What is Considered High THC?
If you are wondering what is considered a high dose of THC, that is relative to your situation.
You may be shocked to hear that a high THC percentage is not the sole determiner of if marijuana is worth consuming.
The rise in the hunt for the highest cannabis products has led to 25%+ THC or more strains and concentrates of 40-90% THC. This demand is largely driven by recreational markets.
But there is a surprising twist to whether high THC should be the reason you should base your cannabis concentrates and cannabis flower purchases on.
THC Percentages Have Skyrocketed
Prior to the 1990s, the average amount of THC was 2%. During the 1990s it rose to 4%. And after that, the percentages have skyrocketed, especially within the last ten years.
The THC percentage in flowers has increased as the cannabis industry has sought to grow high THC strains and breeds based on increasing the THC. This has led some strains to reach more than 25%+ THC!
In 2017, the most popular high THC flower found in Colorado dispensaries ranged from 17-28%, with the Girl Scout Cookies being the highest.
Now you can get high THC cannabis like Ghost OG, Bruce Banner, Grease Monkey, 99 Problems, and Chocolate OG at 29% THC or even higher.
And it is not just flower where THC has reached peak levels but also the variety of concentrate extracts that have been developed over the past 20 years.
Early concentrates like BHO (Butane Hash Oil) won the High Times Cannabis Cup in 2010, and by 2012, doing hash oil dabs was a common method of consuming concentrates.
BHO can contain roughly 60-90% THC, with the average being closer to 70% in high THC. But since then, they have developed cannabis concentrates like shatter, rosin, and distillate with a high THC of 95% in some batches using better, healthier solvents like CO2.
At first, cannabis concentrates did not have the same flavor as raw flower. For instance, the cannabis product distillate is a clear and tasteless liquid until terpenes and flavonoids are added back.
But the cannabis concentrate industry changed since the development of the closed-loop system and the creation of live resin, which is well known for its robust flavor, similar to that of raw cannabis flower.
Live resin was a game-changing cannabis product. It has high levels of THC and naturally co-occurring medicinal compounds like terpenes.
And this is what I dab as part of my medical marijuana routine, usually at the end of a long day of writing.
The terpenes are preserved, and the flavor….yum. If you haven’t tried live resin yet, and you love tasting the different terpene profiles, you must check it out. It is definitely high grade and has high THC that tastes great.
Related Read: D8 THC Concentrates
What Is Considered High THC?
What is considered high-dose THC depends on your tolerance level. And your tolerance level can vary based on your age, weight, gender, and how often you smoke or ingest cannabis products.
For many, 15% THC or higher is considered a lot and low THC strains can be found as little as 1%. Low THC strains are typically CBD-dominant, and geared more towards medical purposes.
But what is a lot to a novice cannabis user is next to nothing compared to the high THC content a chronic cannabis consumer would need to get the same effect. For example, Pineapple Express tends to have a high THC equal to 17% and for some this cannabis product is too much.
It also matters what kind of cannabis concentrate you use, as levels of THC vary between the different concentrates. On average, most concentrates range between 40-90% THC, which is a significant jump from the 20-30% range of most marijuana flower available on the market.
These cannabis concentrates include:
Each uses different methods to produce these intensely high THC levels, and often one or two hits from a dab rig or vape pen are more than enough to get the average person high.
My friend once described using shatter as getting a whole joint in one haul. And I think that is an excellent way to put it.
What Are the Highest THC Products in Cannabis?
The highest concentrate rests at a potency of 99.9% THC-A. It is called THC-A Crystalline.
It is not like
It lacks all other compounds like flavonoids and terpenes and is almost pure THC-A which, when combusted, turns into THC. It is most commonly ingested as a dab in a dab rig or in a hand-held or table-top vaporizer.
Another contender for highest cannabis extracts are the many varieties of Live Resin. It can average well over 90% and comes from flash-frozen, fresh flower. This method preserves terpenes and the quality of the flower.
Lastly, GG4 extracts (formerly known as Gorilla Glue) regularly test at the 96 percent THC mark. As one of the most potent concentrates, it is tough to beat.
Highest THC Percentage Flower
Most people seem to seek out flower with high THC levels of 20% or higher. And above 20% is the norm nowadays for premium hydro.
But if you are looking for bud with some of the highest percentages, you need to try Grease Monkey, which is an indica-dominant strain that is a cross between Gorilla Glue and Cookies & Cream strains. This strain reaches up to 31% THC and is a heavy hitter.
Another highly potent strain is the indica-dominant Chemdawg. It won the Cannabis Cup and held the record for the most potent strain in the world. It clocks in at a whopping 32.13% THC. Chemdawg is known for its pungent diesel aroma and uplifting effects. Try it out when you can.
Strawberry Banana is another indica-dominant cannabis products with regular THC percentages of 31.62% THC. It is known for its fruity, dessert-like taste. It has consistently been on High Times “Strongest Strains On Earth” list. And this is a must for cannabis connoisseurs.
According to Leafly, one of the highest cannabis strains available for purchase is Modified Bananas, which contains 32% THC. It is known for its euphoric effect and for making you talkative. It is a combination of GMO and Banana OG. This potent hybrid has a distinctly fruity and floral taste, sure to please.
What is apparently the most potent marijuana ever is Godfather OG. It is said to have reached a THC level of over 34% and is a cross of GrandDaddy Purps, Cherry Pie, and OG Kush. They call it the “Don of all Kush” for a reason.
Is High THC Good?
So, little has been said about this in cannabis culture, and it is not exactly a commonly known fact. But having high THC isn’t the only reason you should base your purchase on when buying weed and cannabis products.
When the University of Colorado completed a study, they found that THC content was a poor indicator of whether the flower cannabis products or cannabis extracts were potent.
A group of 121 people who were regular cannabis smokers of marijuana flower and concentrates was given a sample of either flower at 16% THC or 24% THC. And the concentrate users were given oil at either 70 % THC or 90%.
The researchers studied the blood, mood, cognitive function, and intoxication level before, right after, and an hour after using the cannabis at different THC percentages.
Every participant in the study had to self-report their level of feeling high and determine their balancing abilities and cognitive impairment.
What they found was shocking. It didn’t matter what level of THC was present in the flower or oil concentrate. The subjects all reported the same amount of feeling high.
This study demonstrates that it isn’t THC percentages you should be focusing on. There are many other cannabinoids present in cannabis and cannabis products, like full-spectrum CBD, CBN, terpenes, flavonoids, and more, that all contribute to the way specific marijuana types may get you high.
This is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect.” The terpenes and other cannabinoids work together to improve the high of a particular strain of cannabis. And how each person will respond to this will vary, as each of us is different.
So, the high potency THC level isn’t the be-all and end-all of cannabis shopping.
It really depends on the person using the cannabis product, whether it is a concentrate or flower. And the best judge may actually be the scent of a product and terpene profile that will let you know whether a bud or concentrate is best for you.
If you’re aiming for medicinal effects, concentrates without terpenes aren’t going to work as well.
There is one exception, which is with cannabis edibles. The mg of THC you ingest will have a difference between 10 mg and 100 mg. So this rule of thumb doesn’t apply here.
Signs You’ve Had Too Much THC
There are several signs that you have had too much THC, or what is commonly referred to as feeling greened out.
Milder overdosing usually leads to severe side effects:
- Nausea and vomiting
- High levels of anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty following conversations
- Poor coordination
- High or low blood pressure
- Memory problems
Taking some CBD is known to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC like anxiety. For mild cases, drinking some lemon juice in water will help with dehydration and can help to neutralize terpenes and other cannabinoids.
Another at-home remedy is chewing black peppercorns. But if you don’t have these, remain hydrated and comfortable.
If you are a novice user, to avoid greening out, start with lower dosages. For example, smoke half the joint instead of a full one. Or, take a smaller dab and work your way up.
Wrapping Up High THC
We’ve covered some of the best high THC cannabis concentrates and high THC flower in the cannabis industry.
But as you have seen, your “high” will be based not only on THC content but also on the hundreds or more different compounds and cannabinoids in these cannabis products. Terpenes, rather than cannabinoid content, are more likely to determine a strain’s profile and effects.
So next time you are at the dispensary, do some exploration. Try a lower THC percent and instead base it on potential terpenes present and the desired effect you want.
You can find guides online listing many of the primary terpenes present in the bud.
Once you find a terpene profile that you like, for example, that you seem to prefer pinene or limonene, then try other flower or concentrates with similar terpene profiles. You might be shocked at how low the THC level is (and the cost) while still getting the buzz you want.
As a last tip:
Want to up your cannabis THC level’s effects? Then eat a mango. It contains myrcene which is a common terpene found in cannabis. It boosts the effects of your marijuana by increasing cannabinoid delivery to the brain.