Parts of the cannabis plant – commonly known as weed – have been used by humans for thousands of years. It was mentioned in Assyrian tablets dating back to the seventh century BC and has been used medically for a wide variety of conditions. In Victorian times it was used to treat muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, rheumatism and the convulsions associated with tetanus, rabies and epilepsy, among other ailments.

It has also been used recreationally for its psychoactive effects. Cannabis use increased exponentially in the UK and other Western countries in the 1960s and beyond. Today it is the most widely used prohibited drug in the UK, with 7.6% of adults aged 16 to 59 years and 15.4% of young people aged 16 to 24 having used it recreationally over the previous year.

Not all weed is the same, however. There are many different types of weed and different ways to consume cannabis. Some types of weed are stronger than others and, while all cannabis use carries risks, extra care should be taken with stronger varieties.


Why are Some Types of Weed Stronger Than Others?

While the psychoactive or mind-altering effects of weed have been known for centuries, the main active ingredient – a cannabinoid known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – was only identified in 1964. It is still not known exactly how it works but it is known that this chemical compound interacts with cannabinoid receptors that are present in the human brain and central nervous systems.

This is what creates the psychoactive effects commonly known as being stoned, including relaxation and mild euphoria. Cross-breeding different strains of plants is certainly not new but the isolation of THC, along with advancements in cultivation technology, have allowed growers to produce particularly strong strains of weed.

Some users will seek out the highest strain of THC available for a stronger high, but THC can also cause less desirable effects including paranoia, anxiety and nausea. There is also some evidence that stronger strains of weed may have a higher risk of mental health conditions and addiction.

While THC is the single most important factor in determining the strength of a particular strain of weed, other cannabinoids can also have an impact.


What Are the Most Common Types of Weed?

All weed ultimately comes from the cannabis plant but there are many different strains available. The two main types of cannabis used for their psychoactive effects are Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Some consider these to be two distinct species while others consider Cannabis indica to be a subspecies of Cannabis sativa.

While these are the two main common types of weed, they have been cross-bred to create hundreds of different strains. Many are cultured for higher strains of THC, but others are intentionally cultivated to have higher levels of another cannabinoid called cannabidiol, or CBD. This is generally considered to produce a milder and more relaxed effect. CBD itself is not an intoxicant and it may help to ‘balance’ levels of THC.

A third main strain of cannabis, Cannabis ruderalis, is also used in hybrid strains. It has very low THC levels so is rarely used on its own but it is frequently used to bring in a property known as autoflowering.

It’s also worth noting that cannabis can be used in a number of different ways and produced in a number of different formats. Smoking in the form of a joint is still very common and weed can also be smoked in pipes, bongs and other devices. Edibles are forms that can be eaten and cannabinoids can be extracted to make hash oils and concentrates that can be vaped or inhaled.

Oils and concentrates used in vaping and ‘dabbing’ often have very high concentrations of THC compared to other methods of consumption.


5 Strongest Weed Strains

Many cannabis users ask, ‘What is the strongest weed?’, as stronger strains are often seen as more desirable as the psychoactive effects can be more potent and last for longer. The side effects can also be stronger though, as can the risks associated with cannabis use.

So which is the strongest type of weed? This can vary over time and many growers will put in their own claims for that title. The waters can be further muddied by the fact that some strains are grown and sold illegally while others can now be grown legally in some places – including a number of states in the USA. Legally grown strains are easier to keep track of and quantify, including THC level. THC and other cannabinoid levels can still vary between different batches, however.

According to THC University, which provides online courses on various aspects of cannabis for legal growers in the US, the 5 strongest weed strains are:

1. Godfather OG

This is also listed as one of the strongest weeds available on other sites. It is an indica-dominant hybrid with very high THC levels that are often above 30%.

2. Strawberry-Banana

This one is a sativa-dominant strain that is described as having a pleasant, fruity taste. It also has THC levels of up to 26%.

3. Bruce Banner

Named after the Incredible Hulk’s alter-ego, this green monster boasts THC levels “in eth upper 20s”.

4. Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)

GSC has been known to have THC levels exceeding 28%.

5. Gorilla Glue #4

This strain has an average THC level of around 20-25%.


Do You Have a Cannabis Addiction?

Despite some arguments to the contrary, cannabis can be both habit-forming and addictive, leading to cannabis addiction. If you habitually smoke weed or use cannabis in other formats, feel anxious about securing more, need to use it to go about your everyday life, feel ill-effects (withdrawal symptoms) when you don’t use it, or continue to use it despite negative consequences, you might have a problem that needs to be addressed.

As with any drug, quitting without expert help can be very challenging. If you’re worried about your own cannabis use, or that of a loved one, get in touch today to find out how Ocean Recovery can help.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: July 9, 2024

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.