Contributor: Dylan Williams
It is the tale of the never-ending story, the quest to find the highest THC strains on the market. While THC percentage can definitely affect the potency of a strain, research is finding that THC is not the end-all, be-all to the effects that cannabis produces on the user. I realize this statement could potentially throw some über stoners out there on a serious loop, as they silently curse me for blaspheming, but this statement is completely true. While THC is an important aspect, as of late, we are coming to find that terpenes actually account for more of the effects that the user experiences when partaking in cannabis.
See also: Clementine Preroll by Remedy comes in at 22% THC!
What are terpenes, you might ask? If you don’t already know, it is possible you have heard your local budtender mention this term on one of your visits to the dispensary. Maybe you have always wondered, but perhaps dismissed the notion, thinking it was too complex to understand. Well, knowledge is power. And the more you know about cannabis, and the many aspects of this natural wonder, the more it can help in your day-to-day life.
Okay, great. So what do they do, you might ask? Not only do different terpenes produce different effects, they also help create the flavor and aroma profiles of different strains of cannabis. For instance, take pinene, which has a pine aroma. It can also be found in basil, rosemary, parsley, and dill. It can create a sense of alertness and memory retention. It can also help treat asthma, pain, ulcers, and anxiety.
To keep things simple (and somewhat organized), let’s break down “The Great Eight” terpenes in the following chart:
Now that we have that out of the way, you can see how there is much more to cannabis than just THC. As the legalized world is becoming more and more educated on a daily basis, more research is being done, and this science is being implemented into the cultivation process.
The remainder of this article will be for the guy who thinks there is “no such thing as being too high” and “could care less about terpenes.” This theoretical person is on the eternal quest to find the strain with the highest THC.
Marijuana is, without a doubt, becoming more potent by the minute. In 1976, the average THC content in cannabis was a mere 0.72%. In 2003, that average jumped to 6.4%, which is nearly nine times more potent. Today, we have a significant number of strains on the market with well over 20% THC.
So what is causing this, and what are cultivators doing differently today, as opposed to 45 years ago?
See also: With 25.5% THC Strawberry Banana is a crowd pleaser!
Modern growers focus on producing sinsemilla. These are the tops of the unfertilized female cannabis plants that contain the highest amount of THC. They also remove trimming, and get rid of the water leaves. These leaves contain little-to-no THC. Over time, these trimmed (and sexually frustrated) plants are bred with other strains that have also undergone this process, in turn, creating crosses and hybrid strains with higher THC content. It is basically the evolution of marijuana that we are witnessing, although very forced and manmade.
These are mutant plants that we have created to our benefit. So, without further ado, I give you
The Strongest THC strains of 2019
5. Strawberry Banana // Average THC 27%
This is an Indica-dominant (70/30) hybrid cross between Banana Kush and Strawberry Bubblegum. This strain is best known for its incredible taste and smell. A sweet, fruity berry-like flavor, and aroma, that is accompanied by a hint of bananas. This potent strain can sometimes test upwards of 32% THC, and is an excellent medicinal choice for users dealing with issues pertaining to chronic pain.
4. White Tahoe Cookies // THC 27% or more
White Tahoe Cookies is a newer strain that is a cross between The White, Girl Scout Cookies, and Tahoe OG. This extremely popular strain consistently clocks in with over 27% THC. The strain is an Indica-dominant (70/30) and is very visually appealing. The strain induces creativity, and all it takes is one hit to realize how powerful White Tahoe Cookies really is. Be prepared, as the effects are known to last several hours.
3. Irish Cream // Over 27% THC
This creatively-named strain is a cross between Real McCoy and Irish Creme. This strain consistently tests at an average of over 27% THC. Medicinally, Irish Creme is fantastic for insomnia. Those who are unable to achieve a restful night of sleep are guaranteed to love this strain. Irish Creme is definitely a strain that is ideal for evening and nighttime use.
2. Chemdawg // 32.13% THC
Before the current number one came along, Chemdawg previously held the record for the highest THC content. When this strain won the Cannabis Cup, it weighed in with a THC level of 32.13%. Originally cultivated by Next Harvest out of Colorado, this remains one of the most mysterious strains of marijuana. It is a slight Indica-dominant hybrid at 55%. While the history of it is shrouded in mystery, Chemdawg is used to create Sour Diesel, which is, by all means, another impressively potent strain. This strain is preferred by more artistic types, as it can easily assist in promoting creativity.
1. Godfather OG // Over 34% THC
Alas, we arrive at the almighty Godfather. Godfather OG is currently known (at the time of this writing) as the world’s strongest marijuana strain. This Indica-dominant hybrid is known to have over 34% THC, and that’s being conservative. Godfather OG hails from California, and is a product of Herbal Remedies. The strain is believed to be a cross between Cherry Pie, OG Kush, and Granddaddy Purps. It has been gifted the affable nickname: the “Don of all Kush”.
While this is the ranking for now, there’s no doubt that cultivation methods will continue to evolve, along with the science (and technology) behind it. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a strain that breaks 40% in the very near future.
This also beckons the question of: How much is too much?
Are we going overboard by playing God with these botanical endeavors? Has there ever been a genus of plant so manipulated in the history of the world? Or, is it just the inherent greed of human nature to never be content and always yearn for more?
For better or for worse, only time will tell.