Colorado Marijuana Potency Tests

Two to three times as strong as “vintage ganga”. Recents test by Charas Scientific has shown that the average THC level is 18.7% while CBD levels are negligible at 0.1%.  For THC levels, the chemical that gives you the “high”, this compares to “old-school dope” THC levels “well below 10%”.

Here is a quick summary of their findings:

  • Analyzed more than 600 samples of bud provided by certified growers and sellers
  • Average THC level is 18.7% with some as high as 30% THC
  • Common to see THC levels of 20%
  • Observed THC levels were higher than expected
  • Average CBD level is 0.1%
  • Some samples were covered in fungi with several “crawling with up to 1 million fungal spores”
  • Also examined 200 pot extracts or “concentrates”
  • Some extracts contained solvents like butane
  • Tests done with high-performance liquid chromatography, a method to separate, classify and measure individual compounds

Andy LaFrate, president of Charas Scientific, expressed concern regarding the low levels of CBD:

“It’s disturbing to me because there are people out there who think they’re giving their kids Charlotte’s Web. And you could be giving them no CBD — or even worse, you could be giving them a THC-rich product which might actually increase seizures,” LaFrate said. “So, it’s pretty scary on the medical side.”

“Really, there is very little difference between recreational and medical in terms of the THC-to-CBD ratio, at least at the aggregate level,” LaFrate said.

Of note, the majority of samples “came from recreational-pot merchants. Under Colorado law, recreational weed must be tested for potency. Some medical-pot sellers voluntarily provided samples to LaFrate. Colorado does not require pre-sale testing of medical marijuana. LaFrate did not analyze any edibles.”

A cannabis advocate in Denver (Sean Azzariti) has lanched a new breeding project to boost CBD levels. He is also an advocate of contamination testing as “an integral part of our industry”.

Some of the findings are being used by cannabis prohibitionists to allege that legalization is not working  and will go the same path as Big Tobacco.

“This study is further evidence that Colorado legalization is not working. It proves that even under government control, there’s no way to ensure marijuana is free of bacteria and chemicals,” said Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).

“This shows that marijuana is a GMO product just like other products sold by big business. And just like other industries, now you have a big marijuana industry determined to hide these findings from the public. Where is their outcry? Where are the promises to change the way they do business?” Sabet said. “I won’t hold my breath. For years, the tobacco industry did the same thing. Welcome, America, to Big Tobacco 2.0 — Big Pot.”

So what do you think? Does the industry need to embrace contamination testing? What sort of regulations would be acceptable to achieve the goal of clean weed? What about more labeling requirements? Things are developing quickly and the industry will need to adapt and adjust for legitimate concerns while debunking lies and myths.

Full article at NBC News “Colorado Marijuana Study Finds Legal Weed Contains Potent THC Levels


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