Growing CBD vs THC: Unraveling the Distinctions and Optimal Cultivation Methods

Helga Green
Helga Green

Helga Green, an enthusiast and researcher in the cannabis field, contributes her expertise to the AskGrowers blog. Her articles provide a comprehensive view of cannabis cultivation, health impacts, and educational information. Helga's works seamlessly blend practical advice for growing plants with broader information aimed at enlightening readers about cannabis. Her health-focused articles delve into the effects of cannabis on the human body, offering valuable knowledge to her audience. Helga's passion for the industry shines through in her informative and engaging content, making her a go-to source for anyone interested in the multifaceted world of cannabis.

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Growing CBD vs THC: Unraveling the Distinctions and Optimal Cultivation Methods

There are two kinds of people: those who choose CBD and those who prefer THC. Of course, some of them wonder if growing CBD-rich cannabis is different from growing high-THC marijuana. In fact, this is a good question if you are a beginner who is going to discover the world of lots of amazing strains and various growing techniques. So, do growers who work with cannabis with the high level of CBD do something special, different from things THC-oriented growers usually do? Let us find out.

It Is All About Strains

There is no big difference between growing THC-dominant and CBD-rich cannabis, but we cannot also say that these processes are the same. The most significant thing all beginners need to understand is that the only thing that determines the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.

Yes, we know how it sounds. However, it is true. The amount of each of these compounds depends only on one thing – the strain you choose, the genetics of the plant. You cannot use certain growing techniques to increase the level of THC in the genetically CBD-dominant strain and turn it into a psychoactive strain with a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol.

Yes, some people experiment with different strains and cross them until they finally get the new strain that meets all their expectations and has certain levels of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol. However, if you are a beginner who buys some seeds of cannabis with certain characteristics, in particular, the certain max level of THC and the certain max CBD, you will grow the plant that will contain this particular level of these compounds.

Simply put, cannabis is just a plant. There are different strains of these plants. For example, there may be different strains of a certain flower, and its color, height, the shape will vary. But it is still the same flower. The same can be said about cannabis, and when you choose a certain strain, your plant will have the characteristics of this strain.

Still, let us take a look at the typical “growing algorithms” for CBD seeds for growing and High THC Seeds. This will allow understanding these processes a bit better.

Read Also: Battle Of Cannabinoids: THC Versus CBD

How to Grow THC-Rich Cannabis?

So, you decided to grow weed that will make you or your buyers high. Are there any specific recommendations that would help you achieve your goal? Well, not really. Basically, you just need to do two things: choose the strain with the high level of THC (about 21%, like Laughing Buddha, Memory Loss, GSC, Kosher Kush, and plenty of other strains) and follow the standard growing rules.

However, most growers want to increase the level of THC and get as potent weed as possible, and this is possible if you use certain tips.

Growing Tips for THC-Dominant Marijuana

Here the most important things you need to know to get really powerful THC-dominant marijuana:

Read Also: How to Grow Your First Plant for $100

  1. Consider harvesting time – if you harvest the buds you have grown too early, you can lose large amounts of flowers and get a less potent yield. There is a certain period when buds are mature and the most potent, too. That is why it is so important to harvesting at the right time: if you start harvesting earlier, you get no potent plants, and if you do it too late, this will lead to the change in effects produced by your cannabis.
  2. Light, nutrition, water, all these things are important. As we have already noted before, the best thing you can do to get top-quality weed with a high level of THC (or CBD, in this case, it is not so important) is to follow all the standard rules of cannabis growing.
  3. Curing is even more significant. Though this is understudied, it is known that curing has a direct impact on the level of tetrahydrocannabinol. Maybe this can be explained by the chemical changes that take place during this process. And again, you just need to follow the standard rules of curing.
  4. Using CO2 to increase potency does not make sense. This is just the myth, so do not waste your time.

As you can see, you do not need to do anything extraordinary to get a potent yield. Or maybe you should? The thing is there are certain theories, the so-called unknowns, which are the techniques of increasing THC. There is the only problem – they are not tested well enough to claim that any of them works. Still, why not list them all, maybe one of them will inspire you to try something new.

  1. 8+ weeks of the vegetative stage. You will definitely get bigger plants and higher crops, but no one knows if your weed will become more potent. However, this theory is a pretty interesting and promising one.
  2. Reducing pollination. There is a theory, according to which buds with seeds contain more THC and produce more powerful effects.
  3. Growing light matters. Some growers believe that the type of light they use has an impact on the level of tetrahydrocannabinol, too. However, the options vary. Some growers prefer to use LED light, some – LEC light, and some – HPS light.

Do they work? We cannot just say yes or no before the official studies are carried out. However, if you want to experiment, no one can stop you from using any of these techniques. However, if you are looking for a good result and a potent yield, not for innovations, you can just follow the standard rules.

Read Also: How to Sex a Marijuana Plant: Guide for Beginning Growers

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How to Grow CBD-Rich Cannabis?

Now, let us take a look at the process of marijuana with a high level of CBD.

Growing Tips for CBD-Rich Cannabis

The standard algorithm is as follows:

  1. Choose the strain that has a high level of CBD, for example, ACDC, Charlotte’s Web, Sour Tsunami, Remedy, Harle-Tsu, and so on. Please note that the first thing you need to know is the level of THC and your state laws.  Growing hemp is legal, but hemp is cannabis with 0.3 % of tetrahydrocannabinol and lower. Just do your own research about the legality of growing the strain you are going to choose before you get started.
  2. Follow the rules. Yes, we will say it again – growing is a very complicated process just because good cannabis does not grow like a darnel, anywhere, with any levels of light, etc. Good weed with the right level of THC and/or CBD grows only if it gets enough water, light, and plenty of other things at the right time.
  3. Pay special attention to harvesting. Do you remember the information about the importance of harvesting time for THC-dominant strains? Generally speaking, the same can be applied to growing CBD-dominant strains – you need to harvest at the right time. For example, these strains also degrade if the plant’s buds keep maturing. If you do it later, the effects produced by your cannabis will be a bit different due to the higher level of another cannabinoid – CBN. It is not always bad, but you need to experiment to make sure that your marijuana does exactly what you expect from it. If you do not want to take any risks, just follow the standard timing.
  4. Do not through the leaves away. Yes, cannabidiol was found not only in the buds but also in the leaves. Yes, they are less useful than buds just because they do not contain this much CBD, but they can be also used to make cannabis butter, oil, or tinctures. Yes, the effects produced by such products are weaker, but they can be still helpful.
  5. Extract, if necessary. So, if you harvested your CBD-rich buds, you do not have to smoke them or even sell them as regular cannabis buds. A lot of people consume them as edibles because the effects are more lasting, and that is important if a patient is suffering from severe pain, inflammation and other symptoms usually treated with cannabidiol. Please note that if the strain you chose contains a relatively high level of THC, too, you will not be able to separate these compounds easily – special equipment is needed. Most people growing for themselves do not purchase it and consume weed that produces effects of CBD & THC.

Read Also: List of 16 High Yield Cannabis Strains - Choose Your Favorite

Final Thoughts

What strains to use? You make the choice. All growers set different goals and look for strains that can help achieve them. There is no other thing that would determine the level of cannabinoids. Still, we cannot also deny that there are certain techniques that could influence it, but currently, they are just theories.

Generally speaking, the best advice we can give is simple: choose the strain carefully, always consider the genetically determined levels of THC and CBD and follow all the rules of growing to get the potent, high-quality cannabis. This will definitely work the best for you, especially if you are a newbie.


Yes, it is possible to grow CBD strains and THC strains together in the same growing tent, but it requires careful consideration. Ensure both strains have similar growth requirements, including light, temperature, humidity, and nutrients. Take note of any differences in flowering times to plan harvests accordingly. Clearly label and identify each plant or strain to avoid confusion. Be cautious of the risk of cross-pollination if male plants are present, as this can affect the quality of the final products. With proper planning and management, it is feasible to cultivate CBD and THC strains together in a single growing tent.
CBD seeds generally produce plants with higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. However, it's important to note that there is always a potential for some variation in cannabinoid levels, including THC, due to factors such as genetics, environmental conditions, and cultivation techniques. While CBD-dominant strains typically have minimal THC content, it is possible for some CBD plants to produce slightly higher levels of THC under certain circumstances. Therefore, if strict THC levels are a concern, it is recommended to choose seeds specifically bred for low THC content or opt for certified CBD strains to minimize the risk of significant THC production.
To grow CBD-rich plants with minimal THC content, choose low-THC CBD strains bred for high CBD levels. Provide optimal growing conditions, monitor trichomes for harvest timing, control environmental factors, and consider feminized or auto-flowering varieties. Regularly test cannabinoid levels to maintain desired CBD-to-THC ratio. While achieving zero THC is challenging, following these steps can cultivate CBD-rich plants with minimal THC.
Successful CBD or THC cultivation relies on several key factors. Firstly, selecting the right strain with desired cannabinoid profiles, growth characteristics, and disease resistance is crucial. Adequate lighting, temperature, humidity, and ventilation are essential environmental factors to provide optimal growing conditions. Proper nutrient and water management, including pH balance, is vital for plant health and growth. Implementing pest and disease control measures, such as regular monitoring and appropriate treatments, helps protect the crop.
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