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Old 04-20-2012, 07:55 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Is marijuana stronger now?

Today's column: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-it-used-to-be

The lead-in question was from the SDMB from 2007, original thread found here: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=405689 I've closed that thread (since it was from 2007 with a 2012 revival) and directed comments here.
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2012, 08:41 AM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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But does stronger equate to it being better? I think not since there are other factors that contribute to the enjoyment other than THC concentration; too many folks tend to key on that. Some of the new stuff can make you down right jittery and nervous; something I never found enjoyable. Weed should make you mellow and relaxed, not hyper or paranoid, which is what I find with some (but not all) of the new super strains.

I wouldn't think of judging a drink by it's alcohol content. I'd much rather drink and enjoy a 20 year old Scotch than than doing a shot of 151; I'd much rather have properly poured and chilled Guinness than some artificially hyped up Wee beer; and I'd much more enjoy a mellow bowel of hash than a one hit of "killer" ganja. But that's just me. Peace.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:52 AM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Good column for 4/20.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:09 AM
Try2B Comprehensive Try2B Comprehensive is offline
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Take a look at the variety of strains that have been developed by the medical marijuana guys. That's 14 pages of strains, all categorized in various ways. For example, Si Amigo could browse the list for a strain that ranks high for mellowness and low on anxiety. And it is all legal!

I'm not a patient though, not even on 4/20. I'm going to work. Really.

ps- The line I hear on the superweed is that it is supposed to be healthier for you. Instead of smoking a joint you just take one puff and you're done. Less smoking = less health downside. I'm sure there is a real expert on this board though...

Last edited by Try2B Comprehensive; 04-20-2012 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:18 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
I've closed that thread (since it was from 2007 with a 2012 revival) and directed comments here.
Pssst. You directed comments to the closed thread.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2012, 12:24 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Not a big deal. You used to smoke a joint or two, now you do one or two hits off one joint.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:34 PM
HoboStew HoboStew is offline
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The fact of the matter is: You can only get so high from smoking pot. I imagine Cecil didn't address this because there's no way to quantify it scientifically, but it is true. Stronger pot just means you get high faster and longer. Even if it was significantly stronger, it is nothing to be concerned about.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:06 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Cecil says the following:

Quote:
This sounds more frightening than it is its difficult to impossible to fatally overdose while smoking cannabis (although see below).
This suggests that Cecil is going to regale us with some tale of woe involving a kilo of pot, a blowtorch, and one mega-high gone south, or some sort of incident that ended in a fatality. But all he ends up saying on the topic is

Quote:
Little research has been done on megaweed. We can say with reasonable confidence that shifting from the 1.2 percent marijuana typical of 1980 to the five or even ten times more potent stuff available now wont blow the cortical fuses. But 33 times? Gotta level with you, man. There Im not so sure.
Really? Really? REALLY? That's all you got? Nothing about THC LD50 dose, nothing about any known cases ending terminally. Just idle speculation that 40% THC level might not be healthy?

Cecil, I expect better. (If you're going to "although see below", then there damn well better be something below that addresses the point.)
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:54 PM
HoboStew HoboStew is offline
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
(If you're going to "although see below", then there damn well better be something below that addresses the point.)
I noticed that, too. I can only assume, this being 4/20 and the subject matter and all, he just sorta lost his train of thought.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:02 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Originally Posted by HoboStew View Post
The fact of the matter is: You can only get so high from smoking pot. I imagine Cecil didn't address this because there's no way to quantify it scientifically, but it is true. Stronger pot just means you get high faster and longer. Even if it was significantly stronger, it is nothing to be concerned about.
I'm not sure this is true, or at least, true for everyone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that high-potency pot is more likely to trigger anxiety and paranoia in some smokers, rather than a relaxing mellow buzz.

The issue may be that there are differences in the exact chemical composition of the product that affect the quality of the high - thus, at least for some, higher potency overall may include higher potency of those compounds that trigger anxiety states. But I really don't know.

All I know is that lots and lots of people who enjoy pot smoking complain of a similar problem - high potenty weed is more likely to cause anxiety, to the point where smoking it is no longer pleasurable.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:54 PM
cynyc cynyc is offline
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My kid just walked in and said it smells like pot outside. He surmised that 4/20 was some kind of pot holiday.

How did it get to be known as 420 anyway?
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:03 PM
HoboStew HoboStew is offline
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Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
I'm not sure this is true, or at least, true for everyone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that high-potency pot is more likely to trigger anxiety and paranoia in some smokers, rather than a relaxing mellow buzz.

The issue may be that there are differences in the exact chemical composition of the product that affect the quality of the high - thus, at least for some, higher potency overall may include higher potency of those compounds that trigger anxiety states. But I really don't know.

All I know is that lots and lots of people who enjoy pot smoking complain of a similar problem - high potenty weed is more likely to cause anxiety, to the point where smoking it is no longer pleasurable.
My guess is that people smoking low-potency stuff dont get as high as when they smoke high-potency stuff. I think if they did hit after hit of the weak stuff, eventually they pass that threshold the anxiety kicks in. From my experience, a high is a high (certain strains produce different types of highs, its true, but the my potency feelings are still the same), its just a function of how many tokes it takes to achieve.

Last edited by HoboStew; 04-20-2012 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:18 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Originally Posted by HoboStew View Post
My guess is that people smoking low-potency stuff dont get as high as when they smoke high-potency stuff. I think if they did hit after hit of the weak stuff, eventually they pass that threshold the anxiety kicks in. From my experience, a high is a high (certain strains produce different types of highs, its true, but the my potency feelings are still the same), its just a function of how many tokes it takes to achieve.
Perhaps - I dunno. Some smokers never get the anxiety/paranoia thing happening at all no matter what they smoke, and some do.

It seems almost impossible to get the "straight dope" (heh) on this topic, any attempt at searching is overwhelmed by masses of unreliable sources.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:27 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Originally Posted by cynyc View Post
How did it get to be known as 420 anyway?
Wiki has the answer:

Quote:
The earliest use of the term began among a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California in 1971.[2][3] Calling themselves the Waldos,[4] because "their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school,"[5] the group first used the term in connection to a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about.[4][6] The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 pm as their meeting time.[5] The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase "4:20 Louis". Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply "4:20", which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general.[6]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/420_(cannabis_culture)
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:24 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Originally Posted by Larry Mudd View Post
Good column for 4/20.
Cecil and I were hoping someone would notice.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:33 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
This suggests that Cecil is going to regale us with some tale of woe involving a kilo of pot, a blowtorch, and one mega-high gone south, or some sort of incident that ended in a fatality. But all he ends up saying on the topic is



Really? Really? REALLY? That's all you got? Nothing about THC LD50 dose, nothing about any known cases ending terminally. Just idle speculation that 40% THC level might not be healthy?

Cecil, I expect better. (If you're going to "although see below", then there damn well better be something below that addresses the point.)
Please send Cecil a follow-up question. There are only so many words per column and only so many subjects to dive into each column. But I will say as Cecil's research assistant I did spend some time looking into the issues of very high-potency pot on health. There is anecdotal evidence of some people binging on the high-potency stuff. There are other studies however which say the high-potency pot is better in Europe, since pot is often mixed with tobacco there, and thus they inhale less tobacco byproducts with higher-potency pot. But even the recent studies I looked at discussing these effects say there is little evidence of significant effects - the net result doesn't tend to be people getting more high, but getting high faster on fewer cigarettes or puffs. A compounding problem is that the very high-potency pot is a) not widespread, and b) has not been in use in a large population for very long.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:18 PM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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In general I'd agree it's stronger today. (I'm speaking from an English perspective here.) That isn't to say there wasn't some very potent stuff about in the 60s, the equal of anything today, but the high-grade varieties were not readily available to the average doper.

In the early to mid-sixties the main product we bought was in hashish form, either Moroccan black or Lebanese Gold. Both were usually of average to middling strength. Grass was readily available, usually home-grown, but all of us preferred hash. Later hashish started appearing from Kabul, a good strong dope, especially one variety that had an admixture of opium. Thailand was another source, namely Thai Sticks, a favourite of mine.

To recap then, I've smoked stuff in the 60s that was as strong as any of the skunk varieties today but in general I'd agree the average dope was probably less potent than the average dope of today.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:08 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
That isn't to say there wasn't some very potent stuff about in the 60s, the equal of anything today, but the high-grade varieties were not readily available to the average doper.
What was its THC content?

Quote:
To recap then, I've smoked stuff in the 60s that was as strong as any of the skunk varieties today but in general I'd agree the average dope was probably less potent than the average dope of today.
How do you know this? Subjective guesses as to how strong marijuana is are likely to have an enormous error. What was the THC content of what you smoked in the 1960's?
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  #19  
Old 04-20-2012, 06:14 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Subjective guesses as to how strong marijuana is are likely to have an enormous error.
I reject your reality, and substitute my own!
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:38 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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I'm not trying to slag on anyone, but thinking seriously, scientifically, especially in the case of something which by definition gives an altered state of reality...I'll trust lab tests over first-hand reports of how "strong" marijuana is.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:55 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Really? Really? REALLY? That's all you got? Nothing about THC LD50 dose, nothing about any known cases ending terminally. Just idle speculation that 40% THC level might not be healthy?
There is no LD50 from marijuana. It has also never killed a human in the natural form, only the marinol form.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:01 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Originally Posted by Una Persson View Post
I'm not trying to slag on anyone, but thinking seriously, scientifically, especially in the case of something which by definition gives an altered state of reality...I'll trust lab tests over first-hand reports of how "strong" marijuana is.
You might consider chatting with Granny [StormCrow] over on Grasscity - she has put in serious time researching online literature for scientific info rather than apocrypical stories.
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  #23  
Old 04-21-2012, 12:47 PM
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I've been smoking pot since the '60's. It sure is more potent today. Personally, it just means smoking less for the same result. I am amazed though at the various strains these days that produce different types of "highs". They seem to range from potent, "sleepy time" indica strains, to mentally stimulating, energetic highs from sativa strains, and everything in between.

I guess when you have, (a couple generations now), educated, trained, talented botanists, horticulturalists, and other dedicated professionals who have used their skills for growing and breeding marijuana, what other result could you expect?

On a personal note. While I have never overdosed on Marijuana, I once made the mistake of eating WAY too much, (I was really hungry), mac and cheese made with some very potent, "punna butter", (butter that has been used to extract THC from plant material). I went to sleep, and when I woke up the next morning, my head felt like a 5 pound bag stuffed with 20 pounds of cotton. It was very unpleasant, but didn't seem to leave any lasting side effects.

Hopefully we'll soon have enough sense to legalize the stuff. Here in Colorado, it's already legal for medical use, and hopefully this November it will be legal for recreational use as well.
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:59 PM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Originally Posted by Una Persson View Post
What was its THC content?


How do you know this? Subjective guesses as to how strong marijuana is are likely to have an enormous error. What was the THC content of what you smoked in the 1960's?
I haven't a clue and I concede the point. (Although you'll note that I was in general agreement with modern hash being stronger. I still don't think that precludes the possibility that there was the occasional strain back in the 60s that would blow your head off and your socks too.)
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:59 PM
Disgruntled Penguin Disgruntled Penguin is offline
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Wiki has the answer:
Quote:
The earliest use of the term began among a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California in 1971.[2][3]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/420_(cannabis_culture)
That's where Pearly Sweetcake is from you know. They probably knew her well.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:34 PM
Jasper Kent Jasper Kent is offline
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Smoked dope off & on since the early 70's and while various strengths have always been around, I'd say that pot is generally stronger now than then. Not 30 times stronger, no. But I know that back then "one hit shit" was rare; now it's fairly common. It's also a lot more expensive now. I remember paying 30 bucks an ounce for excellent weed. These days it's hard to get a quarter ounce for that price.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:26 AM
Becky2844 Becky2844 is online now
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Have always known it to reference kids firing up at 4:20 before their parents get home at 5 pm.

In fact, it's almost a "Beavis and Butthead" type joke: What time is it?

4:20.

*Heh heh. Heh heh.*

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Old 04-22-2012, 12:41 AM
tesseract tesseract is offline
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Smoked dope off & on since the early 70's and while various strengths have always been around, I'd say that pot is generally stronger now than then. Not 30 times stronger, no. But I know that back then "one hit shit" was rare; now it's fairly common. It's also a lot more expensive now. I remember paying 30 bucks an ounce for excellent weed. These days it's hard to get a quarter ounce for that price.
$30 an ounce? Are you serious? And "it's hard to get a quarter ounce for that price"? Uh....yeah, it's more like
"That is not even close to the price of a quarter ounce." I haven't smoked for ten years, but when I did, an eighth cost $50 or $60. Where do you live? Are these real prices or are you just high?
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:49 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
I'm not sure this is true, or at least, true for everyone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that high-potency pot is more likely to trigger anxiety and paranoia in some smokers, rather than a relaxing mellow buzz.
An alternative explanation is that THC isn't the only active chemical in the plant. Although there are many cannabinoids, the main ingredient other than THC is cannabidiol (CBD). Although IIRC the species Cannabis indica as distinct from C. sativa is not accepted by all botanists, the MMJ community makes the distinction based on CBD content, with indica containing more CBD than sativa. In my layman's opinion, I'm not entirely convinced that splitting the single species is justified, but from here on I'll assume that it is, for ease of discussion.

Indica strains tend to have a more sedating effect, and I doubt that a very strong indica strain would bring on anxiety. Sativa strains, by contrast, tend to be higher in THC and lower in their CBD content. Anecdotally, besides being perceived as more stimulating, a THC-centered high tends to be "spacier". Yet just about any MJ will eventually bring on drowsiness.

As for the general issue of how much stronger today's pot is, I mentioned in a similar thread that the standard of quality has changed a great deal. As someone else in that other thread said, smokers just bought whatever the dealer had. You brought it back to your dorm room, where that little ridge in the center drawer, originally intended for keeping all your pens and pencils together, was admirably suited to cleaning out the many seeds and stems. Sinsemilla was a rare novelty.

I mean, some people brought it back to their dorm rooms...Not me. I knew some people, who knew some people...

But I digress. Anyway, today the growers have become so good at separating the ladies, most MJ intended for sale never gets pollinated and sensimilla is now the norm. What's sold today is arguably stronger than the pot of the 1970s, but the difference narrows when you look at what that 1970s college student had after he'd cleaned out the inert matter.

Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 04-22-2012 at 12:52 AM..
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:57 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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There is no LD50 from marijuana. It has also never killed a human in the natural form, only the marinol form.
Interesting, since apparently CBD in the plant appears to block or counteract some of the less desirable effects of THC. At least, if I'm remembering correctly that Marinol is pharmaceutical grade THC.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:05 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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$30 an ounce? Are you serious? And "it's hard to get a quarter ounce for that price"? Uh....yeah, it's more like
"That is not even close to the price of a quarter ounce." I haven't smoked for ten years, but when I did, an eighth cost $50 or $60. Where do you live? Are these real prices or are you just high?
That $30 is probably in line with my recollections. From an English perspective, when I was regularly traveling up to London once a week around 1967 I was paying 8 an ounce (unless I bought weight, ie large quantities). That works out, if my memory of the exchange rate then is accurate, at around $15. Given that prices would have moved upwards by the 70s I don't think that $30 would be far from the mark.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:51 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
That $30 is probably in line with my recollections. From an English perspective, when I was regularly traveling up to London once a week around 1967 I was paying 8 an ounce (unless I bought weight, ie large quantities). That works out, if my memory of the exchange rate then is accurate, at around $15. Given that prices would have moved upwards by the 70s I don't think that $30 would be far from the mark.
That sounds about right, maybe even a little high. In 1971 the first time I bought weed a friend and I got together $15 to buy an ounce of low grade weed. We divided it up into 4 nickel bags and sold 3 of them to get our money back. Then of course, we smoked the rest. The price steadily rose into the 80s, as did the quality.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:41 AM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
That $30 is probably in line with my recollections. From an English perspective, when I was regularly traveling up to London once a week around 1967 I was paying 8 an ounce (unless I bought weight, ie large quantities). That works out, if my memory of the exchange rate then is accurate, at around $15. Given that prices would have moved upwards by the 70s I don't think that $30 would be far from the mark.
In mid-1968, the (old) penny was worth about 1 (very convenient for a Yank on his first visit), so the pound was worth about $2.40, and 8 would have been about $19.20.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:46 AM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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There is no LD50 from marijuana. It has also never killed a human in the natural form, only the marinol form.
The LD50 for humans is not known, but given that there is one for rats, mice, dogs, and monkeys, it is reasonable that there is an LD50 dose. Although there is this sentence:

Quote:
Absorption is limited by serum lipids, which can become saturated with THC, mitigating toxicity.[22]
But a lack of knowing the value does not mean there is not a value.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:48 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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I assume the lab tests were conducted with refined THC. If so, even if there is an LD50 value, is it even relevant with regard to marijuana with regard to how the vast majority of it is consumed? You can off yourself with No-Doz tablets if you take enough of them.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:18 PM
appleciders appleciders is offline
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Originally Posted by tesseract View Post
I haven't smoked for ten years, but when I did, an eighth cost $50 or $60. Where do you live? Are these real prices or are you just high?
Are you back east? Out in Oregon, Washington, and California, there are lots of small-scale growers up in the hills who produce some really wonderful product, and if you're close enough socially to avoid too many middlemen, $30 for a quarter ounce is a great deal but not unthinkable. $30 to $40 for an eighth is the usual street price, I believe.

Last edited by appleciders; 04-22-2012 at 03:18 PM..
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  #37  
Old 04-22-2012, 03:21 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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I've been smoking pot since the '60's. It sure is more potent today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasper Kent
Smoked dope off & on since the early 70's and while various strengths have always been around, I'd say that pot is generally stronger now than then.
The problem with testimonials like this, if you'll forgive me, dear Dopers, is that you are not the person you were in the '60's. You don't metabolize alcohol the same way you did in the '60's, you can't eat what you did in the '60's and not put on weight, you probably can't lift what you did in the '60's, or run as far as you did in the '60's.

In other words, all y'all who were smoking weed in the '60's were a mite younger then. Your age alone is a huge confounding variable that you can't control for, and with age come a whole host of physiological changes that you can't control for. And we have no way of knowing if those things alter the way marijuana affects your subjective high.

I smoked enough weed, also, to know that situation and who I was with also made a huge difference in my perceived intoxication. Smoke alone, and there might be a weak little buzz. Smoke the same stuff with my friends and a funny movie, and I'm laughing my butt off with a moderate buzz. Suddenly my mother calls and I'm now somehow stoned off my ass and can barely put three words in a row and is it hot in here and did someone call the fucking cops?! This is why I'm hesitant to label the "strength" of weed solely on the THC content.

So since you'll never be 18 again, smoking weed sitting on the lawn at a Dead concert with that cute girl from next door dancing topless under a misty rainbow...you'll never have exactly that high again, whatever the "strength" of your weed.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:49 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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What I smoked in the early 70s was often mixed with hash ... that was really nice.

I bet you don't see a lot of that anywhere. I can't imagine what hash goes for these days.
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  #39  
Old 04-23-2012, 07:01 AM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
What I smoked in the early 70s was often mixed with hash ... that was really nice.

I bet you don't see a lot of that anywhere. I can't imagine what hash goes for these days.
Imagine no more. Amsterdam, what a magical wonderful place.

Last edited by Si Amigo; 04-23-2012 at 07:01 AM..
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  #40  
Old 04-23-2012, 08:44 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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My testimonial is that the main difference between then and now is the tremendus variety available now. Back then, we couldn't always get sinse or Hawaiian - which tended to be the best we got - but when we did, a hit or 2 was great.

Now, I can always get my choice of a number of different strains, each of which will give me as good a buzz with a hit or 2. And we never are reduced to scrounging up some ditchweed shake in times of drought.

I realize my memory is faulty and my experience entirely subjective, but I sure would think if today's pot were tremendously stronger than what we got back then, I'd be able to feel some difference.

But I guess the years might be taking their toll. For example, it seems like I pose this question years ago...
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  #41  
Old 04-23-2012, 09:01 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Here's an odd thing. While we have all this definitive proof about the strength of marijuana increasing over the years based on the detailed observations of stoners, nobody has mentioned that alcohol has decreased in potency. When I was in high school a 6 pack of beer would get me totally shit-faced. Now I can't drink beer fast enough to get drunk, so I have to drink a lot of vodka to get pleasantly buzzed. And I have to drink a lot of vodka for a long time to get shit-faced. So maybe they've been taking something out of the ethanol and putting it in the THC. Also, the music used to be better too.
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  #42  
Old 04-23-2012, 09:55 AM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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oops, see next

Last edited by Irishman; 04-23-2012 at 09:56 AM..
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  #43  
Old 04-23-2012, 09:59 AM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Spectre of Pithecanthropus, the MSDS didn't describe how the LD50 was measured. It is probable that they used concentrated THC rather than just burning or grinding plants. They need to know the actual THC dosage, after all.

And you are correct, extracting from the LD50 what that means for an actual smoking session is going to be a bit of a gamble. Concentrations of THC and confounding effects of other chemicals, plus variations in the amount of absorbtion and such, is all going to affect how much the person actually gets.

But LD50 is a standard method of measuring toxicity, and these problems are always inherent in comparing the individual cases trying to guess dosage to the actual known test samples.

At best, if I know the LD50 for THC in humans is, say, 5 grams per Kg, that is going to mean there's a lot more room for mega dosing than learning the LD50 on THC is 5 micrograms/kg.

Extrapolating from the numbers on the wiki link or MSDS is a bit sketchy. It doesn't list an inhalation LD50 for dogs, only oral. The oral LD50 for dogs is 525 mg/kg, which compares lower than the oral LD50 for rats, 666 mg/kg. But that number is mysterious, because there is an oral LD50 for rats at 666 mg/kg, but then the oral LD50 for female rats is given as 730 mg/kg, and the oral LD50 for male rats is given as 1270 mg/kg. So how can the average LD50 be lower than both the female and male LD50 doses? Be that as it may, the LD50 for rats vs dogs appears to be similar range. The oral LD50 for mice is slightly lower, at 482 mg/kg. So the scale isn't linear by size, there appear to be other confounding factors, but the range across those three suggests that they are more similar than different.

Then look at the inhalation LD50 for rats is 42 mg/kg. That puts it a factor of 10 smaller, at least.

Speculating that humans would be similar, that puts an approximate guess for back of envelope comparisons at around 50 mg/kg. For a 200 lb/90 kg adult male, that works out to 4500 milligrams of THC inhaled. That's 4.5 grams of THC, not the plant matter that it comes from. I don't know how many grams of THC are in the average joint, but I suspect one could smoke a block of pot the size of a couch before getting close to that limit.

That suggests that it is nearly impossible for someone to actually kill themselves smoking pot. You'd need to set up a bonfire in a confined space or something before getting enough.

Of course, if you start getting some of that superweed, that might cut the size of that block from couch to a loaf of bread. That might start to put it in the range of possibility.

And I realize there are so many SWAGs in there that the error bars on my BOE calc are wider than the Grand Canyon.
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  #44  
Old 04-23-2012, 10:03 AM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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While there are many stoner reminiscences of dubious value ( ), there is also a certain amount of harder evidence that pot has, overall, increased in potency.

And small wonder, considering the amount of effort - by pros and amateurs alike - to breed more potent strains, using all the technology available. It would be remarkable if pot did *not* tend to increase in potency!
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  #45  
Old 04-23-2012, 10:32 AM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Anecdotally, back in my irresponsible youth I was intrigued by assertions that THC was an "LSD-like hallucinogen" at very high doses, and so set about doing by level best to ingest as much as possible at one go. I made capsules of red oil, finger hash, and just enough pulverized bud to soak up mist of the oil.

Most of my friends complained that just one of these was too incapacitating, for too long. To get the "massive dose of THC effect" I was looking for, I took ten.

I wouldn't recommend it. I was laid out like a lump, and couldn't really focus enough to watch a movie or anything. There were some visual effects, but only closed-eye geometric patterns, not anything "LSD-like." A little bit of stomach upset, but nothing terrible. Went to sleep listening to music in short order, and woke up the next day chirpy.

My impression is that even if you go to absurd lengths to try to get as much THC into you at once as you can, your main worry is falling asleep in the road.
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  #46  
Old 04-23-2012, 11:24 AM
unkbar unkbar is offline
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Percentage of what?

So what does it mean to say marijuana has THC levels "as high as 40 percent"? Percentage of the original herb, by weight? By volume? Plants are mostly cellulose. It's hard to believe that any plant could be 40% THC.
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  #47  
Old 04-23-2012, 01:09 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Larry Mudd View Post
Anecdotally, back in my irresponsible youth I was intrigued by assertions that THC was an "LSD-like hallucinogen" at very high doses, and so set about doing by level best to ingest as much as possible at one go. I made capsules of red oil, finger hash, and just enough pulverized bud to soak up mist of the oil.
*Checks the statute of limitations*

Friend of mine once made an acetone extract of marijuana*, resulting in this black tarlike substance (is that hash oil? I have no idea; I don't think they usually use acetone to make hash oil) that we mixed with powdered sugar and rolled into little balls. 5ml of this goo made over 30 little balls, each a dose that would last about 8-10 hours. I loved the stuff! Definitely some very, very potent shit, and while I never had a problem with it, my husband at the time had a very bad "trip" from just one little THC ball. He started speaking in tongues, became completely and utterly disoriented, and paranoid like you wouldn't believe. (Didn't help that the police chose that night to walk through the campground and do their obligatory, "oh, sure, we're watching the hippies" to keep the townfolk happy. Hubby was certain we were going to jail for our powdered sugar residue.)

I've only had maybe-it's-LSD once, so I can't compare, but I did get these little checkerboard pixels that made moving pictures and fractals when I closed my eyes with the THC balls. I suppose those are "visuals", but they weren't terribly exciting.


*Like, at work (he's a chemist) with a hood and everything, so it was fairly safe, as acetone extracts go.
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  #48  
Old 04-23-2012, 04:53 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
(is that hash oil? I have no idea; I don't think they usually use acetone to make hash oil)
So long as THC is soluble in the solvent, it's hash oil. I usually think of black oil as lower quality but most black oil is produced with alcohol (or worse, alcohol and water) My oil was an alcohol extract, washed with water and naphtha, filtered through activated charcoal.

Sounds like his was not as pretty, but more potent. Sometimes I wish I was still young and irresponsible.
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  #49  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:05 PM
Jasper Kent Jasper Kent is offline
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Originally Posted by tesseract View Post
$30 an ounce? Are you serious? And "it's hard to get a quarter ounce for that price"? Uh....yeah, it's more like
"That is not even close to the price of a quarter ounce." I haven't smoked for ten years, but when I did, an eighth cost $50 or $60. Where do you live? Are these real prices or are you just high?
Yes, I'm quite serious. I live in Chattanooga,TN. As far as pot prices go, there are at least two things in our favor:
1. Weed grows well around here and there are plenty of places to do it. Folks have been cultivating killer weed here since the mid-seventies.
2. We are on I-75 just north of Atlanta, a major artery for all kinds of drugs coming from Miami. Chattanooga is kind of a fork in the road (to NE and NW), and there seems to be some "spillage" here.

That said, I have definitely seen quarters here going for $100. It's just that for $50, you can get quarters almost as good. Anybody that knows anybody ain't gonna pay 60 bucks for an eighth, I don't care how good it is.
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  #50  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:10 PM
Jasper Kent Jasper Kent is offline
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Here's an odd thing. While we have all this definitive proof about the strength of marijuana increasing over the years based on the detailed observations of stoners, nobody has mentioned that alcohol has decreased in potency. When I was in high school a 6 pack of beer would get me totally shit-faced. Now I can't drink beer fast enough to get drunk, so I have to drink a lot of vodka to get pleasantly buzzed. And I have to drink a lot of vodka for a long time to get shit-faced. So maybe they've been taking something out of the ethanol and putting it in the THC. Also, the music used to be better too.
Very good points.

Especially about the music.

I shall study on these theories tonight.
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