THE HAGUE, 09/07/08 - Dutch cannabis remains among the strongest in the world. But the content of the active ingredient THC has not increased further since 2004, according to the Trimbos Institute.
Working for the Health Ministry, Trimbos has been studying the strength of cannabis sold in tolerated Dutch drugs bars ('coffee shops') since 1999. Up to 2004, there was a strong increase in the THC content, the psyco-active ingredient. "Since then, there has been a stabilisation around an average THC content of 16 to 17 percent."
The cannabis sold in Dutch coffee shops in 2008 had a THC content of 16.4 percent. This was 0.4 percentage point more than in 2007, and nearly twice that of cannabis of foreign origin (8.5 percent). Hashish made from Dutch cannabis is much stronger again; this contained as much as 27.6 percent THC on average in 2008. Hashish from abroad averages 16.2 percent of THC.
Nonetheless, Trimbos concludes that regarding the strength of its cannabis, the Netherlands "no longer appears to hold an exceptional position." It referred here to "recent research in England that shows comparable THC content" for that country.
The price that had to be paid in coffee shops for 1 gram of Dutch cannabis averaged 7.70 euros in 2008. Dutch hash is however much more expensive than that of foreign origin (25.10 euros versus 8.10 euros).