Cannabis report: Growing demand for CBD could be to blame for declining THC potencies

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A national perspective on cannabis potency in the United States has been published in the form of a report by Confident Cannabis. Acknowledged as the world’s biggest real-time database of legal cannabis, the California-based data provider strives to assist producers in turning over a better profit. 

The company – which specializes in Analytics, Cannabis, E-Commerce, Information Technology and SaaS, – also supplies free software to cannabis testing laboratories. Based on Confident Cannabis’ insightful report on cannabis potency and pricing, THC potency is dropping nationwide.

Michigan and Colorado have the lowest THC potency in the nation

Based on the findings of the report by Confident Cannabis, places with established recreational cannabis markets are seeing a reduction in THC potency. Examples of some states with a noticeable drop in potency include California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The data software company has been monitoring trade data in Oregon for the past 15 months; since the company’s wholesale B2B marketplace went live in the state.

Considering the fact that the adult-use cannabis market is gaining rapid momentum across much of the U.S. – currently, the plant has been legalized for recreational purposes in 33 states, with more expected to follow this year – the data makes one wonder what exactly is causing the the reduction in THC potency.

Confident Cannabis analysts believe that the growing senior and 35-45 year old consumer demographic could be contributing factors, since people in these age groups are generally seeking out lower potency products. Another possible contributing factor for declining THC potencies across the U.S. cannabis market is the growing CBD market. 

CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive naturally-occurring cannabis compound that, when extracted from hemp, is legal in all 50 U.S. states. As a cannabinoid that is easily accessible and highly sought after, it’s not surprising that manufacturers are starting to cater their products to people who favor low-THC products. 

Higher THC potency equates to higher prices

Despite the fact that THC potency appears to be plummeting across the nation, the price of weed in Oregon has increased based on THC content; according to Confident Cannabis’ report. For example, cannabis flower in Oregon that contained more than 30 percent THC was 62 percent more expensive than products with 20-30 percent THC.

Cannabis flower containing 20-30 percent of the psychoactive compound, on the other hand, demonstrated a 24 percent price increase when compared with products in the 15-20 percent category.  The analysts say that Oregon’s cannabis flower is pulling in $50 per percentage point of THC; excluding products in the lowest potency range of 0-15 percent.

Since high-potency products are more expensive, it’s likely that consumers on a budget will seek out less potent products from retailers. Nonetheless, this does not change the fact that high-THC strains like Gelato, Mimosa, and EM Dog – developed as part of a joint partnership between Cypress Hill’s B Real and Humboldt Seed Organization – are among the most popular out of all the strains featured in Oregon’s wholesale cannabis market. Lemon Kush and Purple Hindu Kush are also in high demand, concluded the analysts.