Article written by
Ruth LemonVP of Operations
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
What are the highest THC strains for 2024? If you are looking to reap the benefits of high THC, then look no further than strains (cultivars) like:
- Grease Monkey
- Bruce Banner
- Ghost OG
- Ghost Train Haze
- 99 Problems
- Wedding Cake
These strains pack a punch with an average THC content of over 28%.
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What Is Considered ‘High THC’ in Cannabis Strains?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is one of the most well-known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It is thought to be responsible for the psychoactive properties of marijuana, alongside many of its therapeutic benefits. Before decarboxylation (loss of carbon dioxide, usually by applying heat), THC is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA or THCa). Some packages will therefore show high THCA percentages, not high THC ones.
Each cannabis strain can vary wildly in THC/THCA content, with some plants containing little to no THC and others containing THC percentages in the 30s or 40s. What constitutes “high THC content” can also differ from one expert to another. However, the rule of thumb is that 15%-20% is considered high, and more than 30% is very high.
Despite this general rule, the definition of “high THC” can vary from product to product. While 15%-20% THC content may be considered high when the marijuana is inhaled in its dried form, this may be relatively low for concentrates, with values above 60%. In this way, different amounts of THC can have different effect strengths when consumed via other methods.
Does the Amount of THC in Cannabis Matter?
There could be marked differences in the type and duration of psychoactive effect between a cultivar that is 15% THC and one that is 25%-plus THC. However, when it comes to cannabis concentrates measuring 60%+ THC, it does not necessarily get users “higher.” One study conducted by the University of Colorado shows that:
“Despite differences in THC exposure, flower and concentrate users showed similar neurobehavioral patterns after acute cannabis use. The domains of verbal memory and proprioception-focused postural stability for both groups were associated with THC.”
This suggests that, after a certain point, the amount of THC in a product does not necessarily mean “more psychoactive.” Other cannabinoids and terpenes also play a part in the sort and length of effect a particular cannabis variety has.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Using High THC Strains
Cannabis strains higher in THC can have many potential benefits, one of the main ones being that lower doses need to be consumed to get to a person’s therapeutic zone. High amounts of THC have shown particular efficacy in cancer treatment, including:
- Reduction of tumors
- Reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation
- Reduction of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undertaking chemotherapy
THC can ease the symptoms of depression, PTSD, and various eating disorders in terms of mental health. It is especially helpful in reducing stress, which can positively affect the overall quality of life.
Despite the above benefits of high-THC strains, some users report potential adverse effects, including:
- Drowsiness or lethargy
- Unwanted psychedelic effects and hallucinations
- Increased heart rate
- Panic attacks
- Increased sensitivity to pain
A “bad reaction” to marijuana, often due to high-THC ingestion, usually only lasts as long as the “high” lasts. However, this small window does not minimize the unpleasantness of the symptoms.
Further research suggests that the negative effects of high-THC intake can sometimes last longer than the high. It may interact with specific neurotransmitter systems and promote schizophrenic-like symptoms that can last long. Individuals with genetic or environmental predisposition are more likely to develop psychosis by consuming high-THC strains. This is why individuals with relatives with schizophrenia may want to limit the ingestion of high-THC content.
It is important to note that these adverse effects can vary with the amount and type of cannabis ingestion. Without predisposing factors, they can be rare.
Highest THC Strains
Scientists and users debate which specific cannabis strain has the highest THC content, but listed below are some of the most undeniably THC-potent strains for 2024.
This cannabis strain is an indica-dominant hybrid, and its parents are the potent strains Gorilla Glue (alternatively named Original Glue) and Cookies and Cream. Don’t let its mildly sweet and earthy scent fool you; Grease Monkey packs a punch with THC levels of around 27%-31%. This strain has widely acclaimed sedative properties, with many describing an overall body effect or “body high.”
Bruce Banner is a potent strain, just like the Incredible Hulk for which it is named. This Sativa-dominant hybrid crosses OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel, with a THC content of around 27%-29%. Many cannabis consumers use Bruce Banner for its euphoric and energizing effects that come on rather quickly. Individuals often report a sweet and fruity scent, alongside its efficacy in treating pain and fatigue.
Ghost Train Haze
Ghost Train Haze combines two powerful strains, Ghost OG and Nevil’s Wreck. It is revered for its potency, with a THC content of around 28%. This marijuana strain isn’t recommended for new cannabis users, with some individuals reporting this sativa-dominant hybrid has intense and sometimes psychedelic effects. More experienced users may enjoy its energizing-but-relaxing effects. This strain may also be helpful in cases of chronic pain and PTSD.
Strawberry Banana, or “Strawnana,” as the name suggests, has sweet and fruity notes. It is an indica-dominant hybrid strain from the combination of Bubble Gum and Banana Kush. With 25% THC content, like others on this list, inexperienced users may want to proceed cautiously. However, many use this marijuana strain for its increased creativity and mood-boosting effects.
This potent strain is another sativa-dominant hybrid, originating from the parent strains White 99 and Stardawg. 99 Problems has a high THC content of around 28%-30% and very low CBD content (<1%). This strain can be relatively difficult to grow but can help treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It smells of oranges and diesel, giving a euphoric and focusing effect.
The Wedding Cake cannabis strain has variable THC levels, an average of 25%, with some plants testing higher. It is an indica-dominant hybrid between Cherry Pie and Girl Scout Cookies. Sometimes referred to as pink cookies, Wedding Cake produces long-lasting euphoria, creativity, and productivity. It is described as highly relaxing and can help with anxiety and depression.
Ghost OG, a parent of the Ghost Train Haze (GTH), has a top measurement of around 29% THC. It is a hybrid itself, and indica dominant, unlike GTH. This high-THC strain is also quick acting and often strongly promotes hunger. It has been used to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
Other honorable mentions include White Tahoe Cookies, Banana Kush, and Chocolate OG.