What is the Strongest THC-Based Cannabinoid?

Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
January 31, 2022
Strongest cannabis and cannabinoid
Strongest cannabis and cannabinoid

Today, thanks to a whole lot of hemp research, we know that there are over a hundred cannabinoids, each offering a different level of potency when it comes to their high. We understand that the majority of hemp enthusiasts want to know ahead of time cannabinoid before they buy them, which is why we will compare them to one another in terms of what to expect when it comes to their intoxicating potential.

From the Weakest to the Strongest Cannabinoid

Each hemp-derived cannabinoid works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in a unique way which ultimately determines how strong the high will be. Some cannabinoids are extremely psychoactive, while others are associated with a gentle buzz.

#10:  CBG

In comparison to others, Cannabigerol (or CBG) is actually anti-psychoactive, as studies have shown that it compensates for the very effects of THC. As such, it can often be used to negate or ease the effects of THC.

#9: CBD and others

Cannabidiol (or CBD)  and other cannabinoids in this group have one thing in common – being non-psychoactive. They are used exceptionally for effects that are not accompanied by the “high” feeling.

#8: CBN

Being as potent as 10% of D9 THC, Cannabinol (or CBN) is still used separately for mild effects.

 #7: THCV

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is around 25% as potent as D9 THC. Its high is actually notorious for being elusive, which is why you’ll often see it combined with D8 THC or a similar compound. THCV is often taken for its non-psychoactive properties, although many also do seek out its distinctive buzz. 

#6: Delta 10 THC

Delta-10-Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-10 THC) is also reported to be about 50% as psychoactive as delta-9. Delta-10 doesn’t seem to interfere too much with mental clarity or one’s ability to accomplish tasks.

#5: Delta 8 THC

Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) is the next strongest cannabinoid on our list. Delta 8 is about 50–65% as psychoactive as D9, and people often describe the high as clear-headed and mellowing. People usually report that they can still focus and get things done after taking it. 

#4: HHC

Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a hydrogenated version of THC and is about 80% as potent as delta-9 as the effects seem to feel extraordinarily similar. Given the structural similarities between the two cannabinoids, this isn’t surprising. But ultimately, people report that HHC is slightly milder than delta-9. The high is described as both euphoric and soothing throughout the body and mind.

#3: Delta 9 THC

Legally it exists because hemp still maintains the federal requirement that there’s no more than 0.3% delta-9 per dry weight. The portion sizes allow enough milligrams to be present in the product to cause the high that customers associate with the cannabinoid. In terms of the high’s potency, it’s sorta the gold standard. It can be both euphoric and soothing while not interfering with mental clarity and productivity to an extent, making it pretty potent.

#2: THC-O

THC-O-acetate (or simply THC-O) is about three to five times as potent as delta 9 THC and was even chemically designed to be that way. It’s a cannabinoid that’s made in a laboratory, applying acetic anhydride to THCA to boost its psychoactive capabilities. 

#1: THC-P

Last but certainly not “least,” tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THC-P) the most potent cannabinoid that we know of. This cannabinoid may be up to 10 times as intoxicating as D9 (check thcp vs thc potency), and as you can imagine, that makes for a powerful high. Like THC-O, it’s mostly associated with feelings of euphoria and definitely comes with a body-high effect that can make it hard for you to get much done. 

Other Factors That Determine the Potency of Your Cannabinoid

At this point of the contest, you know we just have to cover the other details of a cannabinoid product that impacts how high you’ll end up getting. After all, it’s that exact ‘high’ that can sometimes make or break your entire experience.

Factor #1: Product Type

Different product types have different potency levels, either based on how they’re made or how bioavailable they are. 

  • Dabs/concentrates are incredibly potent because they’re made by concentrating the psychoactive cannabinoid so that each serving is very strong. 
  • Inhalable products like flowers and vapes are next, as they take effect within minutes and are highly bioavailable. 
  • Tinctures are moderately high.
  • Edibles have the lowest bioavailability and therefore feel a bit more subtle while boasting stronger body high effects and a high that can last for several hours.

Factor #2: The Amount You Take

It should go without saying that how much of a cannabinoid you consume determines your experience. There is a big difference between taking a single puff of a THC-P vape and five puffs or a 5mg of D8 gummies vs. a 50mg gummy. If you’re a newbie to any cannabinoid, always start with the suggested amount on the package to feel out those effects of that said cannabinoid gradually.

Factor #3: Strain

We get right to the good stuff here. Some hemp strains are simply increasingly more potent than others. This is a more subtle difference, but the terpenes in a strain can work synergistically with the psychoactive cannabinoid to make its effects slightly stronger or slightly weaker. Researching a strain will tell you what to expect in terms of potency.

So Many Cannabinoids, So Many Different Potency Levels

Different cannabinoids have different features; each high is going to be noticeably different. If you’re new to cannabinoids altogether, we do recommend starting with a milder choice like THCV, delta-8, or delta-10 and working your way up the ladder as desired and as your tolerance allows. This also allows you to explore the differences between each cannabinoid and discover what it is that you want out of your psychoactive hemp experience on weed.com.