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issue is a perennial red herring thrown up by those
opposed to reform since the mid 1970s. While the potency
of herbal cannabis may have increased, this is because
high quality material is more readily available (i.e.
grown in the UK from 'pedigree' seeds as sinsemilla),
rather than seeded compressed material grown abroad
and semi-decomposed before it reaches the consumer.
High-quality herbal and resin has been seized by customs
since the 1970s (See Gough TA Ed 1991 The Analysis of
Drugs of Abuse). The potency of resin, if anything,
would appear to have declined in recent years. The FSS
quotes resin potencies between 3 and 7%, the range I
have encountered is from 0.5% ('Formula') to 12% (Nepalese/Minali),
with 'soap bar' typically around 4-6%. Resin typically
contains significant quantities of CBD as well as THC,
whereas herbal contains little if any CBD. One argument
is that more potent material may have harm-reduction
potential, in that less herbal material needs to be
smoked to achieve the same high. Unfortunately where
this argument breaks down is with the UK/European practice
of mixing herbal cannabis with tobacco, where putting
less 'weed' in the 'spliff' would only increase the