The CBD bud listed here is hemp. Despite looking identical to marijuana, it’s not that kind of reefer. Legally purchased online, these products contain above-average amounts of CBD, from 15-25 percent. Each tested to be within the federal limit of 0.3 percent THC.
After the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of low-THC hemp, the demand for CBD bud was borne out of the CBD craze and the rising popularity of cannabis. Google search results are almost endless when you go to buy some.
But the marketplace is largely dominated by industrial hemp. Low to mid-grade bud, with or without high CBD.
We didn’t choose from any industrial hemp, so the prices aren’t dirt cheap. Our top picks were judged on the bud quality in addition to CBD content. The pictures presented are true to the flower. You won’t be disappointed.
This list comprises some of the best Indica, Sativa, and hybrid CBD buds currently available on the market. If you are not sure which category is best for you, or if you just want to learn more, check our guide at the bottom of the page.
Best high CBD bud
Black Diamonds is one of the highest-quality strains offered by Arete. It’s a rare exotic hybrid strain with 19% total cannabinoid content and a name that fits its appearance. Grown hydroponically in a small batch, Black Diamonds comes with a characteristic diesel aroma with spicy and fruity undertones.
Enjoy soothing relief and potent effects from this strain. Apple Pie combines sweet and savory notes of citrus and a wide plethora of terpenes. It’s frosted with trichomes and decked out with orange hairs. Apple Pie contains 14.4% total cannabinoids and 13% CBDA. A top-shelf strain grown indoors in natural soil.
Candyland is a potent hybrid strain that’s grown hydroponically. It comes with 18.7% total cannabinoids and works great both as a day and a nighttime bud. It has a herbal and fruity aroma and comes loaded with trichomes, making it one of the most impressive-looking buds we have tried.
Alpen Gleaux is a limited edition slightly Indica-dominant hybrid strain that’s grown in indoor soil. It has a distinct appearance courtesy of its deep purple buds and bright orange trichomes. It comes with 17% total cannabinoids and a high terpinolene content, which lends it a characteristic herbal aroma.
Explore the heavens with a stellar indica strain. Space Invader is an indica-dominant hybrid that will elevate you into cosmic bliss. It has a hoppy aroma with hints of cloves and gas. It’s rich in terpenes like linalool and limonene, making it a balanced nighttime strain, with over 17% CBDa and 20% cannabinoids in total.
Elektra is an aromatic daytime strain. It has a nice balance of pinene and caryophyllene that provides notes of orange and citrus, with subtle hints of flowers and cloves. Elektra contains over 19% cannabinoids, and all of their bud is third-party lab tested for quality and accurate cannabinoid content.
Sour Diesel is a legendary Sativa-dominant strain known for its potency and fast-acting effects. It comes with a whopping 20% of CBD content and a complex terpene profile offering a sour and tangy aroma that turns into a characteristic kerosene scent once lit up. One of the best buds for a relaxed and creative afternoon.
The genetic makeup of the Gorilla Glue strain derives from three popular strains; Sour Dubb, Chem Sister, and Chocolate Diesel. This makes Gorilla Glue a complex Sativa-dominant strain that tends to provide Indica-like relaxing effects. It comes with 23% of cannabinoids and a diesel-like aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate.
Known for its strong orange citrus Kush aroma courtesy of its complex terpene profile, Orange Glaze is a hydroponically grown Indica strain that looks as good as it smells! It comes from combining the potent T1 strain (also known as Trump) with the flavorful Kush E1 strain, and offers 14.3% of total cannabinoids.
Indica CBD vs. Sativa CBD
Sativa and Indica are the two major categories of cannabis. The general umbrella term for the species of cannabis happens to be called cannabis-sativa. The word “sativa” just means “cultivated” in Latin. So not all cannabis and hemp plants are necessarily Sativa when it comes to species; there’s a ton of CBD Indica bud and hybrids out there too.
Indica CBD flower is considered to be a “nighttime” bud. Since cannabidiol is already known to induce sedation, Indica CBD strains can make it easy to shut out the chaos and sink into a deep sleep…or zone out with your eyes (somewhat) open. In contrast, Sativa offers a heady and energetic experience, while hybrids can be more balanced or lean toward one side or the other.
Here is a general breakdown of the major distinctions between Indica and Sativa flower. They are not only different in physical appearance but can provide different effects based on their individual terpene and cannabinoid profile. Using this cheat sheet, you should now be able to tell the difference between the two.
What are the effects of Sativa CBD?
Sativas are generally classified as “daytime bud”. That’s because their effects tend to be more energizing and uplifting—enhancing creativity and alertness.
While weed is notorious for its short-term memory impairment, Sativa contains a terpene called pinene, which is said to actually enhance short-term memory function! Pinene lives up to its name by having a piney scent and is also said to help provide the uplifting and energizing effects attributed to Sativa bud.
These are some of the known effects that are associated with Sativa:
Why choose Sativa CBD?
One of the most popular reasons why many cannabis users use hemp is because it ultimately provides a more clear-headed effect than high-THC flower. Even though hemp contains low levels of THC, it can still knock you out. That’s one of the more well-known effects of CBD, especially when it interacts with other terpenes.
Sativa CBD is best suited for morning and daytime use. That’s because it is said to promote alertness, creativity, and sociability. Sativa flower provides more of a cerebral effect, sometimes paired with feelings of euphoria, but without the couch-lock associated with Indica bud.
Flavor and aroma
Some of the other more prominent terpenes in Sativas are terpinolene and limonene. Terpinolene has a fresh outdoorsy scent. In nature, it’s found in apples, lilacs, and nutmeg. Limonene is another commonly occurring terpene in Sativa varieties that also occurs in fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes.
Some of the most common flavors and aromas associated with Sativa bud are:
What are the effects of Indica CBD?
Due to its sedative effects, Indica flower is best suited for nighttime use. CBD Indica flower can make you feel anywhere from calm, relaxed, and sleepy, to straight up couch-locked—or even lethargic. While Indica might not be the best type of bud for daytime use (unlike Sativa CBD flower), it is ideal if you are suffering from insomnia, or just want to get a better night’s sleep.
A terpene typically found in higher concentrations in Indica bud is linalool. It’s said to be partly responsible for its calming effect. Linalool occurs naturally in lavender. It can induce sleepiness, especially when it interacts with CBD, as one of the commonly reported effects of high CBD dosages is increased tiredness. Indica CBD flower is said to contain higher levels of myrcene, found naturally in mangos and lemongrass, which may be partly responsible for the couch-locking effect.
These are some of the known effects that are associated with Indica flower:
- Easy going
Why choose Indica CBD flower?
The reason why some prefer Indica CBD flower is for its noticeable full-body effects. It could be used as a sleep aid or for chilling out and relaxing. People who use flower for pain tend to prefer Indica for its soothing and euphoric properties. Though it is considered to be a nighttime bud, some cannabis users just prefer it all day, every day. (Even if they have to take an Indica nap every now and again.)
Flavor and aroma
Another reason why people prefer Indica CBD flower is for its distinct dank smell—it tends to have more of a piney aroma than Sativa. Some Indica-dominant hybrids may have a slightly fruity or sour note, but Indica is known for its pungent aroma.
Some of the most common flavors and aromas associated with Indica bud are:
How to buy CBD bud
Even though hemp is consumed in the same ways as weed, and smells and looks just like weed, the purpose is not to get stoned. How CBD makes you feel is relaxing and sedating, but not intoxicating. Research suggests that most people consume CBD for medical and therapeutic relief from a host of physical and mental ailments like chronic pain, seizures, insomnia, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and the list goes on.
Online shops have the full spectrum of types from outdoor and greenhouse, to indoor and even hydroponic. There are basically three tiers: bottom, middle, and top-shelf. Practically just like in dispensaries.
- High-grade (top shelf or premium): Some of the CBD bud you can get will blow your mind! Gorgeous buds with rich and pungent aromas, all under a dense coating of resinous trichomes. It’s not uncommon to see a cannabidiol flower able to compete with top-shelf weed found in dispensaries for bag appeal.
- Mid-level quality (mids or regs): This grade can still be good quality with high CBD giving the desired effects. This grade includes a fairly wide range of available products. These buds might even be rich in aromatic terps with decent color and fair trichome coverage. But this is where the flowers start to get compressed and ultimately not very photogenic. There may be more leaves than normal, more sparse buds or bigger stems, and maybe even some seeds.
- Low quality (shwag or bammer): This is the ugly stuff. Likely biomass that was never intended to be sold for its flowers in the first place. A lot of it will look like ditch weed at best. Take strain names and genetics with a grain of salt in this situation. The product is usually dried out buds devoid of any real character or color, often with excessive seeds and leaves. Trust us here, that ain’t Sour Diesel! That’s more like Bio-Diesel.
With all that said, ugly does not always mean that you got robbed. As long as it was sold correctly. It’s one thing if you paid $30 for an eighth of some Sour Diesel that looked like downtown brown; that’s relatively easy to get over. But if you paid $100 or more for an ounce of it, then you should be Adam Sandler mad! There’s nothing wrong with buying cheap cannabis when you are intending to do so, just make sure you’re not paying primo prices for it.
Pricing of high-CBD strains
There’s practically no limit to the weight you can buy online. Presumably, most customers stick to common weights like grams to ounces. These ranges should give a good ball park of prices across a wide array of sites:
- Gram: $5-$10
- Eighth: $15-$40
- Quarter: $30-$60
- Half ounce: $50-$80
- Ounce: $70-$120
Of course, there are outliers on both ends of the spectrum: super cheap and super expensive. There’s also wholesaling, which happens on a lot of the retail sites. Those prices are outside the ranges presented. Many of them also offer pre-rolled CBD joints. Just know that CBD flower prices can range from dirt cheap to rivaling medical marijuana tags. Luckily, there’s no real financial barrier to entry like with many CBD oils. If you don’t have much, you can still get a lot.
Pro tips: buying CBD weed online
Buying cannabis online can be trippy. Proceed with some caution. You can’t see precisely what you’re buying. You can’t smell what you’re buying. All you have is a picture of some bud, descriptions from the seller (maybe), and test numbers. Site reviews help, but they can also be a slippery slope. Here are a few tips when purchasing online:
Contact customer service first: Shoot an email to the company you’re thinking about buying bud from. See if they respond or how long it takes them. It won’t tell you everything, but it’s a good start.
Find out about packaging: These strains look and SMELL like weed. Now imagine shipping an ounce of that. Check the site for information on how they package the bud for safe transit. The common methods are double-bagged, vacuum-sealed in smell-proof plastic, glass jars, etc. If they ship glass, also ask how they ensure that stays protected.
Get answers on the trim: The options you’ll find are untrimmed, machine trimmed, or hand-trimmed. Machine trimmed is often the least desirable because the process is aggressive to the flowers delicate trichomes—and it just looks bad. Hand trimmed is the most expensive and provides the best product. Untrimmed is the cheapest and looks the wildest, but you can trim it yourself if you need to save a buck.
Look closely at the pictures: If the pictures are hard to make out, proceed with caution. Unless you’re buying shake, you should be presented with a clear indication of the hemp flower you’re spending your money on. The best sites show a single bud with or without a complementary background. Organic products will vary some, but not so much that you should be disappointed and think you got the ol’ switcheroo.
Check for the effects profile: Although CBD is non-intoxicating, the other cannabinoids and terpenes together can produce an effect that’s greater than the individual parts, called the entourage effect. Basic info like whether the product is Indica, Sativa, or hybrid should be visible. Even better would be to get more specific details about other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Check the COA (certificate of analysis): It’s a third-party lab test of the strains’ biochemical make-up; sometimes with results for contaminants. These test results are frequently on the product page or on the product packaging in a QR code. In the COA, you’ll find the percentages of cannabinoids, like CBD, CBG, and THC; sometimes terpene content is available. Check to make sure the information matches up with what you expect.