It is a misconception that higher THC levels on cannabis provoke a stronger high. And this might come as a big shock for many! It is never too late to review one’s assumptions.
The obsession about THC levels is a fact and this is affecting cannabis growers. In areas where there are restrictions on THC levels, a whole harvest could be spoiled if its THC levels were too high. High THC strains are sometimes the most wanted due to THC shopping (choosing specific cannabis flowers because of their THC content). On some cases, cannabis is labelled as having higher THC levels than in reality in order to increase sales. Products labelled as having more than 25% THC are the most popular in dispensaries.
A 2020 study of the University of Colorado published on the JAMA Psychiatry Medical Journal gives us the science we need to debunk the THC frenzy. The subjects of this study were real cannabis users. This was the first study to assess the impact of cannabis on actual users living in places where recreational cannabis has been legalized.
The research team found an ingenious way to navigate around the legislation on cannabis. Researchers are not allowed to handle with legal market cannabis at the University, so the team decided to ride two vans they called ‘cannavans’ and turn them into their mobile laboratories. This way, the subjects of study use their own cannabis products and the researches are no longer responsible for administering the drug.
121 experienced users were invited to participate in this research. Half of them were regular cannabis flower users and the other half used cannabis concentrates (oils and waxes consumed via dabbing or as ingredient for edibles, tinctures, rosin, etc.).
Flower users tried products with 16% and 24% of THC, concentrate users 70% and 90%. Concentrates are higher on THC levels than cannabis buds, so the tolerance of every user was taken into account. Their blood, intoxication level, mood and cognitive functions were analysed prior to the intake, right after and one hour later.
The subjects who used concentrates had higher THC levels at all points of the testing but all participants showed almost the same level of intoxication, balance and cognitive impairment no matter the potency of their THC.
Conclusion: it is not actually the amount of THC that gets you high. Factors like genetics, metabolism, frequency of use, body fat index, method of ingestion, the cannabis strain and the percentages and interaction of the compounds on it can have an impact on the intensity of your high. This last factor is called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the way the different compounds on cannabis work when combined. It is a beautiful team work that can deliver different results depending on the combinations made.
For example, it is known that in case of an unpleasant cannabis trip, CBD and the terpene linalool can help alleviate any undesired effects associated with high levels of THC. On the other hand, it is also possible that other cannabinoids could sparkle intoxication.
Judging a cannabis strain on its THC levels might be something to think twice about from now on. It is not certain how much THC gets you high, as your cannabinoid receptors might work different depending on the factors mentioned above. According to this study, cannabinoid receptors might actually become saturated at higher THC levels and stop you from getting higher.
This study does not apply to inexperienced users.
Depending on what your motivation is when using cannabis, you want to research your cannabis strain thoroughly. If you are looking for a therapeutic use of your cannabis, you might want to check our CBD and CBG strains. If your aim is to reach a psychoactive effect, keep reading.
How much THC will get you high will also depend on the method of consumption. Experienced users who are in for an adventure will try to make their own cannabis extracts. Take into account that according to the study mentioned above, cannabis concentrates boost blood levels of THC more than twice as much as cannabis flowers, so here is your disclaimer.
Our high THC cannabis seeds can have up to 25% THC. Those levels are not only achieved by the right genetics but also through specific growth conditions -lighting, nutrients, airflow, temperature- and harvesting times. Have a look here and filter your results for high THC Sativa strains or high THC Indica strains.
If this article got you all paranoid because the THC levels of your seeds are too high, here are some tricks to keep your cannabis THC levels low. If your concern is the risk of getting too much of a psychoactive effect, here are some tips to reverse the effects of cannabis.