Is Cannabis Really 5 Times Stronger Now Than In 1980’s?

A common rumor spread by Marijuana Dispensaries claims that today’s bud is “at least five times as strong” as it was 40 years ago. And according to a recent article by Business Insider, the claim is exaggerated but partly true. Citing Christian Hopfer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, the article states that the THC content – the active ingredient in marijuana responsible for the high – has tripled since 1995. Back then, THC levels hovered around 4%, on average, but had skyrocketed to roughly 12% by 2014. As one of the leading researchers in a forthcoming $5.5-million study of cannabis, Hopfer’s research has taken him to dispensaries around Colorado, where he said he’s seen a variety of marijuana sold with a content breakdown of around 25% THC. However, according to research the CBD content in marijuana — the part responsible for many of the drug’s therapeutic effects — has dropped over the years, with researchers finding that the ratio of THC to CBD dropped from 14:1 in 1995 to roughly 80:1 in 2014.

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