Yo, Is Today’s Weed Really Stronger? – Let’s Talk Potency!

Yo, Is Today's Weed Really Stronger? - Let's Talk Potency!

Yo, what’s good? It’s ya boy Dan, and today we’re talking about cannabis potency. You know, that sticky icky that gets you feeling nice and lifted. But the real question is, is today’s weed really that much stronger than what our parents and grandparents were smoking back in the day? Let’s take a deep dive into this topic and see what’s true and what’s not.

So, first things first, yes, today’s cannabis is definitely a lot stronger than the weed of the past. Back in the day, cannabis was forced underground due to prohibition, but that didn’t stop geneticists and cultivators from making major advances in boosting the potency of weed. Over the last 40-50 years, the potency of cannabis has increased by over 300%. That’s right, you heard me. 300%.

Some factors that contributed to this massive increase in potency include consumer demand (we all want that good good), new growing techniques and technologies (we’ve come a long way from growing weed in our basements), and more.

But let’s get into the nitty gritty. In September 2019, the US National Center for Natural Products Research conducted a review of the potency of cannabis as part of its quarterly Potency Monitoring Program. The study showed that the potency of cannabis has clearly been increasing since the mid-1990s. In 1995, the average THC percentage of all the samples averaged around 3.5%. By 2005, average THC concentration sat at around 7%, and by 2018, levels were at just above 15%. That’s some serious growth.

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But it’s not just about THC content. As we’ve learned more about cannabis and how it interacts with our bodies, we’ve realized that there’s more to weed than just THC. CBD has become a huge player in the game, and we’ve seen a steady increase in cultivars expressing diverse CBD:THC ratios, particularly those with a 1:1 split.

Now, before you start thinking that all this talk about increased potency is just due to better testing methods, let me tell you that there’s more to it than that. While cannabis testing has definitely changed quite dramatically over the years, there’s no denying that modern cannabis is much more potent than cannabis from the past. However, it is important to note that samples today are much fresher than they were in the past. THC degrades gradually over time and faster if exposed to air, heat, or light. It’s very likely that cannabis samples from the past tested less potent as they were being analyzed months or even years after they were harvested.

So what has caused cannabis potency to increase over time? Well, there are a few things at play here. One theory is the “Iron Law of Prohibition.” This theory basically states that the prohibition of cannabis paves the way for those substances to become more potent and concentrated. Prohibition encourages cannabis producers to create more potent products that fetch a higher price and help avoid detection by the authorities.

But it’s not just about prohibition. Sinsemilla growing, or seedless cannabis grown for smoking, has had a huge impact on the potency of weed. Back in the day, most of the cannabis was grown outdoors in places like Colombia, Mexico, or Morocco. The harvested plant material was often pressed into bricks and was usually already several months old by the time it got into the hands of the end user. The combination of a lack of knowledge about sinsemilla growing and poor transportation undoubtedly contributed to the lower potency of the finished product that hit the streets in the US and Europe.

Enter indoor growing. Cannabis cultivation started moving indoors in the 1980s, and the technology needed to run indoor grow rooms and tents hasn’t stopped improving since. Today, we’re living in the “golden age” of cannabis. You can walk into a legal dispensary or cannabis club and have access to cannabis that’s fresh, seedless, and packed with cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Home growers also have access to thousands of strains from different seed banks and all the equipment they need to set up an exceptional grow room or tent.

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But the times they are a changin’. As we continue to learn more about cannabis and its unique compounds, we’re starting to see a shift in consumer preferences toward strains that are more balanced in cannabinoids and terpenes. THC is still important, but we’re learning that it can be overwhelming in high doses and may be best paired with higher concentrations of secondary compounds like CBD, CBG, CBN, and more.

In conclusion, today’s weed is definitely stronger than what our parents and grandparents were smoking back in the day. However, it’s not just about increased THC content. We’re seeing a shift in consumer preferences toward more balanced strains, and we’re closer than ever before to uncovering the important role cannabis can play in human life. So blaze up that good good and enjoy the ride. Peace out.

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