How has the grass become so strong?

The power of cannabis, how has marijuana become so strong in THC and so diminished in CBD?

Once upon a time there was cannabis that typically weighed in with a THC content of around 10-12%. Now the strains are consistently above 20%. Some reach up to 28-30% THC. The evolution of marijuana over the past few decades is undeniable. Today there are more super strains available for medical and recreational users. So how did cannabis get so potent in THC? And why is marijuana so low in CBD?

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

Optimized strains?

Legalization has pushed crops out of the basement into the public eye. And for the first time ever, growers can legally and openly create optimal strains for growing super strong weed. Additionally, when it is legal to study, grow, and sell cannabis, locally grown strains tend to thrive.

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis
Pouch of weed, 70's

These strains are therefore optimized for local growth conditions. This makes them stronger than plants produced internationally. The growth of this power has occurred over the past few decades. On the other hand, large-scale legalization is only a recent phenomenon, evidenced by the many high THC strains from the United States.


As technology advances, it becomes more affordable and accessible. More people can benefit from it more than ever. The same goes for cannabis producers. Advances in hydroponic systems and artificial lighting technologies have had a lot to do with this.

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

Even the little things like the humble compact fluorescent light bulb make the pot more powerful than ever. You don't need a factory grow operation to grow high THC cannabis.

The legal plan

Yet there is one undeniable factor that has fueled the explosion of strong strains of cannabis, consumer demand… Legal and illegal, consumer demand ultimately leads to more potent cannabis. The cannabis ban encourages growers to increase profits by reducing the size and volume of their crops. Basically, concentrating THC in plants makes sense ...

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

Legally, however, consumers are looking for products that contain more desired effects. In this case, edibles and other concentrates mean that a consumer has to buy and smoke less cannabis to get the same results that are wanted.

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The sinsemilla

The way marijuana is grown can affect the amount of THC in the plant, and therefore its potency. Cannabis sativa is the plant species that most commonly produces the "drugs" known as marijuana, hash, or hashish. Normally, the male cannabis plant fertilizes the female plant. If the female plants are grown in isolation, the flowering tops of the plant remain unfertilized.

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

These unfertilized flowering canvases, known as "sinsemillaHave particularly high THC levels. Crossbreeding and genetic modification can also produce strains of the cannabis plant with particularly high levels of THC.


Some argue that cannabis grown hydroponically, or under artificial light, is stronger than cannabis grown outdoors in natural light. Since the quantity and quality of the resin produced depends on the temperature, humidity, light and acidity of the soil, cannabis grown outdoors varies considerably in potency, whereas intensive cultivation indoors, often made with plants and female clones, under artificial light and without soil, produces cannabis of ever higher potency.

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

Some users prefer "hydroelectric" cannabis over "bush weed" because the effects are so much stronger. However, some people don't believe that it's hydroponics by itself that makes cannabis stronger. Large-scale hydroponic growers may simply be more likely to use more potent strains and grow their plants to their full potential.

Cannabidiol content (CBD)

The content of Cannabidiol (CBD), on the other hand, has decreased over time. Researchers have been interested in its use in the treatment of schizophrenia, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, among other brain and mood disorders.

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

CBD has antipsychotic effects and it can counter the sometimes psychotic effects of THC. So the fact that it's spawned may mean the best of the smokes won't change much, and despite what the sellers might tell you. People who rely on CBD for medicinal properties don't get much more than someone who smokes cannabis that contains THC. Both are necessarily linked to the natural ...

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Biological contaminants

Finally, a renowned laboratory tested the contaminants of biological and chemical varieties, that is, from microbes to solvents.

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

And scientists at the Medical Toxicology Fellowship have found a few:

“It's pretty surprising how huge a lot of things are,” he says. “You will see a marijuana bud that looks wonderful. Then we use it through a biological assay, and we see that it is covered in fungi ”. The team also found butane on some samples, used to make products such as 'wax', an extremely potent form of marijuana.

The biological contaminants aren't too surprising, because after all, cannabis is a plant. But contaminants in general can indicate the need to determine what is safe and what is not ...

Public debate

The increase in THC content has lasted for years - previous research has also found the same patterns - but the upward trend may be greater than expected. So how does this affect the general public? This part is the subject of debate.

"While increasing the concentration of THC is not a concern in itself, the variability makes it more difficult to titrate the dose to the 'correct' effect," says Lewis Nelson, professor and vice president for academic affairs. of the NYU Department of Emergency Medicine and Director, Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the New York City Poison Control Center. - “This means that users are more likely to consume excessive doses, resulting in adverse clinical effects. This has already been observed in Colorado emergency services. " 

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis
"Hunt the natural, it comes back at a gallop"

For others, modern cannabis from seeders is not stronger… Today's cannabis market is influenced by the widespread obsession with the variety, but we rarely see purely terrestrial strains, landraces. … Most of the sativas that you find are not pure sativas, but rather sativa hybrids that exhibit strong sativa-like characteristics… Ditto for indicas… Hybrids, refer to strains with more balanced indica-sativa characteristics .

THC, CBD, the power of cannabis

Hybridization leaves us with very few original strains. But they are not completely lost ... Nothing beats an herb that has matured for a very long time in its own environment, and there the THC (or CBD) index does not mean much ... The power of cannabis lies in our opinion in the genetic purity ofentourage effect.

Tags : Agriculture / GrowhydroponicsMedicineStrainUS
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The author weed master

Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.