Whether you use cannabis as medicine, to relax, or to celebrate, being a weed-lover in the United States is getting easier every year. In March 2021, cannabis is legal for both recreational and medicinal use in 15 states and D.C. It’s approved for medicinal use in 20 other states.
Many Americans have warped ideas about weed despite how common it’s become. The idea that there’s one type of “high” and that all cannabis strains have the same effects is a common misunderstanding among those uneducated about marijuana.
As a primer, over 100 cannabinoids are the bioactive compounds in cannabis—the reasons people use pot. THC is the best-known and gives the typical “high.” There’s also plenty of buzz about CBD, which has less intense psychoactive effects and eases a variety of ailments.
Folks new to the bud should take it easy and choose less powerful types of cannabis strains while getting started as doing too much too fast leads to negative effects. An unfamiliar bad experience turns some people off weed for life.
Dedicated stoners and medicinal users often prefer strains with lots of THC for the most punch. Here are some of the strongest cannabis strains you should know.
1. Work up an Appetite for Strawberry Banana
People love to make fun of the marijuana “munchies,” but hunger is a positive effect for some users. Chronic nausea, chemotherapy, some medications, pain, and even depression can all lead to low appetite. Using pot is an easy way for people with stubborn appetites to get the nutrients they need without suffering through meals.
Strawberry Banana, or “Strawnana,” for short, is one of the strongest strains of weed, with about 21% THC on average. If that sounds high, hold on to your hat—Premium harvests can boast over 32% THC.
Some call it a pure indica strain, while others claim it’s an indica-dominant cross.
One thing is definite about Strawberry Banana: Its name is no joke. The smell of the flower and taste of it, when vaporized, could make you as hungry for the weed itself as using it makes you hungry for real food!
For a high-THC strain, Strawberry Banana is friendly to newbies prone to overdoing it. You should still be careful—Nobody new to weed should try any strain with a THC level of 30%.
Overdoing it won’t lead to physical harm, but it isn’t a fun time. You could get locked in place and feel dizzy or ill. Despite the absurd THC percentage, most users report few downsides to this strain, with dry mouth and dry eyes being the most common.
Strawberry Banana’s strength makes it ideal for both lifelong stoners as well as medical users. People with conditions including PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain report relief from this powerful weed.
2. Get to Work With Maui Wowie
Maui Wowie, sometimes spelled Maui Waui, is a strong sativa strain with an average of 17% THC.
Using any substantial amount of some sativa strains causes some people to panic or become paranoid. This is even more true with strong strains. Maui Wowie is a rare exception, combining the best strong sativa high feeling with a long-lasting good mood for a majority of users.
A basic fact about strains of cannabis is that sativa strains tend to give people energy while indicas often calm people down. Yet, many high-THC sativa strains lend themselves to a “couch-lock” effect and sleepiness. When pot has enough THC in it, these effects are ultra-common, no matter whether the strain is a sativa, an indica, or a hybrid.
Maui Wowie avoids couch lock like it avoids the classic sativa paranoia and sleepiness. This is a strain with a heavy high you can feel throughout your body and busts through pain but doesn’t lock you in place. If you have experience with pot, you can use a lot of this weed and feel high, but keep a more-or-less clear mind and get things done.
That attribute of this strain makes it a favorite among medical marijuana users. You can’t quash intense pain, nausea, or flashbacks with many strains. Consuming the amount of weed it takes to banish the worst of the worst symptoms may make your day worse.
With Maui Wowie, on the other hand, many regular pot users can continue using it for an extended period without suffering negative effects. The most common thing to watch out for if you’re smoking or vaping this strain is dehydration.
3. Try GDP for Sweet Dreams
Grandaddy Purple, also known as GDP, is a classic strain first introduced in 2003 by Ken Estes. It’s one of the most popular indica strains around, and it’s not hard to see why from the first hit. You’ll find yourself feeling happy and free from nagging aches and pains.
It has a decent amount of THC, around 17% for most harvests. These days, that’s not a huge number. Despite that, any doubt about how powerful the flower is will disappear once you try it.
GDP buds tend to be dense and sticky, which weed-lovers know is a clear sign you’re in for a good time. That texture indicates a high concentration of bioactive cannabinoids. As with many other indicas, this isn’t the weed to hit if you’re hoping to get anything done.
One reason this strain is among the strongest is the heavy way its effects hit. Be careful when using it because it may take 15 minutes or so for the high to set in. Some users don’t realize how high they are until they find themselves glued to the couch and absorbed in some nonsense like spending hours browsing junk on Wish.
This is a good strain to turn to for insomnia, as the intense high tends to end with a lot of sleepiness. Medicinal users with bad anxiety or PTSD and racing thoughts around bedtime should consider GDP. It sends most people to bed in a good mood.
4. Give Candyland a Try for Chronic Pain
Candyland is one of GDP’s descendants, a cross between GDP and Bay Platinum Cookies. Like GDP, its THC content is “low” by today’s standards for high THC, coming in at 18%. Also like its parent strain, that percentage doesn’t mean its effects are any weaker.
Candyland is one strain that’s very popular among chronic pain patients because users can still get some things done when high on it. As a sativa strain, it won’t have you snoozing in no time like GDP might.
It’s a good strain for social activities and creative work, but it still packs a serious punch and you’re guaranteed to feel it. If you’re not comfortable with a stoned feeling, stay away from this strain and consider something like a high-CBD cannabis flower, known as hemp, instead.
Candyland’s euphoric effects are a key reason users choose it over those less psychoactive and non-psychoactive pain treatments. It’s hard to stay positive and in a good mood no matter how much you try when you’re in a lot of pain. Breaking through the pain and encouraging happiness with a cheery strain like Candyland often does the trick.
5. Find a Sweet Spot With Ice Cream Cake
Like some of the other strains on this list, Ice Cream Cake is a strain with a sweet name that reflects its smell, taste, and how many users feel when high on it. It’s an indica strain that has around 20% THC on average and is known for its euphoric effects.
Ice Cream Cake is another indica great for putting yourself to sleep, with a relaxing effect felt throughout body and mind. It reduces muscle tightness, nerve pain, headaches, and more.
The biggest downside about this tasty strain is that it’s hard to use all day long due to its sedative properties. Yet, that doesn’t mean that many Ice Cream Cake lovers don’t find a way. If you want to enjoy this strain throughout the day, consider using small amounts to avoid a majority of the sleepiness.
Another way many fans enjoy Ice Cream Cake in bed is by improving sex. The strain encourages amorous feelings and enhances sensations. It can also help partners bond through an additional, special shared experience.
6. Bliss Out on Face Off OG
Face Off OG is a classic late 1990s indica strain with a high strong enough to be worthy of its name. It’s known for strong full-body and psychoactive effects. If you have some free time and want to bliss out on the couch or if you’re experiencing major pain or insomnia, no more than a hit or two of this does the trick for some of the most seasoned stoners.
The overwhelming power of this strain is not for the faint of heart or those starting out. If that’s you, you might be happier with edibles, an extract, or a tincture containing a pure less-psychoactive compound like CBD or delta-8 THC, a less well-known cannabinoid you can read more about at this link.
Face Off OG, on the other hand, is one of the most notorious strains for its mental high. It’s known with affection as a strain that can “knock your face off” in a good way…if you have enough experience under your belt. Those starting with weed often have worse experiences, not expecting the intensity Face Off OG brings to the table.
It has a high percentage of THC, about 19% on average. While that number might not match some recent 20+% strains, the high could have you fooled. Long-time tokers with high THC tolerance levels aren’t immune from the major couch-lock this strain is known for.
7. Tap Into a Good Mood With WiFi OG
White Fire OG is a strain known by many names, including White Fire, WiFi Kush, WiFi OG, and as WiFi, for short. It has sticky, resinous buds that show how powerful it is at a first glance.
WiFi is an indica-sativa hybrid strain with an average of 21% THC. It won’t put you to sleep when used in normal amounts and is a wonderful mood-booster.
White Fire is a perfect strain for medical uses: Patients with digestive system disorders, chronic pain, cancer, HIV, and glaucoma find it eases their symptoms. It’s also handy for mental conditions as it calms anxiety, eases depression, and encourages creativity.
People with brain fog from depression, dysautonomia, or even an infection find that WiFi helps them think more clearly. The strain doesn’t have too many downsides, but it may not be ideal for newer pot users as too much may lead to anxiety or paranoia.
8. Find Creativity and Joy Using Chernobyl
Chernobyl might share its name with the site of one of the most notorious disasters of all time, but its effects are anything but disastrous. It’s known to promote a chipper mood and stimulate creativity.
It’s a hybrid strain containing an average of 18% THC. Chernobyl is strong in a sneaky way, with a high that doesn’t “feel high” in the same way you may be used to. This hybrid is energizing but doesn’t lead to hyperactivity or anxiety, and is very effective on physical issues like chronic pain without a heavy “body high” that glues you to the couch.
This strain is another good choice for weed users getting used to stronger varieties. Consuming a large amount may put you to sleep before it leads to any bad feelings.
Cannabis Strains and Know-How for a Fuller Life
These cannabis strains are among the strongest around. While each has its particular effects, they all have one thing in common: A bowlful gets you higher than high, making all of them effective for a variety of purposes.
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