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40% THC? Australians Are Growing The World’s Strongest Pot

By on July 31, 2013
The first study to investigate the strength of Australian marijuana reveals some of the highest THC levels in the world.

The first study to investigate the strength of Australian marijuana has found some of the highest THC levels in the world. – You might think of places like Amsterdam or California as leaders in high potency marijuana, but new research shows it’s actually Australia that grows the world’s strongest pot.

In a study published last week, samples taken from the street market measured 15 percent THC on average, with the most potent strains measuring as high as 40 percent.

While recreational users might see this as good news, high levels of THC could be a drawback for Australians who use marijuana for medical purposes. That’s because CBD levels tend to decrease when THC goes up, which was another finding of the study.

Dr. Wendy Swift, lead author of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) investigation, told ABC News that other cannabinoids were present at “very low levels,” especially CBD.

The results, published in the international science journal PLOS ONE, showed over 90 percent of samples contained less than 0.1 percent CBD. Dr. Swift highlighted the problems associated with low CBD levels in a press release last week.

“While we have suspected for some time that cannabis in Australia contains high levels of THC, this is the first Australian analysis to demonstrate that on average, cannabis smoked by Australians is of similar high potency to that found in studies overseas and that levels of CBD, which may ameliorate some of the harmful effects of THC, are extremely low.”

australia-strongest-pot-2-07-31The study was not only the first Australian analysis of CBD, but of cannabis potency in general.

However, the high THC content was less of a surprise, considering cannabis around the world has tested stronger for this compound for as long as anyone has studied it.

Still, the growing population of medical marijuana users seem to prefer CBD in most cases. The chemical has many of the same therapeutic effects as THC, but comes without the high.

In fact, in countries like Israel – where medical marijuana is legal – companies have developed strains with as much as 15 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC in order to meet this need.

Which just goes to show, the rising strength of marijuana may actually be a good argument for – rather than against – legalizing the cannabis plant. Unfortunately, most policymakers continue to argue the opposite.

  • Nanci Loveless Burns

    This study ignores the fact that CBD levels are highest in FRESH cannabis. As the plant matter dries, THC goes up, CBD goes down. People who need the CBDs need to ingest fresh leaves & flower buds. Fresh cannabis should be used to make cannibutter for edibles.

    • Phoenix Rising

      99.9% of the cannabis grown in Australia for recreation or medical has less than 1% CBD. That is a fact. Forty years of breeding for THC bred out the CBD. Now the breeders are looking to reverse that to once again introduce CBD to the strains available to patients. I am the only person in Australia working with high CBD strains. That is a fact. The strain I am using has 15% CBD. That is a fact.

      • ORLY

        “I am the only person in Australia working with high CBD strains. That is a fact. The strain I am using has 15% CBD. That is a fact.”

        You need to get out from underneath the rock you are living under, I know 2 growers off the top of my head who are working on increasing CBD levels in Australia.
        Have you been smoking in the stables again? Coz you need to get off of your high horse.

        • Bio Science and Botany

          But does your Australian weed have 15 percent CBD? No it does not……he has no need for work his CBD is there.

        • c-walk

          No he cited his source. .. “that is a fact”…. boom!

        • me

          Can i have some to see how strong it really is. Cuz I took 65% THC laced it with some Bruce banner and was like so high i was stuck in my car for 8 hours so I want to be the judge of that

      • Dale Flynn

        How can I find high cbd strains in WA

        • jonny bravo

          Bellingham here

      • joe bloggs


      • Blizzard

        may i please get in contact with you?

      • anonymous

        I have a penis, this is a fact

      • Luke Williams

        What’s the strain you are talking about with 15% cbd?

    • Alex

      I seriously recommend eating fresh leaves in like salads, they will balance out your system.

    • Blue

      Not true, there is no such conversion of THC to CBD via drying plant material. You get either CBD or THC over the growing phase as they both come from the same precursor compound. If THC is high in fresh plant material, it will also be high in properly cured dry material, THC degrades to CBN with exposure to heat, air, and light.

  • E

    and it ignores the fact that when you are a regular user the substance pretty much becomes like a cigarette or like water.. and doesn’t affect you like a new user.. as your THC saturation point in your body is reached the effects are not as drastic anymore.. since the user’s saturation may drop to 99.5% over night from 100% and then ingestion only creates an experience of 0.5% increase instead of a 10% increase or so in some one that hasn’t used for awile or ever..

  • Phoenix Rising

    I have great concerns about flawed studies
    on cannabis being released to the general public with little or no factual
    basis, or simply outright lies. In particular I am concerned that studies like
    this reflect poorly on the standard of research at NDARC, and bring it into
    disrepute. As an Australian who has helped fund the organisation through my
    taxes, I find that totally unacceptable.
    I have been in contact with Dr Wendy Swift and brought my concerns about
    her study to her attention. Dr Swift, quite rightly so, has agreed with my
    assertion that her study was flawed, and in fact has only helped to further
    confuse the already confused truth about cannabis in Australia.

    • Peter Lunk

      You are totally right !
      Test results from 1 bud can vary from testkind and location to other places…
      Test 1 bud in 4 labs get 4 different results.

      P.S. 40% THC is complete B.S !!! imo
      MAke oil from such a bus and you will see thet you will NEVER get a 40% weight oil from ANY BUD.

      Strange testnumbers.

      • Not How it Works

        That is not how it works.. 40% THC does not mean that the bud is made up of 40% THC by weight.. it means that when you take all of the cannabinoids and add them up, 40% of those cannabinoids are THC..
        I’m not even sure if cannabinoids is the right word.. But I am sure that your thinking on 40% being a measurement of the weight of the buds is completely wrong.
        40% THC just means that the buds are mostly offering THC, less of the other actives..

        If you make extracts you would know this is true.. you are lucky to get 3.5g of hash from an oz of buds.. and that hash is not even close to being pure THC.. that is just hash.

        Your thinking is all backwards. This is people who don’t know what they are talking about, talking like they do know what they are talking about.. silly.

    • ORLY

      Do you have Dr Swifts assertion that her study is flawed in writing or somewhere we could refer to? Coz that would essentially render this study, article and propaganda defunct.

      • Phoenix Rising

        Yes I do. I have an email from her but I do not intend to post it here. I did send an email to NDARC letting them know this study is flawed.

        • ORLY

          Proof or it didn’t happen.

          • Phoenix Rising

            Talk to Dr Swift yourself.

          • J3t

            or you could just have a brain and see the study is flawed. 40% THC means that a bud is just under half THC with the rest being plant matter. ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE, at this stage anyway. In the US they are only just approaching the lower 30% range at MAXIMUM, and they actually have the ability to build science labs to create this. Here in Aus we have a shitty grow room and some shitty genetics (mainly because everyone here is a selfish cunt). My point is that if you can’t see the flaw then don’t question it, it’s such an obvious flaw that it would be pointless for anyone to further explain it.

    • Luke Williams

      Maybe it’s mutation

  • Maria Adan Santa Maria

    i like this news,thanks

  • Brown Sugar

    I am old fashion I guess. I just want the same kind of marijuana that was back in the early 80′s. I don’t know about all this new stuff.

    • alan

      As a smoker since the mid 1970s, I can tell you today’s weed is so much better. Learn my son, learn.

  • Jimijames

    If that graph/chart is from their study, and the doctors conducting don’t understand how THC-A is different than THC, they really need to get into a different field. THCA and THC are completely different in their effects on the body and mind and THCA has been shown to be non psychoactive. Secondly, I see no mention of what methods they use in order to come up with these numbers. I mention this because when you grind or process cannabis, you often end up with more trichomes left in the ground up product and leaving a lot of the green mater behind. On The CNN documentary that aired recently it showed scientists from the Marijuana Potency project testing in such a way that, in my experienced opinion, would extract more of the trichomes and less of the plant matter resulting in an overall skewed ratio by weight. These tests need to be fully disclosed or standardized before you can truly trust any claim of potency. Good keif is 40% by weight. If the plant had that much THC, it wouldn’t be able to support itself structurally.

    • Blue

      THCA is THC in acid form, it is THC with a carbon dioxide molecule attached (and one hydrogen photon). When heat is applied, THCA heats up and starts vibrating, snapping off the carbon dioxide molecule and becoming THC.
      This is what happens when you burn a joint or vaporize some cannabis, most of the THC is stored in fresh or dried cannabis as THCA, and when you apply the heat it decarboxylates to THC becoming “active” and able to fit the CB1 receptor inducing euphoria among other therapeutic effects. THCA does not bond to the CB1 receptor and does not induce euphoria.

      • Aids

        Exactly correct! Decarbing should be done when making edibles. Converts THCA > THC

        • Imhighlikegiraffeass89

          So a man goes to Mexico and one of the first things he sees is a man selling donkeys so he goes up to the man and asks how much for one of those donkeys and the man said that there is what we call an ass so he says I’ll take one. The man then said sometimes this ass will get tired and stop moving but if you scratch his belly he’ll start again so he’s goin down the road scratching his ass when he sees a man selling what looked like chickens so he stops and asks how much for one of those chickens and the man says that’s not chickens those are what we call a cock so he tells the man I’ll take one and continues down the raid scratching his ass with his cock in his hand when he sees a woman selling what looked like goldfish so he asks the woman how much for one of those goldfish and she says that’s not a goldfish where we’re from that’s called a pullit so he says I’ll take a pullit so after he continues riding down the road but can’t scratch his ass because his hands are full so he gets off his ass and as he is doing so a nun is walking by and asks the man if he needed any help today so he replies yes actually can you hold my cock and pullit while I scratch my ass to get him moving again lol

          • joy

            your story had a happy ending!

          • joy

            I’m now reading this as a bedtime story to my kids

          • joy

            I want to live again!! YES!!! Give me the chicken. Give it to me. Don’t worry. Stop looking. It’s not weird.

          • joy

            ok. Finally the implosion has settled. But that is the best joke, at least ones for donkeys chickens and goldfish. Or Mexicans.

  • Mark Jones

    didn’t read. it’s bull shit.

  • trendynay

    oh bullshit article. if 40% existed people would be screaming in the streets about it, it would be all over the internet and seeds would be selling like crazy. LIES AND BULLSHIT. Please bring facts next time. Realize this study came from a REHAB CENTER for WEED!!!

  • CaliBud

    I’ll give Australia some props on their thc levels in their strains but if you seriously believe for a single second that Australia even comes close to Cali bud, you probably have an extra chromosome..

    • Stephanas Razsa

      Cali had some killer bud back in the day but it’s mostly more commercialized growers now that think they know everything.

    • disqus_daK05Q2zCX

      Right because only America can produce anything decent *sarcasm*. Merica fuck yeah!

  • john

    I belive the strain is greek gods an have experienced 35 to 40 percent thc level shit leaves you on your arse for bout 6 hour after one cone another is kona grown with heavy chemicals can really fuck you up an leave you in a coma like state far as the calli weed goes only ever heard bout it in movies experienced smoker out pick something milder way more benifical

    • J3t

      full of shit cunt. Stop spreading lies. you obviously just started smoking and either have been taken for a fool and it worked (for your dealer that is) or you really did get knocked out with 1 cone, in which case your tolerance is quite low and has nothing to do with how powerful the weed is. I’ve been smoking for 15 years and have NEVER come across ANYTHING close to 40%, BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST, as a matter of a FACT Aussie weed is just that!, WEED!, shit weed. Every grower/dealer I’ve mentioned curing to has no fucking clue about it (these are guys that have been growing for 20-30+ years and consider themselves “the best” as all shitty pot growers tend to. I’m growing my own simply because the weed is so damn shit here in Aus and I know for a fact that with a tiny bit of care I can grow 10 times better then these old dickheads that are stuck in the 50′s way of growing (which was around 2-5% THC. 10 years ago was when Aus had good stuff going around. Now only like 1 in every 4 are decent but not worth my 350

      • Bongstar420

        The climate is your problem. Invest in indoor ops and actually know what your doing. Quality is available anywhere, anytime

        • Stephanas Razsa

          I live in maine USA . Everyone around here as great quality medical now, but 20 years ago there was more potent strains around here with much higher terpene levels too. Anyway there used to be a skunk strain around here that probably approached the high 30′s.

          • Bongstar420

            Its probably not possible to get more than 30% free form THC. You are probably talking THC-A, the form most Cannabis produces. And, no, plants like that won’t ever be common and never were.

          • Stephanas Razsa

            I assumed you would know I was referencing total thc(including thc-a). I didn’t say they were common. Obviously they were not and are not.

      • Boris Johnson

        1 cone doesn’t really mean anything when you don’t know what it consisted of. I’m a seasoned smoker and 1 whole cone (I’m assuming you mean pure weed joint?) of what I get will knock me out. I have no idea what percentage of THC it has and no way to find that out.

        Weed smoking is becoming a pissing contest where people boast about how much they can handle/grow and everyone somehow thinks they’re a guru. So, let us into your secrets? I bet I can piss higher.

  • Ozbud

    Hi just want to say there seems to be sour grapes about who is growing the strongest pot from people on this forum. Data presented here in summary, is from a scientifically published and peer reviewed study in a scientific journal. If you think its wrong dont you think its better come up with the facts?

    Honestly, I have been a user of cannabis for decades smoking in Australia as well as purchasing, growing and smoking the hyped cup winners from overseas (at which I have been commonly disappointed).

    Just because something is hyped, marketed on forums and known about does not make a strain the best in the world. No disrespect to anyone but there is some very potent pot in Australia. Also, many suitable and ideal growing environments with alot of old genetics and history that are the backbone of cannabis that is bred today. Thumbs up for an interesting study!

  • PatrickMonkRn

    Would like to see a no holds barred prize fight between Mullaways and Phoenix Rising. What a bunch of bullshit hype. We have the same kind of charlatan snake-oil salesmen here in the US.

  • Paulpot

    Cannabis has to be heated to turn the NON-psychoactive THCA into psychoactive THC. THCA and THC have different medicinal properties.
    Further there is nothing harmful about any of these compounds but understanding and honesty would help a lot when prescribing it as a medication for people who really need help.

    • Bongstar420

      Sure. People who believe they “might’ be harmed by an overdose will waste good hospital time seeking “relief” that would happen without any medical attention what so ever in 99% of cases.

      Unless they took other drugs like Oxycotin or Alcohol. The Cannabis could cause them to over dose rather easily on those drugs.

  • dave

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  • Ukrules

    WTF the highest EVER reading of THC is 25.6% none of this 40% Bol££0x this whole study is tosh

    • Austin

      your actually wrong, new 2014 strains like bruce banner #4 have shown levels in the 28% just thought i would let you know

      • Bongstar420

        That is a reasonable claim while the claim in the article is not

  • PatrickMonkRn


  • G

    CBD levels are highest right before plants are ready to harvest. Harvest before it’s ready, create CBD oil and help epilepsy. 15% CBD in dry material is great, but would be greater in what I mentioned above. A drop on a child’s tongue of an average CBD level can make a child go from 12 seizures a day to 1-2 every two weeks, with that mystery percentage I mentioned above I would like to hear that someone harvested early to see if you can rid of those left over seizures. Prey that it rids of them completely.
    Your 17 year old Oregonian buddy:)
    That is just one of thousands of things you could attempt to help with the mystery percentage. Can’t wait to hear, if not, it’ll be my turn shortly.
    Much love and respect to you supporters of gods gift to us.

    • Bongstar420

      Hemp extract is empirically the same. No need to fuss with a fancy flower crop. Acres of hemp producing pounds of CBD for the cost of $300 per acre input. Think about what that means

  • Snowpetz

    The higher the THC content the higher the chance of paranoia and long term psychosis! I don’t see how this is ANYTHING but a concern. CBD levels need to be just as high as as THC if just a little bit lower to have a ‘good high’ without risks

    • Bongstar420

      The paranoia and long term psychosis is phenotypically dependent on the individual consuming the drug. I’ve never had paranoia, and I’ve consumed 50-70%THC resins when I had a low tolerance. It caused closed eye visuals, increased heart rate, and blood pressure but no paranoia or psychosis.

  • Realty Check

    No Way!
    Those samples were clearly laced with extracted marijuana oil
    that has a very highly concentrated THC content. I can easily get over
    50 percent THC content in oil by the extraction of premium grade bud
    with butane. Get real people. More cheap lore to grab a headline IMO.
    BTW, marijuana oil extract laced bud is very very good.

    I am speaking about the brown to amber colored oil NOT the black gunk from leaf remains.

    • Bongstar420

      You can pull pristine BHO from leaves. Yield is low though. Its also not quite the same as flowers as far as effects go

  • Chris Hansen

    This article is BS

  • Shawn Page

    This is so cool, only if the US would legalize pot. #xpresspage #marijuana

  • pothole

    last part of article tell everything. legalise !

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  • john wall

    i have been growing weed in nimbin aus since i moved out of my parents house 46 years ago, over the years i have picked up on how to grow 40%+ thc strains easy when its legal over here youll hear about it.

    • Bongstar420

      I’m sure you didn’t. Reference previous posting

  • bob

    40% thc is impossible to get from the flowers. The plant matter itself is probably 60-70%. Then you have the other cannabinoids totaling around 10%.. impossible to get 40% thc from flowers….that is fact. It took years before colorado or California had a proper, accurate testing method. Wouldn’t surprise me that Australia is using one of the wrong methods for testing which result in the high numbers.

  • Not How it Works

    That is not how it works.. 40% THC does not mean that the bud is made
    up of 40% THC by weight.. it means that when you take all of the
    cannabinoids and add them up, 40% of those cannabinoids are THC..
    not even sure if cannabinoids is the right word.. But I am sure that
    your thinking on 40% being a measurement of the weight of the buds is
    completely wrong.
    40% THC just means that the buds are mostly offering THC, less of the other actives..

    you make extracts you would know this is true.. you are lucky to get
    3.5g of hash from an oz of buds.. and that hash is not even close to
    being pure THC.. that is just hash.

    Your thinking is all
    backwards. This is people who don’t know what they are talking about,
    talking like they do know what they are talking about.. silly.

  • Garrett

    I grow at my house. Right now im looking at a bud ranging from 45 to 55% THC. White widow grandadpurp cross breed.



  • snappy aussie

    Sorry they must have screwed up with the testing. Australia doesn’t grow the strongest pot in the world. The weed everyone of my friends smoked in washington state or the netherlands has apparently been much much better. They obviously didn’t test the best weed in Europe or America.

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