6 of the Strongest Marijuana Strains

Some of the strains have incredible THC content--near the limits of the physically possible for dried buds.

Ghost OG
Photo Credit: Photobucket

Cannabis consumers are confronted by a bewildering variety of strain names, but most of us are just looking for a good buzz.  While the marijuana high is created by the interaction of cannabinoids, mainly THC, and terpenes and flavonoids, nobody has yet figured out a way to quantify the stoniness of any particular strain based on those interactions.

What we have managed to do is figure out ways to measure the THC content of marijuana. Until we can manage a more multi-factorial analysis, THC content is the best way we have of measuring marijuana potency.

And by that measure, today's weed is definitely not your father's marijuana.  Pot seized back in the 1970s and 1980s had THC content in the single digits, while some of today's strains are pushing 30%--the physical limit for how much cannabinoid can fit on a flower structure.

This is not, as drug warriors would have you believe, necessarily a bad thing. Higher THC content means you smoke less to achieve the same high.

If you want to get really high without smoking a lot of pot, which strains to choose?  We now have an idea, thanks to Leafly, which tabulated lab results for a number of strains based on Washington state’s I-502 data. Below are the six strongest strains and their THC content and, as a bonus, below that we will present five of the most popular strains and their THC content.

  1. Ghost OG: 28.7% THC
  2. Wappa: 26.6% THC
  3. OG Chem: 26.4% THC
  4. White Fire Alien OG: 24.9% THC
  5. Head Cheese: 24.7% THC
  6. Bruce Banner: 24.6% THC

What's really striking about this list—apart from the mind-melting THC levels—is that several of the top strains are OG Kush variants. Ghost OG's origins are mysterious, but include OG Kush. Why these particular OG strains are so powerful is unclear, especially given that OG Kush comes in at under 20% THC, but is most likely a combination of genetics, environment, and horticultural skills.

The strains above are hardcore, maybe too stony for the mass market. The most popular strains look to be about a quarter less strong than the strongest. Here are the top six stoniest popular strains:

  1.   Blue Dream: 18.4% THC
  2. Girl Scout Cookies: 19.1% THC
  3. Sour Diesel: 18.5% THC
  4. Guerrilla Glue #4: 21.4% THC
  5. OG Kush: 19.4% THC
  6. Granddaddy Purple: 17.5% THC

Happy shopping. 


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Phillip Smith has been a drug policy journalist for the past two decades. Smith is currently a senior writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute