THC % Does Not Measure The High

Discussion in 'Medicating' started by mattthematic, Oct 14, 2011.


    mattthematic Member

    Hello All ,

    New user here . Not so new grower . No old timer either .

    I recently have taken to testing my strains for THC % with a local lab . I am noticing the grows that get great user reviews do not necessarily have the highest THC % . In fact , the local favorite is coming in at 9% , which is half of my other strains !

    I do not think the lab is at fault . I think there is a lot more to the quality of the high than THC % . In addition , I am starting to question the reasoning behind the commonly held notion that Sativas are always energetic and Indicas are sleepers .

    There is a BBC documentary that really seems to confirm this . See YouTube .

    Does anybody have similar observations ?

    I am trying to understand why some strains make people giggle and chat and others make people sleep . THC % is not the deciding factor . CBD ? CBN ? Other Magic Stuff ?

    Thank You ,
    Matt Thematic
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    I watched the video and saw nothing to support any reason for you to "question the reasoning behind the commonly held notion that Sativas are always energetic and Indicas are sleepers."

    It has long been known that cannabinoids work in conjunction with each other, as do some terpinoids. Some work to enhance the effects of THC and others work against the effects of THC. None on their own will produce a good high.

    Cannabidiol is nonpsychoactive and was initially thought to have no effect on the psycho activity of THC. More recent evidence however shows that smokers of cannabis are less likely to experience schizophrenia-like symptoms if there is a higher CBD to THC ratio. Experiments show that participants experienced less intense psychotic effects when intravenous THC was co-administered with CBD. It has been hypothesized that CBD acts as an allosteric antagonist at the CB1 receptor and thus alters the psychoactive effects of THC, resulting in a more easily manageable high.

    That is what was seen in the video, what the researcher was testing for.

    CBD has a greater affinity for the CB2 receptor than for the CB1 receptor, meaning that its effect is mostly in the body and not so much in the head. CBD shares a precursor with THC and is the main cannabinoid in low-THC cannabis strains like hemp.

    Landrace strains, usually of indica heritage, contain higher concentrations of CBD than recreational drug strains, which are usually bred towards a higher concentration of THC. This is the reason why strains containing high ratios of CBD can be difficult to find.

    Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), is the primary psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant. It was first isolated by Raphael Mechoulam, Yechiel Gaoni, and Habib Edery from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, in 1964.

    This is the main compound that gives rise to the high that is tightly linked with the cannabis plant. It affects several areas of the brain simultaneously and can therefore give rise to an assortment of experiences, ranging from altered perception of time and the self, to feelings of euphoria and relaxation all through the body.

    Medically, it appears to be analgetic, meaning that it is capable of alleviating even severe pain. It is also known to be neuroprotective, which rules out the possibility of brain damage, which was initially proposed to follow from heavy use of the plant. It has approximately equal affinity for the CB1 and CB2 receptors. By binding to CB1 receptors (the ones in brain) it produces the high that we are so familiar with. That is why the effects of THC is more cerebral, than the effect of CBD, which seems to have a greater affinity for the CB2 receptor.

    THCV is the propyl homologue of THC and is similar in structure. The propyl cannabinoids have so far been found in some varieties originating from Southeast and Central parts of Asia as well as Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. What are considered some of the most potent marijuana varieties also contain propyl cannabinoids. Some examples include traditional African landrace sativas as well as pure Thai varieties and various hybrids known as Haze.

    Cannabinol is the primary degradation product of THC and increases in concentration with plant age. The concentration of this product in the bud is heavily dependent on the time of harvest. Harvesting the bud at a late stage also means that the concentration of CBN in relation to THC will be higher when compared to the peak of THC production.

    Also, the woman in the video kept referring to "skunk." She said "new strains of skunk." As I understand things, in Great Britain is a blanket term for any high potency pot and not actually a skunk strain. No particular strain type was referred to. Nothing that was said would be reason to question if sativas do in fact cause a more uplifting energetic head high or not or if indicas do in fact cause a more heavy narcotic body stone or not.

    And when you said "sativas" I had to wonder if you meant 100% pure land-race sativas or 100% sativa crosses or like most people mean when they say sativas, a sativa/indica hybrid that is predominantly sativa but does have some indica in it so along with a head high there would be some degree of a body stone. There can be a fairly big difference between a real true land-race sativa and a sativa dominant hybrid cross, so if you did not mean a true sativa you should state that you are talking about a sativa dominant hybrid cross. The same goes for when you say indica. For anyone to formulate a valid response they would really need to know for sure just what you are talking about.

    Since 1968 I have smoked mainly real sativas, and before about 1980 that was all I smoked, and I have never run across one that was indica-like, that had a heavy narcotic couchlock body stone sort of buzz to it. Not one. Not all were the same in every way, but all were energetic and uplifting and thought provoking to some degree or another.

    I really cannot see where you are on to anything.

    fatboyOGOF Well-Known Member

    i agree!. there's a big thread either here or at gypsys that talks about a report from one of the head pot researchers in the world. it states that thc is at it's peak while the trichs are clear. as most of us prefer the high that comes when there are cloudy or even amber trichs, this tells me that yes indeed, tch is only one component of what it takes to give us that high we love (whatever that may be)!

    i believe magic fairy dust is a component of some of the reefer i've smoked! :peace:
    mauricem00, Cannacat and Final Phase like this.

    homebrewer Well-Known Member

    I think he's referring to the woman's reaction to the injections which could be considered indica vs sativa. Introverted and questioning things, that's how I am when smoking indica dominant strains, yet that's how she reacted with no cannabinoids. Giggly, goofy and positive, that's me on a sativa dominant strain which is how she reacted to the blend of THC and cannabinods.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    There was an article in High Times about a researcher found that peak potency levels of THC occurred when trichomes were still clear but just about to turn opaque. There have been a couple threads about it here since the issue of High Times came out.

    I would like a chance to read the entire study and see what different strains were part of the research. The reason I would like to know that is I have read other research findings that said pure sativa, not sativa dominant hybrids, reached maximum potency just prior to clear trichomes turning opaque, but pure indicas reached maximum potency just prior to opaque trichomes turning amber. While I have never read it from a source I would consider to be unquestionable I would have to believe that when it comes to hybrids the prime time to harvest would be found somewhere between those two and what would dictate when a strain would hit maximum potency would be how dominant either sativa or indica genetics would be in it, or if it would be a 50/50 mix.

    You are right in saying that THC is only one element in what creates a high or a stone. It takes the right combination of cannabinoids, and some terpenoids, to create a good high or stone. But that does occur within a window of opportunity while THC is at it's peak. That is when a strain will max out according to it's genetic code. Harvesting earlier or later will result in not ending up with the best a person could have. There is a longer/larger window of opportunity when growing a true sativa and it shrinks as a strain has more and more indica in it until finally being the shortest/smallest for a pure indica.

    What many do is try to perform the pot grower form of alchemy. They try to bend genetics into what they want rather than what the genetics are programmed to give. If someone wants a major couch-lock they need to pick a strain that will give them a major couch-lock while their plants are still at peak potency rather than throw away THC trying to make something into something it was not intended to be.

    So many growers are hung up on what's new, what the latest flavor of the month strain is, what they read a lot of other people writing about. That limits the number of strains they choose from making it less likely that they will purchase the strain, or strains, that would be best for their needs or tastes. If anyone doesn't believe that just pay a little more attention to the grow threads and the 'I just ordered these seeds' threads and you will see that the strains most people grow, not all, but most, fall into one relatively small sized group.

    If more people would be open to trying more breeder's gear and different strains, in particular some older strains that won Cups, back when unlike today winning a Cup was still at least something of a true achievement because there did need to be some true merit for winning involved, they could find some great strains. Strains that could be harvested when at their peak levels of potency but still give them the other parts of a high or stone that they want. Then they could stop playing pot grower alchemist because they wouldn't need to try to bend and twist genetics from what they are into something they were never intended to be to try to end up with what they want.

    stelthy Well-Known Member

    I am pretty certain that having a good balance of THC and CBD is good for a nice smoke but its THC-V that really increases the power of the 'high' cannabis has alot of other molecules that make the genetic frame, and then on top of that you have to consider the colour/maturity of the Trichs upon harvest and how the cannabis is dried (preferably in the dark).... all factors how the high will unfold - STELTHY :leaf:
    Joedank and Final Phase like this.

    ResidualFreedom Active Member

    GreenHouseSeeds has said their Great White Shark is one of their strains with the lowest THC levels, however it is a world known strain and it is used in dispensaries all over the world.. I remember reading there is OVER 60 DIFFERENT cannabanoids and we currently can only measure two, CBD and CBN... There is obviously other factors that contribute to the all around buzz achieved from each different strain that we have yet to be able to measure and properly see which strain gives off which buzz simply by looking at its test results.

    I think the great white shark is 12% if i remember right, but it was said the combination of the other cannabaniods allow it to be a much more desirable buzz then many strains with higher measurable test results.....
    Happygirl, Cannacat and Final Phase like this.

    TotalAmnesia Member

    Watching you experts chat about this is a very humbling experiance. Where would a noob go to learn about this stuff (in a noobs language)???
    Cannacat likes this.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    I know what he was referring to, but that still does not make any sense. It's been well known for a good while that a high or stone as people get from smoking either a sativa or an indica does not come from THC alone. Giving someone just pure THC and then trying to compare their reaction to different types of cannabis, sativa and indica, which would have all their cannabinoids and terpenoids, is a case of connecting dots that are not meant to connect and that if connected do not create an accurate picture, and it does not become any clearer when compared to someone's reaction when given THC and cannabinoids.

    It was not difficult to tell what he was referring to. But the basis or validity for his question about sativa and indica reactions is invalid given what it is founded on.
    Dr.Pecker likes this.
    bob harris

    bob harris New Member

    Again, I find myself agreeing with Bricktop. Cannabis is a complex drug. It can be a stimulant, or a depressant...and anywhere in between, depending on genetics, growing conditions and harvest time.

    The vast majority of users seem to prefer "stoned" as the effect they like. that's an indica trait, and can easily occur in a strain with low thc. It will probably have a high cbd content, as cbd tends to create the "stoned" aspect of the high. Cbd is formed as thc degrades..either from over ripening, light degradation..or simply from genetics that allow degradation as the plant matures. Therefore powerful couchlock weed is often lower in thc than you'd expect.

    On the other hand, i grow a thai strain that (when harvested at trichlomes " partly cloudy " totally head high..motivational, energetic and inspirational. I've had mine tested, and it comes in with high thc/thcv ratings and hardly any cbd/cbn. But someone looking for "pain" meds or to get "stoned" wouldn't appreciate the high. If I harvest early, at all clear trichlomes, it would keep you awake for days.

    An Indica, harvested early (clear trichlomes) may mimic a Sativa over ripened Sativa may be more indica like in effect.

    It's such a complicated mix of components, that pharmaceutical companies CAN"T make it. They have made pharmaceutical thc..but it simply dosen't have the same effects as mother natures concoction...
    TherealMickey, Happygirl and Cannacat like this.

    Sunbiz1 Well-Known Member

    That's where I get hung up with the whole issue. We know that there are many, many different substances working either independently or in combination. Cannabanoid 1 could be bonding with 38 or 41 or both or all other 59, that's a lot of different possibilities. The drug valium is a simple extraction and processing from valerian root, while marijuana is much more complex from a chemistry angle.
    Cannacat likes this.
    Total Head

    Total Head Well-Known Member

    this makes me wonder about paradoxical effects from cannabis. surely there are people with different "receptor configurations" who would not necessarily feel the same things from an indica (for example) as someone else. valium for example keeps me up while it knocks most people out. i realize benzos and cannabis are not the same but i think we might be oversimplifying the issue by only disscussing known reactions between cannabinoids and receptors.
    Happygirl, Cannacat and testiclees like this.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    Finding something factual in 'Noobanese' might be somewhat difficult, but Google is a good place to start. You just have to wade through the first dozen or twenty pages you find because they will be filled with not much more than opinions and beliefs that were shared on sites like this. The best information I find is usually found on about page 75 or page 131 or so of a Google search. That is how deep many actual scientific research findings are buried by grow room lizard opinions, highly dubious breeder claims, lying propagandistic government claims, inaccurate newspaper and magazine articles, etc.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    Cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids are complex and different ones have numerous different effects, and not only in how one physically senses them but also in their medicinal values.

    CBG (Cannabigerol): Non-psychoactive, sleep inducing. Anti-microbial. Lowers intra-ocular pressure (IOP) Glaucoma. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences Volume 30, Issue 10, October 2009, Pages 515-527
    CBC (Cannabichromene): Sedative effect. Moderates effects of THC. Analgesic (pain relieving). Non-psychoactive. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
    Volume 30, Issue 10, October 2009, Pages 515-527
    THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin): Stronger, faster “high” effect. Apatite suppressant. Euphoria, analgesic (pain relieving).
    THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): Psychotropic. Analgesic (pain relieving). Apatite stimulant. Bronchial dilator. Lowers IOP/glaucoma.
    CBD (Cannabidiol): Non-psychoactive. Reduces muscle spasms. Muscle relaxant. Analgesic (pain relieving) Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
    Volume 30, Issue 10, October 2009, Pages 515-527
    CBN (Cannabinol): Mildly psychoactive. Non-narcotic analgesic (pain relieving). Good indication of medications age. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences


    bob harris

    bob harris New Member

    Bricktop, you're one of the few guys in these forums that always make can be my wing man anytime....
    Lucky Luke and Happygirl like this.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    I don't have to start going by the name "Goose," do I? After all, "Goose" died.
    Lucky Luke, Cannacat and lilmafia513 like this.
    bob harris

    bob harris New Member man will do...
    Happygirl likes this.
  18. so it is the responsibility of a grower to try and get a pure/stable strain before it goes to the market? or can the genetics be given/gifted to many to try and stabilize the strain with the hopes of getting their genetics 1) to the masses and 2) sharing the joy of growing and refining?
    make sense? I am fluffy, it makes sense to me.
    Cannacat likes this.

    hyroot Well-Known Member

    From everything I've read, done, watched etc... To simply put it. It's the ratio between cbd and thc that makes the potency vary. cbn and cbg are gone by the time the plant is fully developed
    blak likes this.
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    CBN is not gone by the time a plant is fully developed. As THC degrades/oxidized the amount of CBN increases, even after harvest. CBN is what THC becomes when it 'dies.'

    Cannabinoid biosynthesis:




    Cannabinol is the primary degradation product of THC and increases in concentration with plant age. The concentration of this product in the bud is heavily dependent on the time of harvest. Harvesting the bud at a late stage also means that the concentration of CBN in relation to THC will be higher when compared to the peak of THC production.

    CBN content also increases as THC degrades during storage and with exposure to light and air. It is only mildly psychoactive and can cause "fuzzy head", drowsiness, disorientation and sleepiness in the smoker, properties that can be considered unpleasant in nature compared to the clear high of the THC. Its affinity to the CB2 receptors is higher than for the CB1 receptor, meaning that it mostly affects the body.
    OldMedUser likes this.

Share This Page