Progression of CBD / THC ratio in cannabis

In the 70s, according to official information, the THC content in the USA was 3-4% on average. At that time, however, significantly fewer samples were being tested and the procedure was not yet particularly mature. Often samples were used that were already a year or older and were probably not stored optimally.. Therefore, even then, something stronger could have been in circulation.


Today, more than 1,000 cannabis samples are tested annually by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) as part of the Potency Monitoring Program. Most are probably aware that cannabis has grown stronger over the years. At the beginning of the 2010s, the “street weed” in the USA already had more than 10% THC. The THC increase is not only due to the current waves of legalization in many countries. Since the early 2000s, growing techniques and growing equipment have become more advanced and professional.

In the meantime, cannabis is no longer used as a pure intoxicant, even varieties that contain (almost) no psychoactive THC, but only the physically calming CBD, are enjoying increasing popularity. But before THC was professionally bred from flowers, there was a trend before legalization to grow weed with a lower amount of CBD.

Less CBD on the street, more CBD for the patient

Even before the wave of legalization in recent years, strains with a lower CBD and higher THC content were bred more and more frequently, as most were (incorrectly) more interested in the psychedelic than the calming, physical effect of the CBD.

We now know: Both components have a complementary effect and CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC, which can complement the intoxication. Interesting is the execution of the Pharmaindex Yellow List, which compiles a very good list of the cannabis components and modes of action on this subpage.

In the end, it is certainly a matter of taste which ratio you prefer. The trend in recent years even shows a slight increase in the CBD content. High levels of THC and low levels of CBD in cannabis can be dangerous for people who are prone to psychosis or depression. Especially in countries where cannabis is banned, consumers are not able to estimate the composition of the flowers. Mentally stressed people who just want to “get down” should perhaps consume weed containing CBD, but get highly potent weed with a low CBD and high THC content from the dealer.

Although it is not yet 100% clear whether “pure” CBD is an effective remedy for psychoses and other mental health problems, there are already studies that are showing promising results. The CBD can help with many other symptoms and diseases, such as sleep disorders, has now been well researched. A list of all “proven effects” can also be found in the Pharmaindex Yellow List.


Due to the constant decriminalization, the use of conventional cannabis and CBD has become more and more commercial. Meanwhile, an industry worth millions has developed. Currently (June 2021) 40% of Americans live in U.S. States where cannabis is more or less legal.


CBD in Germany

In Germany there is still a debate about the full legalization of cannabis, but recently at least CBD can be legally purchased in shops.

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Even if there is not yet full legal clarity: Many CBD providers have to deal with warnings of previous “offenses” that occurred in periods in which the legal situation was still unclear. Cbd360 has compiled a list of the legal changes in Germany on its website.



Of course, cannabis liberalization also has a huge impact on the CBD industry and consumption. Since 2014, sales of CBD have increased over 1,000%. Oils and creams are booming and more and more CBD shops are opening around the world. Always more growers are starting to breed and produce more and more potent CBD.

Many CBD suppliers from Germany now offer high-quality CBD flowers with a share of up to 20%. They manage to keep the flowers below the legal limit of 0.2% THC. Because you can’t completely separate CBD from THC.

So-called moonrocks can also be produced through fermentation. The freshly harvested and still moist CBD flowers are stored at constant humidity for several weeks. In the process, unwanted components are emitted. After the fermentation process, these shrunken “rocks” are soaked in hemp extract and coated with CBD pollen and crystals. In this way, the CBD can be concentrated to up to 60%. Such a CBD joint can then have a similarly intense effect on the consumer (although not psychoactive) as “normal” weed.

The development of the CBD and THC ratio over the last 40-50 years shows that there is still a trend towards more THC. However, the trend has turned towards less CBD and a huge industry around pure CBD has now emerged. Consumers are now dealing with cannabis in more detail, and thanks to a lot of new research, it has long ceased to be considered an intoxicant. We would like to do our part in building knowledge and hope to make fermentation better known in addition to understanding the interaction between CBD and THC. It remains exciting to see how the market will develop in the future.

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