Greenline Boston

In Canada, a former corrections officer and pro-drug-legalization advocate objected to warnings that the potency of marijuana was tripling and quadrupling, resulting in a dangerously potent drug. John Anderson responded to this news by saying, “If you look at the difference between one and four percent, that’s 300 percent so I suppose they have an argument there.” He was quoted by Day6 of Canadian radio station CBC.

Greenline Boston

Marijuana’s Potency

It’s not exactly correct to say that pot’s potency has increased 300%. It’s also inaccurate to scoff about marijuana potency increasing from one percent to four percent. The situation we have is truly far more serious.

The correct percentage of increase all depends on the which year you choose for comparison with today’s pot. It also depends on which cannabis product you use—regular marijuana or sinsemilla (leaves from unfertilized, seedless female plants).

For some reason, many news sources often choose to start their comparisons with a date in the early 1990s when the potency was running between three and four percent.

If you want to really see the progression of the potency of marijuana, then let’s go back to the earliest available figures from the Mississippi Monitoring Project, the national authority on these numbers.

Here’s a chart showing the increasing content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the main intoxicating ingredient) of seized samples of marijuana between 1972 and 2008. The dark green line shows the increasing potency of regular marijuana and the bright green line shows the potency of sinsemilla.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *