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Europe: Extra-High Cannabis Theory Goes Up in Smoke

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:11 pm    Post subject: Europe: Extra-High Cannabis Theory Goes Up in Smoke Reply with quote

The Guardian
Sat, 26 Jun 2004

Europe: Extra-High Cannabis Theory Goes Up in Smoke

Alan Travis, The Guardian

Note: The full report is available at

The effective strength of cannabis consumed in Britain has remained stable for the past 30 years, according to a European Union study published today.

The research says there is no evidence for claims that most cannabis consumed in Britain and the rest of Europe is now 10 times or more stronger than it was in the 70s.

The US drugs "tsar" John Walters and toxicologist John Henry of St Mary's hospital in Paddington, west London, are among those who have warned that the cannabis available now bears little resemblance to that on the market 30 years ago, with serious health dangers for regular users.

The EU study says that the strength of the active ingredient - THC - has remained unchanged at about 6% for most of the cannabis smoked in Britain. It says the amount of cannabis put in the typical British jpint has also remained constant for 20 years at about 200mg for marijuana and 150mg for resin.

The results are based on analysis by the Forensic Science Service of cannabis seized by the police between 1995 and 2002. The study acknowledges that there has been an unknown increase in home-grown cannabis, which can be two to three times more potent, but says that more than 70% of the market is taken by the "traditional" imported Moroccan cannabis resin.

Imported resin typically has a strength of 6% THC against 30% in the "skunk" and other super-strong strains that Professor Henry and others have warned against. Sinsemilla, the unpollinated plant which produces a powerful strain, has doubled in potency since 1995, but only from 6% to 12%.

The research, published by the European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction, is the first European review of the potency of cannabis. "There has been much speculation on the strength of cannabis available today, but little in the way of hard evidence," said its director, Georges Estievenart. He said the concerns that had been raised were worrying as cannabis was the most commonly used illicit drug in the EU, with many countries reporting that more than 20% of people had used it at some time in their lives.

The study was complicated by the fact that not only do different types of cannabis such as resin or hash have different strengths, but potency also depends on the individual plant and on how and where it was grown.

The vintage can also have an impact on its strength with THC breaking down at a rate of 17% a year if it is kept at room temperature.

The report shows that the effective potency of cannabis in nearly all EU countries, including Britain, has remained at about 6%-8% THC in the last 30 years, with the only exception being the Netherlands, where by two years ago the strength of the average cannabis consumed had reached 16%.

This is mainly due to the increasing availability of intensively produced home-grown cannabis in Holland.

The EU report says that while herbal cannabis is most common in the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic, Britain remains in a group with Germany, Ireland and Portugal where the market is still dominated by imported cannabis resin mainly from Morocco.

The authors say that they are concerned about the growth of higher potency intensively cultivated home-grown cannabis appearing in Europe. The report concludes it is possible that regular use of such higher potency cannabis could lead to health problems such as panic attacks and minor psychological problems, but as yet this kind of cannabis remains relatively rare.

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Cannabis Sacrament Minister
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:34 pm    Post subject: Potency of Cannabis Reply with quote


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Last edited by Romadon on Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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Rev. Chazman
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed Romadon, I agree. In fact I just said more or less the same in another post.

Dont blame me... I voted for Kerry!! And so did my home state.
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