HIGH TIMES Certified and Lab Tested at More Than 20% THC.

After implementing our new Cannabis Cup scoring system in April 2011 – which utilizes lab testing as part of the equation – and after four trial runs in cities around the world including San Francisco, Denver, and Amsterdam, we figured we had a pretty good hold on exactly which strains are the most potent on the planet. Here is our list of the world’s strongest sativas, indicas, and hybrids that Ms. Cannabis sativa L. has to offer. Warning: This is definitely not your parents’ pot.
By Nico Escondido

The first “Elite Eight” strains listed herein tested highest in THC potency among the more than 300 varieties entered in the four Cannabis Cup events that HIGH TIMES held in 2011. They’re in the uppermost echelon when it comes to strength and reflect not only superior genetics, but also the best cultivation techniques possible in order to unlock their potential.


All of these strains, including the 16 others that round out the list, possessed the highest levels of THC, with each of them registering at least 20% when laboratory tested on gas chromatograph (GC) machines. Gas chromatography is used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds. These entries were submitted from across countries in both North America and Europe and are currently the strongest strains on planet Earth. Don’t worry, we’ll be updating this list annually, after every year’s round of Cannabis and Medical Cannabis Cups!

OG Ghost Train Haze
Southwest Alternative Care
Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

The strain with the highest percentage of THC at any of the 2011 HIGH TIMES Cup events came from Denver, CO: It was entered by Southwest Alternative Care and was created and grown by Rare Dankness Genetics. But what exactly is the OG Ghost Train Haze? One might guess she has some OG and some Haze in her. But more accurately this strain has the Haze, as in Neville’s Haze, mixed together with some OG and Trainwreck. For those of you keeping score at home, the exact line looks like this: OG Kush x (Trainwreck x Neville’s Haze). Surprising? Not really. Strong? Tops in ’11.

Chem Dog
Highland Health
Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

You know the name, we all love the strain – and if she’s not No. 1, of course she’s No. 2. The only surprise here is that this was the first time Chem Dog has ever been entered into a HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, but she didn’t disappoint! Grown by Highland Health for the Denver Medical Cannabis Cup in Colorado last April (’11), the Chem D topped out at close to 25%.

Banana Kush
Highland Health
Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

Another entry by Highland Health in the 2011 Denver Cup: The precise genetics are unknown, but what we can say for sure is that there’s definitely some Kush present, which likely accounts for her powerful punch. What we don’t know is exactly where that awesome banana flavor comes from!


G-13 Widow
Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

Finally...a non–Chem D family member cracks the list! And wouldn’t you know it, she’s a G-13 x White Widow. The G-13, engineered by the US government’s medical project at the University of Mississippi, was always said to possess the highest levels of THC available at the time, and crossing those genetics with the legendary White Widow should only boost the case for a Top 5 inclusion. Entered by Biocare at the 2011 Denver Cup, this strain hit nearly 24% THC, giving her a definite “one-hit wonder” status.

Golden Goat
Colorado Alternative Medicine
Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

The previously unknown Golden Goat was entered by Colorado Alternative Medicine in the 2011 Denver Cup. (Don’t feel left out – this is the first time we’ve ever seen her, too.) In case you’re wondering about the lineage, it’s Island Sweet Skunk x Hawaiian x Romulan. And though she’s a hybrid, the Golden Goat offers an uplifting, sativa-like high with Super Silver Haze flavor and fruity aftertones. Where that name came from is another story.

Presidential Kush
Colorado Alternative Medicine
Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

Well, it appears the folks at Colorado Alternative Medicine are doing something very, very right: They came proper for our first annual High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in Denver last year, entering two strains that tipped the scales at over 22% THC (see above). This entry, their Presidential Kush, was a cross of two fabled strains known for both potency and flavor, the OG Kush and the Lemon Skunk.


Kosher Kush

DNA Genetics

24th Annual Cannabis Cup

The Kosher Kush made its public debut at the 2010 HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, taking home first place in the Indica Cup. The boys at DNA Genetics brought her back in 2011 to defend the title, and she did not disappoint, taking home first place in the Indica Cup again. On top of that, the Kosher Kush had the highest potency of any strain entered this past year in Amsterdam. It’s no wonder the Kosher has been added to DNA’s top-shelf stock in their coveted Reserva Privada lineup.



The Cannasseur THC           

Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

Another potent entry in the 2011 Denver Cup (and a connoisseur’s blend for sure), this unique hybrid of a female OG Kush and a male Super Silver Haze (’99) smokes like a sativa (more than 70% dominant) and keeps you high for hours. With a THC level over 22%, she rounds out our crop of the Elite Eight in 2011. We’re expecting great things from this Colorado-based breeder and dispensary in the not-too-distant future.



Dr. Grinspoon, 21.87% THC

Barney’s Farm

24th Annual Cannabis Cup

No strains from the big daddy of cannabis events, the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, cracked the Elite Eight, but this one sure came close – and she’s from the seed masters at Barney’s Farm. The reigning Cannabis Cup champion, Barney’s Coffeeshop released Dr. Grinspoon in 2009 (via their sister seed company, Barney’s Farm) to honor the Harvard professor and author of Marihuana Reconsidered and Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine, who has fought valiantly for medical marijuana and users’ rights. A super-sativa, the Grinspoon takes a long time to flower (95 days), grows tall and lanky, and has a truly superb high.


Blue Dream, 20.75% THC

Good Chemistry

Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

Another extremely popular US strain, this Blue Dream was done right (once again) at the Denver Cup and entered by the Good Chemistry dispensary. Showing how important good grow technique is, this entry almost hit 21% THC, whereas many other Blue Dream entries across all four Cups in 2011 fell short of the 20% mark. A simple cross of the beloved Blueberry and a straight-up Haze, the Blue Dream can exhibit various phenotypes in her psychoactive effects, some smoking as sativa-dominant and others bringing a more balanced, hybridized high.

Gold Haze, 20.51% THC
Devil’s Harvest Seed Company
24th Annual Cannabis Cup

One of the latest up-and-coming seed companies in Amsterdam, the team at Devil’s Harvest is itching to grab their first Cup, and with strains like Gold Haze and T-Light (a.k.a. Strawberry Sour Diesel), which were both entered in the 2011 Cannabis Cup, it’s just a matter of time before they take one home. The Gold Haze, a nine-week pheno of the legendary Amnesia Haze, shows the crew’s prowess as big-time indoor cultivators, as they got the old-school strain into the upper stratosphere of potency, rocking it at more than 20% THC – something definitely not easy to do with her. Look for more big things from Devil’s Harvest at the 2012 Cannabis Cup.


Durban Poison, 20.16% THC

Highland Health

Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

Everyone at the HIGH TIMES office gets super-stoked whenever we see landrace genetics – and when those heirloom strains are grown well and top out at over 20% THC, as with this entry from Highland Health at the 2011 Denver Cup, well, it gives us chills. The old-school Durban Poison is as good as it gets when done right. One has to wonder, given the strain’s history and the fact that this entry came from Denver, if altitude played a part in how well it turned out.


Larry OG Kush, 21.46% THC

The Cali Connection

San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup

If you’re an aficionado of fine cannabis, the Cali Connection should be a household name to you by now – especially if you’re also a gardener! That’s because these guys don’t mess around when it comes to their seed lines, and they also boast one of the best collections of rare and original genetics from the Chem Dog family lineage. The Larry OG strain was entered in our 2011 San Francisco Cup and has never appeared in any HIGH TIMES Cup event before this (even though the Larry has made an appearance or two in NYC). Not only is Larry one of our best-tasting friends right now, but when she’s (he’s?) done right (as was the case here, breaking 21% THC), Larry is welcome anywhere we go.


LA Confidential, 20.72% THC

420 Wellness

Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

An excellent entry from one of Denver’s finest clinics, 420 Wellness – add to it killer genes courtesy of DNA Genetics and you have some strong sinsemilla. Incidentally, Snoop Dogg just told one of HT’s editors that the LA Confidential is one of his favorite all-time strains, especially when he’s overseas in Amsterdam. He went on to say that he was proud it came from Cali, where “both the mom and dad came from.” Looks like Snoop knows his weed!


Diamond Girl, 20.12% THC

The Green House Seed Company

24th Annual Cannabis Cup

Green House Seeds, perennial Cannabis Cup winners and world-renowned breeders, came through at the 2011 Cup in Amsterdam with a brand-new strain that topped the charts for potency in the seed company indica category. But that was no surprise, since they’ve been doing it for years. What was a surprise was the Diamond Girl’s lineage: an Early Pearl mother crossed with a Skunk x Northern Lights father. In a word, sexy!


Jedi OG, 20.01% THC

The Ant Farm

Detroit Medical Cannabis Cup

Entered by the Ant Farm in our 2011 Detroit Cup, the Jedi OG was the only strain in the competition to exceed 20% percent THC (sorry, Michigan). Still, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of excellent herb in Detroit last September – the breeders up there are creative, and we saw a few up-and-coming seed companies that we know will be making a big splash in the next few years, most notably New World Seeds with their prize-winning sativa, the Obamanator (a cross of a Kenyan landrace and a pure Hawaiian that came in close at 18.70% THC).


Bio Diesel, 21.63% THC

Denver Relief

Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

There’s a lot of great things going on with this bud. For starters, she was organically grown, which helps kick up the flavor a notch, especially when one of the parents is the fabled East Coast Sour Diesel, known as one of the best-tasting herbs on the planet. Then you take the East Coast Sour Diesel (Chem Dog x Mass Super Skunk) and cross her with a nice Sensi Star phenotype and you get Bio Diesel, with top-tier flavor and just about 22% THC...wow.

Karma’s Headband, 21.54% THC
Denver Medical Cannabis Cup

This variation on the original Headband adds Master Kush to the mix (OG Kush x Master Kush x Sour Diesel) with some seriously potent results. Karma’s Headband didn’t win anything at the Denver Cup, but she did quite well in the lab reports.



Chem Dog Biodiesel, 20.81% THC

Broadway Wellness Denver

Medical Cannabis Cup

This one should be named “Candy Head-banger” because she tastes so sweet – and then you get banged in the head! The lineage on this one: (F1 Sensi Star x S1 Sour Diesel) x Chem Dog. Go ahead, read it again...The Dog gives her a potent kick, while the Star and Diesel sugar her up. God bless you, Denver.


OG Kush, 20.11% THC

D&M Compassion Center

San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup

It takes real cojones to enter a popular strain like OG Kush, for a few reasons. First, with a prolific clone strain such as the OG, a grower needs to be sure it’s the real-deal cut. Next, the grower needs to know they did her right in the garden, because everyone knows what a good OG should look, taste and – most importantly –feel like. This one felt like 20% THC.

Dead Head OG, 20.08% THC
The Cali Connection
24th Annual Cannabis Cup

We’re going to keep this as short as possible: OMG! A Chem ’91 x San Fernando Valley OG (an F6). Strong. Stinky. If you grow, get these seeds now – you will not regret it. If you don’t grow, good luck finding the buds. Absolutely killer.






Look for Nico's 2013 Strongest Strains on Earth in the June 2013 issue of HIGH TIMES.