It was always going to be a bit of a no-brainer that as soon as weed was made legal in Colorado, growers would begin refining their craft and coming up with bigger, better buds. And so it proved, as here we are at the doorstep of spring 2015 and the one thing we know about the pot doing the rounds in Colorado is that it is strong…very, VERY strong.
In order to gain a better understanding of how things are progressing for both the medicinal marijuana industries in the state and the everyday smoker on the ground, a study was carried out by one Andy LaFrate, founder of the Charas Scientific laboratory. He released the findings this week at the American Chemical Society meeting in Denver, where he told those in attendance that things are getting a hell of a lot more potent for the pot-people of Colorado.
“This stuff is strong,” he said.
“There’s a lot of homogeneity whether you’re talking medical or retail level,”
“One plant might have green leaves and another purple, and the absolute amount of cannabinoids might change, which relates to strength. But the ratio of THC to CBD to other cannabinoids isn’t changing a whole lot.”
In order to illustrate the point of how much things are changing, he highlighted the difference between samples taken in the 80s and those doing the rounds now. Around 30 years ago, the average THC concentration in standard weed wasn’t even close to the 10% mark. By contrast, he took into account a full 600 samples for the new study and found that the average was closer to 19%, while some even went as high as 30%. In addition, his research shows that the ration of THC to CBD in the samples was actually pretty low – about 150:1. This didn’t go down too well with the medical community as a whole as it is of course CBD that’s been linked with potentially positive effects in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia and anxiety.
So, in essence the conclusion appears to be a pretty simple one – those that are growing new strains of marijuana in Colorado are doing so almost entirely for the purposes of getting their customers higher than ever before, as opposed to in any way benefiting/contributing to essential medical research. But this is something that’s disputed by some as there are those that suggest there to be a very clear divide between the two types of pot in circulation – that sold at ‘street’ level and the weed that’s grown solely for research purposes. As such, hitting out at the community in general for being rather too focused on getting high is counterproductive as it only addresses half of the story.
Of course this isn't strictly news, just confirmation of a general trend in the world of marijuana that has been reported for years. This doesn't mean that MMJ as a concept is over, there is plenty of research and breeding focussed on enhancing levels of CBD and other cannibinoids. In fact, separate reports from outside Colorado have suggested that recent years have brought about the cultivation of several new strains of weed which have displayed superb therapeutic properties while at the same time having almost no psychoactive effects at all.