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Cubane has the highest strain energy (166kcal/mol) of any organic compounds available in multi gram amount. It is a kinetically stable compound and only decomposite above 220 Celsius Degree. It is also one of the most dense hydrocarbons ever know.

However, although many physical properties of cubane have been measured, in 1980 and before, cubane was considered just a laboratory curiosity of interest only to academics. It changed, in early 1980s when Gilbert of U.S Army Armament and Development Command (now ARDEC) pointed out that cubane's very high heat of formation and its exceptionally high density could make certain cubane derivatives important explosives.

    The effectiveness of an explosive is dependent on the energentics of the decomposition reaction, the number of moles and molecular weight of the gaseous products and also the density. The more mols of of an explosive that can be packed into the limited volume the better. . Highly nitrated cubanes can be predicted to be very dense and very powerful explosives. Octanitrocubane is calculated to be 15~30%more powerful than HMX.