If you are a cannabis consumer, you’re probably familiar with THC, the most prominent psychoactive cannabinoid naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. And, if you have ever purchased cannabis from a dispensary, then you’ve probably noticed that the THC percentage varies greatly amongst different products.
For many cannabis consumers, it can be difficult to know what the THC percentage of a product means, how the different levels of THC will affect them, and what to look for when it comes to THC content.
What Should I Look For?
Typically, products with a higher percentage of THC are going to produce a stronger, more potent effect. Cannabis flower usually contains about 15-25% THC. The biological limit for THC percentage is 35%, so it is possible to find flower above 25% THC, although uncommon. Anything above 25% can be expected to be extremely potent.
If you are unsure about what the perfect THC content is for you, these guidelines can be used as a rule of thumb.
Flower with a total THC content of 7-11.99% (about 70-119.99mg of THC per gram) typically produces mild psychoactive effects. This is a below-average THC content but is favorable for consumers looking for a mild high.
Flower with a total THC content of 12-16.99% (about 120-169.99mg of THC per gram) has a medium potency. This is a slightly below-average THC content but still produces moderate psychoactive effects.
Flower with a total THC content of 17-20% (about 170-200mg of THC per gram) is considered high potency. This THC range is typical for most flower found at a dispensary and will have stronger effects.
How Much Is Too Much?
When it comes to THC percentage, it often comes down to personal preference, and how comfortable the customer is with cannabis products. Many people, especially those new to cannabis, may feel adverse effects if they consume more THC than they are used to. The best way to determine what level of THC content you prefer and tolerate is to start small and gradually increase the percentage overtime. This allows you to become comfortable with the product and to gain a better understanding of your personal tolerance.
However, THC content is not the only factor that contributes to the product’s overall potency, and it can be hard to predict how a specific product is going to affect you based on its THC percentage alone. Firstly, every cannabis user may react to the same strains or products differently, and two strains with an identical THC percentage may induce two vastly different highs in the same person.
Consumption method, strain type, and terpene profile can all play a role in determining the individual effects of a strain or product. In addition to THC percentage, it is important to pay attention to the terpene profile of the strain because this often dictates what specific effects are felt by the strain (e.g., whether the strain is more energizing or more sedative). Terpenes don’t directly impact the potency of the strain, but the differences in effect can lead to vastly different experiences.
Flower vs. Concentrates
Different types of cannabis products have different ranges of typical THC content. Cannabis concentrates are going to have a higher percentage of THC and, therefore, a higher potency, making them a popular option among seasoned cannabis consumers.
Compared to flower, which typically ranges from 15-25% THC, concentrates can fall in the 50-90% range. This is because the concentrate is made up of mostly extracted cannabinoids and no plant material. Essentially, one gram of concentrate is going to have much more THC than one gram of flower, and will therefore be much more potent.
THC percentage is an important metric that contributes to a product’s potency and effect. Understanding THC percentages can help you predict how a particular product is going to affect you – just be sure to keep in mind the strain’s other components and known effects.