Marijuana Leaf

An Adult Marijuana Rehab Report comparing the potency of marijuana now to the 70’s

Back in the 70’s, you had to smoke a lot to get high.

Today, pot smokers may find themselves one toke over the line after only one drag, increasing the chances for sudden revelations as well as for potential psychological disturbances or for being cited for driving while under the influence. There is actually a device that detects marijuana now for motorists.

Over the past few decades, cannabis commonly known as marijuana and by many other nicknames, has been selectively bred, tweaked and refined to be more powerful and more effective. New methods of production such as hydroponic cultivation and improved artificial lighting have given growers more control over their product, including its potency. Cannabis breeders today are more like chemists than botanists. They can favor certain compounds in the plant, particularly delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is what gives marijuana its high.

When high-tech grow houses spread from Miami to Georgia from 2005 to 2007, drug agents say, marijuana samples began breaking old standards for potency, 27% THC which stuns the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation in Orlando (MBI).

“Twenty-seven percent”! said Agent Billy Powell of the MBI in Orlando, who seized 366 pounds of that strength of pot from a grower near Orlando International Airport in 2007. “That’s the highest I’ve ever heard of.”

“The first thing to keep focused on is that marijuana at any potency is not a benign drug”, said David Rosenbloom, president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, who compared marijuana consumption to alcohol abuse. “I’m not talking about a kid who smoked one joint and went on with his life”.

Marijuana’s negative side effects include anxiety, hallucinations, panic reactions and physical impairment, such as with driving a car, which likely increases at higher THC levels, he said.

After all these statistics, there are a few questions which need to be asked. How much more potent can cannabis get? Each year, more and more states legalize cannabis for medicinal use. The Green Rush to legalization is a step toward turning reality into safe policy. Yet, as technology continues to advance and strains become more specialized (bred specifically for potency and targeting for medicinal effects), the potential for turning cannabis into a different plant altogether only increases. Are these increases in potency a hopeful sign for the medical marijuana industry, or do they suggest that cannabis is going down a different pharmacological route? Right now, the future of cannabis seems wide open.