Cannabis growers, extraction techs, and manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing in weed. Quite often, this means coming up with products that are more potent and powerful than what’s currently on the market. After all, consumers want the most bang for their buck.
If you count yourself among these discriminating connoisseurs, and your current stain just isn’t giving you the same buzz anymore, consider stepping up to something with a bit more THC. There are plenty of options available, especially in the world of cannabis concentrates and extracts.
Cannabis Strains with the Most THC
If you go to a marijuana dispensary, you will see cannabis categorized into various sativa, indica, and hybrid strains. THC levels can vary from less than 10% to well over 20%, but certain strains are known for being especially potent. The strains with the most THC include:
- Sativa strains (about 21% THC): Lemon Meringue, Laughing Buddha, Hawaiian, Thai
- Indica strains (about 21-23% THC): Kosher Kush, Triangle Kush
- Hybrid strains (about 21-24% THC): Death Star, Ghost OG, GMO cookies
Remember, more THC means greater psychoactive potency.
Cannabis Extracts Are All About THC
If 24% THC isn’t enough, it’s time to upgrade to extracts. An extract is a cannabis derivative that’s created when the cannabinoids (like THC) are separated from the plant and tightly compressed into a more potent, concentrated consumable. THC levels can reach as high as 90%. Examples of popular extracts include:
- Wax: many wax concentrates have THC levels over 90%
- Shatter: THC levels as high as 80%
- Crumble: THC levels of up to 90%
- Rosin: Usually around 70% THC, but some concentrations get up to 80%
These names refer to the texture and consistency of the extract. Not only are these extracts more potent than plant-based starting materials, but they’re also easy to consume discreetly. The most common methods for making cannabis extracts are:
- Hydrocarbon Extraction: Produces butane hash oil (BHO) using butane or other similar compounds to extract plant-based chemicals such as terpenes and cannabinoids.
- Ethanol Extraction: Uses ethanol instead of a hydrocarbon-based solvent to extract plant-based chemicals such as terpenes and cannabinoids.
- Supercritical CO2 Oil: A highly pressurized carbon dioxide. More natural and organic than hydrocarbons and alcohols. No harmful substances are left behind after extraction.
- Solventless Extraction: Solventless extracts, as the name suggests, are created without butane and other solvents. They’re created with commercial-grade rosin presses and similar tools using only heat and pressure. As a result, they’re generally purer to consume and safer to produce.
Side Effects of Using Cannabis Extracts
Consuming cannabis products with high THC levels can result in severe side-effects if you don’t moderate your use. Newer extract users don’t know how their body will react, so it’s advisable to move slowly. Possible side effects of using extracts with high levels of THC include:
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Coordination problems
- Decreased blood pressure
- Short-term memory loss
- Slower reaction times
Microdosing is best if you’re new to extracts. Start with just a small hit of wax, or place a tiny dab of crumble in your bowl. Increase your dosage only gradually as you understand your tolerance and recognize how extracts affect you.
Remember, consuming extracts is like eating the frosting off your cake and leaving the bread behind. So try not to get a sugar rush!