More Potent Cannabis Is No Accident – It’s a Business Decision

More Potent Cannabis Is No Accident – It’s a Business Decision

Medical cannabis patients shopping for products at the Beehive Farmacy in Brigham City, UT, can choose from a nice selection of vapes, tinctures, etc. with varying potencies. If patients ever have questions about potency, a staff pharmacist is on hand with answers. That is good because potency matters in a medical setting.

It also matters in recreational marijuana, though recreational users don’t seem to understand why. They also do not seem to understand that more potent cannabis in 2024 is no accident. It is actually the result of a business decision.

Data clearly shows that cannabis potency is exponentially greater today than it was in the 1960s and ’70s. There is some debate about how much more potent, but the 57-67% referenced by Michigan’s Timber Cannabis Co. is about average.

The Domestic Pot Business

The Timber Cannabis Co. has a fantastic post on their website explaining why today’s marijuana is so much more potent. Remember that this is a company with a vested interest in selling more marijuana. They are by no means marijuana critics. They offer three reasons explaining higher potency in the modern era. The first is domestic production.

According to Timber Cannabis, the majority of marijuana circulating in this country in the 1970s was imported. Much of it came from Central and South America, particularly Columbia. The plants of the day were not cultivated to increase potency. In addition, plant material was often so dried out by the time it reached this country that its THC content had already dropped significantly.

Today, we have a much stronger domestic market. Many cultivators previously running operations south of the borders have moved production into the States to cut down on transportation and logistics costs. So now we are getting fresher plants subject to less degradation.

A Better Understanding

Next, a better understanding of marijuana plants and THC has led cultivators and processors to utilize various parts of the plant. Back in the 1970s, consumers were not taking advantage of the most potent parts of the plant because nobody knew. Things have changed.

The legal market has opened the door to a lot more science. Today’s cultivators and processors know where the most THC is found in any given plant. Those are the parts of the plant that they focus on. According to Timber Cannabis, the more potent plant parts make up the majority of today’s commercial weed.

Better Cultivation Techniques

As cultivators and processors have learned more about cannabis plants, they have leveraged the knowledge to come up with better cultivation techniques. Cultivators know they can increase marijuana potency through cross breeding. They have also figured out that certain genetic modifications can positively impact THC content.

Such knowledge is an open door to increased competition. Cultivators and processors looking for a market edge attempt to gain that edge by increasing potency. We are now essentially in an arms race of sorts, with companies looking to reach ever higher levels of potency with every new strain.

The Potency Debate Is Over

The debate over whether today’s marijuana is more potent is essentially over. We have the proof. However, we also have a new debate: whether higher potency makes modern marijuana dangerous. A growing body of evidence seems to point in that direction.
Let us hope science figures it out, if for no other reason than to make the shopping experience safer for those patients visiting Beehive Farmacy and other medical dispensaries around the country. Higher potency is good if it increases medical efficacy and can be managed safely. Otherwise, it is a trap.