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Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states, and recreational marijuana is legal for adults in 18 states. This means that most Americans have access to cannabis, whether medically or recreationally. Cannabis’s popularity has spurred consumer interest in the plant, its types, properties, and potency. All of this has led many people to wonder, “What’s the most potent cannabis strain?” 

To answer that question, we need to establish what determines potency. The two primary compounds in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” feeling you get when you consume cannabis, while CBD brings more therapeutic values. Typically, a high THC content means high potency. Currently, the most potent cannabis strains have a THC content of about 30%.

Is High-Potency Best?

There’s more to cannabis than just the THC content, and while THC is an indicator of potency, it doesn’t indicate quality. What matters most is how it makes you feel, and a high THC content doesn’t necessarily translate to a great feeling. 

Judging the quality of cannabis by its potency is like judging a book by its cover. It doesn’t always work out so well, does it? There’s a disproportionate amount of attention on THC; however, other compounds in cannabis contribute to the overall effect. 

If you know what to look for, you could get quality products that other consumers will ignore because they don’t have a high THC content. 

Consumers who have built up tolerance are likely to handle highly potent cannabis better. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to avoid the potent stuff. But that doesn’t mean you miss out on the experience – there are strains with low potency but excellent quality.

Cannabis is more than just THC. How all the compounds combine to give quality is known as the entourage effect. Cannabis contains over 120 phytocannabinoids; these are compounds that occur naturally in the plant, including THC. When you consume these compounds together, they produce a better overall effect. This is where terpenes come in, which are smelly compounds that determine how cannabis affects the mind and body. 

The Most Potent Cannabis Strain: How Terpenes Influence Potency

Terpenes are aromatic chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and certain animals. Their presence is what gives plants aroma, flavor, and color. 

In cannabis, they are responsible for the distinctive smell or taste of different strains. When you can distinguish the Grease Monkey strain from Sour Diesel, it’s your nose picking up the terpene signature of the strains. Different terpenes react in different ways with other cannabinoids in what is known as the entourage effect to produce different results.

Researchers believe that terpenes protect plants from predators and attract pollinators. However, factors such as climate, soil type, and fertilizers influence a plant’s development of terpenes. Studies show that there are over 400 types of terpenes in cannabis, and each lends a unique quality to a particular strain. 

What they do in humans is still being studied, but cannabis researchers and students believe they can classify cannabis products according to their terpene profile and the effects they produce.

The terpene profile in cannabis refers to the dominant terpenes present in a strain. These compounds combine with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids to produce the effect you associate with different strains. Two strains with similar THC levels may have different terpene profiles and deliver different experiences. Some terpenes may make you feel relaxed and relieve stress; others may sharpen your focus. 

So, you could take two different strains with the same THC level and have different experiences because of their terpene profiles. On their own, terpenes won’t make you high; that depends on the presence of other cannabinoids in the strain and how they combine with terpenes. There’s good news for your mental health, too, as research suggests terpenes may have benefits for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

The bottom line is, don’t just go for the potent stuff! Read the label and check the terpene profile if a brand includes it on the label. Also, pick fresh products as terpene concentration can diminish with time. 


So, What’s the Most Potent Cannabis Strain?

It’s all cannabis, but some strains have that extra zest that sets them apart from the crowd. Essentially, their potency will blow you sky-high. 

When the production and consumption of cannabis were not as widespread as it is today and the industry was in its infancy, the most potent strains you could find had a THC percentage of around 5%. That number pales compared to the potent strains of today with a whopping 30+%.

Grease Monkey

This strain is the product of a cross between the Gorilla Glue #4 and Cookie Cream strains. Each inhale is a spicy and sweet flavor, notably intense and complex with a mix of diesel and vanilla with undertones of fruitiness. 

Its intense aroma is a blend of earthy, nutty, vanilla, and skunky. It has a calming effect that makes it great for relaxation; users report feeling high and euphoric but sharp enough to carry out tasks. Thanks to its high THC level of 16-30%, you can use it to treat conditions such as inflammation, nausea, loss of appetite, chronic pain, insomnia, and nausea. 

Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) 

This strain, which first appeared in California, is a crossbreed of OG Kush and Durban Poison. It is known for inducing feelings of euphoria and relaxation, but you should watch for the munchies. Its THC percentage comes in at a robust 17-28% and low CBD of 0.09-0.2%. 

GSC’s aroma is pungent and laced with nutty, spicy-sweet tones, while the flavor is reminiscent of cherry, lemon, and mint. It is effective in treating anxiety, stress, and depression. The high lasts for hours, so you should only take it when you don’t have tasks to complete; you might lose focus.

Godfather OG

This is one of the most potent strains on the market, and it’s not for consumers with low tolerance levels. The average THC percentage is 25% and can reach as high as 28%, making it one of the most potent cannabis strains on the market. Due to its high THC content, Godfather OG is the medical strain of choice for users looking for relief from pain and insomnia. It can also relieve stress, PTSD, headaches and help with loss of appetite. 

The smell is an aromatic blend of pine, earthy, and spicy.

Kosher Kush

Kosher Kush, aka Kosher OG, originated in Los Angeles and has a powerful THC percentage of 22%-25%. It is famous for its delectable flavors, encompassing such sweet notes as herbal, lemon, pine, and woody. Its spicy and earthy aroma packs a savory punch; you can’t hide the whiff. 

Users said it made them achieve full-body relaxation, heady feelings of euphoria, happiness, and hunger. It may help relieve gastrointestinal discomfort, migraine, depression, and chronic pain. 

Bruce Banner

Named after the alter ego of The Incredible Hulk, this one will have you too chilled out to go into beast mode. The effects of this strain are quickly felt and will have your head in the clouds in no time. It delivers a massive dose of THC with a percentage of 24%-29% — all the potency you need to really get into it. It is a favorite of users looking for the most potent cannabis strain possible.  

A moderate CBD level of 1% counters the high THC level; this means you’ll get high but remain alert. When you inhale this, you fill your nostrils with diesel, strawberry, and floral aromas. The flavor profile is a mix of berry, diesel, and strawberry. You can use Bruce Banner to treat nausea, anxiety, fatigue, and relieve pain.

Finding the Best, Most Potent Cannabis Strain for You

If you’ve read this far, you know it’s not just about the potency. Not that it doesn’t matter, but cannabis is not just THC alone. Finding what works best for you and the medical condition you’re treating is the best approach to picking the most potent cannabis strain for you.

At Elevate, we are happy to entertain all your cannabis questions and inquiries. After all, you are why we do what we do, and we would love to be your guide on your cannabis journey. If you’re interested in getting your own medical marijuana card online, Elevate Holistics would love to be the one to help you through the process. Our services are 100% online to allow you a comfortable, effortless appointment with a board-certified physician. Interested? Find your state below and book an appointment.


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About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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