Everything You Thought You Knew About Cannabis Potency is Wrong

Every day, pot consumers look to the percentage of THC to determine a product’s quality and potency. But that’s a misleading indicator, according to a new study conducted by the University of Colorado and published in JAMA Psychiatry.

The study involved 121 cannabis users. After receiving various strengths of concentrate or flower, their blood and cognitive performances were measured. As Forbes explains, there was little connection between the percentage of THC they received and how impaired they were

As the researchers expected, the concentrate users had very high levels of THC in their bodies after use. But they weren’t “more high.” In fact, every participants’ self-reported “highness” was about the same—“as were their measures of balance and cognitive impairment,” as CU noted in a news release. Medium THC flower, high-THC flower—all the same high! This was not what the researchers were expecting.

The best way to determine quality is actually to smell the product, Forbes reports. Because cannabis must legally be sold in packages, that’s not usually possible.

There is one big exception to the University of Colorado findings. Those who consumed edibles did see a positive relationship between milligrams of THC and impairment.


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