Is Marijuana More Potent Now Than in Previous Generations?

Marijuana Potency: Then vs. Now

It is not uncommon to hear that the marijuana purchased today is stronger than it was during our parent’s generation. There are various factors that go into knowing whether or not the substance is truly stronger than it was.

Part of the reason why marijuana is stronger now that it was is due to the fact that a number of states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana while many states have also legalized the use of medical marijuana. Because of this, crop growers are less worried about the laws surrounding the production of the drug, creating a healthier product and increased productivity.

Measuring Potency Strength

In a 2018 study, it was found that the average marijuana bud contains THC levels of around 18.7 percent and this includes legal strains of the plant. Depending on the strain of the plant, the THC level will fluctuate. In the year 1995, the average THC content in marijuana was just five percent; a stark difference from today’s potent strains.

There is no question that marijuana potency levels have increased in the last 15 years. So, does this mean that individuals are at a higher risk of developing a dependency or an addiction to the drug due to its higher THC levels? It is more likely that people will become addicted or dependent on marijuana due to its ease of accessibility and recent legal leniency as opposed to the fact that it is more potent. A more potent strain of marijuana will simply get you higher, quicker. It will not enhance the high and make it ‘better’ per se.

Since it is easier to access, an increasing amount of individuals are chronic marijuana users which, in turn, can lead to an addiction. Studies suggest that out of those who use marijuana regularly, almost 17 percent of them will become addicted.

Marijuana is considered a psychoactive drug which means it alters your perception and gives you a high. The dangers of this are that many individuals feel as though they can function regularly while under the influence of marijuana. Too many individuals drive while under the influence of this drug and this is extremely dangerous as your reaction time and perception are not as good as they are when you are sober.

Some signs that you may be addicted to marijuana are:

  • Experience cravings when you are not using
  • Using daily
  • Increasing quantity to get high
  • Wanting to quit but not being able to
  • Engaging in hazardous situations such as driving under the influence

If you or someone close to you is experiencing symptoms of addiction, it may be time to seek help from an addiction treatment center. If you are heavily addicted than you may require a period of medical detox in order to safely wean your body off of the substance of abuse.

Medical detox is often the hardest part of the recovery process and your body is readjusting to not getting a steady supply of marijuana. Once the detox period is complete, the individual will continue in an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

It’s important that you seek help for your marijuana dependency issue as this can spiral into full-on addiction.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.