THC Products and Content
We recently presented a sample report to Statistics Canada on the Canadian Cannabis Insights for Summer 2019, in which we dissect the Highest Product THC Content per Province.
What Is THC?
THC, scientifically referred to as Tetrahydrocannabinol, is a compound secreted by the glands of cannabis plants. It is responsible for most of the psychological effects including the release of dopamine which induces a euphoric and calming high.
THC is also a cannabinoid; a chemical compound in cannabis which interacts with the brain and body receptors and produces a high. There are estimated to be over 100 cannabinoids within cannabis, however, THC is the most abundant. When THC is consumed, it binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system then creates the commonly known effects of relaxation and tranquility. As per Leafly (2016), short-term effects of THC include:
· Pain relief
· Memory impairment
· Increased heart rate
· Dry mouth
· Red eyes
· Slowed perception of time
· “Couch-lock,” or feeling heavy
Our infographic depicts each province by percentage of THC products.
Most Potent THC Products in Canada
First is Subway Scientist by Riff. This indica strain holds a content of 10 - 30% THC. During consumption, one should expect aromas of herbs, fruits and simultaneously tranquil and euphoric effects.
LA Confidential by Aurora is an indicia dominant cannabis with a THC content of 12-21%. It is reviewed as stimulating peaceful and psychedelic highs, as well as providing pain relief. The flavour profile is earth and pine with wood ascents.
Rockstar by Grail origins from Sensi Star and Rockbud, creating an indica dominant hybrid strain. Rockstar has a THC value of 24.1% and is great at treating stress and pain. The flavour profile is described as spicy and herbal.
Chocolate Fondue by DNA Genetics is a sativa-dominant strain with a THC value of 16-26%. This strain relaxes the body and uplifts the mind, while inducing happiness and euphoria. Sweetness, cheesiness, and coffee flavours are to be expected.
Meridian by Up is a 17-28% THC sativa-strain, and mainly evokes happiness. This product is characterized by thick and dense buds that produce aromas which are sweet and piney, accompanied lemon and spice.
MK Ultra by Aurora is an indica dominant product with a THC value of 14-27%. MK Ultra is described as containing sticky and pungent flowers with a powerful THC potency. This is not recommended for beginners.
Finally, Sweet Jersey 3 by RIFF is sativa dominant with THC content ranging from 9.8-28.5%. Sweet Jersey 3 is a whole flower product from Ontario with aromas that are sweet, citrusy, and earthy.
THC Is Not the Only Indicator of Quality
Although, each product above is top-shelf quality, THC is not the only quality indicator within cannabis. Potent cannabis stems from a high concentration of trichomes, which is the resin found on the plant. These trichomes hold THC, CBD, as well as many other cannabinoids. Yet, highly potent buds may lack the flavours desired by the consumer or induce the wrong stimulation. Much of the quality determinants are processed through sensory evaluation. Cannabis has three stages of quality that can be determined by sight. Low quality cannabis is compressed, brownish, earthy in aroma, and harsh to taste. These contain low cannabinoids due to the extremities of the environments grown in. The brown and bleaching colours can also be a sign of mould presence during production. Mid-range cannabis can contain purple hues and sometimes are hermaphrodites due to their harsh production environment, thus an elongated form will develop. High-quality cannabis is highlighted by an aura of colors and a visible resin. A telltale sign is the white ash residue left behind once burnt. The smell of cannabis should also not resemble hay, but citrus, coffee, or chocolate. Tones that are bright and distinct indicate high quality cannabis. Taste is complementary of the smell, in which the product should have a palatable, full-bodied gusto.
Canadian cannabis regulations, which were published July 11th of last year, state that THC cannot be added to the dried product, however, they do not impose a maximum THC cap on the potency of dried cannabis. Such action acts as a competitive advantage for the government, as the range and diversity of cannabis products depletes consumer interest within the illegal marketplace. Although, as per the Canada Gazette Part II Volume 153 (2019):
Maximum quantity of THC
102.7 Subject to subsection 97(2), edible cannabis that is a cannabis product — or that is contained in a cannabis accessory that is a cannabis product — must not contain a quantity of THC that exceeds 10 mg per immediate container, taking into account the potential to convert THCA into THC.
*THCA is a cannabinoid that in non-intoxicating, albeit, as cannabis dries, THCA converts into THC. Furthermore, when heated THCA's conversion is expedited.
Individuals 18 or older can carry up to 30 grams of dried or the non-dried equivalent in public and across Canadian borders. Individuals can also make cannabis-infused food and drinks, but are verboten to use organic solvents to make concentrated products. In provinces excluding Quebec and Montreal, households can grow up to four cannabis plants using legalized seeds or seedlings.
On October 17th, 2019, three new classes of cannabis will be legalized: edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and topical cannabis.