The stunning story of super strains and how cannabis has become so potent
The evolution of marijuana over the past few decades is undeniable. Today, there are more super-strains available for medical and recreational consumers than ever before. So how did cannabis become so potent? It turns out; there’s a few sides to the story.
Once upon a time, cannabis typically weighed in with a THC content of about 10-12 percent. Now, designer strains regularly top 20 percent, with some reaching as high as 28-30 percent THC.
Thanks to states that have legalized adult use of cannabis, barriers to researching the plant are crumbling left and right. And that’s a good thing because it allows growers, consumers, and regulatory agencies alike to know more about how cannabis works and what it’s potency is.
For example, in 2015 a lab in Colorado analyzed some 600 samples of medical and recreationally sold marijuana. Their tests found that potency has risen three times what it was 25 years ago.
That’s because as pot becomes an increasingly legal and professional operation, growers can access the resources they need to engineer strains of marijuana that are far more potent.
When it’s illegal to grow and sell cannabis, you have to take extreme measures to keep a grow house hidden and discrete.
Legalization has brought growing out of the basement and into the public eye. And for the first time, growers can lawfully and openly create the optimal conditions for growing super-strong herb.
Also, when it’s legal to study, grow, and sell cannabis, locally bred strains tend to thrive. Those locally bred strains are optimized for local growing conditions. This makes them stronger than plants that were produced internationally.
But remember, the growth in potency has been happening for a few decades. By contrast, wide-scale legalization is only a recent phenomenon. Colorado has the oldest legal pot policy, and it’s only four years old.
That’s why there’s another side to the story of how cannabis became so potent.
As technology advances, it becomes more affordable and accessible. More people can take advantage of it than ever before. The same goes for cannabis growers.
Advancements in hydroponics systems and artificial lighting technologies, even small things like the humble compact fluorescent light bulb, make growing potent pot easier than ever. You don’t need an industrial grow operation to cultivate killer cannabis these days.
It’s The Cannabis Market
Still, there’s one undeniable factor that has fueled the explosion in potent cannabis strains. Consumer demand. On both the legal and illegal side of things, consumer demand ultimately leads to more potent cannabis.
Cannabis prohibition encourages producers to increase profit by reducing the size and volume of their shipments. Concentrating THC in plants makes sense.
On the legal side, however, consumers are looking for products that pack in more of the desired effects. In this case, edibles and other concentrates that mean a consumer has to buy and smoke less cannabis to get the same results are sought after.