ACS: Colorado Marijuana Is More Potent Than in Past

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ACS: Colorado Marijuana Is More Potent Than in Past
ACS: Colorado Marijuana Is More Potent Than in Past

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New lab tests on Colorado's legal marijuana suggest that the state's supply is more potent than ever, according to initial findings scheduled to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, held from March 22 to 26 in Denver.

Those tests revealed one pattern that was somewhat surprising -- namely, the marijuana's high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to Andy LaFrate, Ph.D., president of Denver-based testing firm Charas Scientific. The marijuana in Colorado's retail supply is 30 percent THC. According to LaFrate, that's more than triple the THC level typically found in street marijuana a few decades ago. LaFrate's lab also found some contaminants in retail marijuana samples, including fungus and the chemical butane, which is used in making marijuana extracts. Whether that's any cause for worry, however, is unclear.

Finally, the lab found that marijuana samples contained little to no cannabidiol, or CBD -- one of the marijuana compounds believed to have medicinal properties. That's not surprising, LaFrate told HealthDay, given that the point of recreational marijuana is to get high. But, he added, "there is a decent number of people buying retail marijuana who want some medicinal value."

Along with Colorado, three other states -- Alaska, Oregon and Washington -- and Washington, D.C. currently have a legal marijuana market.

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