Ganja is getting stronger
Marijuana’s high is getting increasingly higher. In 2016, researchers in the United States measured the levels of marijuana’s active ingredient, THC, in more than 38,600 samples of street marijuana seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration more than 20 years. They found that the levels of THC rose from about four per cent in 1995 to about 12 per cent in 2014.
Meanwhile, levels of the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol fell from 0.28 per cent in 2001 to 0.15 per cent in 2014, the researchers reported in the journal Biological Psychiatry. As a result, THC levels were 14 times the level of cannabidiol in 1995; in 2014, that ratio had grown to 80.
THC intensifies the effects of marijuana, the researchers said, so higher THC versions of the drug may raise the risk of nasty side effects, like panic or anxiety. More THC also means pricier pot, which is one reason growers have been cultivating higher octane strains.