Strains & products

What are the strongest weed strains?

Published on April 5, 2022 · Last updated April 5, 2024
strongest marijuana strains
(Sasha Beck/Leafly)

Looking for a weed strain that will challenge your tolerance or stand up to stubborn medical symptoms? Strain potency depends on a variety of factors, including how it was grown, the quality of genetics, and much more, but we’re here to show you some of the most popular strong weed strains.

While THC is the main driver of potency in weed, it’s important to understand the role terpenes may play in enhancing and shaping a strain’s high. Terpenes like myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene are the aromatic compounds that give cannabis its unique array of smells, and a cannabis strain rich in both terpenes and THC often delivers a stronger high than a product that lacks chemical diversity.

The cannabis strains below are just a selection of popular powerhouses with a reputation for heavy-handed euphoria, but keep in mind that there are many more out there. Remember the adage “start low and go slow” with these ones.

Permanent Marker

chunky, nearly oval nug of frosty forest-green marijuana on its side, against a white background
CAM-grown Permanent Marker. (David Downs/Leafly)

Leafly Strain of the Year 2023 Permanent Marker combines looks, gobs of smell and taste, with an undeniable roundhouse to the cranium high. Hey, it’s what we seek after a long day of fighting down Highway 101, trying to escape The Valley. Seed Junky Genetics of LA also made Wedding Cake and only does super-strong strains. No Dad Weed here, sorry. People get tingly, talkative, and aroused on this party favorite—it’s hard to go wrong with it this 4/20. Just drink lots of water and pace yourself out there.

GMO Cookies

angular and long mint-green marijuana nug resting on its side against a white background
C.A.M. grown GMO Cookies. (David Downs/Leafly file photo 2020)

GMO is our Leafly HighLight of April 2024 and a go-to face-kicker if that’s your sort of thing. It can smell funky and skunky, your limbic system goes on high alert for a poison or noxious chemical. But ewww it stinks so good—for sure an acquired taste. Read all about GMO in the HighLight.

12 throwback, weird, or revolting weed strains for 2024


mint-green and frosty nug with dull orange hairs resting on its side against a white backdrop
Motorbreath grown in living soil by Snowtill in the Bay Area. (David Downs/Leafly)

Motoring along onto a ton of menus without too much hype—Motorbreath is smoking them with a 26%+ THC score, on average. This might be more bike than you can handle. It’s Chemdog and SFV OG, both of which can get you cooked. Users report diesel, pepper, chemical smells, and side effects may include an anxious dizziness and The Fear. Alas, some of us like to ride shotgun with our old friend Fear, just to feel a little alive, I guess. Snowtill No-Till Living Soil in San Francisco has the Motorbreath dialed.


Ember Valley Red Runtz. Indica hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)
Ember Valley Red Runtz. Indica hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

There’s no way you get to Leafly Strain of the Year 2020 without getting people faded. The Runtz crew out of Long Beach, CA promised as much as delivered with this Gelato-based strain. Accept no watered-down fake Runtz. Ask to smell the bag and look for those sweet, treefruit berry notes.

Khalifa Kush

Khalifa Kush 2022 (David Downs/Leafly)
Khalifa Kush 2022 (David Downs/Leafly)

Get at this refined type of OG Kush for that KK-level high. Rapper Whiz Khalifa’s brand is like 90% THC, so their flower has to hit. It’s testing at 21% on average, with a lemon-pine-fuel smell and taste.

Kush Mints

kush mints marijuana strain
(Courtesy Cookies)

Primary terpenes:Limonenecaryophyllene, linalool

Average THC: 27%

Combining old school classic Bubba Kush, and energetic Animal mints, Kush Mints is a THC powerhouse. This strain has increased in popularity as of late, likely due to its potency and complex minty flavor profile. If you’re a cookies lover looking for something a little different, check out Kush Mints.

What are cannabis terpenes and what do they do?

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake marijuana strain
Ice Cream Cake. (David Downs/Leafly)

Ice Cream Cake taps into the Cookies and Cakes craze in weed of the last few years, crossing Wedding Cake—Leafly’s 2019 strain of the year—and Gelato #33, a phenotype of our 2018 strain of the year. ICC is a relaxing, sleepy strain that’s great for nighttime. It’s sweet, creamy flavor profile makes it accessible to a broad range of smokers, just be sure to have a soft couch and some munchies close by.

MAC (Miracle Alien Cookies)

MAC marijuana strain
MAC from L.A. Made. (David Downs/Leafly)

Short for “Miracle Alien Cookies,” MAC has some Cookies and Chemdog buried in its roots, giving it a complex flavor. MAC is a strong, uplifting strain with a smooth orange flavor and floral notes. It’s so popular, related phenotype MAC 1 is also out there, which is usually slightly less potent and more balanced in effects.

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Bruce Banner

bruce banner marijuana strain

Bruce Banner, appropriately named after the Hulk’s alter ego, is a heavy duty hybrid with a staggering THC content. Powered by OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel genetics, Bruce Banner delivers a dizzying punch of euphoria that anchors your body in deep relaxation.

Original Glue

original glue marijuana strain
(David Downs/Leafly)

Original Glue, also known as “GG4” or “Gorilla Glue,” is named for the stickiness of its resinous buds, and this strain certainly lives up to its name. Multiple Cannabis Cup awards back up the legend of Original Glue’s potency, but we doubt you’ll need the proof once you’re stuck to the couch in stupefied contentment.

Leafly’s 100 best cannabis strains of all time

More high-THC weed strains

Looking for more strains? Check out these heavy-hitters.

Strongest indica hybrid strains:

Strongest sativa strains:

Strongest hybrid strains:

This post was originally published on October 22, 2015. It was most recently updated on April 5, 2024.

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Leafly Staff
Leafly Staff
Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.
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