While some states may never see legal marijuana stores, barring some huge shift at the federal level, millions of Americans are now free to peruse retail cannabis shops. Though it’s only available in a few states as of right now, legal cannabis is available — as are the many derivatives, like concentrates and edibles (depending on where you live). It’s an exciting time, to be sure, but with cannabis having been blacklisted for so many years, many consumers aren’t sure what to look for or buy when the first walk into a store.
Some people are looking to party and get high. Others, to find some sort of relief. Typically, you’re going to be looking for some strong stuff, too. To get the most for your money, and to get the best results. It all comes down to the chemical composition of each individual strain, and in particular, the levels of two specific compounds: THC and CBD.
THC and CBD
To come up with the top 10 list of strongest strains, we decided to divvy it up in terms of THC and CBD. So, we will list off the five strains with the most THC, and five with the top CBD — which should be of note for medical cannabis patients specifically. There are more than 100 chemical compounds contained in the cannabis plant, but for our purposes here, we will stick with these two.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive chemical compound that produces the “high” when consuming cannabis. The higher the TCH content, the stronger the strain, in most cases. As for CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, this is the compound usually associated with medical marijuana strains. It’s not psychoactive (it won’t get you “high”), and has many medical uses. It can help people with a number of diseases and maladies, and is showing promise as an effective pharmaceutical.
In short, THC will get you high, and CBD will make you feel better.
We worked with Wikileaf to develop the list and used their database to find the specific strains with the highest THC and CBD levels. The following strains are the strongest as far as our research could tell — you may have an uncle in Humboldt who’s growing something that’s stronger, for example, but we don’t know about it yet. That’s the thing about cannabis cultivation: There are a thousand new strains being developed right now, and the strongest strain today may not stack up next week.
With that said, here are the strongest types of marijuana on the market, as researched by the Wikileaf team.
*Images note: the photos used in this piece are not of the individual strains themselves, as those are hard (if not impossible) to find.
1. Gorilla Glue #4
In terms of THC content, nothing beats Gorilla Glue #4, which has a whopping 32%. This strain is a Sativa-dominant hybrid, meaning that it will produce more of a “head high” rather than a “body high.” It’s a mix of Sour Diesel and Chem’s Sister. “It averages 18 to 25 percent THC, but you may find it as high as 32 percent at some dispensaries. The CBD is very low, ranging between 0.05 and 0.1 percent,” Wikileaf’s team says.
2. Hawaiian Haze
Another Sativa, Hawaiian Haze sounds more like a fruity cocktail than a potent cannabis strain. But it’s among the most potent you can find, with THC content as high as 30%. Wikileaf’s team says that it’s rumored to have been first grown in Hawaii’s fertile volcanic soil, giving the strain its name.
3. Khalifa Kush
At 29.5% THC, the Indica Khalifa Kush comes in at number three. In case you were wondering, yes, the strain is named after rapper Wiz Khalifa. It’s a crossbreed between OG Kush, and another mystery strain.
4. Golden Pineapple (Hybrid)
Golden Pineapple is a strain that clocks in at 29% THC. It’s a 50-50 Sativa/Indica hybrid, and a cross between Golden Goat and Pineapple Kush. How did it get its name, you ask? Users say it tastes like pineapple — and it has a distinguishable orange huge to its buds.
5. UBC Chemo
The Indica UBC Chemo also clocks in at 29% THC. It also has an interesting history, according to Wikileaf.
“The rarity of this strain comes from the fact that it is clone only, though both Federation Seeds and BC Bud Depot have crossed the strain to release their own seed versions. As for the history, it was supposedly developed by a Dr. David Suzuki at the University of British Colombia in the late 60s to 70s. Dr. Suzuki is said to have developed it to help cancer patients with the detrimental side-effects of chemotherapy,” Wikileaf says.
1. Charlotte’s Web
Now, we dip into the strains with the highest levels of CBD — and Charlotte’s Web takes the cake. Charlotte’s Web has been made famous as the strain used to help patients (children, specifically) control seizures. It has a remarkable 20% CBD, and is less than 0.50% THC.
Second only to Charlotte’s Web is Avidekel (sometimes called Avi-Dekel). This strain is 16% CBD, making it incredibly valuable to medical patients. It’s a Sativa-dominant hybrid strain, and has very little THC, making it perfect for people who need relief, but don’t want to get high.
Also with 16% CBD, ACDC is a 50-50 Sativa-Indica hybrid that is a cross between Ruderalis and Cannatonic. Patients suffering from alcohol addiction, cancers, seizures, and chronic pain have all given ACDC glowing reviews for its ability to provide relief.
4. CBD Mango Haze
A special version of Mango Haze bred to contain above-average levels of CBD, CBD Mango Haze pretty much explains itself all with its name. It contains around 15% CBD, and a fairly low 3% THC. As you may have guessed, users say it smells and tastes like mango.
5. Sour Tsunami
Sour Tsunami comes in at 10% CBD and 8% THC, making it a fantastic strain to use at night when trying to get some sleep. It’s a Sativa-dominant hybrid that’s the result of a cross between Sour Diesel and NYC Diesel, and is one of the few Diesel strains that is actually a Sativa. It’s also one of the first strains to become well-known for its high CBD content.
Check out Wikileaf for more information about cannabis, and to compare prices near you.