cannabisnews.com: So Just How Potent Are Our Street Drugs? 





So Just How Potent Are Our Street Drugs? 
Posted by CN Staff on January 17, 2004 at 17:09:31 PT
Editorial
Source: Observer UK
Cannabis is getting stronger and becoming more readily available, according to popular belief. I set out into London last week with a shopping list in one pocket and 100 cash in the other to find out the truth. I was told to buy a mixture of hash, skunk, grass (or weed) and home-grown. The idea was to get a variety of ingredients so we could have a look at what the market had to offer and test potency.
Hash is a resin that a user will burn and crumble to smoke. Both hash and weed are considered weaker forms of marijuana. Skunk has attracted much publicity because of its reported high strength earning it the nick-name 'super-weed'. It wasn't difficult to find what I was looking for, although it was intimidating. Camden and Brixton are known as the best parts of London to find street dealers. 'They stand along the street muttering "marijuana",' one friend said. 'You can't miss them.' At 6pm last Thursday, Brixton Tube station was full of people returning from work; none of them looked like they had a few ounces of weed tucked away in their coats. But within five minutes' walk of the Tube I saw two likely candidates. The men were standing in a darkened area set away from the road. Their faces were partially covered by hoods and they were looking at something in their hands. I decided to check them out by asking for directions to another part of Brixton. The pungent smell of skunk and the fact that I could see one of the men holding a clump of it wrapped in clingfilm gave them away. 'I want to buy some gear,' I said and reeled out the order. They were able to supply me with two different types: skunk and 'white widow'. White widow, they assured me, is one of the best types of marijuana you can get. The white plant has a high level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient that makes the user feel high. I paid 20 each for two small-looking wraps. They were unable to supply the rest of the order but pointed me towards a pub and described a man there who could help. Five minutes later I had picked up the lot. The next day, armed with five types of cannabis, all smelling strongly inside my bag, I drove up the M1 to Derby where I handed my haul over to Jim Campbell, the managing director of Surescreen, a biotechnology company that carries out drugs analysis. Campbell, who once worked in a Home Office forensic laboratory, is licensed to carry out the work. 'If I can see it I can test it,' he said when I told him I was concerned about the size of the samples. Campbell said he was surprised at the quality of the drugs, especially as they had been brought off the street. Home grown 'organic' skunk, which is grown in soil, was by far the strongest containing 13.4 per cent of the active ingredient THC. At this level, the effects of THC would be felt after just a couple of puffs on a spliff. Skunk normally carries between 7 and 15 per cent THC; samples with levels of THC over 20 per cent are very rare. The strongest sample found in the UK had 29.9 per cent. Campbell says that this, at double the potency of normal skunk, is an exceptionally high level of THC and anyone who smoked it would be incapacitated. One cannabis user told The Observer that smoking strong skunk can leave them 'very high, unable to move, in hysterics and sometimes seeing things'. The sample that I was told was 'just skunk' came in next at 9.9 per cent with white widow, which the dealer had assured me was so strong that I would be coming back for more, coming in a disappointing third. The grass had a THC level of 4.9 per cent and hash was the weakest at 4.3 per cent. Smoking a spliff at these lower concentrations would leave the user mildly high and, more than likely, able to function fairly normally. The results are similar to the levels that would be expected for the different types of drug and, with the exception of white widow, which didn't appear to quite live up to its promise, the street dealers I came across did not rip me off at all. Getting hold of reasonable quality marijuana on the streets of London is a simple task - whatever the law.Note: Anushka Asthana went to south London with 100 and a shopping list of cannabis varieties to buy. 'You can't miss the dealers,' said a friend. Special Report: Drugs in Britain: http://www.guardian.co.uk/drugs/0,2759,178206,00.htmlAvailable on the streets - but how potent are they? Hashish Also known as cannabis resin or 'soap'. Percentage of active ingredient (THC) 4.3. Price 1/8 ounce 10. Home-grown skunk Grown in soil without lights. Percentage of active ingredient (THC) 13.4 Price 1/8 ounce 20-25. Weed Soil-grown plant, also known as grass. Percentage of active ingredient (THC) 4.9. Price 1/8 ounce 10-15. White widow Marijuana strain, known for its high potency.Percentage of active ingredient (THC) 8.2. Price 1/8 ounce 20-25.  Super skunk Green leaf, strong odour. Known as 'super-weed'. Percentage of active ingredient (THC) 9.9. Price 1/8 ounce 20-25. Source: Observer, The (UK)Published: Sunday, January 18, 2004Copyright: 2004 The ObserverContact: letters observer.co.ukWebsite: http://www.observer.co.uk/Related Articles:Cracking The Problem - Guardian Unlimited UKhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18153.shtmlPolice Chief Acknowledges Muddle Over Drug Lawhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18147.shtmlMPs Vote To Downgrade Cannabishttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17692.shtml
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Comment #7 posted by escapegoat on January 18, 2004 at 16:01:19 PT
That's Texada Island Ice Hash
Hey, a pic of this is online, and it's from the fellow that smoked me up that time!
Texada Island Ice Hash
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Comment #6 posted by escapegoat on January 18, 2004 at 15:58:01 PT
Texada Island Ice Hash
> postulates a theoretical maximum possible THC yield of 60%.
I had this stuff called Texeda Island Ice Hash once. Had an out of body experience. The fellow that gave it to me -- he's a medical user -- said it was up near 60%. Sure felt like it. I've never been that stoned in my entire life.
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on January 18, 2004 at 06:28:48 PT
Where is the super weed?
"Home grown 'organic' skunk, which is grown in soil, was by far the strongest containing 13.4 per cent of the active ingredient THC. At this level, the effects of THC would be felt after just a couple of puffs on a spliff." Please...This is the quality of cannabis we were used to when I was in college over 30 years ago.
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on January 17, 2004 at 20:43:33 PT
4percent?
my first thought was about the really crappy hash he must have gotten. In the 70's in Europe the Blond Lebanese, Black Afghan, and Red whatever, and Green fluffy stuff ... all were VERY stout stoners.I'm with Russo, the more you refine the mix by removing the extraneous plant matter, which is ALL of it if you could, the higher the percentage of THC.That fellow just got some really bad hash.
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Comment #3 posted by BGreen on January 17, 2004 at 18:03:04 PT
Here's A Quote From Dr. Russo re:Mila
The next issue of Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics has an article by Mila Jansen, the inventor of the Pollinator and Ice-O-Lator devices in Amsterdam. In the article we have a photo of a GC/MS of a random sample of water hash she made that yielded 52% THC. Rob Clarke in his book, Hashish!, postulates a theoretical maximum possible THC yield of 60%.
Dr. Russo's Comment
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Comment #2 posted by BGreen on January 17, 2004 at 17:57:24 PT
I'm Up For That Challenge
I smoked some of Mila's hash in Amsterdam that was tested at over 50% THC (Dr. Russo is familiar with Mila from the Pollinator.) I'm very lucky that she shared her prime stash with me but, I was no where close to being highly intoxicated, let alone "incapacitated."The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #1 posted by gloovins on January 17, 2004 at 17:27:05 PT
just a thought, how many were like,
after reading this:"The strongest sample found in the UK had 29.9 per cent. Campbell says that this, at double the potency of normal skunk, is an exceptionally high level of THC and anyone who smoked it would be incapacitated."Try me....;)
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