You’ve probably heard fellow cannabis enthusiasts refer to certain strains as “high-THC” or “high-potency,” but what does that really mean? Even for a seasoned cannabis consumer, it can be difficult to put the finger on exactly what qualifies a specific strain as high in THC.
Many people don’t realize that high-potency cannabis has undergone a huge evolution over the last several decades, just like much of the marijuana industry as a whole. And beyond that, cannabis has been a part of cultural and medicinal traditions for thousands of years – which can make it challenging to trace the origin of high-THC marijuana strains.
We know that the history of cannabis has an interesting story to tell about the changing potency levels of THC and that modern cannabis has more to offer consumers than ever before. We’re going to take a closer look at what it means for a strain to be high in THC, explore the interesting history behind high-potency cannabis, and even give you a few tips for finding the best high-THC strains to try for yourself.
What is a High Percentage of THC?
Like many cannabis topics, this is one that can spur more than its fair share of debate. The specific percentage of THC that qualifies a strain as “high-potency” can vary, often depending on who you ask. However, according to cannabis expert and University of British Columbia botany professor Jonathan Page, the answer might be clearer than we think.
Page says that high-THC strains are fairly common today, and they likely were also fairly accessible a few decades ago as well (more on that later). Most experts agree that you can use the following guidelines to categorize the THC potency levels of different strains:
· Low: About 8 to 10% THC
· Average “high-THC” strains: 18 to 20% THC
· Very high potency: 25 to 30% THC
According to industry publication Leafly, if you see a strain advertised as more than 35% total THC by dry weight, it could be a red flag. Because of the basic principles of cannabis biology, there are certain limitations to how much THC a strain can contain.
The Evolution of High-Potency Cannabis: More than Half a Century of History
We know that marijuana has been a staple of many global cultures since ancient times, but experimenting with THC levels and other scientific aspects of cannabis is fairly new. It makes sense that once people understood the specific compounds that were responsible for producing the effects of cannabis, there was considerable interest in altering the levels of these compounds to achieve specific results.
Here’s a decade-by-decade breakdown of the history of high-potency cannabis, from the 1940s to today.
The 1940s and 1950s
In the 1940s and 50s, the first pharmacological experiments using cannabinoids were completed. In 1940, CBN was the first cannabinoid to be successfully isolated and chemically synthesized. Two years later, scientists discovered how to extract THC from marijuana – but it would take more than 20 additional years for THC to be synthesized.
The 1960s and 1970s
Often referred to as the “Golden Age” of cannabis, the 1960s and 70s were a time when enjoying marijuana was illegal but nevertheless fairly widespread. However, since the demand was greater than the supply, producers realized that they didn’t have to invest the time or energy in creating high-quality strains. So, even though you could purchase an ounce for $20 or so, a considerable amount of it would contain useless stems and seeds.
Beginning in 1972, the Potency Monitoring Program was responsible for measuring the THC levels of cannabis seized by law enforcement. The average tended to hover around 3-4%, but that number isn’t exactly the golden standard of science when you think about the quality and sample size. But as a whole, we can safely say that THC levels were likely less concentrated then compared to now.
The 1980s and 1990s
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say the average THC levels of cannabis during these decades, mostly because testing methods weren’t first-rate. Even though various data sources seem to suggest that THC levels dropped considerably, we also know that the government testing methods tended to rely on old, poorly-stored marijuana from domestic crops.
But once California became the first state to legalize cannabis in 1996, the future of high-potency cannabis became a lot more exciting.
The 2000s to Today
A 2016 study published Biological Psychiatry found that the average THC level increased from 4% in 1995 to 12% in 2014. Average CBD levels headed in the other direction, contributing to overall growth in the potency of THC and its effects.
Today, you can find many strains with THC levels of 20% and higher, with a few even climbing towards 30%. Innovative cultivators have found new ways to boost THC content and create customized experiences to match consumer demand.
Tips for Choosing Strains with a High-THC Percentage
Are you interested in trying a strain high in THC? Here are a few tips for getting started:
· Keep in mind that the THC potency of a product is only as reliable as the brand and dispensary selling it – so choose your source wisely. Marijuana products sold legally in the U.S. are required to be tested and labeled with their THC and CBD content, but actually understanding product labels can be tricky. Find a dispensary with a knowledgeable staff you can trust so that you can get help decoding THC labeling if and when needed.
· Be aware that the actual amount of THC that enters your system will change based on your consumption method. Don’t be afraid to take a “trial and error” approach to determine what methods best align with your desired experience.
· Have a few go-to strains in mind when you’re ready to shop. Here are a few of our favorite high-THC strains and products:
o Baldor drops, a Sativa-dominant Hybrid strain with an pre-dosed dropper
o Odra pre-rolls, ideal for evening enjoyment and ranging between 15 and 24% THC
o Polaris syringe, a convenient concentrate that delivers a high potency experience
o Danz flower, an Indica-dominant Hybrid that is loved for its relaxing properties
o Hydra vape, a user-friendly vapable cannabis oil that serves about 2mg of THC per inhalation
o Watermelon gels, a sweet option of 10 mg THC per serving for long-term relief in an edible form
Shop High-Potency Marijuana in Florida at FLUENT
With multiple dispensaries mainly located in Florida, FLUENT Cannabis Care is one of the leading sources for premium marijuana in the state.
We carry an extensive selection of the best strains in the business, including a broad range of high-THC cannabis to suit your interests and personal preferences. Whether you’re an experienced consumer searching for that next-level high or just beginning to explore the world of cannabis, our Florida dispensaries are an excellent choice. Besides offering a wide variety of cannabis strains and products, FLUENT Cannabis Care also gives our customers the benefit of easy access to an experienced and knowledgeable team of cannabis professionals.
Are you searching for Florida dispensaries with high-THC cannabis? Look no further than FLUENT Cannabis Care, a top-rated dispensary with multiple locations around the state. Visit the FLUENT dispensary near you to start shopping today.