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Top 7 Strongest Cannabis Strains in 2020

Like most other industries over the last 50 years, the cannabis trade has changed and evolved dramatically to adapt to technological advances, consumer tastes and market forces. Gone are the days when weak Mexican brick weed dominated the bowls and joints of U.S. consumers. Those days have been left behind due to a surge of scientific advancement in growth techniques, cultivation, product analyses and consumption. The result is a thriving industry with options aplenty when it comes to production and consumption. It has also resulted in cannabis with very high levels of THC.

Although it is difficult to be certain, most researchers agree that in the 1970s the average THC content in the vast majority of marijuana consumed in the United States was around 1 – 3%. That level of THC crept up to around 4% in the early nineties and ballooned to around 13% in 2013. In 2017, the most popular strains of cannabis being purchased legally in Colorado averaged between 17% and 28% THC content.

So why is the market dictating that the strongest weed is also the most popular? How are they making such potent cannabis? In this article we’ll explore the advancements that have been made in the industry and some of our favorite high-power strains.

“Bigger is Better” Mentality

This is probably the main factor that has made the strongest strains the most popular. Similar to the rise in popularity of high alcohol beers, strong red wines or insanely oaked chardonnay, consumers tend to think that the item with the most of something will be the best. In the relatively new world of legal recreational cannabis, many consumers aren’t aware of t nuances such as CBD percentage or the entourage effect that might make a particular strain a better fit than one with a ton of THC. After all, why purchase a strain with only 14% THC when you can get one with 28% THC?

Pricing

The highest THC strains have a better price point for growers and retailers. The strongest types of weed can sell for much more than those with only slightly lower THC levels. Think about how much commission a realtor will make on a house that sells for $100,000 vs. one that sells for $1,000,000. Which one would they prefer to sell?

Supply & Demand

The market regulates itself and keeps the most potent weed as the most popular. There are fewer low-THC seeds available because those strains are not as popular. Therefore, there are fewer low-THC strain clones available. It then becomes more difficult to grow those types of strains which means it is not as profitable to produce strains with less THC.

Medical Benefits

Some medical marijuana patients need high THC/CBD levels for relief of certain types of pain, symptoms of multiple sclerosis, nausea, insomnia, etc. Understanding where to buy these strains is particularly important, although this can easily be solved with a little research and a few calls around to local MMJ dispensaries.

How Cannabis is Grown to Yield High THC Levels

With strains containing high THC levels are all the rage at dispensaries across the country, growers are working hard to keep up with the demand. Those looking to grow the strongest weed strain possible need to know the genetics of their plants. Genetics determine how much THC the plant will be able to produce. Once a grower selects a strain with a high THC content, they can then breed it with a different strain that also harbors high THC dependability. The result of this crossbreeding will be a hybrid that exhibits the traits from its two mother plants (look, taste, smell) but also an increased percentage of THC content.

That content is most commonly determined by sending a sample to an accredited third-party lab that uses high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). This process involves dissolving the sample in a solvent, diluting it and then heating it so it can pass through separation columns and then on to a detector. Of course, different labs have different equipment and specific practices so there can be minor discrepancies between labs. Samples can also vary in THC level based on physical aspects like the location where the sample was procured, soil pH levels, weather, etc.

Highest THC Strains

What’s the strongest weed, you ask? Well, that’s pretty much impossible to say since there are so many strains in the world. Having said that, here are seven strains that regularly show up as the most potent weed on the dispensary shelf and – perhaps more importantly – would also grace a list of the best kinds of weed. These top marijuana strains are strong, but they also have plenty of terpenes that make them smell great, taste delicious and provide a well-rounded cannabis experience. Sometimes the strongest pot in the world is not the best pot, but these strains are definitely some of the best weed in the world.

For a much larger list of cannabis strains, check out our strain guide!

Ice Cream Cake

A sugary flavor topped with notes of vanilla dominates this tasty hybrid of Wedding Cake and Gelato #33. THC levels consistently clock in around 27% – 29% and provide users with a sedative high that is pure bliss.

Chiquita Banana

A sugary flavor topped with notes of vanilla dominates this tasty hybrid of Wedding Cake and Gelato #33. THC levels consistently clock in around 27% – 29% and provide users with a sedative high that is pure bliss.

White Tahoe Cookies

The result of a hybridization of The White, Tahoe OG and Girl Scout Cookies, this Indica-dominant strain hovers around 27% THC. Its effects move quickly from a mellow buzz to an even and mellow ride. It’s a beautiful strain with sharp green buds covered in a haze of white trichomes.

Godfather OG

This whopper of a strain is popular in the medical community for its soothing high and pain relief properties. A cross between XXX OG x Alpha OG, Grandfather OG reeks of pungent pine with a hint of grape. This top marijuana strain finished first in the Indica category at the 2013 Cannabis Cup in California and in 2016 it broke the previous Cannabis Cup record of 32.13 percent THC with the test revealing a staggering 34.04% THC content.

Ghost Train Haze

Ghost Train Haze is a Sativa-dominant strain developed by crossing Neville’s Wreck with Ghost OG. It routinely tests with levels above 27% THC and is ideal for a creative prompt or an energetic boost. Citrus and pine dominate Ghost Train Haze’s flavor profile.

Bruce Banner #3

The Hulk is another Sativa-dominant plant that is widely loved for its uplifting effects and fruity flavor. The result of a marriage between OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel, THC levels tend to hover in the 26% – 29% range.

Emperor Cookie Dough

Cannabis consumers in search of medical relief flock to this intense yet balanced hybrid created in Canada by combining Girls Scout Cookies and Emperor OG. THC levels can be astronomical; if this isn’t the highest THC strain it is certainly in elite company with levels around 35% not uncommon. Bonus? It tastes delicious.

Have you tried any other super-potent strains? What were some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Like most other industries over the last 50 years, the cannabis trade has changed and evolved dramatically to adapt to technological advances, consumer tastes and market forces. Gone are the days when weak Mexican brick weed dominated the bowls and joints of U.S. consumers. Those days have been left behind due to a surge of scientific advancement i

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