For the veteran cannabis users among you, looking for that higher high, Strain Insider has curated a list of the strongest cannabis strains currently on the market. We’ll walk through tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels, the difference between indica and sativa blends, terpenes and flavour profiles.
It’s important to first define how strength is determined because many factors can affect the intensity of your high. These effects are typically tied to the THC levels but can also be related to a user’s physiological makeup.
Understanding these details is important for finding the perfect strain for you.
Measuring the strength of cannabis strains
The scope of this article will focus primarily on the effects that THC has on the body. Though some users have identified a ‘high’ when consuming cannabidiol (CBD), a popular non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, it is far different from the effects of THC.
That being said, there are features beyond THC that can change the quality and strength of one’s high. Cannabis is still rather unknown scientifically, but research reports that it is the combination of flavours, freshness, conditions in which the plant was grown, the presence of chemical treatments as well as a user’s personal temperament which impart the strength of the marijuana strain’s high. Enthusiasts call this suite of characteristics the ‘entourage effect‘.
Let’s first dig into terpenes and terpenoids. These are the compounds in cannabis that contribute to its flavour profile. They aren’t unique to cannabis either. Often, terpenes are used in cocktails to enhance or change a beverage, for instance.
The difference between terpenes and terpenoids is minor and refers to the chemical formation of each compound. Terpenoids are oxidised terpenes and are classified into different categories such as monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes and many others. Oxidation is the formal term for when a compound loses electrons.
Humulene, also found in hops, adds an earthy and sometimes floral bouquet to certain cannabis strains. Limonene, as the name suggests, can add citrusy flavours to marijuana buds. What’s more, both humulene and limonene have been found to reduce inflammation and stress, respectively.
Other common terpenes include Linalool, myrcene, terpinolene, ocimene, alpha-pinene and beta-caryophyllene. Each of these compounds works in tandem to define the character and strength of a cannabis strain.
Next, it’s important to identify the differences between sativa and indica strains. Besides the clear physical distinctions between each plant, these differences also reveal themselves in the strength of your cannabis.
Typically, sativa strains are more stimulating, cerebral, and ‘heady’. Indica strains are relaxing, physical, and offer users a potent ‘body high’ that may glue them to the couch. This rule of thumb has, however, come under criticism as of late.
Photo of a sativa cannabis strain. These strains have much thinner leaves and taller structures than their indica counterparts. Each strain also has different growing requirements. (Source: Wikipedia)
Due to the sheer number of strains available, being able to conveniently place strains into one of two categories based on their effect makes for good marketing. The reality is, of course, far more nuanced. Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist working in the field of cannabis told Leafly that:
‘The clinical effects of the cannabis [strain] have nothing to do with whether the plant is tall and sparse vs. short and bushy, or whether the leaflets are narrow or broad.’
Instead, the best ways to identify the strength of a cannabis strain, as well as its potential effects on users, are THC levels and terpenes. With that in mind, it’s time to take a closer look at the strongest cannabis strains.
The 6 strongest cannabis strains
Bruce Banner tops the list as one of the strongest cannabis strains on the market. There are five variants of this strain, with reports of Bruce Banner #3 reaching 30 percent levels of THC. The primary terpenes are myrcene, limonene and caryophyllene, giving this bud a spicy and citrusy aroma.
As for effects, this sativa-dominant marijuana strain is preferred for ‘wake and bake’ users. Clear-headed, euphoric and energising, Bruce Banner is a great and strong cannabis strain for daily activities. It is also for these reasons that it can help users who may suffer from ADHD, bouts of depression, anxiety and stress.
That being said, the strength and THC density of this cannabis strain means it is not recommended for beginner users, as it can lead to uncomfortable paranoia.
Ghost Train Haze
Like Bruce Banner, Ghost Train Haze is not recommended for beginners due to its strength. A common trope for inexperienced users is that this strain can quickly lead to uncomfortable paranoia. For those up to the task, however, Ghost Train Haze has long stocked shelves in dispensaries around the world.
Noted for its density, frosty trichomes and rich flavors of pine, lemon and nutmeg due to its terpene profile, Ghost Train Haze is definitely a strong and euphoric cannabis strain. Users report an extremely cerebral high that has an added psychedelic effect.
Despite the euphoria and energy, the mental haze that this strain induces makes this bud ideal for staying close to home and relaxing. It has a THC level of 25.5 percent.
Unlike the previous two marijuana strains, Death Star can help users suffering from insomnia and agitation, as well as depression. Although it offers a slightly lower THC level at 17.5 percent, its sedative effects will keep you rooted in place (ideally somewhere cozy).
The flavour profile of Death Star has been described as diesel-like, and the dominant terpenes include caryophyllene, myrcene and limonene.
One unique feature that follows this powerful marijuana strain wherever it is smoked is its highly potent odour. Even just breaking up this bud will fill a room with a pungent aroma.
Gorilla Glue is an ultra-relaxing, strong cannabis strain weighing in at 25 percent THC. It has become a name brand strain due to its ability to sedate even the most anxious cannabis user.
It brings classic cottonmouth, giggles and foggy-mindedness to the high. It is also these points that make Gorilla Glue an ideal marijuana strain for hanging out at home and watching a movie (or some other kind of low-stimulation activity). As it is also conducive to sleepiness, staying at home makes the epic journey from the couch to the bed that much easier.
This strain also offers a very different flavour profile compared to many others on this list. Users report coffee and dark chocolate notes, with a diesel-like aftertaste.
Upbeat and highly energetic, Chemdawg is another classic wake and bake strain adored by its fans. This strain’s strength comes more from its unique high despite its relatively low THC levels at roughly 15 percent. This bud is difficult to break up by hand due to the thick resin that coats the flower.
Though it has been reported that users enjoy a pleasant body high, it is a very stimulating high that lends itself to creative activities during the day. The cerebral effects also make this cannabis strain a great choice for those with anxiety or ADHD.
The final strain on our list of strongest cannabis strains is The White. Not only does it pack a punch, but it does so with very little aroma. It is for this reason that this strain is ideal for discrete environments.
More a physical high than many of the other strains, some users smoke The White to alleviate muscle pain. Still, for beginner users, this strain can cause bouts of anxiety. This is also an ideal strain to use to make cannabis butters or oils for cooking due to its lack of typical cannabis flavours.
The user, the setting and cannabis strength
Despite the detail and recommendations found in this list, users must also be aware of their personal limits as well as the context in which they plan on consuming each of the buds on this list. Relative to the rest of the cannabis world, these six strains are all heavy hitters. The highs are intense regardless of the nuances between each strain.
Outside of being prepared with water and snacks, users shouldn’t be consuming these strains in environments where they aren’t comfortable. Naturally, this is a very subjective recommendation.
What is comfortable for one person is not for another. For beginner users looking to explore a stronger cannabis strain, the environment becomes even more important.
Concluding, marijuana has never killed anyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to avoid an incredibly uncomfortable experience. If you are a novice and decide to try one of these very strong cannabis strains, take it slow and get a feel for what you are getting yourself into.
In the end, words can never actually tell you how strong a cannabis strain is, you have to feel it yourself.
Mike Novogratz — ‘The Herd Is Coming,’ for Real This Time
Galaxy Digital chief Mike Novogratz has been a leading voice in the cryptocurrency market. As a former hedge fund trader, he has a rare pulse on the institutional investor community and how they feel about bitcoin. During a Benzinga Boot Camp in conjunction with BlockFi, Novogratz shared his thoughts with host and podcaster Peter McCormack […]
The post Mike Novogratz — ‘The Herd Is Coming,’ for Real This Time appeared first on BeInCrypto.
Galaxy Digital chief Mike Novogratz has been a leading voice in the cryptocurrency market. As a former hedge fund trader, he has a rare pulse on the institutional investor community and how they feel about bitcoin.
During a Benzinga Boot Camp in conjunction with BlockFi, Novogratz shared his thoughts with host and podcaster Peter McCormack on how far the cryptocurrency industry has come as well as where it’s likely headed. Institutional investors, of course, will play a big role in the evolution of the market, and according to Novogratz, all signs are pointing toward go.
If you think you’ve heard Novogratz say “the herd is coming” before, in reference to the institutional adoption of bitcoin, you’d be correct. The only problem was that the “herd” continued to sit on the sidelines, afraid of dipping their toe into the crypto waters. This time, however, the Galaxy Digital insists the herd really is coming, and he offered numerous reasons for why it really is true this time. He said,
“I kept saying the herd is coming. And I was wrong. It was so slow to come. Now the herd is actually coming. And I see it, I’m getting phone calls every day. And so it’s left me very bullish on the overall space.”
Bridge to Institutions
Galaxy Digital recently took out an ad in the Financial Times to appeal to big investors. And Novogratz said the firm is “staffing up” to better connect and be a bridge with the institutional world.
MicroStrategy: His Favorite Story of the Year
If you were ever wondering what got Novogratz, a Wall Street veteran, into crypto, it was the bitcoin story. He’s a story guy, and that’s what he invested in bitcoin for the first time, as a speculative bet. His conviction has changed over time, and now he owns more bitcoin than he does gold.
His favorite story of 2020 has been one that much of crypto land is also cheering, and that is the move by MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor to go all-in on bitcoin. He applauds Saylor for being a first-mover but adds he is waiting for the second corporate to jump in “because then it steamrolls,” Novogratz said.
Big Investors and DeFi
Novogratz is spending time on the DeFi space, where he says there’s “a lot of cool stuff happening” but not a lot of institutional money yet. He calls it a venture sandbox, similar to bitcoin years ago. DeFi is fine for smart people with capital to be deployed but institutional investors have a fiduciary responsibility to their mom and pop clients. So DeFi is not quite ready for prime time — yet.
He says as the institutions come into crypto, “they’re a lot stickier money.” As a result, there is a “changing of the guard” but not one in which one group replaces another. Instead, as the pie grows, the portion of institutions in the crypto space, which two years ago was 2%, is going to slowly start growing. Novogratz said that when it gets to 30-50%, “it’s a whole different market.”
The Galaxy Digital chief predicts that in the next two to three years, the bitcoin price will be trading at $50,000 or higher.
IRS Preempts Potential Crypto Tax Evasion with Update to Form 1040
Crypto tax evasion in the United States is about to become more difficult following the subtle change made by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to its form 1040. America’s tax body continues to push for greater cryptocurrency tax compliance despite lingering confusion over some of its guidelines. Plausible Deniability for Crypto Tax Evasion Out the […]
The post IRS Preempts Potential Crypto Tax Evasion with Update to Form 1040 appeared first on BeInCrypto.
Crypto tax evasion in the United States is about to become more difficult following the subtle change made by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to its form 1040.
America’s tax body continues to push for greater cryptocurrency tax compliance despite lingering confusion over some of its guidelines.
Plausible Deniability for Crypto Tax Evasion Out the Window
As Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Sept. 25, the position of the “crypto question” on the IRS standard 1040 form now has a new “unmissable” position. A draft of the tax form published by WSJ shows the crypto query appearing immediately beneath the fields for name and address.
The new position of the crypto question appears to be a deliberate move by the IRS to prevent cases of taxpayers claiming ignorance of the existence of the question. Indeed, in its previous appearance in the 2019 form, the query appeared in an often-overlooked portion of the document.
By giving the crypto question a more prominent position on the tax form, the IRS is taking a page out of its playbook. Back in 2009, the IRS debuted a tax-return query about overseas bank accounts as part of a crackdown on tax evasion via offshore bank accounts.
As previously reported by BeInCrypto, the IRS continues to issue warnings against misrepresenting crypto holdings. In August, the tax office sent out another batch of warning letters to crypto owners in the country, further reiterating its focus on combating virtual currency tax evasion.
US Cryptocurrency Tax Laws Still Require Polishing
The IRS push for compliance aside, crypto taxation in the US still constitutes a “compliance nightmare” with several calls for a more streamlined set of guidelines. Back in August, the Congressional Blockchain Caucus called on the IRS to adopt a common-sense approach to taxing proof-of-stake.
The IRS for its part has also clarified certain matters related to the treatment of digital assets for tax purposes. In February, the tax agency stated that video game currencies like Fortnite’s V-bucks were not taxable assets.
A couple of bills currently before Congress also deal with the issue of crypto taxation. One of such bills — the Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act — contains a provision for a de minimis tax exemption for crypto transactions below $200.
Blockchain Bites: Crypto Tax Switcheroo, Stablecoin Confusion, the Post-Capitalist Plunge
Fintech giant Plaid has quietly added support for two DeFi applications, the IRS wants to know about your crypto holdings and data shows the total value of stablecoins has surpassed the $20 billion milestone.
Plaid <3 DeFi
Visa-owned fintech company Plaid, which connects traditional bank accounts to thousands of digital platforms has quietly added support for Dharma’s DeFi wallet and Teller Finance, a DeFi startup bringing unsecured lending to the Ethereum blockchain. CoinDesk’s Ian Allison got the scoop that Plaid’s head of UK, Keith Grose, is a believer in decentralized and open applications, even if it’s a cynical attempt for fintech to manage its own disruption. “I think it’s still a long way before DeFi becomes part of the main route for finance, but it’s a really exciting corner and one that personally I’m passionate about,” Grose told Allison. “We’re only scratching the surface…”
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reportedly repositioning a question about crypto transactions that will make it harder for taxpayers to avoid declaring their holdings. According to a Wall Street Journal report Friday, the IRS is updating the 1040 income tax form for 2020 to require that all returnees check a box if they have transacted any crypto assets over the year – placing the question at the top of the document, rather than buried further down, the WSJ says. A law expert told the WSJ that the question would make it easier for the IRS to win cases if the taxpayer checks the “no” box and is later found to have held crypto. Half a world away, four Knesset members are seeking to ease Israel’s 25% capital gains tax on cryptocurrencies through draft legislation.
A new bipartisan-backed bill aims to clarify investment contract assets or digital tokens sold as part of a securities offering are separate and distinct commodities, not securities, CoinDesk’s Sandali Handagama reports. Introduced by Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the legislation would amend existing securities laws to exclude tokens from the definition of a security. Chief Policy Officer for the Chamber of Digital Commerce Amy Davine Kim, said tokens – issued by companies that register with the SEC – are the object of an investment contract and not necessarily a security. Rep. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), who joined Emmer in introducing the legislation, proposed a separate bill Thursday that could bring digital currency exchanges under a single federal framework.
China & crypto
Ant Group has launched a cross-border trading blockchain platform, called “Trusple.” The Antchain-based trading platform will make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to sell their wares to clients overseas, by automating payments and order placements. Ant has partnered with the likes of Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas to help “optimize” the process. Ant, a sister to Alibaba Group, is looking to raise a record $35 billion in a dual public listing. Meanwhile, Chinese state media have broadcasted a coordinated campaign declaring that “cryptocurrency has undoubtedly become the top performing investment” this year. CoinDesk’s Wolfie Zhou said while many are responding to the bullish signal others are concerned about the potential agenda behind the rare coordinated effort.
Andreessen Horowitz’s (a16z) late-stage venture fund has received a green light from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a transaction involving Coinbase. The VC giant’s $2 billion fund, Andreessen Horowitz LSV Fund I, L.P, received antitrust clearance from the FTC in a filing dated Sept. 22 involving “Coinbase Global, Inc,” Coinbase’s parent. CoinDesk’s Danny Nelson and Zack Steward report it is unclear whether the approval is for the fund’s previously disclosed purchase of shares in the cryptocurrency exchange or for a new purchase. Though, given Coinbase’s $8 billion valuation would represent nearly half of a16z’s $16.6 billion assets under management, it’s extremely unlikely the clearance is for an outright purchase.
Earlier this week stablecoin issuers received a reassuring message from some of the top U.S. financial regulators: parking your fiat reserves in banks is a-okay.
On Monday, the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), under the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued official guidance declaring that national banks and federal savings associations can hold reserve funds for stablecoin issuers. It was a signal for these issuers to continue what they already have been doing for years.
Indeed, the dollar-backed stablecoin market nearly quadrupled in size over the past year – from around $5 billion in September 2019 to around $20 billion currently – with much of that wealth backed by reserves held in bank accounts. Much of this growth has been driven by international demand for dollars as well as the increasingly sophisticated financial tools being built on top of public blockchain technology. Since its inception, however, the stablecoin market has existed amid regulatory ambiguity.
The new ruling, the first federal guidance issued regarding stablecoins, adds legitimacy to the booming market sector and paves the way for more banks to enter the ecosystem, say industry commentators. Still, it’s unclear whether the mandate will have any short-term significance.
“If you don’t have guidance from the banking regulator about how banks can participate in those schemes – or arrangements, rather – that would limit growth. It paves the way for growth,” Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle said over Zoom. “But it doesn’t change the way Circle operates today.”
Allaire isn’t alone in his thinking. “The letter indicates a positive sentiment coming from a top government agency,” Kristen Smith, founder of the Blockchain Association, a D.C. crypto advocacy group, said. “Will it have any major practical changes for the way fiat-backed stablecoins operate? Probably not.”
The total value of stablecoins has now surpassed $20 billion, reflecting the growing demand of investors looking to hedge their risks in both crypto and traditional markets amid the coronavirus pandemic. Data from Coin Metrics show that the total value of assets for all stablecoins breached the $20 billion mark Thursday, only a little more than four months after the number broke a $10-billion record in May. Stablecoins are digital tokens, the values of which are pegged to fiat currencies like U.S. dollars.
Three Arrows Capital completed the largest single issuance of new wrapped bitcoin tokens by any merchant, minting 2,316 WBTC through BitGo Thursday afternoon. The Singapore-based firm’s mint represents nearly 3% of the current wrapped bitcoin supply, just over 81,000 at last check. One week ago, Alameda Research set the previous record for most tokens issued in a single mint with 1,999 WBTC issued. Since January, the total supply of wrapped bitcoin has grown by over 13,000% from less than 600 WBTC, according to data from Dune Analytics, CoinDesk’s Zack Voell reports.
Privacy tech company Aleo has launched a data privacy-oriented blockchain and developer kit to make writing zero-knowledge proofs in web applications easy and scalable. CoinDesk’s Ben Powers reports the startup is releasing its first round of software tools to let developers write private applications for the web using a new programming language called Leo, as well as integrate these tools into pre-existing browsers’ functions. Aleo leverages zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), a cryptographic technique that allows two parties on the internet, such as an app and a user, to verify information with each other without sharing the underlying data related to this information.
Jonathan Beller is Professor of Media Studies at Pratt Institute and member of the Economic Space Agency (ECSA) think-tank. His forthcoming book The World Computer: Derivative Conditions of Racial Capitalism will be published by Duke UP in 2021. This essay is part of the Internet 2030 series exploring the future of the digital economy. The essay excerpted below is part of CoinDesk’s ongoing Internet 2030 series exploring the future of digital technologies and cultures.
Now, in 2030, there is a global movement to redesign the convergence of communications and monetary media as post-capitalist economic media.
The internet of the past has been clearly grasped as an extension of capitalism that turned everyone to workers in the social factory, who are paid in company scrip, while the real value was hoarded by shareholders. The “background monetization” of our words, images, locations, faces and metabolic processes was recognized as a key impediment to general emancipation and as a blockade against solving world historical problems including climate change.
Indeed, some claimed (rightly from our perspective), that the economic logic of the internet in 2020 also prevented the possibility of adequately addressing the egregious forms of profitable oppression that come under various headings including “racism” and “sexism,” endemic to what was essentially racial capitalism.
No longer, it had been decided by a growing number of Earthlings by 2030, will companies and governments strip us of our expressive power, our powers to create cultures, worlds and value(s). No longer will they devalue our lives in accord with their agendas.
We will no longer alienate our “content” as property for someone else’s platform, we will no longer provide labor for someone else’s capital, we will no longer be a pawn in centralized sovereign governance that couldn’t care less about us. We refuse the psychopathology and megalomania that comes from having to assert ourselves by actively denying the real conditions of existence, conditions that inexorably convert our expression into murder.
In short, as one manifesto put it, “We will no longer serve as batteries for someone else’s matrix.”
CoinDesk’s “Internet 2030” series examines the future of the medium and what role blockchain and crypto will play in it with content and conversations on the future of the decentralized web. If you are interested in submitting an op-ed for the series, please reach out directly to [email protected].
CoinDesk reporters Nikhilesh De, Anna Baydakova and Danny Nelson have released the first episode of their new podcast, Borderless. The series explores the most important events happening in and out of crypto affecting the industry, through a global lens. In the first episode they dive into the FinCEN files, a collection of thousands of documents that show, banks, not crypto, are the main conduit for alleged financial crimes.
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