Is Cannabis getting stronger?
According to various accounts that have been published in the media recently, cannabis is getting stronger and it is seemingly 4 times as strong as it was a few decades ago. There are mixed reports about the validity of this, but if it is true and cannabis is getting stronger, why and how?
There are seemingly a number of reasons as to why people think that there is stronger cannabis on the market, from how long you hold smoke in your lungs, to cross bred strains and a mixture of methods such as vaping and dabs.
With more states legalizing, the usage of marijuana seen an incline to almost double in within the last 3 years and is on track to overtake the now-declining number of tobacco users within the next few years. It also puts the number of regular marijuana users in the United States at 33 million next to the tobbacco consumers at 40 million.
After Colorado legalised in 2013, marijuana use has doubled as the number of states that have legalised have doubled too. Five other states will vote on whether to legalize in November, although federal law has consistently been opposed to legalization.
However, some are saying that the strength of marijuana has become more apparent because marijuana is now more widely available. At the beginning of the 1970s, the majority of cannabis consumed for recreational use was imported illegally from source countries. During the 1970s, around 72% of cannabis that was available in the USA was brought into the country rather than produced ‘in house’ and 50% of this was imported from Columbia.
Between growing time, transportation and distribution, by the time the cannabis reached the consumer, it was much older than it would be by today’s standards as well as the fact that it was not pure bud and more of a mixture of leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds.
In a recent study, researchers looked at more than 38,000 samples of illegal marijuana seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and found that the level of THC in the samples rose from about 4 percent in 1995 to about 12 percent in 2014.
An example of higher THC levels in marijuana could be the cost of THC. The higher the THC levels founds in certain strains, the more can be charged for it so some breeders will find a way to breed strains with higher and higher THC levels. Moreover, consumers of marijuana can develop a tolerance for THC, meaning that over time they will need higher doses of it to get high, thus creating a cycle of breeding more potent strains.
It’s not just your standard cannabis buds that have seemingly increased in potency. Thanks to cultivators who’ve crossbred and created ‘super strains’, waxes, tinctures and oils are now widely available and their THC level can reach 60 percent or even a whopping 80 percent.
However, on a side note due to the new potency, Colorado had considered an initiative for the new ballot that would have capped the THC at 16 percent and requiring edibles to be sold in low-dose, single-serving packages but backers have quashed this due to a pushback from those who said such limits violated rights now incorporated in the state constitution and would have wiped out 80 percent of the legal pot market.
So, although it cannot be proved, overall it does look like the potency of today’s marijuana is higher than it was during our parents smoking heyday.