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by Rick Thompson

Of all the chemicals that make up the cannabis plant, cannabidiol, or CBD, is typically viewed as the most beneficial to human health. Some states allow only CBD-based medical marijuana products to be legally consumed by their patients. In a recent article titled, “The Strongest Strains on Earth 2016,” High Times Magazine detailed the top CBD strains tested in their competitions, and three of the top four strains came from one place.


High Times is the cannabis industry’s leading publication, and their growing gurus include Danny Danko and Nico Escondido. High Times also conducts a series of Cannabis Cups- a competition for cannabis strains where testing results combine with human feedback to determine the best of the best in multiple categories, in each competition.

The High Times Cannabis Cup is considered the Academy Award of the industry. Winning one brings international recognition and can launch a career or a small business. People bring cannabis from all states and many nations to compete in these special Cup competitions.

In 2015, High Times held six Cannabis Cups in locations including California, Colorado, Jamaica and Michigan. In the “Strongest Strains” article, Escondido graphs out the highest THC strains based on place of origin.

Escondido also detailed out the top-performing CBD strains, combining the results from four of the 2015 competitions into a single graph. The top strain contained a whopping 20.8 % of CBD content, a strain called Cannatonic produced by IDK Farms/Detroit Nutrient Company/Great Lakes Water Only.

“The top CBD strain, a Cannatonic phenotype that’s been circulating in the northern US for the past several years, also hit 19% CBD at the Michigan Cup in 2011,” Escondido wrote. Michigan-based IDK has been earning Cups in competitions for quite some time now.

The second highest CBD strain came from the World Cannabis Cup: CBD OG, produced by C.R.A.F.T.. The third highest CBD was the Perkins Cut Cannatonic, from Michigan’s powerful Mota Rebel group, who logged an 18.8% CBD content. Western Michigan’s Pure West Compassion Club and Light Sky Farms was the fourth highest CBD strain- tested at 18.6%- with their CBDee’s #1B strain. Top strains were also recorded from the L.A. Cup (15.4% CBD) and the Denver Cup (16.57% CBD) competitions.

“As THC potency rises, so too come increasing CBD levels,” wrote Escondido. “We never thought we’d see the day when CBD actually catches up to THC, but that sentiment is now being challenged as we witness CBDstrains crossing the 20th percentile for the first time ever.”

Although the CBD chart was universal, the individual graphs for THC were organized by region, not competition. “In years past, we’ve built our “Strongest Strains on Earth” list simply in order of potency. We’ve reorganized the article to categorize these potent strains by their place of birth,” Escondido explained to High Times readers. “These rankings represent only one data point: THC potency, as determined by lab testing.”

The potency chart for Michigan-based strains looks similar to the potency chart for northern California featuring numbers ranging from 28% – 25% THC. Both the Colorado and southern California charts had results similar to the rest of the country, with the exception of a single 30%+ -THC strain from each region. Strains grown in Jamaica, and featured at their Cup competition in 2015, topped out at a max THC level of 17.8%.

Michigan is fortunate to have two Cups competitions this year. The first took place on June 11 and 12; the next, the High Times Country Fair, will hit the Auto City Speedway on August 26 through the 28th.