Ultra-high THC cannabis strains have been all the rage in the recreational cannabis community for a while now, but it wasn’t always this way. Since the 1980s, the average THC content has increased from around 2 percent to over 10 percent, with some strains weighing in at a whopping 20-30 percent THC! But are these beefed-up strains actually better?
Let’s take a look at why cannabis with amplified THC content is so popular, and if these enhanced strains are really the best.
Why So Much THC?
There’s a lot that goes into how a cannabis strain will make you feel: terpenes, cannabinoids, and lots of other botanical awesomeness. But it’s THC that has become the compound known for getting people “high.”
But here’s the thing…
It doesn’t take all the much THC to get most people feeling elevated. So what’s with the astronomical amounts of THC in weed these days?
A couple of decades ago during the height of the black market, the higher you got, the better the quality of weed was considered to be. Like getting more bang-for-your-buck, so to speak. So many black-market growers did their best to grow the most THC-potent cannabis that they could. Over the years, these hybridized strains formed the groundwork for the cannabis that is being sold on the legal recreational market today.
This is great for seasoned stoners who enjoy getting as ripped as possible, but not so much for people who quickly find themselves “too high” and feel anxious or paranoid. So, while these super potent THC strains continue to win competitions and impress the high-THC-loving members of the cannabis community, they aren’t the best choice for everyone.
Should You Choose a Strain Based on THC Content?
As with many things in life, more isn’t always better when it comes to THC. Not because there is anything wrong with it – we love THC – but because you don’t want to overlook other incredible cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients when choosing a strain.
Before cultivators started to focus heavily on THC content, other cannabinoids like CBD were naturally more present. CBD helps regulate the effects of THC and the anxiety-inducing properties it can have.
Cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and terpenes like linalool and myrcene also contribute to an overall pleasant cannabis experience that can be lacking with some high-THC strains. When these less psychoactive compounds are bread out, you end up with cannabis that’s more potent than nature intended. And that doesn’t necessarily produce a better high than more balanced cannabis can offer.
The Bottom Line?
THC is an incredible molecule with profound therapeutic benefits that we are learning more about every day. But choosing a strain solely for its high THC levels is like selecting a fine wine based on its alcohol content.
It’s better to try different strains with a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, so you can discover the flavor profiles and experiences that are most enjoyable to you.