With legalization being finalized in Ontario last year, many of you are looking to try cannabis for the first time. While we’ve already discussed a few helpful tips for first-time cannabis users, we wanted to dig a little deeper into one of the most important tips: when smoking for the first time, it’s best to try a strain that is low in THC.

Unlike THC, CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule. This means you won’t feel the same psychoactive effects, or “high” that you feel with THC. It is known for relieving things like anxiety, inflammation and many other medical ailments. In fact, the cannabinoid can actually help counteract the anxious feeling that is sometimes associated with THC, making it a perfect starting point for new cannabis users.

We always recommend starting with a low THC strain and working your way up from there, even if your end goal is to experience the effects of THC.

Typically, when shopping for cannabis, a strain will be advertised as high in THC, high in CBD, or some combination of the two. It’s important to understand, however, that while strains typically have a consistent ratio, there can also be variations. Always check the specific product’s tested cannabinoid profile, just to be sure.

Popular High CBD, Low THC Cannabis Strains

* The following information was derived from www.leafly.ca


Harlequin is a 75/25 sativa-dominant strain renowned for its reliable expression of CBD. A descendant of Colombian Gold, a Nepali indica, and Thai and Swiss landrace strains, you can depend on Harlequin to provide clear-headed, alert sativa effects. Unlike most high-CBD strains, Harlequin almost always develops a CBD:THC ratio of 5:2. Learn more about the stain here.


Cannatonic is a unique hybrid strain bred by Spanish seed bank Resin Seeds specifically for its low THC content (rarely above 6%) and high CBD content (6-17%). Learn more about the strain here.


Pennywise is a high-CBD indica cross between Harlequin and Jack the Ripper, a combination that lends this strain its killer clown name. Notes of coffee and pepper lift from the purple-fringed flowers with undertones of lemon and bubblegum. Pennywise is especially effective in treating arthritis, PTSD, epilepsy, neurological disorders, and cancer symptoms. Learn more about the strain here.


ACDC is a sativa-dominant phenotype of the high-CBD cannabis strain, Cannatonic. One remarkable characteristic of ACDC is its THC:CBD ratio of 1:20, meaning this strain induces little to no intoxicating effects. Many patients use ACDC to treat pain, anxiety, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and the negative effects of chemotherapy, all with a clear head. Learn more about the strain here.

CBD Shark

CBD Shark is an 80/20 indica-dominant cannabis strain that offers an equal ratio of THC and cannabinoil, a cannabinoid combination that helps patients treat an array of symptoms like pain, anxiety, and inflammation without the overly intoxicating effects induced by many high-THC strains. Learn more about the strain here.