When you go to a bar, you always see the ‘top shelf’ bottles. Some of them might be outrageously priced. And maybe not within your budget. But you still wonder, what a drink like that tastes like? Since it has to be something pretty special to be priced above everything else.
Like a bar, a dispensary typically has a glass case of the ‘special’ strains. They are usually not the types of cannabis that people want to buy. Or rather, they want to buy them, but they may not like the price. And like anything that seems just a little bit out of reach, prestigious strains of cannabis hold that wonder and mystique.
Since we will never see the really good stuff on a BOGO special, you may have asked about the prices. What is the range for that hotshot pot? We went looking for the best quality cannabis with the highest price tags across the country. And looked into why some strains are in the ‘break the bank’ zone.
Why Are Some Strains of Weed More Expensive?
Whether a strain is expensive or not depends on the unique properties of the specific cannabis type. When cultivators talk about developing new hybrids, they speak about breeding the unique qualities of a strain into generations of seedlings. That is because cannabis is not a simple plant. And it is a lot harder to grow high-quality cannabis than simply planting some seeds.
Quality cannabis is grown in a controlled environment. The male plants are allowed exposure to female plants in order to complete pollination. The male plants do not produce flowers or buds. This means that a male plant’s only purpose is to propagate female plants for marijuana and cannabis products.
Passing on only the best qualities (including terpenes, high THC levels, and flavonoids) means cultivating a higher grade of cannabis. A lot of science goes into every generation of new seedlings to produce a high-quality flower. And it is that extra time and work (and expense) that create the most prestigious strains of weed.
Some of the top-tier cannabis strains are not available in every region across the United States. And since transporting cannabis across state borders is illegal, people who buy cannabis have to hope their local dispensary will produce it.
The most expensive strains of cannabis are highly unique and hard to grow. And that rarity combined with the value of higher-than-average CBD and THC levels makes for a premier product. That costs a lot more than other strains of cannabis available to consumers.
Higher Levels of CBD Make Cannabis More Expensive
Some of the most popular and best-selling strains in the United States have higher than average CBD levels. Cannabidiol was discovered and isolated in 1940 as one of the more than 200 different cannabinoids available in the cannabis plant.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is where the majority of the medicinal value of cannabis lies. For example, patients with chronic pain will choose a strain with a high percentage of CBD because cannabidiol can act as a potent anti-inflammatory, reducing pain symptoms.
But the medicinal benefits of CBD do not stop there. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid can help with other symptoms. For example, in 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first CBD prescription medication. The drug is called Epidiolex®, and it has been approved for use with children aged two years and older for certain types of epilepsy. In clinical trials, Epidiolex was found to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.
There are more clinical trials and data from international researchers. Some studies have shown that CBD may be an effective treatment to reduce cancer tumors. In other studies, CBD has been linked to lowering anxiety and depression symptoms. Particularly for people who did not achieve good symptom control with traditional prescription medications.
Generally speaking, any strain with a high level of CBD is a preference for medical cannabis users. And while more research is needed to convince the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the growing volume of data shows great promise. In legalized states, American doctors are already prescribing medical-grade CBD supplements for patients with debilitating health problems.
What Are The Most Expensive Strains of Weed in America?
In Las Vegas, on December 27, 2018, one dispensary broke a national record. The most expensive cannabis product was sold for $11,000. However, it wasn’t just one product; a few people purchased the 24-gram weed stuffed premium cigar for New Year’s Eve festivities. The ‘cannagar’ included a hemp and 24 karat gold leaf coated exterior made by Leira.
Fast-forward a few years later, and another more reasonably priced blunt is making waves. This time, it is a product created by MONOGRAM, the new dispensary owned by Jay-Z. The “OG Handroll” was reviewed by a group of product testers reporting to The Cut. The $50 handroll in strain No. 88 from Jay-Z’s collection is a premium weed in a premium cigar for a cerebral high.
What are some of the other most coveted and expensive strains in America?
- Cannabis Caviar
This type of weed is not specific to a certain strain but a method of production. Have you ever seen rock-solid, dense buds? Cannabis Caviar is created by soaking premium flower in hash oil, which has up to 80% potency. Combine that with a 20% THC bud, and you have some potent smoke.
The average cost of Cannabis Caviar is $1400 per ounce.
- Loud Dream
Sometimes averaging around $800 per ounce or more, Loud Dream is priced for rarity. The Sativa is bred from Blue Dream F1 and backcrossed to create a new hybrid. Loud Dream is one of those world-famous strains that is an amazing mood and creativity boost. It is also known for enhancing focus and relaxation. Loud Dream is considered one of the ultimate ‘wake and bake’ strains because of the energetic effects, and it has a 16% THC content.
- Fruity Pebbles
Yes, it does taste like the breakfast cereal you ate as a kid. Or maybe you still eat after smoking a bowl. Fruity Pebbles generates cravings and munchies. But people love the 21% to 23% THC strain for many reasons. The psychoactive effects can create an intense body high, with a side-order of happy giggles. It is used by people who have anxiety and chronic pain for symptom relief.
Alien Genetics cultivated fruity Pebbles OG, and it was intended to be a limited-edition strain, available periodically. It is a leafy bud with orange hairs. Granddaddy Purple, Tahoe Alien, and Green Ribbon were crossed to create the Indica dominant strain. It is a relatively tricky plant to grow, and cultivators are charged a premium for seeds and clones (over $1200).
- Isla OG Canned Cannabis
Made famous by battle rapper 2 Chainz, who smoked it on his “Most Expensivest Sh*t” internet show (GQ), Isla OG Canned Cannabis is something special. It is sold in 1/8 portions, hand-trimmed, and put into a can to cure—the process seals in the terpenes, flavonoids, and tasty freshness. One ounce of Isla OG Canned Cannabis sells for $800.
If some of the best weed available in the United States is out of your price range, the next option would be to try to home-grow it. Many states have legalized cultivation at home. But while this seems to be a great strategy to get “the good stuff” on the cheap, the seeds for premium strains also come at a premium price. And they can be very difficult to grow.
You can score some premium weed strains at a fraction of the price if you can find a ‘mess up.’ For example, seeded weed can be significantly discounted because you are paying for seed volume (which isn’t smokable). Don’t be deterred by the idea, though; think of the edibles that you could make with the seeds. And the opportunity to try one of the most elite strains grown in the United States, at a fraction of the normal retail cost. Sounds good to us!