Not your parent’s pot: Today’s marijuana strains are much stronger

Today’s pot is typically four times stronger than the marijuana of just a couple of decades ago.

That’s timely to note in the current push to legalize the drug, because much of the research showing marijuana has only modest health effects on adults is based on weaker strains that have been largely bred out of the marketplace.

That means that, as Californians prepare to vote this November on a recreational marijuana initiative, they’ll do so without conclusive answers from the medical community on how today’s pot may affect mental health and the debate over the gateway drug theory.

“We’re all riding this green rush right now,” said Staci Gruber, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School who studies the effects of marijuana use on the brain. “But there’s still so much that we don’t know.”

Leading up to the fall vote, the Register is publishing an occasional series that surveys current research

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