The potency and the price of hashish and marijuana have increased between 2006 and 2016 throughout Europe, as evidenced by a study conducted by the University of Bath and King's College London (United Kingdom), and that has been published in the magazine Addiction.
After analyzing the data collected in the 28 EU Member States, as well as in Norway and Turkey, the work has shown that in marijuana concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) increased by a similar amount each year, from % in 2006 to 10% in 2016. In the case of hashish, THC concentrations were relatively stable from 2006 to 2011 (from 8% to 10%), although they increased between 2011 and 2016 (from 10% to 17%). %). The price also increased, but to a lesser extent than that of marijuana. "These findings show that hashish has changed rapidly throughout Europe," said lead author of the research, Tom Freeman.
Unlike marijuana, hashish usually contains cannabidiol (CBD), in addition to THC. The CBD has attracted interest because of its potential to treat several medical conditions, including psychosis and anxiety. In addition, and according to experts, when present in hashish, the CBD can counteract some of the harmful effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory impairment. However, hashish that contains higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD has been linked to greater long-term damage, such as the development of dependence or an increased risk of psychotic illness. Researchers have warned that new resin production techniques in Morocco and Europe have increased THC levels, but not those of CBD.
"The CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and stable or decreasing levels of CBD, which potentially makes cannabis more harmful." These changes in the market illicit are largely hidden from scientific research and are difficult to identify by policy makers.An alternative option might be to try to control the content of THC and CBD through regulation, "Dr. Freeman has asserted.