What Is “High-Potency” Cannabis?
THC is the main mind-altering chemical in cannabis that makes you feel “high.” High-potency cannabis products contain large amounts of THC, but high potency is different from high quality. As THC content goes up, you miss out on the benefits of other active ingredients.
High-potency cannabis generally is considered to be flower or manufactured products above 20% THC or 10+mg of THC per serving. And the amount of THC in a cannabis product is typically how the product’s strength (or potency) is described.
Isn’t All Cannabis High-Potency?
Not necessarily. While scientific growing practices have greatly improved over the last few decades and legacy smokers have found that less consumption currently equals more psychoactive effect, the variances by product are great. To confound matters, there’s a wide range for what’s considered “high-potency” cannabis – especially brand-to-brand and product-to-product. Some cannabis products – like concentrates – can have a potency of 95% THC or more. Finally, high THC doesn’t mean the best overall effect. Other cannabinoids (CBD, CBN, CBG, etc.), as well as terpenes, play a role in the overall effect of any cannabis that is consumed for a particular use.
Benefits and Cautions of High-Potency Cannabis
Note: cannabis of any potency should always be consumed with caution whether the user is new to consuming it or in a situation where its psychoactive effects can place them in harm’s way (driving, operating equipment, other safety protocols that require focus and clear-headedness).
- High-potency cannabis may allow consumers to save money. While high- potency products are often more expensive, less is required to achieve the desired effect. Also, these effects may appear more quickly and with more ferocity.
- High-potency cannabis may be a better choice for certain users especially if they metabolize the cannabis faster and require higher doses to feel the effects.
- Medical patients may also prefer high-potency products to take advantage of THC’s analgesic (pain-relieving), sleep-inducing, or appetite-stimulating effects. This is especially true for severe and chronic pain management and require high doses to treat symptoms. Lower doses may not offer the relief they need (cancer patients, joint/skeletal ailments, etc.).
While high-potency cannabis products may offer stronger therapeutic effects for medical users, they also increase the risk of adverse reactions, especially for inexperienced users or those sensitive to THC. Caution is crucial to prevent overconsumption, potential anxiety, paranoia, or other adverse effects. Finally, Consuming large amounts of THC can have both short – and long-term negative effects. It may even make your body numb to THC over time.
Strains and Products that May Be Considered High-Potency
- High THC Flower Strains: Look for strains with high THC levels above 20%. The effects are usually felt quickly, but the duration is relatively short. High- potency strains have higher THC levels, which can lead to more intense effects. A good starting strain is American Weed Co. Infused Flower Bombed Buzz – a veteran owned company specializing high-potency flower. Elyon Preroll Race Fuel is a flavorful potent starter in an easy to smoke preroll.
- Vape cartridges contain potent concentrated THC oil (distillate, live resin, etc.) that is vaporized and inhaled. They offer a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis. High-potency cartridges may have stronger effects, so beginners should start with lower THC concentrations – though most cartridges contain 60%+ THC (up to the high 90s). An all-time favorite loaded with THC is Heavy Hitters Northern Lights.
- Concentrates like shatter, wax, diamonds, live resin and oils have high THC content. They are used with dab rigs, vaporizers or added to joints. High- potency concentrates require careful dosing to avoid overwhelming effects, but if you want a top shelf experience, go with Lime Diamond Runtz.
- Cannabis-infused edibles are food products like gummies, candies, drinks, or chocolates. They have a delayed onset, and the effects can be more potent and last longer than other consumption methods. Some edibles can have high potency due to concentrated THC. Start with low doses to avoid overconsumption: accurate dosing is crucial, as high-potency edibles can lead to intense experiences, especially for inexperienced users. St. Ides Watermelon Shot is a mini drink but fully loaded with 100mg of THC. A wise person would swirl this in smaller doses rather than the entire bottle.
Remember, individual responses to cannabis can vary. High potency products aren’t suitable for everyone and may cause stronger effects, so always start with small doses and be mindful of your tolerance. Additionally, it’s essential to comply to only purchase cannabis products from a licensed retailer or delivery company, as these products are lab-tested for safety.