Potency in the cannabis culture means the strength of a marijuana strain’s effect.
If a cannabis plant is “potent,” it means it has a high concentration of the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA). Its genetics and growing conditions determine the THCA levels in a plant. The higher the THCA content, the more potent the cannabis plant is.
The THCA goes through decarboxylation, or the process of heating, to become THC. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects. It is what binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and causes the euphoric high associated with marijuana use. The more potent a strain is, the higher the THC content and the more intense the psychoactive effects will be.
One of the indicators of potency is the aroma. Potent cannabis products include edibles and concentrates, which people use for their psychoactive effects. The potency refers to both the positive and negative effects of the marijuana strain regardless of use (recreational or medicinal).