CBD | Delta THC | Other Cannabinoids

What Is The Strongest Cannabinoid & Legal THC Derivatives?

Nicknamed “the plant with 1,001 molecules,” it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which cannabis cannabinoid is truly the strongest cannabinoid. 

There are over 200 cannabinoids that have been isolated or identified to date, after all. 

If you’re interested in the strongest cannabinoids, we’ve got you covered. From the THC powerhouse known as THCP to mellow Delta 8 THC, we’ve compiled a list of the strongest legal cannabinoids on the market, along with product recommendations.   

Keep reading to embark on a mind-bending journey through the captivating world of cannabinoids to determine which are the strongest of them all.  

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Key Takeaways: Strongest Cannabinoids

  • The most potent cannabinoid is THCP, being 33x more potent than Delta 9 THC. 
  • Various cannabinoids offer different levels of potency and effects.
  • CBD and other non-psychotropic cannabinoids, such as CBG, have potential therapeutic benefits without causing the high THC derivatives are famous for. 
  • The molecular structure of the carbon chain in cannabinoids determines the potency and effects. 

How Do Cannabinoids Get You High?

Cannabinoids get you high by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and body. But not all cannabinoids will have you reaching for the clouds, for example CBD, which cannot get you high.

Known as simply CB1 and CB2 receptor), they are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is found throughout the central nervous system and body. 

When cannabis is consumed, these cannabinoids work with the ECS by binding to these receptors or through indirect influence. 

Ultimately, this alters the way these receptors function. 

It’s CB1 receptors, however, that mediate most of the intoxicating effects of Delta 9 THC, which fit together like a “lock and key.” Basically, this means that if there was no CB1 receptor, weed wouldn’t get you high. 

Which Cannabinoid Is the Most Potent?

THCP is the most potent cannabinoid that has been discovered to date.

It contains a high binding affinity to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, with research showing the cannabinoid to be a whopping 33x more potent than Delta 9 THC. 

All thanks to a few extra carbon atoms. 

List of The Strongest Cannabinoids (Potency Ranked)

1. THCP (Strongest Cannabinoid)

THCP is the strongest known cannabinoid. 

While both Delta 8 THCP and Delta 9 THCP both exist, Delta 9 THCP is the strongest with a psychotropic potency that is 33x stronger than D9 THC.  

THCP is the only known naturally occurring cannabinoid that has more than five carbon atoms in its alkyl side chains. Simply put, the more carbon atoms a cannabinoid has, the more psychoactivity there tends to be. 

THC and CBD have five carbon atoms. THCP has seven. 

THCP carts and vapes are widely available, and can be shipped right to your door from several reputable hemp companies. Binoid, Delta Munchies and Vivimu are a few of our favorites. 

If you are looking for a gentle build-up to the  powerful effects of this compound, THCP gummies are the way to go. Kind Oasis is our strongest recommendation for these, by a long shot. 

2. THC-O

THCO, or THCO Acetate, is a man-made acetate version of D9 THC. 

Even though it’s a man-made cannabinoid, it still interacts with the endocannabinoid system like naturally occurring cannabinoids. Which is exactly why it gets you high. 

Here’s what makes THCO special. Where Delta 9 THC has a hydroxyl group, THCO has an acetate group. This difference makes THCO more bioavailable than any other form of THC. 

Its effects are said to be about three times more potent than good ol’ D9 THC. 

And while it’s not as strong as THCP, it is so strong that it’s been dubbed the “psychedelic cannabinoid.” 

THCO is now federally illegal, so we don’t recommend any products derived from this compound.

3. Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC is the most familiar (and famous) cannabinoid of all. 

When talking about how potent other cannabinoids are they are almost always compared to the effects of Delta 9 THC. 

As we mentioned above, it has 5 carbon atoms in its alkyl side chain. These have a strong binding affinity to CB1 receptors in the ECS, ultimately which causes the high that makes cannabis consumption celebrated around the globe. 

Delta 9 THC products are available in all kinds of mediums, including vapes, carts, D9 gummies, concentrates, tinctures and much, much more.

4. THC-A (Acid)

THCA is the acidic precursor to D9 THC. This acidic form of THC is found in raw cannabis flower and turns into the familiar Delta 9 THC when decarbed. 

It’s as potent as Delta 9 THC when decarbed, because essentially that’s exactly what it is. There are a variety of THCA products available from several reputable brands in many forms.

THCA carts, disposables, flower and concentrates are all extremely popular THCA products that can be found on the legal hemp market.

5. HHC

HHC is a semi-synthetic cannabinoid. It is the hydrogenated version of THC. 

Delta 9 THC and HHC are very similar, however, the difference in their molecular structure makes HHC less susceptible to oxidation and breakdown. Meaning it may have a longer shelf life. 

That said, the extra hydrogen atoms in HHC structure don’t fit as well into CB1 receptors as THC, which makes it less potent. 

The effects of Delta 9 THC are about 30% stronger than HHC, with D9 being more potent because of the double bond on the ninth carbon atom. 

There are plenty of legit brands to purchase legal, high-quality HHC vape carts and HHC gummies, including Hometown Hero, Delta Extrax, Botany Farms and more.  

6. Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in cannabis. This THC isomer contains a very similar structure to Delta 9 THC, but offers milder effects. 

These mild effects can be attributed to the double bond in the carbon chain being moved by one position, but this switch has significant effects that make D8 THC only about 60% as potent as D9 THC. 

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This mellow version of THC will still bring on feelings of euphoria, but with less of a chance of unwanted effects like anxiety. Meaning it could be a great option for newbies. 

Like other legal THC derivatives, there are plenty of quality Delta 8 products to choose from. 

You’ll find a wide selection of D8 flower, vape carts, dabs, delta 8 gummies and more offered by multiple brands.  

7. Delta 10 THC

Delta 10 THC is another cannabinoid extremely similar to Delta 8 and 9 THC, but this cannabinoid has its double bond in the tenth position on the carbon chain. 

This change makes Delta 10 THC about 50% as potent as Delta 9 THC. While research is limited, anecdotal reports suggest that the effects of D10 are similar to sativa strains, offering increased energy, alertness and focus. 

Delta 10 THC products are not as popular as the previous compounds, but you can find D10 THC vape carts and gummies from some awesome and trustworthy hemp brands. 


THCV is different from Delta 9 THC, in that it only contains three carbon atoms in its alkyl side chain. 

This change is huge, however, as it is the minimum number of carbon atoms in the side chain that will still produce a small psychoactive effect. 

THCV is only about 25% as potent as Delta 9 THC, making THCV a great option for those who don’t want an overwhelming buzz. 

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Part of its effects also include a lack of munchies, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “diet weed.” Some data even suggests that THCV promotes weight loss, with research to support the cannabinoid may help with the management of diabetes and obesity. 

You’ll find quite a few options for THCV vape carts and THCV gummies from various legal hemp brands. 

9. CBN

CBN, or cannabinol, is similar to Delta 9 THC, as it is essentially degraded Delta 9 THC. It has five carbon atoms in its alkyl side chain, but has two fewer hydrogen atoms and two additional double bonds in its carbon ring. 

As THC breaks down it forms CBN, so it still has some leftover psychoactive properties. But nothing compared to its predecessor. 

In small amounts, it doesn’t show any intoxicating effects. The majority of people would have to consume quite a large dose to feel much of anything from CBN. 

While more research is needed, there are several reports that CBN contains sedative-like effects, which is why it’s commonly marketed as a sleep aid. Preliminary research is currently underway to determine the efficacy of CBN as a sedative. 

There are several top industry brands that sell CBN products, but they are typically mixed with other cannabinoids like CBD in products like sleep gummies and tinctures. 

10. CBD & Others (Non-Psychotropic)

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most concentrated cannabinoid in cannabis, and usually the most concentrated one in hemp. 

It’s famous for its potential therapeutic effects without the high associated with THC, and is widely used for relaxation and stress relief. 

Without the psychoactive effects, CBD is still plenty potent. While it doesn’t bind directly to either CB1 or CB2 receptors, it does have a powerful indirect influence on ECS function.  

There are tons of CBD retailers out buy from, but some are much better than others. Always check for lab reports!

You’ll find plenty of options for CBD tinctures, prerolls, vape carts, flower, concentrates and more on the link above.

Cannabinoid Potency Discussed

Cannabinoids work because of the way they interact with the ECS, with their potency largely determined by their molecular structure and how they interact with CB1 receptors. 

Smoking or vaping cannabis causes the effects of cannabinoids to happen rapidly. Once they hit the lungs, cannabinoids quickly make their way into the bloodstream, where they then work their magic with the ECS.  

When ingested in the form of edibles, effects take longer to kick in, as they need to travel through the digestive tract and liver first.

Some cannabinoids will get you higher than others because of the molecular structure of the carbon chain. 

This sounds scientifically complicated, but it is pretty straightforward. Those with more carbon atoms are more potent.

Wrapping Up: Most Potent Cannabinoid

Thankfully there is a cornucopia of cannabinoids in cannabis that will get you high. Among all of them, THCP is the strongest cannabinoid, with an astounding 33x more potency than Delta 9 THC. 

Other cannabinoids like THCO, D9 THC, THCA, HHC, D8 THC, D10 THC and THCV also offer varying degrees of psychoactive effects. 

Then you’ve got cannabinoids like CBD and CBN that offer their own effects without the head change. 

Now that you’re equipped with a solid understanding of these various cannabinoids, you can easily find the best products to suit your own unique needs.