If you’ve recently incorporated THC flower into your wellness routine, you’ll realize that the product’s effects vary considerably from time to time.
This variance is due to the average THC percentage that gets into your endocannabinoid system relative to the total THC flower mass consumed.
Whether you’re a regular or occasional user, it’s essential to understand the THC percentage in every THC-based supplement you consume. That’s primarily because the total THC content in a product impacts the compound’s potency.
This article will offer a definitive guide on calculating the average THC percentage in flowers. But first, it’s only fair to introduce the compound we’re talking about.
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What is THC?
The cannabis plant is famous for its medicinal properties and psychoactive abilities. These effects are due to a group of compounds in the plant known as cannabinoids.
Studies have uncovered at least 100 cannabinoids in cannabis. However, much research has focused on only two compounds – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC and CBD are the most abundant chemicals in weed, sometimes constituting up to 40% of the total mass in raw cannabis extracts.
Both tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol can produce nearly the same therapeutic benefits. The principal difference between these two dominant cannabinoids in weed is that THC also stands out for its psychoactive effects.
THC Content Explained
THC content refers to the average amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in a cannabis supplement. Legal cannabis products are usually available in different formulations. Examples include cannabis flower, cannabis e-juices, cannabis concentrates, cannabis tincture oils, cannabis edibles, and cannabis topicals.
The average THC levels in cannabis are typically measured in milligrams (mg) per gram (g). However, it could also be expressed as a percentage or fraction of weed by its dry weight.
What is the difference between THC Vs. THCA?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a phytocannabinoid in cannabis that’s the precursor of tetrahydrocannabinol. In other words, THC starts as THCA.
THCA is an inactive cannabinoid. You can only enjoy the compound’s medical benefits and euphoric effects by activating it to THC. This process happens naturally during the growth cycle of weed plants but could also be artificially induced by heating freshly-harvested cannabis extracts.
Another noteworthy difference between THCA and THC is that the latter is psychoactive while the former is not.
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Understand the Calculation of THC Dose
The formula for calculating THC dosage is generally the same despite the specific formulation in which the compound is available.
You’d first need to determine how much THC is in cannabis good by establishing that the product comes with a report from third-party laboratory tests. This report will typically indicate THC levels by mass and percentage. You can then calculate your tetrahydrocannabinol dosage based on the THC concentration in the product.
For instance, you purchase 3 grams of cannabis flower containing 20% THC. You can calculate the total amount of THC in the product as follows;
· Multiple 3 by 1000 to convert grams into milligrams, i.e., 3 X 1,000 = 3,000 milligrams
· Multiple 20% by 3,000 mg, i.e., 20/100 X 3,000 = 600 milligrams
Therefore, a 3-gram cannabis flower with a 20% THC percentage contains 600 mg of THC by total weight. That’s one of the highest levels of THC in a product.
Now, let’s assume that your daily THC dosage is 75 mg. The best way to achieve this dose would be to smoke an eighth of the above 3-gram, 20% THC weed flower.
What is meant by THC percentages in flowers?
The simplest definition of THC percentage in cannabis flowers is the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol in the plant’s freshly-harvested flowers or buds. According to many researchers, typical weed buds contain between 15% and 25% THC content.
However, several factors can determine the average THC potency in cannabis extracts. An example is the specific cannabis strain that the compound comes from.
As you shall find, some strains contain more THC by weight than others.
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Different Kinds of THC Found In Flowers
Tetrahydrocannabinol comes in different types. All these derivatives contain varying THC levels.
Some boast very high THC levels, whereas others have modest THC content.
Popular kinds of THC found in cannabis extracts include;
1. Delta-9 THC
Delta-9 is the most popular tetrahydrocannabinol isomer in the cannabis industry. It’s also the most potent THC derivative and contains the highest percentage.
2. Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 is the second-most popular THC isomer. The compound is particularly famous for its milder psychotropic effects than delta-9.
According to many experienced users, delta-8 products are about half as potent as delta-9. Theoretically, we can conclude that the average THC levels in delta-8 are approximately 50% less than in delta-9.
3. Delta-10 THC
Delta-10 delivers even milder effects than delta-9 and delta-10 due to its lower THC level. That explains why delta-10 products have gained tremendous popularity among many cannabis connoisseurs lately.
4. Delta-7 THC
This is probably the least known of all THC isomers. Unlike the above THC isomers that are naturally-occurring cannabinoids, delta-7 is a synthetic form of THC.
The compound contains a relatively higher THC percentage and is slightly less potent than delta-9.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a tetrahydrocannabinol homolog that differs from regular THC in its molecular structure. THCV’s molecular structure features a propyl group chain instead of a pentyl group for regular THC.
According to research, THCV is non-psychoactive at low doses but could potentially get you high at high doses. Many seasoned cannabis consumers place the effects of THCV at about 25% of those of delta-9 THC.
Tetrahydrocannabiorcol (THCC) is a THC homolog with a smaller methyl group instead of an alkyl side chain.
THCC isn’t a high-THC cannabis derivative. The cannabinoid induces nearly imperceptible psychoactive effects.
Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) is a higher potency tetrahydrocannabinol-based chemical that occurs in cannabis in trace amounts. The compound is considered a high THC derivative due to its intense effects on CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
Anecdotal evidence from many cannabis users indicates that tetrahydrocannabiphorol is a high-THC compound containing about 33% more THC than delta-9. That makes it the highest THC derivative on this list.
What amount of THC is considered high?
The standard THC percentage in cannabis extracts is between 15% and 25%. Therefore, anything more than 25% constitutes high THC content.
Consuming cannabis products containing more than 25% THC percentage is the surest way to experience tetrahydrocannabinol’s full range effects. However, high levels of THC in a product also translate to a higher predisposition to the compound’s psychedelic effects.
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Which cannabis strain contains the highest THC percentage?
THC percentage varies from one cannabis strain to another. Below are weed strains with the highest levels of THC;
· Godfather OG at 34% THC content
· Chiquita Banana at 33% THC content
· Grease Monkey at 31% THC content
· Quantum Kush at 30.6% THC content
· Gorilla Ghost at 29% THC content
As you can see, all these cannabis strains contain more than 25% THC levels. It’s also worth noting that most cannabis strains with high THC levels are Sativa-dominant.
Cannabis sativa is the most popular weed species. The species is noted for its high THC levels compared to cannabis Indica.
Needless to say, it’s imperative to find strains that serve your interests. Starting with lower-potency strains would be best if you’re a novice user. You can then build momentum slowly.
Does the THC percentage matter?
The THC percentage in cannabis goods determines the product’s overall effects. As expected, high-THC strains will deliver more potent effects than their low-THC counterparts.
The level of THC in cannabis supplements also affects your doses. The conventional wisdom is to consume lower doses of products with higher THC percentages.
How to determine the ideal THC content for you?
When it comes to tetrahydrocannabinol, there’s no such thing as a standard dosage. The exact amount of THC that works for one user may be the same amount that impairs another. And this is true for all THC-based products, including pre-rolls to edibles.
The conventional wisdom is to avoid high-potency products like high-THC flowers when you’re new to cannabis. Instead, start low and work your way up gradually until you achieve your sweet spot.
Factors Affecting THC Potency in Flower
1. Cannabis Plant Genetics
The genetic makeup of a cannabis plant affects its overall THC percentage. As already indicated, strains based on cannabis Sativa species generally contain high THC levels relative to their Indica-dominant counterparts.
2. Presence of Enzymes
Cannabis plants produce numerous enzymes. Of notable mention are a group of enzymes that synthesize terpenes called terpene synthases (TPS).
Terpenes are aromatic compounds in cannabis. The terpene profile in tetrahydrocannabinol edibles or other THC-based products affects your overall experience.
Studies have shown that cannabis products formulated with significant CBD levels, high THC content, and more terpenes can offer better physical and mental health benefits via the entourage effect.
3. Environmental Factors
Certain environmental factors may also influence the THC percentage in cannabis extracts. That’s regardless of whether you’re dealing with the same strains.
For instance, increased light exposure generally translates to high THC concentration in cannabis trichomes.
Does more THC equal stronger effects?
The high potency of tetrahydrocannabinol in edible, concentrates or other cannabis-based products certainly translate to more potent effects.
On the flip side, consuming products with high THC percentages could increase the risks of addiction. That’s due to the compound’s interference with how the brain fires its neurons.
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The average THC percentage differs from one cannabis strain to another. Certain strains are considered high THC variants, whereas others contain less potent THC levels. The general rule is to start with products formulated with low THC percentages and gradually work your way up.