Best Highest THC Strains in 2023
If you suspect that weed is stronger than it’s ever been, you’re not wrong.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse measures average THC content every year, and that content has been steadily increasing over the last fifty years. Old-timers may remember the good old days fondly, but the average amount of THC in the pot during the 1970s was well below 1%. Today, it’s well over 6%.
And that only tells part of the story. Most commercial grow centers around high-THC cannabis. Those growers focus on sinsemilla (the top parts of unfertilized female plants), ditching trimmings and seeds which have almost no THC. They’re also more likely to plant hybrids that are known for their high THC content, and they maintain such pinpoint control over growing conditions (especially light, which has a major effect on plant quality) that they’re able to maximize their crops’ potency.
As a result, it’s now easy to buy weed with 20% or higher THC, levels that were once unthinkable. What’s even crazier: the number of strains with 30+% THC content continues to grow. That’s not just welcome news for those who like to push the boundaries when they’re getting high; THC is responsible for many of the medical benefits that patients receive from cannabis.
You’re ready to stop reading right now, and go out to find some of that killer weed?
Hang on for just a few, while we run down the highest THC strains currently on the market.
Most people agree that Godfather OG, a reported cross of Alpha OG and XXX OG, is the hands-down winner of the THC sweepstakes. Even run-of-the-mill samples of this indica-dominant strain test at well over 25-28% THC; High Times measured their sample of Godfather OG at higher than 34%, and the strain has won the Cannabis Cup several times.
Patients love Godfather OG for its pain-relief ability, and it’s a great choice for insomniacs since it provides a euphoric initial experience that transforms into serious relaxation, couch lock, and drowsiness. It smells and tastes terrific, too.
You would expect a strain to pack quite a punch if it was sold by a company owned by Mike Tyson. Tyson Ranch markets this indica-dominant gem, which is currently only available in California and Nevada, and has tested as high as 37% THC (your bud will probably be in the lower 30s). It’s a cross between two other incredible strains, GSC and Chemdawg OG, which explains why this is such a potent choice.
As you’d expect from a high-THC indica, The Toad is known for its immediate euphoria followed by full-body relaxation (and pain relief, if desired), but the high is clean and not as sedating as strains like Godfather OG.
Landmark strains don’t often come from Illinois, but Brownie Scout was developed there and shows signs of becoming one of the greats. This indica-dominant hybrid is a cross between Kosher Kush and Platinum GSC, and it delivers a real pop. It’s been tested as high as 38% THC, with most samples ranging in the high 20% to mid 30% range.
The head high is a hazy and relaxing one, with body effects to match; it’s not unusual to melt into the couch for a long sleep after a session with Brownie Scout. Naturally, this is another great choice for pain and insomnia patients, and the nutty chocolate mocha taste is outstanding – until you’re too blazed to notice it anymore.
When you started reading this article about high-THC strains, Chemdawg (the breeder insists it should be spelled Chemdog) was probably the weed that immediately came to mind. Its history of being “discovered” in the parking lot at a Grateful Dead concert is the stuff of legend, as is the strain itself. At one time it had recorded the highest THC content ever, at 32%. Of course, that’s since been surpassed and more recent samples are more likely to test closer to 20%, but Chemdawg remains a potent stoner favorite.
This hybrid strain leans slightly indica, and is known for its cerebral high that’s accompanied by a strong, relaxing body high – and of course, it’s just as well-known for its incredibly pungent smell. Chemdawg may not be among the very highest THC strains these days, but there’s no way it doesn’t deserve to be on this list.
But an amazing high ain’t one. The THC level will come in somewhere between 25% and 31% when you get into this sativa-dominant strain, which provides an experience that is both energizing and calming. It’s a great choice for those who want a mood boost without being locked to the couch, and for those who are searching for effective pain relief.
Another all-time favorite strain with multiple Cannabis Cups under its belt, GSC can have THC levels anywhere between the high teens and nearly 30%, depending on where you buy it. This legendary indica-dominant strain, a cross between OG Kush and Durban Poison, is revered for its initial euphoria and its subsequent complete-body relaxation. It does wonders for depression and anxiety and is known for triggering severe munchies as well. (And no, that wasn’t us who said “Girl Scout Cookies.”)
You can call it GG4, or Gorilla Glue #4, or GG #4, or Gorilla Glue, or Original Glue. Just call it a consumer favorite that has won multiple Cannabis Cups. We call it a killer, with THC levels that average in the 28-32% range. If you’re looking for a strain that will knock you out for a while after a short period of euphoria, or temporarily make the pain vanish, GG4 is exactly what you’re looking for.
The strain’s name is an apt one, as you definitely notice the aroma and taste of both fruits as you zoom in to a state of relaxation and focus. Strawberry Banana is indica-dominant and provides a moderate body buzz as well; it won’t put you down for the count, but it will certainly provide the medicinal benefits patients crave. This strain usually contains around 25% THC content but can hit 27% if you get the right supply.
Highest THC Strains FAQ
Q: Does THC content really matter?
A: It certainly matters, but “high THC” doesn’t necessarily mean “the best high.” Many other factors, like other cannabinoids, terpenes, and growing conditions, play roles that are just as important. There are a number of strains with a high THC content that are, to put it nicely, crap – just as casting Hugh Jackman in a very-forgettable TV show called Viva Loughlin didn’t save the series from being canceled after two episodes. Look for the totality of the weed, not just the THC content.
Q: Are THC content numbers believable?
A: Somewhat. The ones that most producers and reference sites use are legitimate ones, determined by laboratory testing. That doesn’t mean that the weed you buy will be as potent as the stuff that’s submitted for lab tests, though. Use the numbers as a ballpark estimate, rather than a guarantee.
Q: Is high-THC cannabis the best choice for medical patients?
A: It depends on what they’re treating. The high-THC strains provide some relief, but also take the patients’ minds off of their pain. High-CBD strains, by comparison, are better for treating pain caused by inflammation and are better for those who want to stay functional after smoking up.