What's wrong with modern cannabis

Drugs: THC levels in cannabis have doubled

In just over a decade, the level of the psychoactive substance THC in cannabis has doubled. That is the result of a new study by the research team from the University of Bath and King’s College London, which is published for the first time in the magazine Addiction appeared - a journal of the British Society for Addiction Research. The researchers evaluated the data from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction for the 28 EU Member States, as well as for Norway and Turkey. They mainly related to drugs seized by the police.

The findings of the research team: The average THC content in cannabis resin (colloquially known as hashish or hash) rose in Europe from more than eight percent in 2006 to over 17 percent in 2016. The average THC content in the psychoactive plant parts of cannabis (usually referred to as marijuana or weed) rose from five to more than ten percent.

The average price for marijuana in Europe increased in the same period from 7.36 euros to 12.22 euros per gram, and that for hashish from 8.21 to 12.27 euros. In the case of cannabis resin, the strength of the drug has risen faster than its price: Consumers get more THC per euro than before.

Users consume more THC

The research team attributes the development to the fact that in Europe and in neighboring countries such as Morocco, particularly high-THC varieties are increasingly being grown. You are concerned about this development. Because consumers would only adapt their use to the higher concentration to a limited extent. In other words: you smoke a similar amount of cannabis as before, even if it has become much stronger. In doing so, they consume more THC, which increases the risk of anxiety and psychosis-like conditions. In addition, cannabis plants grown for high THC levels often have low levels of cannabidiol (CBD) - which is considered relaxing and anxiety-relieving and, according to the study editors, "could compensate for some damage to THC".

In Germany, the possession of THC-containing cannabis is illegal. In the case of a small amount, however, criminal proceedings can be waived. The amount of tolerated possession varies depending on the federal state. In Berlin it is up to 15 grams, in most other countries it is six grams. In Germany, seriously ill people can get a prescription for cannabis.