American Exceptionalism: Today’s Weed Is 3x Stronger!

March 24, 2015 | Bucky Turco

According to common sense and Charas Scientific, a lab that’s certified to test Colorado’s weed for potency and contaminants, new cannabis strains are much stronger than pot in the 1980s, an era when baby boomers bragged about crappy brands like Acapulco Gold. For this latest media cycle, Andy LaFrate, the founder/president of Charas Scientific and author of the study, went viral when he said that the THC in today’s varieties is about three times stronger than its vintage counterparts, just like beer.

Many of the 600 or so samples tested by LaFrate also registered low or nonexistent in CBD, the compound that some say offers the most medicinal benefits, which sucks for patients and should be corrected.

Another issue was the purity. “It’s pretty startling just how dirty a lot of this stuff is,” said LaFrate. “You’ll see a marijuana bud that looks beautiful. And then we run it through a biological assay, and we see that it’s covered in fungi.” Well, that sounds horrific, no? Apparently not.

“Like ourselves, this plant is living with bacteria that are essential to its survival. In terms of microbial contamination, it’s kind of hard to say what’s harmful and what’s not,” he said. “So the questions become: What’s a safe threshold, and which contaminants do we need to be concerned about?”

Dude, you run a lab that can detect microbes, shouldn’t you be answering this question instead of asking it? For whatever it’s worth, his assessment late last year was a lot more optimistic.