Cannabis No Stronger, British Medical Journal Says

Lisbon, Portugal: The average strength of European cannabis has not increased dramatically despite recent legal changes in several European nations liberalizing its use, according to an editorial in the July issue of the journal Addiction.

“[T]he evidence available suggest[s] that the potencies of resin and herbal cannabis that have been imported into Europe have shown little or no change, at least over the past ten years,” authors determined.

The editorial further noted that cannabis potency was not linked to increased drug treatment demands, and questioned the claim that stronger cannabis necessarily poses a greater health risk to users.

Overall, European cannabis potency averaged between 2 percent and 8 percent THC, authors wrote. By contrast, the average potency of cannabis available in the US is between 4 and 5 percent THC.

Since 2000, several European nations – including Belgium, Great Britain, and Portugal – have downgraded penalties for the possession and use of cannabis.

For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the editorial, “Cannabis potency in Europe,” appears in the July issue of Addiction.