By DEANNA DEBARA
When some people consume cannabis, they’re looking for a potent experience which is a large reason why cannabis potency is on the rise. In a 2016 study published in Biological Psychiatry, researchers found that THC concentration tripled from 1995 to 2014, from about 4 percent to about 12 percent. In 2020, it’s not uncommon to see cannabis strains with a THC concentration of 20 percent-plus.
But just because cannabis potency has been steadily increasing over the years doesn’t mean that every strain is packed with THC. There are plenty of low potency cannabis strains on the market—and plenty of consumers who prefer them to one infused with a high concentration of THC.
So, what’s the deal with low potency cannabis strains and why would you want one? Learn more about this beginner-friendly way to enjoy weed for medicinal or recreational needs.
What’s a Low Potency Cannabis Strain?
A low potency cannabis strain is a strain that contains a low-to-moderate amount of THC. While there’s no “official” threshold as to what qualifies, anything under 10% THC content would be ideal for beginners when possible.
Many low potency cannabis strains also contain a high concentration of CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can temper the effects of THC, making for a less intoxicating or “high” cannabis experience.
Something else to note? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to low potency cannabis strains and there’s a significant amount of variation within the category. For example, consuming a cannabis strain that has a 10 percent THC concentration and no CBD is going to produce a completely different effect than a strain with 3 percent THC and 10 percent CBD. So while many consumers prefer low potency cannabis strains, their reasons behind choosing something less potent—and the experience they have when they consume—can vary from person to person.
Why Would You Want To Try A Low Potency Cannabis Strain?
As mentioned, there are a huge variety of reasons why someone might prefer a low potency cannabis strain to something stronger or more potent. The biggest reason? Tolerance.
When someone is just starting out with cannabis or doesn’t consume often, they typically have a lower tolerance than more experienced consumers. And for people with a low tolerance for THC, a low potency cannabis strain can feel just as intoxicating as a stronger, more potent strain would feel for someone more experienced—and if someone with a low tolerance were to try a stronger strain, the intoxicating effects could feel overwhelming or lead to adverse side effects, like anxiety or paranoia.
Another reason some consumers prefer a low potency cannabis strain is because they’re not looking to get intoxicated at all. Many cannabis consumers, particularly medical patients, use cannabis for other reasons like pain relief or muscle relaxation. Those consumers will gravitate towards strains with high CBD and extremely low THC (sometimes 1 percent or less). Keeping THC concentration low helps them get the positive effects they’re looking for—without the intoxication associated with THC.
The last reason many consumers go for low potency over stronger cannabis strains is because they’re looking for a “Goldilocks” cannabis experience; not too strong, not too weak, but just right. For these consumers, keeping THC concentration at the high-end of the low potency spectrum can deliver a gentle buzz, allowing them to experience a high without feeling out of control, overpowering, or causing any challenging or negative side effects.
Low Potency Cannabis Strains To Try When You’re Looking For Less Intoxicating Experience
Clearly, there’s a variety of reasons why you might want to incorporate a low potency cannabis strain into your consumption regimen. But which strains should you try?
If you’re ready to work some low THC, CBD-rich flower into your rotation, here’s what to get:
Harle Tsu CBD Flower: Featuring 13.9% CBD and 0.04% CBD, fans of this strain praise it because it makes them feel happy, relaxed, and euphoric with little negative effects.
Fleur Cannabis Fire Angel: This hybrid has 13.6% CBD and 7.2% THC so it will have more of a psychoactive effect than the other products here. Feeling tense all over? Fans say this will loosen things up without making you sleepy.
Sundae School CBD Kick-Back Pre-Roll: If you’re curious about trying out a CBD-rich pre-roll but don’t want to commit to buying an entire pack, here’s a great option to try. It features 6.9% CBD and 5.8% THC for a balanced yet chill evening.
Lola Lola Calm the Gift CBD Pre-Rolls: Like its name implies, if you want to calm the mind and body, try these pre-rolls which come in at 14.1% CBD and 0.3% THC.
Pure Beauty Babies CBD: Stylish packaging aside, fans of Pure Beauty praise the brand for its quality flower that offers up an ideal high for beginners and experienced users alike. These tiny pre-rolls that have 10.7% CBD and 3.1%THC are small enough that you can enjoy a few soothing hits.
Henry’s Original CBD Ritual 20:1 Pre-Rolls: Grown in small batches at a small family farm in Medocino County, these pre-rolls have 6% CBD and 0.6% THC. Fans love its rich flavor profile which has been described as earthy, citrusy, and sweet.