Now before we get started, let me preface that I am not a scientist and have absolutely no scientific training or scientific evidence to prove my theory other than 5+ years of growing and consuming lab tested cannabis along with monitoring the results. Since marijuana became legal in Oregon back in 2014, I have had over 100+ personal strains tested and have easily consumed over 1000 different lab tested cannabis products. Since the beginning days of testing, I would see flower percentages anywhere from 10-20% and concentrates between 40-70%. With 20% and 70% being the max. At first, I would also only see a few of labs such as Steep Hill Labs and Green Leaf Labs but within 6 months I noticed many different labs popping up that were putting out 80%-90% THC levels on extracts along with 25-30% THC levels on flowers.
As I did my own personal testing I found that certain labs would get a buzz going within grower circles for higher %’s or in my opinion inflated %s in order to make a name for themselves. I tested this on multiple occasions by sending the same batch of flower to different labs and the results were obvious that these lesser-known labs we’re at times coming back with 10-20% more THC than the more respected labs. Now I have never worked in a testing facility so my initial thinking was that they’re either going with the highest % they find at these lesser-known labs or they had less accurate testing equipment vs. more respected labs that I know had state of the art equipment. Now I won’t name names or state with 100% certainty that folks were giving higher %’s to boost business but I had heard the stories from way too many reputable growers to believe otherwise. Either way, I’ve never been someone that reads too much into THC%’s as I can personally tell you that my favorite strain I grow for potency along with flavor (Obama Kush) would always test at 5-7% lower than my other strains no matter the lab. Yet 9/10 patients would want the Obama Kush over all of my other strains. I had a Cherry Pie cut that would always test at 20-25+% and it was mild and weak in the stone and taste department vs. my Obama. So it got me thinking, maybe not all THC is created equal. What I mean by this is each strain’s THC is different based on many factors but predominantly genetics. What I have found is that THC%’s do not ultimately decide the potency of your pot. I once sampled a strain named “The White” which tested at 30%+ but I still found my buddies 15% Abusive OG Kush to be far superior in every facet.
I currently have a 90% THC Marionberry Kush live resin along with a 55% Wedding Cake live resin and there is no comparison. The 55% wedding cake is double the strength and potency yet only about half the THC and the same price. This can only be explained by rationalizing that each strain or even each phenotype’s THC is different and one strains trichomes at full maturity will almost never equal the strength and potency of another’s. While testing labs may have the correct #’s on THC%, that may not matter as one strains THC is of a lesser quality due to genetic and environmental factors along with synergism with other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG and terpene’s.
I truly believe genetics play the largest role in potency and flavor as I have had identical Northern Lights plants grown from seed and both tested at roughly the same THC% and CBD%, however the one girl that looked the best throughout the run ended up not getting you as stoned and had much less flavor than the sadder looking runt. Same strain of seeds, same THC%, same environment, but at the end of the day, different phenotypes with different specific genetics. Again my data is based on personal experience and not scientific research but at the end of the day, my hypothesis leads me to believe that not all THC is created equal. Test it out yourself and purchase two different Indica or two different Sativa strains with around the same THC%’s from the same lab testing facility and compare it yourself. I’ll be damned if you’re not amazed at how little the THC% determines the overall quality of cannabis strains that test above 15%.