We’ve come to rely pretty heavily on the THC percentages we find on labels of whatever product we buy. Most of us have our own preferences.
But an article at FiveThirtyEight shines a light on the shoddy and sometimes corrupt process of testing for these percentages in cannabis labs.
All testing is done in for-profit cannabis labs, and there is a serious lack of regulation and oversight. Some have deemed cannabis safe that had mold, and a 2019 audit of Oregon’s testing system claimed it “cannot ensure that test results are reliable and products are safe”.
Those getting the tests for their products would rather have a higher THC potent product, because it can be sold at higher prices. Over time, labs that typically hand out higher THC levels get rewarded by getting more offers for products to test. It’s mutually beneficial.
In 2015, data was published that showed four labs in Washington state never failing any of their samples for microbial contamination in a three month period, despite other labs failing up to 45% of their samples.
The ironic cherry on top of all of this? The obsession over THC, on both sides of the spectrum, seems overblown. A study from University of Colorado Boulder in 2020 concluded a lack of correlation between higher THC and a stronger high.
Read the full, super interesting story at FiveThirtyEight.