High Times' May 2014 cover includes a juicy Bruce Banner #3 shot by Cannabist photographer Ry Prichard. (High Times)

Strongest strains: How potent can today’s marijuana plant truly become?

Every year for the past three years, High Times has held Cannabis Cups in both the U.S. and the Netherlands. We’ve been to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Detroit and Amsterdam. Next year, we may add even more.

At each Cup, we test anywhere from 100 to 160 flower entries and give samples to our partner labs to test for various cannabinoids, terpenoids, pesticides and molds. We test approximately 600 to 700 strains each year. The results are stored in our Scorebook database. That’s over 1,800 strains tested already, and our database gets larger every year. To compile both of the Strongest Strains lists in this article, we ran database queries for THC values.

Strain reviews: Read up on these Colorado-grown 2014 Cannabis Cup winners — Ghost Train Haze, Pure Power Plant and Larry OG

As we approach what appears to be the limit of THC that a cannabis flower can produce in terms of THC, the natural question to ask is: How much higher can we go? So we polled some of the foremost experts in the field. Here is one telling quote from Dr. Donald Land, chief scientific consultant at Steep Hill Halent Lab.

“To be sure, one must first question the validity of the [high] test results,” Land said. “The cannabis-testing industry is littered with labs that are not qualified to provide accurate results — or, worse, that intentionally manipulate results to appear higher than they truly are. Some labs simply add THC-A and THC values together because it gives artificially high values. Some high numbers are undoubtedly the result of such inappropriate manipulations.”

Read the rest of this story via our partners at High Times.