Every marijuana smoker knows about THC. It’s the main psychoactive cannabinoid in the marijuana plant that many are looking for. The main thing smokers, vapers, and dabbers enjoy about high THC strains is those mind-blowing highs. High THC strains can have you sitting on the couch lost in your own mind-bending thoughts. Or can have you giggling uncontrollably as you and your friends come up with high ideas. It all depends on the strains you use.
For those growing strains high in THC from marijuana seeds, they can also contribute to high resin production. This can be great for those that want to make hash, or just enjoy the super frosty look of their buds as they grow.
A strain high in THC can also be beneficial for medicinal users. Sometimes conditions can be so bad that medicinal patients find they have to use a lot of marijuana. Hitting the bowl or joint several times in a very short space of time isn't always a good thing. It can contribute to some unhealthy side effects, such as damaging the lungs. High THC strains can help with this, as fewer tokes will need to be taken, but patients will still get the relief they need.
So, now that the benefits of high THC strains are understood, what strains are best when one is looking for high amounts of THC? For both medicinal and recreational use, these are the top ten strains high in THC in 2021.
What Is Considered High Thc In 2023?
Up until the early 80s, the idea of a cannabis strain topping the 20% mark was almost laughable. Sure, secretive breeders throughout the pacific northwest had probably already created some cultivars around this mark, but availability to the general weed-smoking population was just not there.
Fast forward to 2021, and there are now strains that top the scales of commercial testing labs right up around 30% - and some even higher! But, at this point in time, we still consider any flower that tests over 25% as "High Potency", and for good reason...
Unless you have the tolerance of a mythical beast, a solid-sized bowl of anything in the +25% range will, quite literally, put you on your ass. At this point in time, commercial cannabis producers seem to be trending towards the 25-30% range as their goal when breeding new hybrids, and with the current stock of strains floating around this is pretty easily achieved.
For the year 2023, it's expected that there will be an increased variety of cannabis strains available at higher potency levels, some even pushing the +32% mark. So, the threshold for what is considered "high THC" is likely to continue to move higher and higher! With more recreational markets opening up, and more research being done into the effects of higher levels of THC, it's safe to say that in 2023 we can expect to see a bunch of amazing new options.
What are the highest THC strains of 2023?
The best strains stand the test of time, and Godfather OG is the perfect example. Hitting the streets, a decade ago, this heavy-hitting cross of Alpha OG and XXX OG took out the top gong for "Best Indica" at the 2013 High Times Cannabis Cup and in 2017 was lab tested at 34% THC.
Godfather OG is one of the thickest trichome-producing strains we have ever had the pleasure of toking. After an initial cerebral buzz which lasts around 20 to 30 minutes, Godfather OG will plunge you into a heady sedative state, calming your entire being.
Easy to grow, and perfectly suited to both indoor and outdoor cultivation settings, with the best THC counts coming from indoor hydro-grown plants - but if you are looking to boost the terp percentage then it is best to run her outdoors in a super soil blend.
Either way, Godfather OG will do anything but disappoint.
Gorilla Glue is a strain that combines two things many smokers love - a high THC content and all the pain relief you need. Gorilla Glue averages a THC content of around 25-28%, which is higher than most. It will leave users with that calming high they’re looking for.
Bruce Banner #3
Known as BB3 to its many friends, Bruce Banner #3 is a cross between OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel. Even though it’s a balanced hybrid, it has average THC of 25% to 27%, so it packs a hulking, pain-killing punch. The overall effect is a burst of that classic Sativa euphoria followed by a stretch of deep Indica relaxation. Taste-wise, you get a rich, satisfying base of Kush and Diesel, topped with the sweetness of strawberry.
If you like your THC on the sweet side, then you’ll love Gelato. It’s a cross between modern classic Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies and Sunset Sherbert. Even though it’s slightly Indica-leaning, it has average THC of about 26% so it’s medically effective as well as tasty. The effect of Gelato is potent but balanced. It starts with a rush of uplifting energy which gets rid of both pain and stress and then transitions into a soothing body buzz. Taste-wise, it really is one for people with a sweet tooth, but it’s mostly fruity sweetness rather than candy sweetness and there are notes of earth and citrus for body and freshness
Like the brunch drink you love, Mimosa will deliver a refreshing and potent start to any day. The lively sativa is well-known for exhilarating and energetic effects that are perfect for daytime use, or wake-and-bakes, too. The popular hybrid is also just as notorious for its high levels of THC. This variety is easily capable of reaching up to 20-24% THC for a buzz that’ll get you through everyday aches, pains and stresses.
Runtz was recently named the Strain of the Year’ by Leafly, and for good reason. The strain that’s sweet like the candy it's named for in flavor, is just as fulfilling in THC levels too. This variety typically contains 20-24% THC and is well-balanced in effects. Considering, it’s indica to sativa ratio is nearly equal at 55% and 45%. Its high potency will deliver a rush of euphoria, that’s ideal for night or day and always good for an elevated buzz.
Sunset Sherbet comes from classic, award-winning genetics and is quickly taking its place as one of the industry’s favorite newcomer strains. The hybrid is a cross of the notable Girl Scout Cookies x Pink Panties and shows off its genetics with potent levels of THC. This variety can reach anywhere from 20- 25% THC and produces soothing, relaxing effects ideal for nighttime use and unwinding. While also uplifting the mind and elevating moods with a dreamy euphoria.
Do si dos
Do si dos is rising in popularity as one of the best and strongest hybrids available on the market today. This knockout strain is infamous for producing up to 25% THC for a potent experience, all-around. Upon first inhale, you’ll feel the first hint of Dosidos’ clear-headed buzz that instantly uplifts moods. As time goes on the high melts your body into a relaxing ‘stone’ with heavy sedating effects and couch-lock type symptoms.
Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies is a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison. Even though it’s only slightly Indica-dominant, it has average THC of 25% to 28%. GSC is known for its energizing, creative, basically fun high, but it’s still mainly Indica, so this is followed by a period of deep relaxation for both body and mind. Taste-wise, there is a base of sweet earth, but it's smoothed by creamy flavours. This is topped by sweet spices which are balanced by mint for freshness.
A balanced high, sweet, craveworthy flavors and high levels of THC? What more could you ask for. Wedding Cake is a triple-threat in potency, effects and flavors while easily producing 22-25% THC. As a cross of two classics, Girl Scout Cookies and Cherry Pie we’d expect nothing less. This variety delivers a fast-acting high with an invigorating boost of energy that slowly soothes into a calm, relaxing body buzz. The hybrid is ideal for day or night, whenever you need a punch of potent benefits.
How Does THC Get You High?
It all comes down to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). We have seemingly evolved alongside cannabis, and that has resulted in almost all mammals having a network of cannabinoid receptors, located throughout the brain and body.
THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and when it's smoked or ingested, it binds with the cannabinoid receptors throughout your body and brain. This interaction changes the way your body and brain naturally process information, resulting in a range of effects – ranging from altered perceptions of time, to feelings of elation and joy, and a whole range of other effects - including medicinal benefits.
What Is The Entourage Effect?
The "high" associated with THC is one of the most sought-after and enjoyable effects, but it is important to point out that this is not the same with all strains. The potency levels, terpene profile, and cannabinoid levels of each strain will affect how it makes you feel, so it's important to be mindful of this when choosing the right strain. This harmony between the different compounds contained in everyone's favorite plant is known as the entourage effect.
As cannabis legality becomes a reality in many parts of the USA (and hopefully federally sooner rather than later), and in many other regions across the globe, researchers are finally being allowed access to the plant. With this increased study has come a whole new understanding of how the compounds interact with each other, and with our bodies.
Gone are the days when we considered the Indica/Sativa split the absolute be-all and end-all of strain effects. New research is pointing to the fact that it's much more of a “choose your own adventure” type of situation. We have access to information about unique terpene profiles, potency levels, and other strain-specific data that can help us find the right experience for any given moment.
This research is still in its infancy, but as we move forward into this brave new world of cannabis understanding and acceptance, it's sure to become more and more prominent in the way we choose our favorite flower.
What Can You Do To Make Your Highs More Intense?
Sometimes smoking that same weed just doesn't cut it anymore. There are a couple of ways that you can increase the intensity of our highs when both smoking and consuming cannabis products.
Smoke the highest THC strains
The first would be to ensure we choose strains with higher potency levels or go for the ridiculously potent extracts that are becoming more available by the day. As discussed, there are lots of options on the market that have THC levels in the mid to high twenties, with some on the market pushing thirty-two percent or higher. Extracts can hit the 99% mark, so be very careful if you decide to go down this route!
Eat terpene rich foods with weed
The second would be to ensure we deduce which terpenes are present in the strain and make sure to match them with foods that have similar flavors. This has been observed with food like mango, for example, having the ability to enhance the effects of certain strains due to their similarities in flavor profiles.
Take a tolerance break
There is also this little thing called tolerance - don't be coy, you've heard of it. Being mindful of our intake is important when it comes to getting the most intense experience from our cannabis. The more often we medicate, the less effective it becomes, so it’s important to take breaks and ensure we build up our tolerance over time. Strain-specific tolerance is also something to keep in mind. If you are smoking one strain all the time, try switching it up for an option that has a very different terpene profile, or one with a totally different genetic heritage.
Try consuming THC in other ways
Finally, it might be beneficial to try different methods of consumption. Smoking, vaping, and dabbing are all great options, but each method will provide a slightly different experience. Trying something like edibles or tinctures might just be the key to unlocking that next-level experience you're looking for.