Most UK cannabis ‘super strength skunk’
By Michelle Roberts
Most cannabis being sold illegally in the UK is super-strength skunk linked to a higher risk of psychotic mental health episodes, an analysis of 995 samples seized by the police suggests.
In 2016, 94% of police seizures were high-potency marijuana, compared to 85% in 2008 and 51% in 2005.
The drug contains more of the psychoactive ingredient THC than some other types of cannabis, such as hash.
Researchers from King’s College London say users should be warned of this.
Types of Cannabis
There are three main types of street cannabis – hash (hashish or resin), herbal cannabis (weed, grass or marijuana) and high-potency cannabis or skunk.
Hash is made from the resin of the plant, while herbal cannabis is made from the dried leaves and flowering parts of pollinated cannabis plants.
Skunk is made from from unpollinated cannabis plants which naturally contain higher levels of THC – the substance that gives recreational users the ‘stoned’ feelings they seek from the drug, but can also cause nasty side effects, including paranoia and hallucinations.
Hash and herbal cannabis are considered to be milder than skunk. That’s because they contain higher levels of a substance called CBD (cannabidiol) which experts say works as an anti-psychotic and counteracts some of the negative effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
How risky is skunk?