We’re launching into an out-of-this-galaxy ride with the highest THC strains of 2023.
Whether it comes to medical or recreational cannabis consumers, these tasty buds have much to offer.
But what is it that makes a high THC strain unique?
Are there other factors influencing the potent effects of these dank strains?
Keep reading to learn more.
How High Can THC Get In Cannabis Flower?
So far, scientists have identified over 200 different cannabinoids occurring naturally in the Cannabis family of plants.
Meanwhile, THC and CBD are the most abundant (and popular) cannabinoids.
Up-to-date, we can enjoy cannabis flowers with higher THC content than our grandparents even dared to dream of.
So how much THC makes up for a high THC strain?
Anything in the 20%+ zone would be considered high THC in cannabis flowers.
Of course, smoking a cannabis strain with a THC percentage near 30% is also possible. But, 30% high THC content strains are rare.
Usually, such strains are just a batch variation of one of the potent cannabis strains we discuss below (maxing out at about 25-27%).
The secret keys to developing an EPIC high THC strain?
- Applying outstanding breeding and growing techniques
- Cutting-edge technology
- Merging the genetics of top-shelf buds.
That’s how ganja cultivators have given rise to never-seen-before strains with out-of-the-world potency.
In the hemp plant metabolic pathway, THCa acts as a precursor to THC.
Simply put, Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol starts off its journey as THCa.
- THCa stands for Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
- THCa is the raw, unactivated form of THC.
- THCa alone cannot get you high.
- THCa turns into our beloved Delta 9 THC through decarboxylation.
We simply need to heat the cannabis plant material (e.g. light up that sweet joint).
That’s how we participate in the process of decarboxylation.
Oxidation is another factor that leads to decarbing THCa.
Above all, cannabis strains vary in THCa levels.
That’s true not only strain to strain but also batch to batch.
The THC levels depend on a multitude of factors that influence phytocannabinoid growth.
No cannabis strain can fall into the category of high THC weed if it’s not for excellent genetics.
Yet the fundamental quest for maximized high THC content goes even deeper. It’s about putting effort and knowledge into cultivating cannabis plants more effectively.
Drying and curing the buds correctly is also a must. If the harvested buds are exposed to excess heat, light, or oxidation, the THCa converts into CBNa.
Is THC Content The Most Important Factor?
It may be surprising to find out that the level of THC is NOT the most important factor.
When it comes to experiencing an intense, multilayered psychoactive effect, the amount of THC is just the tip of the iceberg.
You see, the effects of cannabis are incredibly complex and intertwined. They are regulated and accentuated by the levels of terpenes and other minor cannabinoids present in strains.
It all boils down to the whimsical synergies between the different active compounds found in varying amounts in each strain.
According to the entourage effect theory, cannabinoids and terpenes work closely together to create a unique symphony.
7 Highest THC Strains 2023
1. Ghost Train Haze
Drum rolls for the highest THC marijuana strain train.
Ghost Train Haze is a Sativa-dominant marijuana strain. It’s a cross between Ghost OG (hybrid) and Neville’s wreck (Sativa-dominant).
- Average THC content: 18% – 28%
- Dominant terpenes: Terpinolene, Myrcene, Alpha-Pinene, Beta-Caryophyllene
- Flavors: herbal blend with well-pronounced hints of spices and citrus
Most common effects: alleviates depression and pain, boosts focus, uplifts energy, elevates creativity, and increases appetite. In higher doses, it may trigger anxiety attacks and induce temporary dizziness.
2. Grease Monkey
An Indica-dominant hybrid, Breeders developed the Grease Monkey cannabis strain by merging the genetics of Gorilla Glue #4 (hybrid) and Cookies & Cream (hybrid).
- THC content: 22% – 28%
- Dominant terpenes: Caryophyllene, Humulene, Myrcene, Linalool
- Flavors: sweet vanilla body with earthy, skunky diesel undertones
- Most common effects: stress-free, full-body relaxation, munchies, good mood boost, sleepiness
3. Bruce Banner
One of the most potent strains, Bruce Banner is a cult classic superstar that kicks off with a mighty, Incredible Hulk-like punch!
This hybrid strain is the child of the legendary parent strains Strawberry Diesel (hybrid) and OG Kush (hybrid).
- THC level: 21% – 27%
- Dominant terpenes: Myrcene, Caryophyllene, Pinene, Humulene
- Flavors: a fruity scent of fresh-picked strawberries, sweet candy, blended in diesel, earthy tones
- Most common effects: a surge of creative buzz, waves of euphoria, and body relaxation. On the downside, dry mouth and dry eyes also tend to hit hard with this high THC bud.
4. Wedding Cake
A potent Indica-dominant hybrid strain, Wedding Cake emerged on the global ganja stage as a cross between Animal Mints (hybrid) and Triangle Kush (Indica).
- THC content: 24% – 26%
- Dominant terpenes: Limonene, Caryophyllene, Humulene
- Flavors: tangy-spicy-sweet symphony of vanilla and pepper
- Most common effects: waves of arousing energy gradually disperse in a blanket of mind-and-body calmness and relaxation.
5. Ghost OG
Ghost OG aka Ghost OG Kush is an Indica-dominant hybrid. The origin of this powerful strain is embraced in mystery. However, most breeders label it as a variation of the original OG Kush.
- THC levels: 19% – 24%
- Dominant terpenes: Caryophyllene, Limonene, Myrcene
- Flavors: a pungent bouquet of citrus and pine
- Most common effects: well-balanced cerebral and body calmness, highly relaxing, anti-anxiety.
6. Strawberry Banana
Also known as Strawnana, this delicious Indica bud combines the genetics of Banana Kush and Strawberry – a phenotype of the famous Bubble Gum strain.
- THC content: 21% – 24%
- Dominant terpenes: Limonene, Myrcene
- Flavors: sweet tropical strawberry with banana yumminess lingering on the palate
Most common effects: heightening sensory awareness, peacefulness, alleviating anxiety and depression, good mood boost
7. 99 Problems
Hell yeah, we got 99 problems, but a low THC flower ain’t one with this potent strain.
Breeders crafted this one-of-a-kind hybrid cannabis bud by crossing the hybrid Stardawg and the Sativa-dominant White 99.
- THC level: 21% – 28%
- Dominant terpenes: Caryophyllene, Myrcene, Limonene
- Flavors: a delectable blend of orange and lemon, with distinct diesel undertones
- Most common effects: elevates creativity, improves focus, boosts energy levels
Benefits of High THC Weed Strains
Studies show that high THC strains can elicit a wide array of potential benefits.
1. High THC strains may help to treat chronic pain
A 2017 study conducted among 2454 patients reveals that cannabinoid treatment can efficiently reduce chronic pain.
It’s no surprise that most medical marijuana today contains high THC levels!
2. Reduced nausea and vomiting
A 2022 study investigated the benefits of cannabis in patients undergoing chemotherapy as part of cancer treatment.
They found that high THC cannabis can minimize the side effects of chemotherapy with proper cannabinoid formulations. In particular, reducing the likelihood of nausea and vomiting.
3. Glaucoma management
All in all, the mechanism of cannabinoids’ action in the human eye is still very poorly understood, and it requires more research.
However, there’s already plenty of solid scientific evidence that supports the direct role of cannabinoids in reducing intraocular pressure (IOP).
Active cannabis compounds like THC work their way through the ocular CB1 receptors. Ocular CB1 receptors are found in:
- the ocular tissues,
- the ciliary epithelium,
- the trabecular meshwork,
- the Schlemm’s canal,
- the retina,
- the ciliary muscle.
4. Multiple Sclerosis symptom management
Studies among 521 patients with MS show that people living with multiple sclerosis continuously opt for cannabis as an effective, natural treatment to alleviate the severe symptoms of the disease.
Oral cannabis extracts are listed as a highly effective treatment for symptoms of spasticity and pain by the American Academy of Neurology.
High THC Side Effects & Risks
The quest for creating and consuming high THC strains is not deprived of potential risks and adverse side effects.
1. Increased heart rate
Smoking marijuana can increase your resting heart rate.
People with a history of heart issues must always consult with a qualified physician before possibly choosing to medicate or recreate with high THC strains.
One of the downsides to consuming high THC strains is the increased chance of experiencing temporary episodes of paranoia. The good news is that this too shall pass as the high disperses.
Ultimately, cannabis is known as a high-risk factor for schizophrenia and psychosis cases. Currently, the exact neurobiological mechanism that has to do with the effects of psychosis is still very poorly understood.
However, research shows clear evidence that cannabis, and especially high THC products, can induce psychosis.
People who are neurologically predisposed to schizophrenia must be cautious and never approach cannabis treatment or consumption without first consulting with a qualified expert.
Anxiety is more likely to occur among cannabis users who opt for high THC marijuana products.
This is supported by a 2020 study that includes data collected from 1087 people in the period 2015 – 2017.
4. Dry mouth & red eyes
THC binds strongly with the cannabinoid receptors in the human body’s endocannabinoid system.
Higher doses of THC inevitably lead to experiencing the cotton mouth effect. This is because the cannabinoid receptors are activated, saliva secretion is inhibited, and your mouth may feel drier than a desert!
Fortunately, both the dry mouth and the dry eyes effect are only temporary. You can counterfeit this by staying well-hydrated.
Wrapping Up High THC Weed
Ultimately, as long as you treat the ancient ganja herb with respect and moderation, she will treat you back just about right.
We are wishing you a vibey, fly-me-high time with the highest THC content starlet buds.