How Much THC And CBD Will Your Cannabis Plant Have?
How much THC and CBD is your plant going to have? Is there a limit? Let’s take a look inside the cannabis plant to see how genetics determine cannabinoid content, and explore whether or not you can predict a strain’s effects by its THC and CBD values.
When you start your cannabis-growing adventure, there are some things you should keep in mind. Do you have a proper growing environment set up? Are you able to consistently check in on it? Do you know what you want to do with the plant when it’s ready? All these things are important, but perhaps just as important is the question of cannabinoid content.
How much THC and CBD is your plant going to have? Once you figure that out, you might wonder what predictions you can make from there. Even before then, you might be curious about what influences these values in the first place. We’ll be working to answer all those questions today.
How Genetics Influence THC And CBD Ratios
During a cannabis plant’s genetic development, it synthesises both CBDA and THCA (which become CBD and THC when heated) from the same cannabinoid: CBGA. Whether one, the other, or both appear depends on an enzyme that can take one of two forms, which we’ll call A and B, that are encoded by the same gene. Since each plant gets two gene copies, there are only three available options. It’ll either get two of the A-encoding genes, one of each of the A and B encoders, or two B encoders. This distribution determines how much CBDA and THCA will be in the plant.
Those with two A encoders will end up being CBD-dominant with minimal THC levels, such as strains like Solomatic CBD. Strains with one of each will end up with a 1:1 ratio, like Painkiller XL and Dance World. Lastly, plants that get two B encoders become THC-dominant strains. These include many strains we hear about today, such as Royal Gorilla.
Why Strains Have THC And CBD Limits
Today’s plants are packed with more THC than ever before. However, they can only contain so much before they hit an insurmountable peak. This happens because both THC and CBD are derived from the same gene, meaning there are strict limits on the possible ratios of either.
For THC, that limit is around 35% THC by dry weight, with most high-potency strains coming in at 25–30%. The upper limit for CBD, by comparison, is around 20–25%, which you can see in strains like Solomatic CBD, which contains 21% CBD. With strains containing significant amounts of both cannabinoids, the limits are even more nuanced. So, for example, a strain that’s 30% THC and 10% CBD is improbable, as is the reverse.
Predicting Strain Effects From THC And CBD Levels
Once you have an idea of how much THC and CBD will be in your plant, you can start making some guesses as to what the effects will be. Most of us know the effects of THC-dominant strains: increased appetite, decreased energy, heightened senses, laughter, etc. If it’s CBD-dominant, there won’t be any psychoactive effects, and you’ll instead enjoy more sub-perceptual effects. Strains containing both THC and CBD will range in psychoactivity, and are desirable to many users as their effects tend to be more balanced than those containing predominantly THC.
Calculating Cannabinoid Percentage
Thanks to recent advancements in the cannabis industry, we now have several methods of verifying THC and CBD percentages. Each of these methods has its strengths, but perhaps the most popular is high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Utilised by over half the industry, this method does not require heating and yields consistently accurate results in comparison to other methods. However, other testing methods have vital applications as well, such as gas chromatography, which can detect volatile hazardous compounds. As such, it’s regularly used in residual solvent screenings.
That being said, the most accessible method, and one that still provides satisfactory results, is thin-layer chromatography (TLC). It usually begins as a glass or plastic sheet containing a thin layer of silica gel, cellulose, or aluminum oxide. A solution containing the cannabis sample is then placed on this “plate”, where a solvent is drawn up via capillary action to separate the components of the solution. From there, samples are ready to be analysed using specialised TLC test kits. It sounds confusing, but it’s actually fairly simple in practice. These kits can be ordered from a variety of sources online.
Another method, supercritical fluid chromatography, utilises CO₂ in its supercritical state, where it demonstrates the efficacy of a liquid and the convenience of a gas. Once all is said and done, the CO₂ is recycled, and potentially hazardous solvents are left out of the picture.
Lastly, if you happen to be in one of our Amsterdam Royal Queen Seeds locations, you can have the potency of your buds tested in our GemmaCert machine for an affordable 8€! It’s non-destructive too, so you don’t even have to worry about losing weed during the test!
How to Calculate the THC and CBD Content in Each Gram of Weed
Most dispensaries, coffeeshops, and seed banks will provide data on their products, letting buyers know how much THC to expect in their flowers based on laboratory figures.
Once you’ve received data from one of the aforementioned outlets, you can use these numbers to throw together a quick equation and figure out how much THC or CBD you’ll be inhaling with each gram.
Let’s say you picked up a gram of your favourite strain while roaming the coffeeshops of Amsterdam. While discussing your options with the budtender, they inform you that this particular strain contains approximately 20% THC.
To get an accurate idea of how much THC you’re about to breathe in, simply fire these simple figures through your head:
- 1 gram = 1000mg
- 1 gram of the strain contains 20% THC
- 20% of 1000mg = 200mg
You can apply the same calculation to CBD figures. The high-CBD strain Solomatic CBD contains 21% CBD and
1% THC. Therefore, each gram offers
10mg of THC and 210mg of CBD.
Of course, several variables come into play that dictate the exact amount of THC/CBD you’ll be consuming. For example, are you leaving your joint burning in the ashtray as you talk philosophy and botany with your smoking buddy? Regardless, the above equation will give you a general indication of how much THC or CBD you’re taking in.
Cannabis plants develop different THC and CBD levels, and there are many scientific factors that determine these concentrations. Find out more inside.
CBD Flower: Dose CBD Without The THC
THC has long been the shining star of the cannabis world, but now CBD is taking the community by storm. Read on to learn all about CBD flower with no THC, how it’s made, and the best CBD-rich strains from RQS.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid produced mainly within the trichomes of the cannabis plant. This compound has risen to superstar status over the past few years as more and more studies reveal the intriguing characteristics behind CBD. CBD is also non-psychoactive, making it much more legally accepted around the world—even in places where THC consumption is actively forbidden.
You might see CBD-rich cannabis referred to in several ways, and so we use the terms “THC-free weed”, “CBD flower”, and “CBD bud” interchangeably.
IS CBD FLOWER LEGAL?
In all likelihood, yes. While there are no sweeping global regulations of CBD flower, the compound is legal in Europe so long as it does not contain more than 0.2% THC. In America, this threshold is slightly higher at 0.3% THC.
However, depending on the country you live in and the type of CBD you’re looking to enjoy, it’s crucial to check the laws pertinent to where you are.
HOW IS CBD FLOWER MADE?
Just as cannabis plants have been selectively bred for decades to churn out massive quantities of THC, there are now strains that produce sky-high CBD levels with next to no THC. These new strain profiles allow growers to cultivate hemp or CBD-rich cannabis even in countries where it is illegal to grow THC-rich cannabis. It also means that cannabis users seeking CBD without getting high can smoke or vape its flowers in the same format they would THC-rich flowers.
When it comes to cultivating CBD-rich cannabis, the most important factor to consider is genetics. Enzymes in the plant dictate whether or not it will be rich in THC or CBD. Growers will generally crossbreed two strains with high CBD levels and low THC levels to improve CBD content.
To decrease THC levels even more, a grower may choose to crossbreed marijuana with hemp, leading to almost negligible amounts of THC in the progeny. Crossbreeding these plants with CBD-rich strains then allows the grower to increase the amount of CBD up to a certain threshold. The highest concentration that a plant can realistically achieve, at time of writing, is around 20–25% CBD, which you can see in special strains like Juanita la Lagrimosa.
HOW TO USE CBD FLOWER
When it comes to how you enjoy your THC-free weed, it will mostly come down to personal preference. The only essential thing to remember is that the CBD flower needs to be heated and “activated” in a process known as decarboxylation. This is done automatically when vaping or smoking; with edibles, you are responsible for decarboxylating the weed first in an oven.
Whether you are looking to smoke a joint or pipe, you can certainly enjoy CBD bud this way.
• Pros: The impact can be felt in seconds.
• Cons: The smoke may be too harsh on the lungs, particularly if you are taking CBD for therapeutic reasons.
Rather than burning the CBD flower, a vape heats it just enough to release the cannabinoids and terpenes into a vapor that is much easier on the lungs.
• Pros: As quick as smoking, but less harsh on the lungs.
• Cons: Is more expensive outright, as you need to buy a vaping device.
If you’re not interested in smoking or vaping, it’s possible to enjoy CBD edibles—and there is a vast range of options out there. From the increasingly popular CBD gummies to creating CBD-rich cannabutter, you have an endless array of options.
• Pros: Easy and enjoyable, and there are plenty of recipes out there.
• Cons: It can take a long time (up to two hours) to feel their effect, and it can be challenging to find the right dosage.
HOW MUCH CBD DOES ONE GRAM OF CBD FLOWER CONTAIN?
Calculating the amount of CBD in CBD flower is a little more challenging than working out how much is in an oil or a capsule.
In basic terms, one gram of CBD bud contains between 100–200mg of CBD. To calculate the amount for the particular strain you are using, you will find there is a percentage listed.
Say that CBD flower is advertised as being 21% CBD; in one gram of the THC free weed you’ll have around 210mg CBD.
FIND THE BEST CBD:THC RATIO FOR YOU
To find out what works best for you, it helps to understand a little bit about CBD:THC ratios and why they matter.
If a product has a CBD:THC ratio of 10:1, this means it contains ten times as much CBD as THC. Experiencing this would mean enjoying the benefits of CBD with almost no psychoactive effects.
A plant with a ratio of 1:1 contains equal amounts of CBD to THC and therefore would cause a notably psychoactive “high”, but less intense than a purely THC-rich strain.
Of course, there are numerous other ratios. One is not better than the other. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and the effects you are hoping to enjoy. Ratios aren’t the only factor in how a strain will make you feel, as every human body is different. Follow the adage “dose low and go slow” to make sure you feel comfortable and in control of your experience.
CBD FLOWER: A NEWLY EMERGING MARKET
The CBD flower market is on the rise, especially within countries that haven’t yet legalized cannabis. Switzerland, for example, now has a soaring CBD flower market that is tolerated by the government because the THC content of the plants is less than 1%.
NEW ROYAL QUEEN SEEDS CBD STRAINS: HIGHEST CBD CONTENT
Our breeders have been working hard to create high-quality CBD-rich strains with great flavour and good growing characteristics. We are delighted to offer a range of nearly THC-free strains:
Solomatic CBD produces massive quantities of cannabidiol (21%) alongside a THC content below 1%. It’s the perfect option for users seeking large amounts of CBD without getting even a little bit high. The effects support a clear, focused, and relaxed state of mind. The flowers of this strain feature a unique terpene profile that emanates aromas of fruit, ginger, and pine.
Solomatic CBD is the result of crossing Diesel CBD and Asia CBD Auto. As an autoflowering strain, it is beginner-friendly and extremely easy to grow. What’s more, its genetics also ensure rapid growth, meaning you won’t have to wait long to be rewarded with a hefty harvest. This plant explodes from seed to harvest in as little as 9–10 weeks.
|Diesel CBD x Asia CBD Auto|
|150 – 200 gr/m2|
|50 – 100 cm|
|7 – 8 weeks|
|Sativa 20% 70% Indica 10% Ruderalis|
|30 – 80 gr/plant|
|60 – 100 cm|
|10 – 11 weeks after sprouting|
Offering 15% CBD with under 0.75% THC, Joanne’s CBD offers a lucid and clear-headed effect. It is the perfect option for those who want to enjoy CBD without the risk of altered cognitive function. Joanne’s CBD has a lovely aroma of sweet orange citrus, which makes it excellent for creating edibles.
Joanne’s CBD stems from crossing the previously mentioned Juanita la Lagrimosa with Session, which improved the size and production potential without altering the low THC level of Juanita. It is a relatively easy to manage plant, reaching a medium height if grown indoors, or an impressive 180cm if grown outdoors. Joanne’s CBD requires low-stress training and pruning to push harvest to the max.
|Session x Juanita la Lagrimosa|
|500 – 550 gr/m2|
|80 – 120 cm|
|7 – 8 weeks|
|THC: 0,25 – 0,75%|
|Sativa 75% Indica 25%|
|425 – 475 gr/plant|
|140 – 180 cm|
Purple in name and purple in nature, Purplematic CBD is a fan-favourite among CBD enthusiasts thanks to its high CBD content, low THC content, and beautiful violet-hued flowers. This CBD-heavy strain produces an aromatic and flavourful experience with a sweet and fruity taste, which makes it an excellent all-rounder for smoking, vaping, or using in edibles.
Purplematic CBD was created by combining Kush Rose Auto CBD and Afghan Rose Auto CBD. Purplematic CBD is an autoflowering indica-heavy hybrid that can race from seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeks. It is also a small plant, which means you can cultivate several plants in close proximity to enjoy a larger yield.
|Kush Rose Auto CBD x Afghan Rose Auto CBD|
|375 – 450 gr/m2|
|70 – 120 cm|
|7 – 8 weeks|
|Sativa 5% Indica 90% Ruderalis 5%|
|110 – 150 gr/plant|
|100 – 140 cm|
|8 – 9 weeks after sprouting|
TATANKA PURE CBD
Named after the legendary medicine man Tatanka Iyotake (also known as Sitting Bull), Tatanka Pure CBD produces a CBD level of 14% and only around 0.25% THC. Its unusual but pleasant smell contrasts notes of caramel with bitterness.
Tatanka Pure CBD is an indica-heavy strain resulting from the crossing of Elixir Vitae and Medical CBD. It can be grown inside and outside with relative ease, and with a flowering time of 6–7 weeks, the wait is more than reasonable.
CBD flower describes selectively bred cannabis strains that churn out large quantities of CBD, and less than 1% THC. Find out more about CBD flower with no THC!