THC Levels Rising in Today’s Marijuana
Society’s perception and acceptance of marijuana, both medical and recreational, is not the only thing that has been evolving over the years. As more studies emerge about the drug’s properties and effects, researchers are finding that marijuana is stronger today than it was years ago. A study done with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows an average increase in THC levels from 3.4% in 1993 to 8.8% in 2008. Fast forward to 2017, and cannabis breeders are competing to see who can produce strains with the highest amount of THC, with some containing over 30 percent (High Times). THC, the main chemical compound responsible for producing the high effect, is only one out of hundreds of chemicals inside marijuana that can affect the brain. These effects include the altering of senses, mood changes, lack of coordination and balance, inhibited thinking and problem solving, and trouble with memory and learning. Higher THC levels can cause more harm in first time users, and may be linked to the increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits. There is also a greater risk for addiction because the higher potency of the drug.
- Potency Trends of THC and other Cannabinoids in Cannabis Preparations from 1993 to 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20487147
- High Times, 2017. The Strongest Strains on Earth 2017. https://hightimes.com/grow/the-strongest-strains-on-earth-2017/
- Herb, 2017. Have We Reached Peak Potency Limits of THC and CBD? https://herb.co/marijuana/news/peak-potency-thc-cbd