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Is Marijuana Too Strong?

Is Marijuana Too Strong?

Over the past decade, the popularity of cannabis has grown steadily thanks to the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana. Coupled with a growth in popularity, there has also been a consistent increase in the strength and potency of the average marijuana plant.


These high levels of THC are something that people could not have imagined a mere thirty years ago. It is the opinion of some that marijuana has actually become too strong. Many are turning away from this extreme potency in favor of delta 8. Delta 8 delivers a very similar effect as that of regular (delta 9) THC but it is much less potent. For these reasons, it won't be long before delta 8 overtakes delta 9 as the preferable choice.  


Delta 9 THC concentrations in marijuana 


Right now, the concentrations of THC in marijuana can often be as high as 30%. Keep in mind that in the 1980's the THC concentrations in your average marijuana were typically less than 2%. In only forty years, the standard THC content in marijuana has exploded. For those who understand genetics, this is inconceivable. 


The marijuana you'll find nowadays is so different from that which you would find in the 60's, 70's, and 80's it can hardly even be considered the same plant. The reason for this rapid change in genetic makeup has everything to do with competition. Towards the end of the 19th century, growers realized that they could cross-pollinate the flowers with the strongest and highest THC yields with other strains of similar potency. This went on for years and years as, despite being illegal, the purchase and sale of marijuana flourished in the underground marketplace. 


Despite everything the federal government did to try and suppress its usage, they could not change the fact that people loved marijuana. And those people were willing to pay more for high potency strains. It is a simple case of supply and demand. No matter how strictly enforced it was⸺the demand for marijuana was high, and sellers with the most potent cannabis were successful. Consumer demand further sparked the desire for stronger cannabis; thus, the process of cross-pollinating for potency intensified. 


In 2010, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. This allowed growers to experiment openly, now freed from legal scrutiny. The best growers shared their practices in the mainstream arena, and now a marketable, profitable product⸺grow technology increased massively. All of this, coupled with ten years of legality throughout the majority of US states, has led to a tenfold increase in the strength of marijuana. 


The negative implications of high potency 

man smoking a joint

While many cannabis advocates see marijuana potency increase as a good thing, it does have some negative implications. First of all, it has created a massive separation between the marijuana enthusiast and the average recreationalist. If you smoke weed frequently (every day or multiple times a day), this increase in strength is massively beneficial. You have likely built such a high tolerance that you need a powerful dose to continue feeling significant effects. But for the average person, this potency is too high. Most of us can't afford to use marijuana all the time to build the kind of tolerance necessary to handle this new potency. Most of us don't want to take a couple of hits from a joint or eat half a gummy bear and be incapacitated for the next 6 hours, unable to get up off the couch. 


But you don't have to settle for the high potency of delta 9 and delta 9 products. There is another option. 


Delta 8: the better choice


Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that's found naturally occurring within cannabis in low amounts. Because it is found in such trace amounts, scientists were unaware of its existence until recently.


Delta 8 is a naturally occurring isomer of delta 9 THC. It has the same molecular structure, but where Δ9 has a double bond along its ninth carbon atom, Δ8 has a double bond on its eighth. This minute difference means that Δ8 produces the same high as Δ9, just to a lesser degree. 


Delta 8 vs. marijuana 


When it comes to comparing delta 8 and marijuana, many questions come up time and time again—questions about legality and composition. But the most significant inquiries are to do with the effects of delta 8 in comparison to marijuana. 


Delta 8 and marijuana both produce very similar effects, but what does that mean exactly? Let's take a closer look⸺marijuana provides a high that is euphoric and simultaneously relaxing. You may feel more head high (happy, uplifted) or body high (mellowed out, at ease) depending on whether the strain you consume is Indica, Sativa, or a hybrid. Marijuana has also been known to produce anxiety and paranoia. For example, you may feel your heart racing and your mouth becoming super dry, both of which are common side effects of anxiety. Then you may begin to think you are in trouble of having a heart attack or that you smoked too much and are now in danger of an overdose. While it is impossible to overdose from marijuana, this is a common symptom of paranoia. There have been many reported cases of people checking into the hospital after ingesting marijuana only to be told by doctors that they are completely fine and just need to allow the THC to move through their system. 

woman with racing thoughts

Delta 8 produces many of the same effects, things such as euphoria and relaxation. It even comes in varieties of Indica for a more chilled out result or Sativa for a more focused and energized high. But the difference lies in those undesirable side effects. Because delta 8 is a lighter version of delta 9 you won't ever experience anxiety or paranoia. With delta 8 you get all the main benefits of marijuana without worrying about getting too high. 


Back to the buzz


Marijuana has been around for a very long time. However, it didn't hit mainstream, western culture until the mid-1900s. Curtailed on the back of the hippie movement, marijuana became a popular drug due to the high that it produced. Users felt mellow, relaxed, laid back, and generally more at peace with the world around them. It was a perfect pair for the hippie movement of the 70's which promoted love and compassion over war and economic advancement. 


In a post-WW2 America, progress was the name of the game. All anyone cared about was competition, getting the best job, getting a good education, working all hours of the day. But the youth of the time revolted against this mindset. They thought that life was about more than work. They wanted to enjoy themselves; they wanted to live, laugh, and love. Marijuana became the perfect way for them to rebel.


Back in the 70's you could lay back in the grass on a nice, sunny day and smoke a marijuana cigarette. You would feel relaxed and happy. You'd have a mellow, euphoric buzz. But the cannabis of today is a bit different from then. Now smoking a joint will get you completely stoned. While being stoned is enjoyable for some people, for many others, it's too much. If that light-hearted 70's era euphoric buzz is something you'd like, then delta 8 can deliver.


At Elyxr, we sell the best delta 8 products from vape carts, tinctures, gummies, and many more. Check out our product line, or reach out to us with any questions you may have.
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