Why so many cannabis users seek out high THC products

Published Mar 22, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Aleksandr_Kravtsov

Every cannabis enthusiast wants to know what the best weed strains are and where to find them, but very few understand what that actually means. Most only want to know how much THC is in weed strains, and some have a good reason for that, but the majority could likely benefit from a much different form of measuring when determining the quality or potential of any kind of pot product. Still, most demand potency in levels that are out of this world, and today, we’re going to break down exactly why that is.

1. Medical need

One of only two legitimate reasons behind needing a high THC strain is that it’s a medicine that needs to be effective enough to soothe specific symptoms. Since most medical users take cannabis to treat painful symptoms and conditions, it makes sense that they might need more. When you’re replacing harsh opiates and other prescriptions for a natural plant, it can take significantly higher doses to see the same level of relief.

Since THC is believed to be the most influential cannabinoid when it comes to pain due to its sedating and psychoactive nature, it only makes sense to assume that many will need more than the average recreational user. Of course, not all medicinal patients require high doses, but many needs that just to live a decent quality of life.

2. A lack of understanding surrounding other lesser-known cannabis elements

Of course, as a consumer, you need to know how much THC is in weed strains or derived products because it does help to give a sense of what you could expect from each one, but the majority don’t know that this is only a small fraction of the equation. Cannabis terpenes through aromatics and flavors can do a lot, even for things like pain and in the case of seasoned users.

Then there are cannabinoids to consider, such as CBN and CBG, along with many others that we are only beginning to understand. The effects of cannabis are the result of synergy, the combining of all of the natural elements that are in the plant, which is why sometimes it feels like high THC strains are actually less euphoric than some that offer a more moderate dose.

3. Stereotypes, the media, and misinformation

Cannabis has long been sensationalized, hence the lingering of some of the most taboo stoner stereotypes and the one thing the media, consumers, and even cannabis businesses focus on is cannabinoids, or more specifically THC and CBD. CBD is touted as a force for good that can help medical patients and those who struggle with addiction to find relief, whereas THC is quite literally advertised as a miracle cure-all solution.


Cannabis contests and producers who are aiming to create the most potent strains on the market help to influence this idea that THC holds immeasurable importance when it comes to green products, but that’s just not the case. Unfortunately, people tend to believe what they see or hear, so when the media, companies, and users are all obsessed with THC, so too will be the average consumer.

4. A sense of competition

It’s hard to compete and stand out in cannabis, especially in a region with such strict regulations surrounding how the industry and professionals may advertise their wares, and it’s a tricky maze that’s difficult to navigate. By law, cannabinoid content must be displayed on cannabis, taking up valuable revenue and real estate that could have been used more efficiently to offer up more in-depth information.

Since the only thing there seems to be regulation around is cannabinoid content and it’s also the one cannabis element that consumers are aware of, it just makes sense for producers and businesses to put that above what will eventually be common sense. It’s a race to the top, and everyone wants to finish first, so for many cannabis businesses, there isn’t really much choice in the matter.

5. Tolerance

The second entirely valid reason for the high demand for potent cannabis comes from experienced consumers, many of whom have been using cannabis for many years. This of course, slowly contributes to what eventually becomes a high tolerance which can make it hard to achieve the same effects, even when you’re using the best weed strains out there as far as THC is concerned.

This is one of the main reasons that THC limits on pot products are not overly welcomed by the cannabis community because the majority of those who indulge on the regular need a heck of a lot more than a meager 10mg dose of the euphoric cannabinoid in an edible or oil to feel anything. That’s not an exaggeration; it’s a fact and something that we need to keep in mind as we develop regulations surrounding these more intense options in the future.

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