Looking for a weed strain that will challenge your tolerance or stand up to stubborn medical symptoms? Readers ask us all the time which strains are the most potent, and while that depends on a variety of factors from how it was grown to the quality of genetics, we’ve put together a list of strains that have a reputation for heavy-handed euphoria.
While THC is the main driver of potency in weed, it’s important to understand the role terpenes may play in enhancing and shaping the strain’s high. Terpenes like myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene refer to aromatic compounds that lend cannabis its unique array of smells, and a cannabis strain rich in both terpenes and THC often delivers a more remarkable experience than a product that lacks chemical diversity.
The below cannabis strains are just a selection of popular powerhouses, but keep in mind that there are many more options and frontrunners out there. You can also filter for “potent strains” on Leafly dispensary menus to see if any of these recommendations are available near you. And remember the adage “start low, go slow” with these ones.
Primary terpenes: Caryophyllene, limonene, humulene
Average THC: 19%
GSC and the many Cookie-crosses descending from it have hauled their way up the ladder of fame over the last several years, and it isn’t hard to see why. Expect a crushing wave of blissful euhoria that enshrouds both mind and body with warm relaxation for hours.
Primary terpenes: Myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene
Average THC: 20%
Kosher Kush first blessed the world with its presence in 2010 and has been nabbing Cannabis Cup awards ever since. Its genetic background may be a mystery, but this strain’s keepers at DNA Genetics have refined a champion. Wrapped in a thick blanket of crystalline resin, you’ll hardly need a closer look to see that this tranquilizing indica is not one for the novices.
Primary terpenes: Myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene
Average THC: 20%
Hiding in a white cloak of crystal resin, Ghost OG is a strain that is bred for its high-octane euphoria. Said to be a cut off the original OG Kush, Ghost OG’s potency is toned by a symphony of terpenes that fuel this strain’s powerful THC engine. Find a comfy seat and prepare to be swept into a powerful, euphoric current perfect for relaxing.
Critical Kush (Indica)
This 90/10 indica is a cross between legendary strains OG Kush and Critical Mass. The final product is a couch locking indica that has been measured at over 25% THC.
Critical Kush produces a relaxing and euphoric body high accompanied by mild cerebral euphoria. Thanks to its indica genetics and high-THC levels this strain has become a favorite among medical marijuana patients. Whether you’re looking for a strain to treat your medical condition, or simply to looking to take the edge off, you can’t really go wrong with Critical Kush.
You can grab the strongest marijuana strain at your favorite Des Moines or Seattle Dispensary. Check our online menus to see what’s available.
Bruce Banner #3 (Sativa)
There’s a good reason why this strain is named after the Hulk. Bruce Banner #3’s monstrous THC levels can reach as high as 29%. Many people believe this to be the strongest marijuana strain around. This 80/20 sativa-dominant hybrid makes a loud introduction with immediate waves of cerebral and physical euphoria before settling into a nice full-body relaxation.
This powerhouse strain is a cross between legendary indica OG Kush and delicious sativa Strawberry Diesel. The final product is not only a delight for the senses but was also named to High Times’ ‘Earth’s Strongest Strains’ list more than once.
Kosher Kush (Indica)
Winning the High Times Indica Cup in 2010 and 2011, Kosher Kush has long been recognized as one of the most potent indicas in the world. Its genetic background is a mystery, but one thing is for sure, this strain definitely packs in the THC.
When grown well, Kosher Kush consistently clocks in at between 20%-25% THC. Along with relaxation and euphoria, this strain is also likely to make you sleepy and hungry, making it perfect for a late-night smoke.
Trainwreck is an exhilarating sativa-dominant hybrid that produces an uplifting, energizing, and euphoric high perfect for daytime smoking. This strain’s THC levels peak at 25% and will hit you like a train, producing strong cerebral effects that often lead to laughter and energized creativity.
Trainwreck comes from crossing two pure landrace sativas (Mexican, Thai), and a potent landrace indica (Afghani). Its bright green buds are known for their piney, citrusy scent, and lemony aroma.
What are the highest THC percentages in weed to date
It’s rare to see THC levels above 25%. Although it is far more common to see claims of 25-30% THC levels in pot. Usually, the very finest quality cannabis you will see is in the range 25%-30% THC. In the real world, any cannabis strain with over 20% THC should be considered very strong. In general it’s good advice to expect extravagant THC claims to be backed up by lab data, most of the time it isn’t.
Dutch Passion use independent laboratories to conduct THC testing, usually two different labs are used and the data is compared. By using independent labs the data is likely to be more accurate than the potentially biased data you can get from tests made yourself. By using two independent labs you eliminate the chance of rogue results. The highest THC levels seen by Dutch passion in an autoflower strain was 25.9% in Auto Cinderella Jack.
Does the amount of THC determine how high you’ll get?
Not necessarily. Other factors can affect the type of high and the intensity you feel. The presence of cannabinoids other than THC can have a large effect on the type of high that you experience. Many cannabis connoisseurs enjoy strains with a cannabinoid profile which contains more than just THC. The entourage effect is the name given to the synergy of several cannabinoids acting together to amplify the effects/pleasure of the high. Often this will mean the cannabinoid profile may show small amounts of CBD, CBG, THCV, CBC, CBN and others.
In addition to the entourage effect from other cannabinoids, it is thought that the terpene profile also plays a large role in modulating (or ‘steering’) the type of high we experience. That’s why cannabis connoisseurs place such a large emphasis on the harvesting, drying and curing of their cannabis.
One other consideration is your own personal taste. Indica lovers may prefer their favourite indica strain rather than a more potent sativa. Perhaps it’s less important to ask which variety will get you the most high, and more important to ask which strain you will enjoy the most. For some people that could be a medium level THC strain with some CBD, for example. The highest THC strains are not necessarily the ones which you will enjoy the most.