According to a new study, cannabis is becoming much stronger. Researchers from the study examined over 38,600 samples of black market cannabis captured by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration over the last two decades. They saw that the level of THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, in the cannabis samples rose by approximately four percent in 1995 to around twelve percent in 2014.

On the other hand, it turns out that the amount of CBD, also known as cannabidiol, an ingredient in cannabis used for its possible health benefits, dropped from around 0.28% in 2001 to nothing under 0.15% in 2014. When the ratio of THC to CBD was examined, it became evident that cannabis in THC was fourteen times the CBD level in 1995. However, in 2014, THC was eighty times the CBD level.

“We can see that the ratio of THC to CBD has really, really increased and climbed so much higher,” according to Mahmoud A. ElSohly, lead study author and professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Mississippi.

During the study, the scientists examined 39,000 samples of black market cannabis. Most of these samples were directly from the marijuana plant. However, there were also parts of hashish, which is another part of cannabis-infused with certain plant particles. In addition, there was also hash oil, which is taken from marijuana in the form of oil.

The scientists also discovered after examining the plant material capturing during the last four tears of the study, there was a huge spike in samples of sinsemilla, a type of cannabis much stronger than other types of marijuana, according to the study, released on January 19th in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The growth in marijuana’s strength may have some bad effects on the health of smokers, according to ElSohly.

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