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Collage of picnic and "hippie" and marijuana leaves

Marijuana – Past and Present

The 1960s were a pretty different time in America. Know what else was different? The potency of cannabis.

Whenever people start to discuss marijuana, there’s a whole slew of cultural touchstones that our minds might pull up. Woodstock. The Summer of Love. Reggae music. The idea we have of the 1960s and 1970s is one where drugs – most notably weed – was everywhere and everyone was doing it. In fact, that idea fuels much of how we perceive marijuana today. But there’s a lot that’s changed between the days of Bob Marley and today.

Although they might say otherwise, the hippies of old weren’t smoking anything that was anywhere near the strength of what is around in recreational or medical marijuana shops today. Marijuana in the 1960s and 1970s was what is referred to as “ditch weed” and was literally exactly that: marijuana that was grown in the wild and harvested. This “ditch weed” was very low in THC, ranging between 3%-4%, and since it was entirely illegal in the United States, quality wasn’t of the highest concern.

That has all changed in the past 20 years as states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. Due to the loosened restrictions on marijuana growers, the potency of marijuana has dramatically increased in the past decade. It isn’t rare to see certain strains of weed with THC levels at 20% or more. That’s right: 20%! In 2017 growers revealed a strain that had THC levels at a whopping 34%… that’s 30% higher than the most potent weed grown only 20 years before that!

There’s no doubt that the bands that played at Woodstock wouldn’t have been able to handle themselves the same if they had the same potency of marijuana available today. So if that’s true, why would you be able to? The marijuana of today is more intoxicating than ever before and should be treated as such – it’s not the same weed we’ve been dealing with!

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