Too “high” for your daily life?
A historical review on the evolution of THC
We see everyday how some breeders and banks try their best to obtain new strains with higher levels of THC. On the contrary, it is increasingly common find users who are looking for the opposite. A father with two siblings wrote me asking for information about any strain with moderate or low levels of THC. He wanted to enjoy the high but continue being able to take care of his responsibilities. “I am scared of getting too high and make a mistake with my children or in my job” – he wrote. I personally thought it was a responsible behavior. I recommended him a strain from one of the most prestigious banks from Holland with a 6% of THC.
And it is not an isolated case. We only have to follow the steps of cannabis use in our western society to check that, after decades looking for THC increase in the new strains, finally we can see a reaction against that action. In order to understand this matter we should have a look to how cannabis was in the beginning. The way it was originally in our planet and see how has influenced our hands in its evolution. We must see too the places where have evolved the last landraces and heirlooms.
Each one must know the limits about this subject. How much THC can you tolerate without getting too high? And it is convenient to know the opposite: what level of THC is too low for you? Many users from the “hey days” think we are creating strains that are too strong. The youngest users cannot know those days. When cannabis had not more than 5% or 7% of THC. And however, it seemed more than enough. On one hand “sinsemilla” marijuana didn’t exist. And on the other hand the strains available came from landraces cultivated in places like California (USA).
Because, indeed, although cannabis came originally came from Asia, during thousands of years human beings have transported it from one side to another, with a remarkable success in its adaptation. Besides this change of its adaptation, our plant has experienced changes in the amounts of its cannabinoids, depending on the places where they have been cultivated permanently. We are talking of thousands of years of continuous cultivation in their new place. After thousands of years being cultivated in a different place they become original cultivars (landraces).
Many botanists who have studied cannabis for years think cannabis is the most versatile and genetically diverse plant in planet earth. And this has happened because of the enormous different places where it has been cultivated from the moment it was moved from the Asian steppes to the most remote corners in earth. And this constant movement has had a great impact in its cannabinoids. Cannabis has more than 60 different cannabinoids in the flowers. There is not necessary to mention that the two most known cannabinoids are THC (psychoactive) and CBD (it is commonly used for medical purposes).
Those cannabis plants that thrive between north and south 30 parallel are absolutely THC dominant. Further up the north is CBD dominant. However, if we take seeds from plants that thrive further up the 30 parallel and cultivate them between 30 north and 30 south, they adapt to the new conditions of light and heat and after some generations become THC dominant. Most of botanists think that a bigger amount of UV light increases the THC. That is why the genetics from the tropics are more potent.
However, it is not only the latitude what determines the amount of THC. The altitude is important too. Think of genetics like Kush, Morocco Rif or Red Lebanon. They produce flowers full of resin and THC and they thrive further up the 30 north parallel. But they live in valleys whose height is overpass 3000 meters.
As we said, the marijuana consumed in the sixties and seventies in California was cultivated either near the Mexican border or in California itself. These plants had between a 5% and 7% of THC. You could find more psychoactive plants that were imported. Thai Stick, Colombia Gold or Acapulco Gold, for example. Their level of THC was close to 15% and it was marijuana with seeds. But the price of these genetics was up to three times more expensive than the ones that cultivated in California.
But it was a time of changes and the mentality about the way to obtain more potent cannabis was starting. There were many hippies who traveled to the tropics or Morocco. Many veterans returned from Vietnan with seeds of powerful sativa strains and they were eager to try them in the US. However, as we said, very few times the amount of THC surmounted a mere 17%. We cannot forget that the production of seeds decreases the level of THC in the flowers.
But in the late nineties and the beginning of the XXI century, the breeders cultivated indoor marijuana with brilliants results. Little by little they got new hybrids with incredible levels of THC. During the High Times Cup (2016), one of the plants presented came accredited with a 34% of THC. The jury had serious doubts about this fact and the plant was sent to analyze to TH Caeczar, High Times staff member who verified it. It was a great hit!
Nowadays there are many “cannabis artists” who are getting great results obtaining high levels of THC. They obtain more potent flowers and better organoleptic properties. Not only that; now some breeders are paying more attention to obtain higher levels of CBD. This is due to the legalization of cannabis which allows the scientists to research more openly and without restrictions. The results are being very well accepted among the users.
Thanks to the legalization, a different type of user has become part of the cannabis community. They are normal people who probably didn’t consume daily but never thought cannabis was a dangerous drug. During the sixties the penalties related to cannabis posession were brutal in the US. A little bit was enough to go to jail. Thanks to legalization, nowadays is frequent, and fun too, to see how business men and brokers go to their dispensary and buy CBD RICH marijuana to enjoy a pleasure denied for too long.
It is also frequent see consumers to whom marijuana with much THC produce a bad trip. They are trips with adverse side effects like paranoia or simply too introspective. It can result unpleasant. But now, thanks to legalization, they can choose their perfect weed; a weed with the correct ratio between THC and CBD. I personally lived those old days of prohibition and I see how good legalization has been for society. Before the legalization your money was for the cartels and all types of mafias.
Before the legalization, weed traveled from Mexico to US. It usually was a poor quality weed and the conditions of its culture were questionable and dangerous for health. The growers used all type of chemicals that were bad for your health. Nowadays the situation has changed. The weed goes from the US to Mexico. Thanks to this change, the criminal activity is done and the money remains in the US. And no need to say how much the quality has improved.
THC low levels an d weed quality
In Ketama Seeds we aren’t doctors and therefore we don’t want to express opinions about medical cannabis questions. But cannot forget the research made about it by some eminences of the medicine. In this article we will simply remember the words said by Dr. Sanjay Gupta in 2013 that were published by CNN. He began expressing a “mea culpa” in an article named “The reason why I changed my opinion on marijuana”. Among others subjects he spoke about the post traumatic stress syndrome suffered by the veterans of Vietnan, at that time, and the same mental disorder suffered recently by the veterans who returned from Irak. In both cases marijuana was used to treat them and the results were much better than the ones obtained with chemical drugs. Many of these drugs ended with a bunch of addicts to a remarkable number of pills.
However, the veterans from Irak were treated with cannabis with a 15% of THC. And unfortunately the results were sometimes negative. Some of them suffered anxiety, `paranoia and so on. In other words, what we know as “a bad trip”.
The inflection point
After three decades trying to increase the levels of THC, we begin to go back to the origins. This is happening among many users. It had to occur. It is a question of action and reaction. A 7% of THC is more than enough to have a nice effect and it allows you to work without mental problems. Many banks have come to realize this and begin to produce all kind of genetics. They breed strains with high levels of THC and with low levels too. If you want to fly high, you choose the best strain for it. But if you prefer to remain lower, you have the seeds for it. We must remember that low level of THC is not synonymous of poor quality.