Is skunk really stronger than normal dope ?

Please mod-zap this if it is not appropriate.

I have read in the papers that skunk is far stronger than normal dope, when I mentioned this to my brother he derided it and said it is the same stuff but hydroponically grown in artificial light.

The papers were trying to say that the 1960s and 70s stuff was nothing compared with modern produce.

My suspicion is that my brother is a lot better informed than newspaper reporters.

From what I understand, most of what was being smoked in America in the 60s and 70s and prior had its origins in Mexico. And from what I understand, Mexican pot is usually of the weaker variety. The strong stuff came later, from Vietnam, Thailand, India, the Middle East, etc, brought back by seamen, smugglers, and other globe trotters. After a few decades, growers have gotten the cross-breeding down to a sciences and now at the present day we have much stronger strains which combine the best characteristics from all the different pot plants.

It’s illegal, don’t do it, and all that.

This is very true. I will come back with some references later on (I need to consult some books I have on this topic. Err, I found them :wink:

Basically, the strength of dope is based on 2 factors. The genetic component and the environmental component. Genetic is obvious - find strong varieties and breed them until you get an excellent result. This is the similar to tomatos for example. Some are small and hard, others large and fleshy.

The environment is down to how the plant is grown and can make a huge difference. In short, the component of cannabis gets you high is the resin (Hash resin, the block cannabis you may have seen is made from resin stuck to bits of the plant - and often any other rubbish found).

A cannabis plant produces sticky resin buds to try and catch pollen so it can fertilise. If you deny a female plant any pollen, it keeps producing more and more resin to try and catch any floating pollen. When the plant is pollinated, it stops producing resin and starts doing its baby-thing - which isn’t what you want if you are after maximum resin production.

In the outdoors, it’s very hard to stop the female plants getting pollinated. Indoor growing (in soil or hydroponically) makes it a lot easier in theory to remove the males and keep resin production going for as long as possible.

If a strain grown from 30 years ago was re-grown today inside, it would probably have turned out stronger product, just down to the advanced methods used. But combine breeds with greater amounts of THC (one of the active components) along with bigger amounts of resin and you have something very strong.


Another factor, for a lot of folks, weed was probably hard to get in the early years of the cultural revolution, tiny joints were rolled, and passed about ceremoniously as if a portion of the host, amongs many people.

Today, it’s cheap and plentiful, and large stogie sized joints are de rigeur.

From my experience, a dealer will say his weed is anything (skunk, purple haze, etc.) in order to sell more, probably not knowing the real strain himself unless he also grew it. So of course that makes it harder to positively identify the strain, and thus compare its effects.

I have had skunk a few times, and I have had many other different kinds of “regular” weed, and I can confirm personally, albeit anecdotally, that it’s a horse of an entirely different colour.

Each time I’ve had it I didn’t get regularly high, but rather I tripped my fucking nads off for about four hours. It was horrible (I don’t like to trip). The varieties of grass one gets in the UK these days all seem to be grown here, and derived from this particular strain, so now I avoid it completely.



In the UK of the 60s the resin of cannabis was far more available than the leaves (pot). As we were in Europe all the cannabis came from North Africa, the Middle East and points to the east of that, mainly Afghanistan.

Moroccan black (I recall the blocks were stamped with a palm tree) was by far the most common, with Lebanese gold second. Both were good, heady stuff, but the real killers were Tibetan black (despite the name, it most certainly came fro Kabul) and Thai sticks (condensed grass wrapped around sticks). These two were very strong indeed (the former was reputedly mixed with opium, and it felt like it!)

Were the as strong, or stronger, than skunk? Friends whose opinions I trust, who still smoke (I don’t), assure me that they were.

In the UK in the 80s and early 90s all we got was hash too - until hydroponics caught on - and while overloading a hash joint could occasionally make one very (or unpleasantly) high, again in my experience, it’s nothing whatsoever like skunk.

It’s not the leaves that make up the bulk of pot, but the dried flowering tops of the plants, specifically, those of the female plant.

Very interesting stuff

  • selective breeding and keeping the females randy seems to be half the trick

The other half seems to be that something a bit different is being supplied as ‘skunk’

  • and it sounds like an unpleasant cocktail

Not necessarily. While some stuff being offered as “skunk” might be cut with something else, I’ve had a genuine THC overdose, and the effect of “genuine” skunk (e.g. in Amsterdam where purity is usually assured) was very similar.

UK skunk contains up to 20 times more THC than '70s weed according to the Evening Standard.

It’s okay, it’s being used to treat glaucoma :slight_smile:

I can’t comment on “skunk” because I don’t really know what it means, although I’ve heard the term before. I always just thought it was stinky weed. But I can pass off some hearsay that you may choose whether or not to believe.

Now I’m not that old. But my pothead aunt and uncle are. And they contend that the weed us young bucks smoke these days is nothing like what they had in the 60s and 70s. Furthermore, weed is not in any sense cheaper than then if I can believe my aunt and uncle. They say they remember the best marijuana around could be had for about $20-$30 an ounce. Nowadays regular, everyday pot would be close to $200 an ounce.

I’m not contending that what anybody has said so far is wrong. I know that there is weed out there that is better than anything that has come before and that some weed is much cheaper than before (when adjusted for inflation). But your average Joe Potsmoker is not buying a hydroponically grown Thai strain of cannabis. He’s buying some crap that somebody the next town over grew in his basement. And in general I believe my aunt that weed these days is more expensive and less powerful, even though in specific instances there is much better stuff to be had. I blame the drug war on the higher price and lower quality (in general) of marijuana these days, although depending on your position that might be a good thing.

I’ve been exposed to a certain counterculture for about 35 years. “Skunk” is one of those terms that has meant many things over the years. Sometimes, it means the stuff is really good, or tastes rank, or still damp, or has an ammonia smell.

Let’s face it, folks, your retailer has never met the farmer. He probably is five steps removed from the farmer, and he has no idea where it was grown. He doesn’t know if the crop was lovingly manicured, or if the seeds were thrown into a pile of manure by the creekbed and forgotten until fall.

There is a long tradition of calling the current batch whatever “the good stuff” is called that year. There was Acapulco gold, Panama red, Colombian, Jamaican, Afghan, and blah, blah, blah. Right now, it’s skunk.

The industry has changed a lot. A few years ago, it became the top cash crop in Kentucky and Tennessee (in many cases, moonshiner families switched over.) A few weeks ago, the government’s own estimates said it’s now the top cash crop of the USA. It doesn’t seem to be very organized. There are a whole lot of independent growers; some are ag-school grads, making their own hybrids. Someday, it may all be controlled by Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, and Pioneer, but for now it’s a lot of mavericks.

It’s both and it depends on where you got it.

Back in the 70’s-80’s, the buds were much smaller. Sure, from time to time you could find someone selling big-ass buds, but commonly you’d get bags of all buds, all leaf, or a mixture of both. Leaf was far cheaper because it isn’t as strong.

In my neck of the woods, the term defined what it was.

Pot (or grass) meant the leaves. Bud was the buds. Normally leaf was made into a joint while pipes and bongs were used for buds.

I always figured the term “pot” meant “the bottom of the pot”. Back then it wasn’t unusual to buy a ounce of marijuana which contained the top 3-4 inches of the plant. The buds being on the end and several rows of small leaves down the rest of the stick. Of course, you’d smoke the buds first. The bottom of the bag ended up with all the crushed leaves.

Interestingly, in my area, dope was heroin.

Or,. at least that’s what my “friend” told me. :smiley:

Hmmm, the Google ads seem to be offering products that will get my strawberries along quickly this year. Indoors, even!

Skunk, in my experience, referred to hydroponically grown strains of high-THC grass, of Dutch origin, in the early nineties. I can’t claim to have ever been in cutting-edge circles, but back then the stuff honked really strongly, and was miles more powerful than the cheap resin that was the usual. The only comparison back then was cannabis oil which was hard to get, very expensive, and carried the same possession penalties as heroin and cocaine.

I’m sensing a UK/US definition difference here.

Skunk here in the UK is quite specific - it’s a breed - and you can smell it a mile off versus other strains of weed. Since FRDE is asking about the strength of UK skunk, IMO we can safely dismiss US quibbles about its definition in this case.

If you want to do further research, google for “dutch skunk seeds” (add in “northern lights” for examples of other breed variants) or look at

I’m not calling you a liar, but how did you trip by smoking weed? I’ve had skunk before and while the high was very potent and I was zoned out for a good two hours, I have never tripped from smoking weed. Again, not saying you’re lying, but what do you mean “trip”? You actually mentally tripped like you do on LSD?