Skunk was the name given to one of the first cannabis cultivars developed for indoor cultivation. (A cultivar is an assemblage of plants selected for a particular attribute or combination of attributes that is clearly distinct, uniform and stable in those characteristics and that, when propagated by appropriate means, retains those characteristics.) Skunk’s characteristics were the production of multiple flower tops and high THC levels.
The term ‘skunk’ is now widely used inaccurately by people who wish to demonise cannabis and scare people about its effects. However, despite negative connotations, Skunk cannabis strains remain exceedingly popular for both cannabis cultivators and users.
Several luminaries from the 1960’s have slammed ‘skunk’ in the press over recent years for being dangerously different to what was smoked back in the good old days. The Daily Mail suggested that today’s cannabis is twenty five times stronger than it was a decade ago. Rosie Boycott claimed it was 30 times stronger. In fact, herbal cannabis with similar levels of THC was available in the 1970s: the only notable difference is that high potency cannabis used to only be available from places like Thailand, and now it can be produced at home. According to the scientific data available, the average THC level of domestically cultivated cannabis is twice as high now as the cannabis cultivated domestically in the seventies and eighties but no higher than THC levels that could be found in imported varieties in previous decades.
In its analysis of several skunk scare stories, Transform Drug Policy Foundation (TDPF), pointed out that an almost identical “misleading potency panic took place in the US in the late 1980’s”.
Skunk is a big favourite with cannabis connoisseurs as it offers an exceptional high and can be extremely potent.
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