So I was scanning Weedtracker yesterday to see what was going on in the marketplace and I came across a thread that said “Our Green Ribbon just tested at 29% THC! For those of you who have tried it, what do you think?”
What do I think? I think your testing machine or your standards are off. There is no way that a flower is testing that high. It is virtually impossible unless you have some spaceship growing process that has somehow magically transformed the cannabis plant. I could see 22% but I have never heard of any strain coming up at 29-30% EVER. No where in the history of mankind has this been true, so I beg top wonder….who did this test and how reputable are their findings? There are a lot of labs popping up these days and a lot of inflated numbers running around it would seem. When all of your strains are coming in at high rates of 18% plus, it begs to question…How is this possible?
How it is possible is that it is extremely difficult to develop a sound process for testing cannabis. Most organizations will go through some growing pains and work for months to adjust their process to accurately reflect the true number. For labs that are just beginning the process it is less than truthful to publish numbers before you get a good baseline and are sure your numbers are reflective of the true quantities of active ingredients. It takes hundreds to thousands of tests to get it right, so I am skeptical that many of these new organizations have perfected the process in just a few short weeks or months on a handful of samples. How could this be?
I took the same issue when Harborside began prematurely publishing their results in early 2009. Their lab process was in the development phases and it seemed that its really needed more time to develop before attempting to give patients less than accurate information. Over the past couple of years Steep Hill lab has worked tirelessly with Science professionals to perfect their process, do peer review, and test thousands of samples to make their process right. While there will always be questions of scientific validity until cannabis labs can operate open and freely without Government interference and participate in a wider set of verification with other labs, Steep Hill has done a lot of work to make sure their process is sound. I cannot vouch that their numbers are 100% accurate, as I am no scientist, but I do know the work has been done to ensure accuracy at every level and I have more faith in their process because of the time, energy and expertise that has been afforded to the project.
Other labs that are just beginning to go through this trial and error phase have no business putting out numbers that are foggy at best. And when you come at me with a 29% THC flower I have a tendancy to think that there may be a problem in the testing process and that by all means the numbers that are being given out to patients are just BULLSHIT. You may as well throw a dart at a dartboard full of numbers and select it that way because it is just as accurate. I am not saying that this “Green Ribbon” is not a quality flower with high levels of THC, but 29% is a bit much to swallow. It is disingenuous at best and at worst a blatant deception in order to create hype for a house strain.
As patients, we must decipher what the truth is and when a lab is pumping out strains that are at inflated levels consistently it may be time to go back to the drawing board and get it right before publishing your findings as facts. At best THC levels are a window into the actual levels that your particualr bud or bag of buds may be, and that is great. But when your window is 10 points higher than everyone else’s window, it may be bullshit.
I think it testing cannabis for potency and safety is a great idea, but if your readings are not even remotely accurate then all it becomes is false advertising and deceiving of patients. I understand that there is a bottom line that needs to be met for organizations to be successful, but if meeting that bottom line comes at the expense of morals and validity, then there is a real issue. For those collectives that are using some of the hot new and cheap lab services on the market, you may want to ask yourself…am I getting what I am paying for or would I be better off throwing darts at the board? Or better yet…finding a more reputable service. The choice is yours. But believe if you keep telling me your herb is at 20-30% THC consistently then I am going to put you on front street. When your averages are 16.41%, a cool 4-8% over average, then there may be a real issue….