Have you ever wondered why marijuana produces a cerebral high or a sense of euphoria? Putting it simply, Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, a psychoactive compound present in the cannabis plants, is the main reason behind it. Among hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes found in marijuana, THC is undoubtedly the main mind-altering component. All the different species varieties and hybrid strains contain amounts of THC but in varying proportions. The effect of a particular strain – whether it gives you an exhilarating and heady high or a calm body high – depends largely on the unique ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol to other cannabinoids in it. Being a regular cannabis user, it is therefore very useful to know which cannabis strains are THC heavy. It is commonly believed in the marijuana community that the two main species varieties of cannabis – sativa and indica – also have varying levels of THC in them. Keep reading this post to find out which one of these two types of strains has more THC in it.
The effects of THC on human body and mind
Being a psychoactive compound, THC binds with the CB1 endocannabinoid receptors of our brain to stimulate dopamine release which gives us the euphoric ‘high’ sensation associated with cannabis consumption. It is highly effective in alleviating pains, nausea, depression and sleep disorders. Researches have shown that it has great anti-inflammatory analgesic and hypnotic powers too. However, too much THC can have side-effects as well. It can cause elevated heart rate, anxiety, short-term memory loss, slow cognition and impaired motor skills among other issues. Not all cannabis strains are THC heavy; some have less THC than CBD or cannabidiol – a non-psychoactive compound present in cannabis that counteracts the negative effects of THC. A CBD heavy strain, unlike the THC dominant ones, gives you a mellow body-high and is highly favorable for therapeutic uses. Recreational users, on the other hand, largely prefer THC heavy strains.
Indica or sativa strains – which Cannabis Strain contains more THC?
Whether you are buying your marijuana from the local dispensary or online, you’ll find that some strains claim to be sativa dominant whereas others are indica heavy. While cannabis sativa is a native of hotter, equatorial climates in East and Southeast Asia, southern India, Mexico and Central America, cannabis indica is indigenous to the colder and mountainous climates of the Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India. It is commonly believed that the sativa strains have more THC than CBD in them in contrast to the indica strains which are usually CBD dominant. Smoking, eating or drinking sativa strains thus makes one feel ecstatic and fills them with cerebral waves of energy, creativity and euphoria. Sativa strains are therefore excellent stimulants and you can take them in the daytime too. Smokers who want to get high but don’t want to get ‘stoned’ or inactive, usually prefer sativa strains with high THC content in them. According to some experts, sativa strains are also useful for patients suffering from lack of focus, energy and clarity of thought.
Popular sativa strains with high THC levels
There are some very popular sativa strains available in the market which has extremely high THC contents in them and very low CBD. We present to you top 5 of them:
• Laughing Buddha
An award-winner in the 2003 High Times Cannabis Cup competition, this sativa dominant strain has 18-22% THC and a CBD content of about 1.6% in it.
• Amnesia Haze
The average THC content in Amnesia Haze strains is above 20%. Due to the exceptionally low CBD content in it, the strain has almost zero body effect.
Since its development in Netherlands in 1992, this sativa heavy strain has won at least 16 awards. Popular among both the recreational as well as medical cannabis users alike, Ak-47 can have a THC content as high as 20% and a low CBD level (about 1.5%).
• Shining Silver Haze
A cross-breed of Haze, skunk and Northern Lights strains, Shining Silver Haze is 75% sativa dominant. It has around 21% THC and medium CBD contents.
• Lemon Meringue
A member of the OF family, this sativa dominant strain has about 20% THC and 1% or less CBD in it. Lemon Meringue is said to be very effective for those who lack energy or focus.
Are sativa strains always THC dominant?
The latest scientific studies largely dispute the common belief that sativa strains are always THC dominant in contrast to the indica strains. It is not much likely that THC causes the perceived variation in the high produced by sativas, indicas, and hybrids. There are numerous indica strains such as Sunset Sherbet, Afgooey, Strawberry Banana, Purple Kush etc. which are indica dominant but their THC content rarely exceeds 20%. While there are many sativa strains that are high in CBD yet low in THC. Charlotte’s Web (0.5 % THC), Candida (0.5% THC), Harlequin ( 4-7% THC), Dance Hall (9% THC) are just a few examples which can be cited.
You can also find many sativa heavy strains which come with a more balanced THC-CBD profiles. For example, sativa strains like OG Kush CBD, or CBD Compassion have a perfect CBD –THC ratio of 1:1. While sativa strains are generally different from the indicas in aroma and taste, you cannot always differentiate between them by their THC: CBD profiles. Not all sativa strains offer high THC content and are therefore more suitable for recreational use or daytime consumption. It is always better to check out the THC content in your sativa strain before you start using it on a regular basis. So always make sure to select your strain depending on the high you are looking for. If confused, don’t hesitate to ask for a little help from your local budtender.