It would be a vast understatement to suggest that cannabis has altered. The cannabis environment has been totally revolutionized by the introduction of new products, consumption methods, and access methods. The potency of the cannabis we consume has also undergone a full transformation. Due to advancements in cultivation and processing methods, modern cannabis is more potent than ever before. What was once considered a high THC level is nothing compared to the THC levels found now. But what qualifies as high THC?
THE INCREASING THC CONTENT OF MARIJUANA
A glance at a dispensary’s shelves is likely to reveal numerous high-THC strains with THC concentrations that cultivators could only fantasize about three decades ago.
In the past 30 years, THC levels were far below 10%. Today, however, it is not uncommon to see strains with three times as much THC on the shelves of your local dispensary.
Breeders have worked hard to crossbreed strains and refine the genetics of strains with the goal of reaching the greatest potential THC levels. In addition, more cannabinoids and terpenes have been produced in recent harvests as a result of the increased use of modern cultivation techniques.
As a result of breeding towards higher THC levels, however, many of these ultra-high THC cultivars have little to no CBD. CBD (cannabidiol) is a medicinal cannabinoid recognized for its soothing effects. Less CBD may result in diminished therapeutic efficacy.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED HIGH THC?
So, if cannabis levels have increased so dramatically, what qualifies as high THC?
In dispensaries, the highest THC-containing strains will contain above 30 percent THC. Although the highest THC strains now routinely exceed 30 percent THC, you won’t find anything higher than 40 percent, and you probably won’t find anything higher than 35 percent either. In the sweet region between 30 and 35 percent, you’ll find the strongest strains.
But what is considered high THC? Here is a short overview about some of the strongest THC strains:
? Godfather OG
? Kush Mints
? Gorilla Glue #4
? GMO Cookies
? Strawberry Banana
If the current trend continues, you might anticipate substantially higher THC concentrations in the future. Just don’t anticipate the same level of expansion as in the past. There is a natural limit to the amount of THC a cannabis plant may produce due to biological constraints.
DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Is more THC truly preferable? Depending on whom you ask, what qualifies as high THC.
In the past, it was believed that the greater a cannabis strain’s THC content, the greater its intoxicating effects. This makes sense, given that THC is the cannabinoid chiefly responsible for the mind-altering and intoxicating effects of cannabis. But this is not the complete tale.
Recently, terpenes’ possible contributions to the effects of cannabis have garnered more attention. Describe terpenes. It was long assumed that these aromatic hydrocarbon molecules were solely responsible for giving cannabis its scent and flavor. A recent study suggests, however, that terpenes may have their own medicinal effects. This has prompted many to hypothesize that strains with a rich terpene profile may be more advantageous than THC-heavy strains.
In addition to THC, the cannabis plant contains several additional cannabinoids (what are cannabinoids?). The entourage effect proposes that various chemicals may interact synergistically to produce the benefits of cannabis as a whole. Paradoxically, a strain that qualifies as high THC content but few other cannabinoids and terpenes may be worse than one with a lower THC content but a more diverse cannabinoid and terpene profile.