Let’s take a look at a debate that is everywhere today: Is cannabis is stronger now than it was in the ’60s and ’70s? After many years in this industry and having the pleasure of meeting many long-time smokers I have come to conclude that this is not actually the case.
Most older smokers I have spoken to have assured me that the Colombian Punta Roja, Panama Red and Thai sticks they smoked in the ’60s and ’70s were incredibly strong. Sure there were bad batches every now and then, ones with more sticks and seeds than buds, but overall if you had a good connection or could get direct access, the bud was super potent.
Over the last 20 years, as more and more breeding has been done, what has occurred is a dilution in the ratios of cannabinoids. I believe that cannabis, for the most part, has been bred according to several guidelines:
-It has been bred for yield and shortness, to accommodate indoor gardening.
-It has been bred with an eye towards increasing THC content. (In recent years this has changed as more CBD rich strains are being worked on.)
-It has been bred according to what customers want, a focus on Kush strains, quick flowerers and mostly feminized seeds or auto-flowering strains (this has not helped with diversity that is for sure).
-It has been bred according to name. What this means is some seed company will go out and buy a clone of a strain that is all the rage in one dispensary or another, enter it in a cup, win and then spray some STS on it to feminize so that it could be quickly released, untested, to the general public in order for them to capitalize on the buzz around the strain.
I strongly believe that this trend has led to a degradation of the overall quality of strains. Sure there are strains that these days are testing up to 27% THC, but what about the cocktail or ratio between the other terpenes and cannabinoids. Now that we are getting more and more information about the plant and have more and more access to lab testing we are learning all kinds of things about terpenes and the other cannabinoids. I would like to create a debate and hear from all of you breeders and growers and old smokers out there as I am generally curious about this topic and feel that it requires a big debate. What do you think about the importance between the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes? What do you think powers the strength of the cannabis high, is it solely one cannabinoid or is it the interplay between them all? These are just some of the questions i hope to eventually get answers to.
I look forward to hearing from you, the global cannabis community on this one.
Keep it green and keep on growing!