Frequent Cannabis Consumers Lack Knowledge About THC And CBD Concentration, Study Shows

Do you really know how much THC or CBD content is considered effective in your cannabis? Findings in a new study suggest that many frequent cannabis consumers overestimate what cannabinoid concentrations are needed to experience desired effects.

Do people who use cannabis on a regular basis really know how much THC or CBD is needed to be considered effective? That is what researchers at the University of Buffalo wanted to find out in a recent study.

During an annual cannabis event called Hash Bash, scientists investigated if frequent cannabis consumers were knowledgeable about effective cannabinoid content and servings by surveying attendees who considered themselves regular users.

Nearly 500 Hash Bash attendees participated in a 24-item questionnaire. Of those participants, two-thirds reported using cannabis every day and most reported using cannabis for health purposes.

“Even the people who are most enthusiastic have very poor knowledge of cannabinoid content. They greatly overestimated how much THC and how much CBD was in various strains, and what the effective dosages were,” said the study’s lead researcher Daniel Kruger in a statement.

In the survey participants were asked to fill in the amounts they would consider to be effective servings of THC and CBD in milligrams. According to the study, the majority reported they didn’t know, while the remaining participants gave dramatic average estimates (91 milligrams for THC and 177 milligrams for CBD.)

Other survey questions included the perception of low and high levels of THC and CBD. Participants were asked to fill in what they assumed to be accurate percentages for high and low THC strains, as well as high and low CBD strains.

More than half of participants considered a low-THC strain of cannabis to be 20 percent THC content or higher, which is a level that is considered a high-THC strain. Nearly a quarter of participants (22 percent) believed that a low-THC strain is 40 percent THC content or higher, which far exceeds mainstream levels of cannabis currently available on the market.

For CBD, 86 percent of participants considered a low strain of cannabis to be 10 percent CBD or higher, which is a level considered a high-CBD strain. Nearly half of participants believed that a low strain was 30 percent CBD or higher, which exceeds the CBD level of any existing strain.

The results of the survey added to mounting evidence that more public health education is needed when it comes to cannabis concentrations.

“We really have to educate people. This has very real consequences, because these compounds have differential effects,” Kruger said in a statement. “Most Americans now live in a state where cannabis is legal, at least for medical purposes, but the information channels aren’t there regarding safe and effective cannabis use.”

The article, “Frequent cannabis users demonstrate low knowledge of cannabinoid content and dosages,” was published in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

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