Search This Blog

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Guest Post by Dr. Susan Blackmore

"Surely the whole point about the discovery of cannabidiol as a neuro-protector is that it is the balance between THC and cannabidiol that counts, not the simple strength or amount of THC. 

Strength (THC content) is largely irrelevant because you can just smoke more or less according to preference. The critical point is that you don't know how much cannabidiol there is in what you smoke.

I believe we need the government to understand that skunk really is something different from old-fashioned good weed and to act accordingly."


  1. I really wish people would stop calling it skunk and refer to its proper name Sinsemilla or the direct translation "without seed"

    Skunk is a myth generated soley by prohibtion. I am 40 and have been smoking since I was about 18. From the day I started smoking weed sinsemilla was widely available in south london. Damn I even went to cornwall in the late 80's and met a man growing sinsemilla in a 90ft poly tunnel.

    on the simplest level skunk is just a marketing tool. one strain or variety of the cannabis plant which I believe was first sold by sensi in the late 80's and what UK Cheese is a rare pheno of.

    If there is every to be a sensible discussion of cannabis in the UK we really have to drop all these lies and dis-information

  2. An interesting post, thank you.

    Dr Blacknore makes a good point about "strength" (the amount of THC) and "Potency" (the ratio of THC/CBD). Strength is not potency and the two are often confused, especially in the media. There is good evidence that CBD has anti psychotic properties which may be very important in the mental health debate.

    However, I strongly suspect she isn't right to suggest "you don't know how much cannabidiol there is in what you smoke" - oh yes you do! The lovely old skool "rocky" hash we used to get was high in CBD - if the Home Office study is to be believed it was close to a 1:1 ratio. Getting stoned on old skool hash was a totally different experience to getting stoned on weed and hash was always preferred over herbal cannabis. I'm not talking about soap bar here, real Moroccan hashish was like a fine wine in my opinion.

    Thing is this "traditional" hash was made from low potency (ie high CBD) cannabis. That's why it was made into hash, which is a more concentrated form of cannabis if you like. The cannabis plant used to make Rocky hash was often smoked by locals very casually as "kif" - as a herbal tobacco mixture, not to get stoned with in the way we think of it.

    Herbal forms of cannabis have probably always been made from more potent (ie low CBD) strains simply because herbal cannabis contains more inert plant materiel which bulks out the weight, it is less concentrated than hash. Certainly varieties like Thai grass were very, very strong and were probably quite low in CBD content. Getting stoned on these was utterly different to getting stoned on rocky.

    It's probably true that some of the newer strains have been selected simply to grow well in artificial light and to produce large buds producing a very large amount of THC. No thought was given to CBD.

    To produce varieties like oldskool hash the cannabis needs to be grown on a big scale because the plant is lower potency and so the product isn't suitable for prohibition. Under prohibition the pressure is on to produce a big bang for the buck in a small space with a fast turn around and that means high potency weed.

    Dr Blackmore ends up by saying "we need the government to understand that skunk really is something different from old-fashioned good weed and to act accordingly." So-called "Skunk" is simply a high THC low CBD variety of grass, probably not that different to traditional varieties of grass like Thai or Dagga, it's a high THC variety because it's grown to be used as grass. The "old-fashioned good weed" wasn't weed, it was hashish.

    Incidentally, all cannabis makes hash and hash made from high potency weed will be high potency hash. Simply because it's hash doesn't mean it's got a good THC/CBD ratio. Also all varieties of cannabis can be grown as sensi - even low THC Ruderallis types, which would produce lots of sticky brown but utterly useless hemp hash.

    What Dr Blackmore needs to be highlighting is the whole destructive mess created by global cannabis eradication, which this country has lead the world (along with the USA) in promoting. It is the destruction of the North African hash industry and the long established culture it supported which produced the high CBD hash which caused the market shift here to herbal varieties.

    If Dr Blackmore really believes in the importance of encouraging the use of high CBD content hash then it would help if she were more clearly outspoken in her opposition to the prohibition of cannabis and perhaps a bit clearer on the cause of the problem.

    Good to read her views though!

  3. but sidrome, I often smoke Skunk as its all I can find.

    I have trouble finding good old weed.

    Biggup Jason.

  4. back when America had alcohol prohibition the kind of drink people bought was as strong as you could get no matter what the taste. strength was all that mattered. When they ended Prohibition then people were able to buy drink for its taste and strength was a choice. most smokers want to control the high and not spend their lives wreaked out of their minds. If we end prohibition and bring in proper quality control then i think you will find that the super strong cannabis will only be a small amount of the market a bit like the strongest types of alcohol that are around today not everybody wants to drink a full bottle of whiskey for lunch most just like a glass of wine. so the quality control should be down to the government the choice of strength should be with the consumer after they have consulted with a Doctor and that will deal with the unregulated dirt that is being sold right now

  5. High THC is bred into cannabis, but as far as we can see it does not result in a greater high. I accept that the Government does need to investigate and research all of the genus and for that we need a decriminalised research base, long term users, medical and recreational must feel happy to come forward and take part.

    Our point is that the Government, in rejecting scinetists like prof. Nutt in favour of moralising, is unable to come to a scientific conclusion. For the same reasons they are unable to utilise those multiple medicinal applications that could revolutionise pain relief in the NHS, help those with spasticities and other nervous diseases like MS and reduce some of the liabilities, side effects and knock out potions within pharnmaceutical drugs that lead to many death.

  6. Dr Blackmore is a legend, her radio stuff is essential listening. Also, read her site!!!!! I agree with her broad points on CBD and knowing potency before ingestion, it's often overlooked as an issue. We do need to start bringing this into the fray.

  7. @Derek

    The reason the Morrocans turned their cannabis into hash, was because they couldnt avoid pollination, and so the only way to produce a product was to convert to hash