Marijuana potency has gotten increasingly stronger over the decades as the demand for designer crops has grown, the drug is decriminalized around the country and innovation flourishes.
Excerpt Reposted from Cannabist.co written By Kristina Davis, The San Diego Union-Tribune
It’s a phenomenon tracked in part by the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Program, which tests law enforcement seizures from around the nation.
Traditional marijuana flower averaged a THC potency of 11 percent in 2015 — three times the amount in 1995, according to the seizure data. (Marijuana Potency is the dosage needed to affect a person, versus purity, which is the amount of drug in a sample.) The highest level of THC, marijuana potency, tested was 37 percent.
Marijuana concentrates, known as butane hash oil (BHO), shatter, butter, rosin and other names, is incredibly more potent, with a national average of 56 percent purity in 2015, according to the university’s seizure data. Concentrated marijuana is found in vaporizers, edibles, tablets and lotions, and is how many new or experimental users might experience legalized recreational marijuana.
Some hash oil seizures tested above 90 percent potency, the university reported.
The legal market shows even higher typical marijuana potency levels — 20 percent in traditional marijuana and 60 percent in concentrate being commonplace in Washington state, according to a 2017 study by Rand.
Potential users in legal states need to remember that this isn’t the same weed they smoked in college, experts say.
“The purity is so much higher and you run the risk of ending up hurting yourself,” Roderick said.
Pacula at Rand is part of a group of experts working to identify standard doses of marijuana that can be recommended in its various forms — an area of research lacking in the U.S. due to marijuana still being illegal under federal law.
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