Today’s Weed Is Three Times Stronger Than 80’s Marijuana, So Remember To Always Toke In Moderation
A new study testing the THC content of legalized marijuana in Colorado has yielded some surprising results, mainly that today’s strains of weed can carry a potency of 30% THC content or more, whereas the strains of yesteryear were typically well below 10% THC content (meaning the THC would make up less than 10% of the bud). So does that mean that today’s weed is three times as strong as the marijuana from the 80’s? Well, yes and no.
Results from the exhaustive testing showed that over time THC levels in marijuana have risen drastically, while the CBD (Cannabidiol) levels have typically plummeted. According to NBC News, CBD is the compound that makes marijuana ‘medical’, more on CBD can be read here, but a very broad explanation of CBD would be to say that it is the compound within marijuana most closely associated with treating psychological and physiological symptoms from depression to pain.
The revelation that today’s weed is thrice as strong as the pot of our parent’s era should come as ZERO SURPRISE to anyone who’s smoked weed for a time period spanning at least a decade. Even in the past five years strains have reached levels never seen before, because there’s so much more money and research being poured into the medical marijuana industry.
Here’s what NBC News has to say about weed from decades ago vs. weed today:
In old-school dope, levels of THC — the psychoactive chemical that makes people high — were typically well below 10 percent. But in Colorado’s legal bud, the average THC level is 18.7 percent, and some retail pot contains 30 percent THC or more, according to research released Monday.
“That was higher than expected,” said Andy LaFrate, president of Charas Scientific. His Denver lab is licensed by the state and paid by marijuana businesses to measure the THC strength in their products before they go to market. “It’s common to see samples in the high 20s.”
What’s really in — and not in — Colorado’s retail weed surprised LaFrate. After analyzing more than 600 samples of bud provided by certified growers and sellers, LaFrate said he detected little medical value and lots of contamination. He presents those findings Monday to a national meeting of the American Chemical Society, a nonprofit scientific group chartered by Congress.
Some green buds he viewed were covered in funghi — and he estimated that several marijuana flowers were “crawling” with up to 1 million fungal spores.
“It’s a natural product. There’s going to be microbial growth on it no matter what you do,” LaFrate said. “So the questions become: What’s a safe threshold? And which contaminants do we need to be concerned about?”
For example, he also examined more than 200 pot extracts or “concentrates” and found some contained solvents like butane. All the tests were done with high-performance liquid chromatography, a method to separate, classify and measure individual compounds.
What LaFrate didn’t see, however, also astonished him. The 600-plus weed samples generally carried little or no cannabidiol, or CBD — the compound that makes medical marijuana “medical.” The average CBD amount: 0.1 percent, his study reports.
CBD is anecdotally known to control depression, anxiety, and pain. About 200 families with ill children also moved to Colorado to access a strain called Charlotte’s Web, which appears to control seizures in some kids.
“It’s disturbing to me because there are people out there who think they’re giving their kids Charlotte’s Web. And you could be giving them no CBD — or even worse, you could be giving them a THC-rich product which might actually increase seizures,” LaFrate said. “So, it’s pretty scary on the medical side.”
So he says he doesn’t want to be an alarmist, but then Mr. LaFrate goes on to claim that the medical weed being sold to epileptic patients could be increasing their likelihood of seizures. That seems to me like contradicting statements, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Here’s a short video of their potency testing results, see you on the flip side:
Message received: the weed in Colorado is extremely potent in THC.
But having spent some time in the dispensaries myself, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the budtenders selling you the product are EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGEABLE when it comes to the strains, concentrates, and edibles that they’re selling. Under NO circumstances is a budtender going to sell someone a product that could put them in harm’s way, not at least without explicit instructions on how much to smoke/ingest at a time. Because all it takes is a handful of people to lose it and the entire industry to be shrouded in a dark cloud, they (the budtenders) are very particular in what they suggest and sell to the customer.
For the full rundown of NBC’s findings on THC and CBD content you can head on over HERE.