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THC Content Doubles in UK Cannabis Last Decade




A British study has indicated that the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in cannabis found in Europe has risen, taking both prices and consumer experiences to new highs.

The study, “Increasing potency and price of cannabis in Europe, 2006?2016,” published in the journal Addiction shared the marked changes in THC content in cannabis in the United Kingdom over 10 years.

According to the study, THC content in cannabis resin doubled from 8.14 percent in 2006 to 17.22 percent in 2016, rising sharply the last five years of that time. The price in resin cannabis rose another 50 percent in that time to 12.27 euros per gram.

The THC potency in flower cannabis increased from 2007 to 2011 from 5 percent to 10.22 percent THC content, and the cost also raising roughly 50 percent in the same time frame. However, the value of the cannabis flower did not change for cannabis whose THC content ranged from 12.65 gm to 12.72 mg. When adjusted for inflation the price changes were the same.

“These findings show that cannabis resin has changed rapidly across Europe, resulting in a more potent and better value product,” said Dr. Tom Freeman from the University of Bath’s Department of Psychology.  Freeman led the study as part of the university’s Addiction and Mental Health Group.

Data was taken from 30 different countries, mostly members of the European Union, by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. The study was funded by the Society for the Study of Addiction.

The increase of potency is mostly due to new extraction techniques being used in Morocco and Europe. “CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek,” Freeman said. “What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful.”