There is an art to cultivating weed that took weed growers decades to master. Gone are the days when marijuana connoisseurs would smoke tasteless schwag weed that would barely get them high. The weed strains of today have evolved in not only taste and aroma, but also potency. Some have become staples over time while others are currently enjoying a growing popularity in the marijuana community.
Nowadays, there is an enormous variety of cannabis strains sold in dispensaries, each carefully designed to elicit specific medicinal or recreational effects.
This time, we’ll talk about the weed strains that are deemed as “strongest” in the world, so if you were thinking about trying some new strains, we’re sure you’ll find your pick in the following sections.
What Makes a Weed Strain Strong?
When talking about weed potency or strength, what most people mean is the THC content percentage, as THC is the psychotropic ingredient that gets you high. The potency of weed has been steadily increasing since the 1970s, which is when most weed strains were considerably weaker compared to today.
However, since then, cultivators have learned to manipulate the growing conditions and DNA genetics, and have been growing mostly seedless buds, which has resulted in a better quality weed with a higher potency. Some of the strongest weed strains now exceed the THC levels at 20%.
Some landrace strains took years to adapt, but a lot of new hybrid strains have also been developed, many of them winning awards such as the High Times Cannabis Cup, proving their quality and popularity. Any marijuana enthusiast with a little bit of experience is well versed in the classic strains that are universally loved in the community.
So let’s review the list of the strongest strains we’ve compiled for you, divided into three categories – Indicas and Indica dominant, Sativas and Sativa dominant, and hybrid strains.
Indica and Indica Dominant Marijuana Strains
Some might argue that Godfather OG is the strongest weed strain there is, and they wouldn’t be far from the truth. With a high THC content of over 34%, this Indica-dominant strain has some mighty sedative properties, making it fitting for stress, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as chronic pain.
The trichomes are dense and sticky, giving it a pleasant piney aroma and a slightly sweet note of grapes. Godfather OG will give you an initial cerebral buzz which will soon turn into a body-melting and soothing euphoria.
Granddaddy Purple first burst into popularity in California in 2003 and hasn’t stopped being popular ever since. Its impressive 23 percent THC has brought it several 1st places in multiple Cups over the years, and with a reason.
This Indica strain has a sweet and fruity aroma with a touch of earthiness. You’ll taste hints of grapes and blueberries that’ll stimulate your senses. Granddaddy Purple has the classic Indica effects that’ll make your mind mellow out and your body will feel utterly relaxed – very close to couch-lock. Medically, it can be used to treat insomnia, stress, muscle spasms, and pain.
Another award-winning strain that’s a cross between Banana Kush and Bubble Gum. With average THC levels between 26% and 28%, its fruity aroma and sweet flavor of strawberries and bananas will surely win you over.
The effects are not too sedative, though. This strain will perk up your mood and provide deep body relaxation at the same time, and it may even heighten your creativity. It’s often used to treat symptoms of anxiety and stress, as well as gastrointestinal problems.
Sativa and Sativa Dominant Weed Strains
Bruce Banner #3
The name of this strain is an obvious shout-out to the Hulk, and with a good reason – Bruce Banner is a potent strain. With OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel as its parents, it has held the spot of the strongest strain in the world for years with THC levels that can go up to 30%. This strain has several phenotypes, but Bruce Banner #3 is the most well-known.
Its buds are dense with a slight magenta hue and the flavor is a complex mix of lemon and spice. Bruce Banner is great for stimulating your creativity and it’s one of the most sought-after weed strains for treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Blue Dream is that weed strain that everyone loves because of the effects it produces and its unique aroma and taste. Its buds are vibrant green and they’re covered in tiny blue hairs that contain THC percentages between 17 and 24.
Being Sativa-dominant, Blue Dream will relax you and elevate you. You’ll feel totally mellowed out but productive at the same time, which makes it great for daytime use. Blue Dream has a blueberry aroma with delicate sweet notes of fruity mango and fragrant vanilla.
Novice and experienced users are likely to equally enjoy this strain, and it can be used for treating depression as well as pain relief.
Durban Poison is unique in that it’s a pure, 100% Sativa strain. At 23% THC, this strain is very uplifting – it will give you a shot of energy, boosting your productivity and creativity, and leave you feeling uplifted until its effects start to fade. Durban Poison smells sweet with a touch of spiciness, just enough to give you a kick. Medically, it can be used to combat stress and fatigue.
Hybrid Cannabis Strains
Sour Diesel is for those who appreciate complexity. Its trademark smell and taste is a layered combination of fuel and citrus on the one hand and a musky sweetness on the other. Its THC level is about 19%, but don’t let this fool you. Sour Diesel will quickly give you a cerebral high, leaving you uplifted and creative.
Due to its fast-acting, cerebral effects, it’s not recommended for insomnia, but more so to treat fatigue and nerve pain.
Chemdawg or Chemdog is a pungent strain with a diesel-like smell whose potency reached 32.13% of THC when it won the 2015 Cannabis Cup title in Colorado. It’s an unmistakable aromatic Indica-dominant hybrid strain with 55% Indica and a recognizable earthy flavor.
It’s a mystery as to how it was created, but many other well-loved strains have been bred with Chemdawg, such as Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Bubblegum Chem, Super Snow Dog, Chem Haze, etc.
Chemdawg delivers a relaxing mind-body experience and uplifts your mood, making you enthusiastic about working on creative projects. On the medical front, it’s great for calming anxiety, migraines, muscle spasms, appetite loss, and nausea.
Gorilla Glue or Original Glue is a well-known strain among the weed community, famous for its potency and couch-locking effects, as well as its numerous awards. The THC range is between 24% and 28%, making it one of the strongest hybrid strains on the market.
Gorilla Glue produces a cerebral high but it leaves your body feeling like it’s going to melt into the couch. With this strain, the euphoria is intense and the effects are powerful. Its lemony and piney flavor and aromatic notes of coffee and moss with a touch of sweetness are refreshing and alluring. It’s very suitable for night time use and it can help with anxiety and pain.
Girl Scout Cookies
Another classic strain, a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison, Girl Scout Cookies has been deemed as one the best strains in the world multiple times and it’s especially popular on the West Coast. Its THC content can go up to 28%, making it really potent.
Its spicy aroma with chocolate notes and the sweet, minty flavor seem to please many people’s taste buds. Girl Scout Cookies offers you a blend of euphoric feelings and a mellow relaxation at the same time. Medical users often use it for appetite loss, nausea, and pain relief.
The THC levels of Ghost OG can go up to 30%, which is pretty impressive. This hybrid offers a balance between cerebral and body effects, producing a highly calming body high and a relaxed mood. It has a strong and refreshing citrusy aroma, and it’s great for treating anxiety, depression, and pain.
Choosing a Marijuana Strain According to Your Needs
If you’re set on trying some of the highest THC strains, taking your needs and your metabolism into consideration is crucial – and this applies to both medical and recreational users.
Don’t pick the strain with the highest THC content if you’re sensitive to its psychoactive effects. But if you’re a medical marijuana patient and find that your current medicine doesn’t do much for you, then maybe a high-THC strain will be just right.
To get the most of your experience, always pay attention to the full chemical profile of the strain before deciding – the CBD and THC ratio along with the other cannabinoids and terpenes. THC can help with glaucoma, chronic pain, insomnia, and muscle spasms, while CBD is good for anxiety, nausea, seizures, and inflammation.
Just remember that weed strains high in THC are more likely to cause side effects like red eyes, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and impaired coordination, and sometimes even heightened anxiety and paranoia.