Article by Francois Marchand, Macleans.ca
Ready to relive those fond memories of puffing on cheap grass and blasting Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland? Thanks to science, get ready for a whole new experience.
A lot of our fuzzy feelings toward legalization may be based on hazy memories of decades past, rather than the high-potency strains available today.
“Hippies I knew growing up grew [cannabis] outside in their gardens, as they still do today,” says Jonathan Page, an adjunct professor in the botany department at the University of British Columbia. “But it wasn’t like there was a real push for super high potency. People would harvest too early or sometimes smoke not just the flower but also the leaves, which have some THC content in them but not a lot. I think there was a general lack of understanding on how to increase potency.”
The 49-year-old Page is also the president and CEO of Vancouver-based Anandia, a company specializing in cannabis genetics and lab testing for quality control purposes; he was part of the Canadian team of scientists who were first to publish the cannabis genome sequence.
Thanks to improved production technology and genetic crossbreeding, THC-heavy strains have become the norm at a medical level and, come Oct. 17, on the recreational market.