What Are the Most Potent Cannabis Strains?

What Are the Most Potent Cannabis Strains

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As more states legalize recreational cannabis, the plant has become more popular than ever. Legalization helps more marijuana resources and information become available to users around the country. This information can help keep you safe and allow you to tailor your experience based on what you want your cannabis to do for you.

Most cannabis users understand that different strains elicit different responses. Indica strains, for instance, stereotypically have a relaxing and calming effect, while sativa strains are best for active ventures such as hiking or exercising. Certain strains can also facilitate creativity, pain relief, and other distinct benefits.

Though the strain’s effects can significantly affect the experience, so can a strain’s potency. Those who frequently use cannabis may want a more potent strain to enhance their experience, while others may want a stronger strain to increase the effects or create a unique high.

Understanding a strain’s potency is just as crucial to your enjoyment as the type of cannabis you are ingesting, and it is important to know what you are looking for before you shop for your next cannabis product.

How Cannabis Potency Is Measured

First, I think it’s important to note what we are measuring. Cannabis potency is typically measured by the concentration of cannabinoids, primarily THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), present in the plant. The potency, therefore, determines the strength of the psychoactive and therapeutic effects of that specific cannabis strain.

Here’s an overview of how cannabis potency is measured:

  • THC Content: THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis, responsible for producing the “high” associated with its use. The potency of a cannabis product is often expressed as a percentage of THC by weight. For example, a cannabis flower with 15% THC content means that there are 150 milligrams of THC in one gram of the flower.
  • CBD Content: CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid known for its potential therapeutic benefits. Like THC, CBD content is also expressed as a percentage by weight. A higher CBD content often indicates a more significant potential for therapeutic applications without causing psychoactive effects.
  • Cannabinoid Profile: In addition to THC and CBD, cannabis contains numerous other cannabinoids, such as CBN, CBG, and THCV, which can contribute to the overall potency and effects of the plant. A comprehensive cannabinoid profile helps provide a more accurate measurement of potency.
  • Lab Testing: To accurately measure cannabis potency, samples are usually sent to a laboratory for analysis. Lab testing involves using various techniques, such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or gas chromatography (GC), to identify and quantify the different cannabinoids present in the sample. The lab results will provide a detailed breakdown of the cannabinoid content and potency.
  • Strains and Growing Conditions: Different cannabis strains have varying levels of THC and CBD. These levels can be influenced by factors such as genetics, growing conditions, and harvesting techniques. As a result, the potency of cannabis products can vary significantly between strains and even between different batches of the same strain.
measure the potency

The potency of cannabis flower is information that is available for recreational or medical purchases from official sellers. It is difficult to determine a strain’s potency if the cannabis was not grown in a controlled environment, as there are many factors that can increase and decrease a strain’s potency. For instance, cannabis may lose its potency when it gets too dry or old. The soil conditions, weather, and humidity can all affect the potency during the growing phase.

When purchasing cannabis products, it’s essential to check the label for information on THC and CBD content, as well as any available lab results, to ensure you’re aware of the product’s potency and potential effects.

Marijuana growers can measure the potency through a few different methods.

Usually, they use one of the following:

  • Gas Chromatography (GC)
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Capillary Electrophoresis
These scientific processes measure the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in a cannabis strain. Though both THC and CBD can affect a person’s experience with cannabis, the THC in the strain is especially important when determining potency, as THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

The more THC in a strain, the more potent the cannabis is considered and the stronger its photoactive effects will be. However, the effects may differ for users based on their tolerance levels and that strains individual terpene profile and other cannabinoids. Also, frequent users are more likely to have high tolerances than those who do not consume as cannabis often.

Suggested Reading: Microdosing Cannabis

Most Potent Marijuana Strains in the World

While potency levels vary, and there are many more contributing factors to the overall cannabis experience than THC content, there are a few cannabis strains that are particularly potent. If you are looking for a strong flower for your next session, consider trying one of these popular strains- known for being high in THC.

White Widow

White Widow

This strain is sold as a product for medical cannabis cardholders and is helpful for pain relief, especially for those who experience chronic pain symptoms. As a 20% THC Indica-heavy strain, White Widow is great for calming and relaxing the body.



Having a cannabis strain that is all indica or all sativa is rare with the amount of genetic crossover that happens in marijuana growing. For that reason, most strains are technically hybrids. Afghan, however, is a pure 100% indica strain with 20% THC that creates a strong desire to do absolutely nothing.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is the poster child for strong cannabis strains, as it is the most famous and well-known of the genre. As a mostly sativa strain, Sour Diesel is strong and active, with up to 25% THC. Many people report feeling social and uplifted after ingesting the strain.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream

With a distinct bluish-purple color, Blue Dream is very sativa-heavy and has 21% THC content. This is usually recommended for studying, working on big projects, or engaging in creative activities, as it helps with focus while still offering a bit of a relaxing effect.

Girl Scout Cookies

As a 21% THC and 80% Indica-dominant strain, Girl Scout Cookie offers some relaxation with a nice pump of mental energy. These kinds of strains are great for creative projects, game nights, wandering around museums, etc.

Strawberry Banana

This strong (23% THC) flower is sweet and smooth with minimal side effects. In fact, it can be helpful for those who are feeling down. The strain is said to increase feelings of euphoria.

Bruce Banner

With a whopping 25% THC content, Bruce Banner is a great daytime variety if you’re looking for potent marijuana. The flower is stimulating without creating too much anxiety, plus there are just enough relaxing benefits to focus even the most scattered mind.


As the love child of Sour Diesel and OG Kush, this strain hit the genetic jackpot. Though it has a high THC content (25%) and is indica-heavy, Chemdawg uplifts the mind and creates a great mental high. Because it is so potent, users should start with a small amount to see how they will react before ingesting more.

Gorilla Glue 4

Sitting at 26% THC and a pretty even indica/sativa split, Gorilla Glue 4 gets its reputation for offering a burst of energy before inspiring creativity and relaxation. In other words, it’s the Everlasting Gobstopper of the cannabis world. Though many users feel some stimulating effects, the sheer potency of this jungle beast can sink you right into the couch if you’re not careful.

Godfather OG

Godfather OG is truly the granddaddy of all potent cannabis strains. With a start line of 30-35% THC, it is the strongest recorded cannabis in the world. As an indica-heavy strain, the Godfather OG offers a strong head and body high that inspires relaxation. The effects take hold within minutes and can last over eight hours because of the potency.

Choosing the Cannabis Strain

While some individuals remain loyal to specific strains, many prefer to experiment with various options based on their circumstances. One day, you might enjoy the effects of Afghan, while on another occasion, Bruce Banner might better suit your needs. Here are some key questions to ask yourself when selecting the right cannabis strain:

  1. Purpose: What is your primary goal for using cannabis? Consider if you’re seeking relaxation, pain relief, focus, creativity, or other therapeutic effects influenced by terpenes and cannabinoids.
  2. Cannabinoid Content: Do you prefer a psychoactive experience or therapeutic benefits without the “high”? Determine your preference for THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids to narrow down your options.
  3. Terpene Profile: What flavors and aromas do you enjoy? As each strain has a unique terpene profile, choosing one that aligns with your preferences will enhance your experience.
  4. Tolerance: Are you new to cannabis or an experienced user? Select a strain with appropriate potency to match your experience level.
  5. Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid: Would you prefer the calming effects of Indica strains, the uplifting effects of Sativa strains, or a balance found in hybrid strains?
  6. Availability: What strains are accessible based on your location and local regulations?
  7. Medical Conditions: If using cannabis for medical purposes, which specific symptoms or conditions are you trying to address? Research strains known for their effectiveness in treating your particular ailment.

Indica v Sativa

What Strain Has the Longest Lasting High?

Research says the Godfather OG is the most potent strain and therefore most likely offers the longest-lasting high. However, if you can’t get your hands on The Godfather, there are other ways to determine how long your high will last… or try to get it to last for longer. For example:

  • Form: How are you partaking?
  • Temperature: If it is flower or concentrate are you getting it at the right temp?
  • Amount: How much are you dosing at once?

The THC percentage of a strain gives some indication as to how long the high will last. The higher the THC content, the stronger the strain and the longer it will most likely last. However, CBG content and other cannabinoids can also extend or possibly change the effect. Not all cannabis products have CBG, so looking for a high THC content strain that contains CBG may be the secret to lasting all day.

Finally, consuming edibles may provide the longest-lasting high over other ways to consume cannabis. Your digestive system must process and metabolize the THC, which not only takes a while but creates a byproduct known as 11-hydroxy-THC. This can mean the effects last longer as your body continues to experience both forms of THC.

How Do You Know Which Strain Is Best for You?

Though some people do have a favorite strain, and you will surely find some that you return to over and over again, there often isn’t a single “best” strain for you to use. Because strains differ so drastically, there are likely several strains that will work well for you, depending on your needs (or wants!) and that time.

Going through the above considerations can help you to find a strain that works for you. Reading reviews and online information is also a great way to narrow down your choices. Though cannabis affects everyone differently, common threads in reviews and summaries can help to give you a fairly good idea of how the strain will affect you.

Talking to a budtender or dispensary employee can really help you to find the right strain for your purposes. These professionals know a lot of information about their products and may be able to help you choose one that fits your needs. If you are predisposed to feel paranoid during cannabis use, for example, the budtender can point you to a strain with lower risks of that. Plus, many dispensaries offer flowers in small qualities, so you can sample different kinds without breaking the bank.

We have a fun little strain quiz you can take to help you narrow down your choices:

Quiz What Strain is Right for Me

Experimenting With Strains

Discovering your ideal cannabis strain, much like uncovering your favorite restaurant or preferred wine, can be a journey of exploration and experimentation. To make the process more organized and insightful, consider keeping a cannabis journal as you sample different strains.

A cannabis journal allows you to document your experiences with various strains, detailing their effects, flavors, aromas, and any particular sensations you encounter. By keeping track of these details, you’ll be better equipped to identify patterns and preferences, ultimately leading you to discover strains that truly resonate with you.

One notable brand that offers an exquisite collection of cannabis journals is GoldLeaf. Their beautifully designed journals not only serve as a practical tool for documenting your cannabis journey but also make for a stylish and sophisticated addition to your collection. By using a high-quality journal like those offered by GoldLeaf, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect cannabis strains that cater to your unique tastes and needs.

Here’s a little coupon for you. You’re welcome! When you purchase a journal, get 15% off other products!

Best Cannabis Journal

If you are considering a new type of cannabis, be sure to read about its effects, potency, and indica/sativa classification before you do. There are many different articles and reviews online that can help you to prepare for the type of high that you will achieve with a given strain.

Any time you are trying a new strain, start with a small amount and work your way up. Give yourself plenty of time between doses to make sure that you understand how the strain feels and how it will affect you. It can take up to 30 minutes for the effects to fully set in, even when smoking, so exercise caution and go slow.

Experimenting with a new strain of cannabis can be disconcerting or even frightening, but a little bit of preparation can help to make you more comfortable. Buying your favorite snacks and drinks, playing music, and having your favorite clothing on can all help to ground and relax you if things start to feel too intense. The more familiar your surroundings are, the less anxiety you will have. It is not wise to try a brand new strain before being in a new or uncontrolled scenario.

Cannabis Potency and Beyond

Although cannabis potency, often measured by THC content, can be an important factor when picking a strain, as you can see there’s much more to consider for the best experience. Cannabis is a versatile substance with diverse effects, making it essential to tailor your choice of strain to your specific needs and preferences.

The most potent strains typically contain at least 20% THC, providing a powerful high that is far from subtle. However, remember that factors like terpenes, cannabinoid profiles, and individual experiences also play significant roles in determining how a strain affects you.

Finding the ideal strain is an exploratory process that involves trial and error. Keep in mind that cannabis may have varying effects depending on your mood, hydration, food intake, and medical status. Exercise caution when testing new strains and always consume responsibly.

Cannabis consumption is a highly personal experience, and no two individuals will react identically to the same strain. It’s crucial to abide by the laws in your area and prioritize safety. Broaden your knowledge and understanding of cannabis by considering factors beyond potency alone, and stay informed by regularly engaging with informative cannabis educational resources like the Dank Budz website and extended community.



Jenny Stradling

Hi, I'm Jenny Weatherall, founder and co-owner of Dank Budz - a brand dedicated to the wonderful world of cannabis, with a special focus on the amazing benefits of CBD. With over 20 years in researching and writing articles for the web, and as the CEO of Eminent SEO since 2005, my mission with Dank Budz is clear: to dispel myths, end the stigma, and highlight the many benefits of cannabis. I'm committed to correcting misinformation through educational content that’s both accurate and engaging, advocating for legalization, and sharing the fun lifestyle cannabis offers.

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