European cannabis extracts and flower have doubled in potency since 2006, according to a report by The Guardian.
Researchers from the University of Bath and King’s College London published a study in the scientific journal Addiction shows that both cannabis flower and resin concentrates in Europe have seen dramatic increases in average THC content.
Flower’s average THC content went from 5% in 2006 to 10% in 2016. For resin products, average THC content rose from 8% in 2006 to 17% in 2016. These increases were not shown for CBD content, however, which was shown to have declined or remained consistent with earlier results.
The change is believed to be attributed to the advancement of cannabis cultivation techniques, particularly in Morocco.
Researchers also noted an increase in prices. In 2006, cannabis flower was sold for an average of €7.36 per gram. In 2016, that same gram cost on average €12.22. Cannabis resin went from €8.21 to €12.27 per gram in that same time period.
While some say the increase in THC content means a better value for consumers, others wonder at the risk of declining CBD contents.
Said one of the study authors, “CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek. What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful.”