for the over 25% strains every time, I’ve reduced my intake over the past couple of years, opting instead for strains with a lower THC percentage complemented by more complex cannabinoids and terpenes.

Over time, I found that super potent strains were actually starting to aggravate my anxiety, stress and insomnia rather than improving them like they used to.

So in search of more calm contentment and fewer racing thoughts late at night, I decided to try something a little different.

But even in the legalized landscape of Canada, 1:1 CBD and THC strains are tough to come by. You’ll have to scour the Ontario Cannabis Store just to find a high-quality 1:1 strain, and the majority of dispensaries across the GTA rarely keep these underdog strains stocked. The first time I tried CBD Runtz by Orchid CBD upon a recommendation, I was skeptical. My budtender was really selling me on this hybrid that supposedly provided a beautiful high despite having less than 10% THC.

In the past, I’ve tried CBD-only strains and found that they didn’t do much for me. However, as soon as I got home, I cracked open the container, eager to see if these nugs stood up to their glowing reviews. I was not disappointed. Based on appearance alone, the nugs were slightly squishy, sticky and sizeable stunners, generously coated in trichomes with hints of purple and some wild orange hairs.

The nose is slightly tropical and earthy with spicy citrus undertones, and the smoke is glorious. THC ranges from 7-13%, while CBD ranges from 10-17%. With stronger strains, there’s sometimes a sensation of being numb. With CBD Runtz, I was buzzed and experienced mood-lifting effects, yet still felt like myself. Rather than getting frustrated and wanting to smoke more, I actually enjoyed the clarity surrounding this high. Walking my dog on the nearby Doris McCarthy trail, I felt a sense of childlike wonder and appreciation for Mother Nature.

I was shocked that such a low THC strain could imbue all these sensations, but after a little research, I came to realize that it was the diverse terpenes and a much higher terpene percentage than other strains sold on the OCS website. Rich in terps like myrcene, caryophyllene and limonene, this unique plant makeup created a calming effect that I’ve never experienced. I wasn't as stoned as I was with other strains, but I was in a more positive headspace than with any other similar daytime strain that I’ve consumed.

 Runtz Cannabis Strain.
Cannabis research scientist at Real Isolates, Dr. Riley Kirk, Ph.D., explains, “There are a variety of factors influencing how high you feel after using cannabis products. The levels of THC are absolutely an important factor, but the cannabis plant is a living organism with hundreds of unique chemicals present. The presence and amounts of the other compounds in the plant such as the other cannabinoids, the terpenes, and the flavonoids will also influence how you feel because of these compounds.”

There are countless benefits of smoking balanced strains with similar CBD and THC levels.

It’s ideal for anyone who typically experiences any anxiety from smoking weed, as well as anyone like myself who has experienced the short and long-term side effects of using high THC strains, like lack of natural appetite, and poor REM sleep.

Thanks to something called the entourage effect, THC and CBD bring out the best qualities in each other when combined. Dr. Kirk expands,

“Many strains of cannabis that have little to no CBD and are dominant in THC can cause people to feel anxious, paranoid, or overwhelmed after consuming. THC acts on the cannabinoid 1 receptors in the brain, and too much of it can lead to anxiety producing effects. The ratio of 1:1 CBD: THC can help balance out these effects from THC because CBD can also act on this same target in the body, but in a slightly different way. The presence of CBD can prevent the receptors in our brain from being overwhelmed by too much THC, and thus preventing some of the unwanted effects from the plant. CBD also has additional therapeutic targets in the body that THC does not act on such as serotonin receptors for anti-anxiety benefits and various targets for reducing inflammation in the body.”

Back in the 90s, cannabis was rarely stronger than 10% THC. But as growing techniques and technology advanced, so did strains, and we started seeing products with up to 30% and even higher. While it might be tempting to get the most bang for your buck with an outrageously high THC novelty strain, I highly recommend trying a strain like CBD Runtz from Orchid CBD. I hope that soon, the industry starts showing some more love to the many therapeutic cannabinoids and terpenes out there.

I’ve been using cannabis to self-medicate my anxiety for years, and after switching to my first 1:1 strain from Orchid CBD, my mental health is better than ever. Additionally, while some too-strong strains leave me feeling unproductive and frozen in time, Orchid CBD’s use of rare CBD-dominant genetics actually inspires my writing and pushes me to be more creative.

It complements my lifestyle rather than dampening it, leaving me in a peaceful and gratitude-filled state of mind. It’s the perfect Sativa in my eyes, as it lacks that caffeinated, heart-racing sensation that can sometimes accompany daytime strains. Combined with the fact that Orchid CBD’s buds are always impeccably fresh due to a tin can packaging, this is a serious diamond in the rough from the Ontario Cannabis Store, and I can’t wait till they add some more flower in this category.

If CBD Runtz is sold out on the OCS or your local dispensary, consider the following strains

By naima karp @thefearlessfemme

Shop CBD Runtz

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