The Increase of Potency in Marijuana Products Is Causing Concerns Across the World
"The weed these days sure is stronger than it used to be," is a quote that can be heard across the country. Some reports claiming that marijuana is a lot more potent than it was back in the 1960's and 1970's may be untrue because the technology they had to test pot back then was not as good as it is today.
Now that weed has become legal in quite a few states, people have begun consuming better indoor grown products than what was being illegally distributed back in pre-prohibition days. However, there are many methods being used now that increase marijuana potency and some are saying that this is not a good thing.
In 2014 a study was conducted by National Institutes For Health that tested over 38,000 samples of illegal marijuana confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Agency between 1995 and 2014. The samples from 1995 showed an average THC level of around 4% with 14 times more THC than CBD. The samples taken from marijuana confiscated in 2014 showed an average of around 12% THC contents and 80 times as much THC as CBD.
These days’ people can go to dispensaries and legally by marijuana that has levels of up to 33% THC and concentrates that have levels of over 90% THC. According to Gizmodo.com technology has helped improve the growing and trimming process that has allowed people to produce higher quality marijuana. Due to prohibition it is more efficient to transport and illegally sell marijuana that has higher potency levels and it is worth more than "dirt weed." The increase in demand has also pushed the market to produce marijuana that takes less to get the same effects.
Recently a Washington Post “why-states-should-limit-the-potency-of-marijuana” writer questioned the public and asked why states do not put potency level restrictions on marijuana products. The article talks about a Dutch study that showed how bad health effects such as addiction are increased when people consume higher potency marijuana. The writer suggests that if states do not step in and regulate THC levels soon than they will keep increasing as dispensary owners try to come up with ways to up potency levels.
An article in Forbes Magazine the “pot-evolution-how-the-makeup-of-marijuana-has-changed-over-time” stated that the bad thing with the change of potency levels was that the ratio of THC to CBD was dropping. CBD is the chemical that helps balance out some of the negative effects of THC. Different CBD levels are what changes the "high" effect of the drug. If CBD levels keep dropping than there will not be much that differs between various strains of marijuana.
The good part of the trend is that people no longer have to consume a large amount to feel effects from marijuana. The bad part is that anxiety and other negative effects of the drug are now more likely.