Last week, I tried flower with the highest THC I’ve ever seen: 37.28 percent. (You rarely see strains higher than 30 percent at dispensaries.) The strain, dubbed Future (#1), was grown by Portland-based 7 Points Oregon and tested by MRX Labs, who tested the sample four times after their initial results to confirm, then posted on Facebook and Instagram a congratulations to 7 Points Oregon for growing the strongest sample they had ever tested.
My reaction was, “Huh. I bet that’s some strong weed. Good for them.”
But there were some people in the comments section of both posts who had different reactions—angry, accusatory reactions, some of them coming from fellow growers whose underpants had gotten painfully twisted. Their carefully thought-out feedback included accusations that the results were doctored by the lab, that it wasn’t physically possible for a strain to have that much THC, and how the highest THC doesn’t mean the best weed. (To be fair, that last point is spot on.)
Future is a strain that was crossbred by Exotic Genetix from Gorilla Glue #4 (or whatever we are legally obligated to call it now) and Starfighter F2. From the initial 12 seeds in the packet, 7 Points found nine females, retaining four different cultivars with distinct growth characteristics, terpenes, aromas, tastes, and potency. They discovered that Future (#1) was the most potent of the four, and it went on to win second place in the category of Most Potent Flower at the 2017 Oregon Dope Cup, with 32.5 percent THC.
So it’s fitting that the reaction to the 37 percent result for their latest harvest ranged from surprised and curious, to skeptical and concerned. “We knew that this could be a contentious issue,” 7 Points wrote in an email. “MRX is an ORELAP accredited lab, and our relationship with them has been nothing but professional and consistent. They were rightfully cautious when the results came in. Quality control tests were run four more times to calibrate equipment and validate the number prior to reporting. They did their due diligence.”
Before I tried the weed myself, I tried the patience of those involved, along with a big brain regarding bud: Mowgli Holmes, CEO of Phylos Bioscience. “What about the scoffing dismissals that cannabis physically can’t test at 37 percent THC?” I asked Holmes, who actually knows WTF he is talking about in these matters.
“The general consensus seems to be that the physical limit is gonna be around 35 percent,” he replied. “But we don’t really understand that, or why it is. We’re just guessing. So could a plant get to 37 or 38 percent? Maybe. Probably. Not impossible. It is pretty unlikely, though. The main point here is: Why the fuck would you want a plant that strong? That’s like going to 180 proof from 150.”
It seems 7 Points had similar questions. “For most of our team, a cultivar that hits 30 percent or above is too potent,” they wrote. “And we are big advocates of the concept that THC percentage is only part of the story regarding cannabis. Lesser-known cannabinoids and terpenes play a vital role as well. We acknowledge that THC numbers do matter to consumers in the Oregon recreational market—some look for terpenes, some for THC. As far as we’re concerned, both perspectives are valid.”
I viewed all four of the variations of Future that 7 Points harvested during a visit at their lab. All looked like frosty, light-green weed, but their scents varied considerably. Between the four, I was actually least drawn to the nose of the super-potent Future (#1). It’s quite good, but the others better captured my interest and attention.
Regardless, I vaporized a sample at a few different temperatures (290, 330, 350, and 380 degrees Fahrenheit), and discovered a clean, wintermint initial taste that settled in with the subdued hints of flavors of its Gorilla Glue lineage.
And yep, it got me stoned. Weed does that. With heavier shoulders, and a relaxed slowing-down of the fevered mind, it would be great for those seeking those intentions.
There are strains grown by 7 Points and other growers with half this potency that would also do similar things. Getting such a high THC level is a fine achievement, and I’m glad I tried it, but I’d be just as interested in trying a strain that scores, say, the highest recorded terpene levels, for instance.
But if you’re curious, Future (#1) will be available on April 20 at a few select Oregon dispensaries, including both Serra locations in Portland, Cannabend in Bend, Kind Leaf in Pendleton, both TJ’s locations in Eugene, and all four Sweet Relief locations (Astoria, Scappoose, Tillamook, and St. Helens).