The growing legalization of marijuana means that consumers, especially those who reside in North America, have a dizzying array of products to choose from. At present, cannabis products will state their THC and CBD content only; many of them also include a THC to CBD ratio.
These days, breeders are creating marijuana strain hybrids with ultra-high THC levels and fairly low CBD levels. CBD is associated with a non-intoxicating effect and is typically used to treat anxiety and pain. THC is known for providing a psychoactive ‘high,’ and is often used recreationally, as well as a medicine for conditions such as insomnia, severe pain, and PTSD.
If you are an intermediate or novice user, it is best to stick with products that carry a THC to CBD ratio of 1:1 or lower until you know you can handle a moderate level of psychoactive effects. If you are an experienced user, keep reading to learn more about premium quality bud with a high THC content and low levels of CBD. Bear in mind that the five strains we mention will get you very stoned, so use with caution!
Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol: What Is It?
Its real name is delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as THC! It is arguably the most famous compound (cannabinoid) in marijuana and is famed for its psychoactive high. Incidentally, THC is found as an acid in the raw form of marijuana.
THC was first isolated in 1964, but the binding sites for THC in the brain were not discovered until 1988. In that year, Dr. Allyn Howlett discovered that the compound attached itself to our cannabinoid receptors (a group of special cell sites). Each one of these receptors act as part of our endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a cell receptor network responsible for regulating various body functions.
In simple terms, THC binds to a receptor, and the result is the ignition of a series of chemical reactions which lead to changes in the mind and body. Once THC engages your brain, you’ll experience altered cognitive and behavioral ability. Basically, you see and experience things in a completely different way when you consume THC.
While it is exciting, and often fun, to get completely stoned, we advise you to use potent marijuana sensibly. The long-term effects of regularly using strong weed are not fully known, although a study by Di Forti et al., published in The Lancet in May 2019, claims that regular use of strong marijuana could lead to an increased risk of a later psychotic disorder.
According to the research, heavy use of weed with a THC content of 10%+ could be harmful to mental health. To be clear, the study looked at 901 patients who had a first-time episode of psychosis over five years and compared them to over 1,200 individuals who had not suffered an episode of psychosis.
30% of those who reported a psychosis episode admitted to using weed daily compared to 7% of people in the control group. The group with psychosis episodes also admitted to using higher strength weed; 37% of users against 19% of users in the control group. Di Forti said that high-potency marijuana contributes to instances of psychotic disorder but doesn’t completely explain it.
Therefore, it is clear that if you have suffered an episode of psychosis in your life, it is wise to avoid high-potency cannabis until further notice. If you fall into this category, we strongly advise you NOT to use any of the five marijuana strains we mention later in the article.
How About CBD (Cannabidiol)?
Cannabidiol is the other well-known compound in marijuana, and unlike THC, it does not provide you with an intoxicating high. Moreover, marijuana strains with relatively high levels of CBD can counteract the effects of THC. As is the case with THC, CBD impacts the ECS, and the result is a wide array of potential medical benefits.
CBD gained international fame for helping a young girl named Charlotte Figi by reducing the number of seizures she suffered as part of her rare medical condition, Dravet’s Syndrome. Charlotte Figi’s story proved that CBD could be used in medicine as it didn’t make her ‘high.’ Since then, hemp-based products containing high levels of CBD and low levels of THC have become legal to purchase as food supplements across the United States.
What Medical Conditions Can High THC/ Low CBD Marijuana Strains Help?
There is a sad irony about the anti-marijuana rhetoric we hear from people who advocate prescription medication. They claim that THC turns people into zombies when in reality, those unfortunate enough to be ‘on’ a variety of legally prescribed Big Pharma drugs are the ones that live in a semi-vegetative state.
At the time of writing, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and D.C. The tight controls on marijuana mean it is difficult for researchers to study the effects of THC on different medical conditions. However, there is enough evidence to suggest it works to help control pain and alleviate some of the symptoms of conditions such as AIDS/HIV, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s Disease, Cancer and much more.
As legalization efforts continue, the growth of the marijuana market means that the plant is finally being studied in greater depth. The CBD industry has exploded in recent times, and the Farm Bill of 2018 now allows the legal growth of industrial hemp in the United States. While CBD is believed to help treat a wide variety of symptoms, it is often classified as the ‘medicinal’ cannabinoid while THC is said to be the ‘recreational’ option.
This thought process could be doing a great disservice to THC’s therapeutic benefits. A study by Stith et al., published in Scientific Reports in February 2019, looked at the association between marijuana product characteristics and symptom relief. In it, the researchers looked at data from over 3,000 patients who tried weed to relieve medical symptoms. All volunteers tracked their usage with an app on a smartphone.
According to the study, those who used strains with higher THC levels enjoyed a greater degree of symptom relief. Jacob Miguel Vigil, one of the study’s co-authors, said that THC could be even more important than CBD in generating therapeutic benefits. It should be noted that the data was self-reported, and there was no control group who didn’t use weed involved. There is also a possibility that users could have experienced a placebo effect since high-THC strains are usually more expensive than weaker strains.
However, it is an intriguing development. If you are interested in exploring the benefits of high THC, low CBD marijuana strains, here are five worth trying if you are an experienced user.
5 of the Most Popular High THC/Low CBD Marijuana Strains
1 – Fat Banana (The Fruity Marijuana Strain)
This balanced hybrid strain is a cross of Banana and OG Kush. When Kush genetics are involved, you know it is going to be a potent herb. Aside from the delightful banana aroma and taste, Fat Banana is known for having a THC content of at least 25% with minimal CBD. It should go without saying that it is not for newcomers.
All it takes is a few tokes to send you into a different realm of consciousness. If you have a higher tolerance, you may enjoy the initial burst of banana flavor before couchlock takes over. Also, Fat Banana will give you a serious case of the munchies if you are awake long enough for the hunger pangs to take effect.
If you use Fat Banana, we recommend only doing so in the late evening or before bedtime because it will render you almost immobile with surprising speed. It is also a good idea to load up on snacks in case you stay awake through the munchies. Ultimately, however, you will end up in dreamland, which makes this strain a good option if you have difficulty sleeping.
2 – Chemdawg (The Marijuana Strain for Creative Individuals)
This is a slightly indica-dominant hybrid that’s probably a cross of a Thai Sativa and a Nepalese Sativa. Its THC content is usually placed at 26% although a Denver breeder called Next Harvest claims its version has over 32% THC! Its CBD content is between 0.01%, and 0.1%, which means its THC to CBD ratio could be as high as 3000:1!
It is a popular strain in the artistic community because it has been linked with an increase in creativity. The cerebral high is euphoric and enjoyable, but it doesn’t take long to produce an intensely relaxing effect. Chemdawg is known to be an uplifting marijuana strain, and is one to consider if you need an added creative ‘boost.’
Chemdawg is often used to treat chronic stress and anxiety, although its potency arguably makes it more suitable for dealing with severe back pain, nerve damage, and muscle spasms. This strain is believed to help release melatonin, which would result in a peaceful night’s sleep. Patients who are undergoing radiation treatment may also find Chemdawg useful for boosting their appetite.
3 – Godfather OG (One of the World’s Most Potent Marijuana Strains)
It is one of the strongest marijuana strains on Earth; some say that certain cuts ARE the most potent you’ll find. Godfather OG is an indica-dominant hybrid with a THC content of around 28%; although some cuts have been tested at 34%! With a CBD content usually ranging between 0.1% and 0.7%, it is clear that you don’t need much of this weed to get high.
However, it is not just a ‘strong’ marijuana strain – it is an exceptional one. Godfather OG is a cross of OG Kush, Cherry Pie, and Granddaddy Purps, and has won the High Times Cannabis Cup for Best Indica in the past. Users report feeling a strong cerebral high at first with euphoria quick to follow. Soon enough, the indica element makes its way to the body and provides you with a feeling of complete relaxation.
The powerful effects make Godfather OG a popular recreational strain, but it is also beloved in the medical marijuana community for its uplifting effects. As it is so potent, Godfather OG could help alleviate severe pain. As it ultimately causes users to feel tired and sleepy, this strain could be used to handle insomnia, and it is also linked with an increase in appetite.
4 – Green Gelato (The Marijuana Strain for Users with a Sweet Tooth)
If you want a taste sensation when using marijuana, look no further than Green Gelato. It is a slightly indica-dominant hybrid that’s a cross of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies and Sunset Sherbet. Both parent strains are known for their great taste, and Green Gelato has managed to keep the remarkable flavors.
The combination of sharp mint, warm cookies, spicy Kush, and fruit is mouthwatering and may fool you into thinking it is not a powerful strain. In reality, with 27% THC and a very low level of CBD, Green Gelato will hit you hard with an uplifting high that leads to total body relaxation and couch lock.
It is one of the finest cannabis strains to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and it could be a good option in moderation if you need a mood boost. Its sedative effects make it ideal for pain management and also as a treatment for insomnia. The main issue is that Green Gelato is so delicious that you’ll find it hard to use it in moderation.
5 – Irish Cream (The Liquor-Tasting Marijuana Strain)
Although it may not give you the Luck of the Irish, the Irish Cream marijuana strain could make you feel better about life. It is an indica-dominant hybrid, but its genetic profile is not universally agreed upon. Some say it is a backcross of the Mighty Irish Hope, while others claim it is a cross of The Real McCoy and Cookies and Cream by a breeder named Mighty Irish Seeds.
While it is often claimed that the THC level of Irish Cream is around 16% on average, we have heard of tests where the THC content is over 27% with a low CBD content. It gets its name because some users claim it tastes a lot like the famous Bailey’s alcoholic beverage; although others suggest it has a dark and dank flavor.
Its high is extremely physical and can leave you feeling extremely relaxed for hours. Irish Cream is useful as a nighttime strain because it has a tiring and couch locking effect that should help you get to sleep. After the initial euphoric cerebral high, your entire body will feel relaxed as your stress levels decrease.
Final Thoughts about High THC Strains
If you suffer from chronic pain, or else you need something to alleviate your everyday stress, a high THC, low CBD marijuana strain could be the right option. All of the strains mentioned above help you chill out and are best used in the late evening. However, we recommend using less potent strains if you are a novice or else your tolerance isn’t that high.
There is some evidence that frequent use of very potent marijuana strains could cause long-term mental health issues; primarily in individuals who are already predisposed to such conditions. Therefore, we recommend eschewing high THC strains altogether if you have an existing mental health issue, at least until research suggests otherwise.
If you want to use cannabis but are a little reticent to do so due to high THC levels, simply choose a less potent strain. Alternatively, opt for cannabis with a high level of CBD which could serve to counteract any negative effects of THC such as an increase in paranoid thoughts or anxiety.