House of Lords written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Lord Acton Lord Acton Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is found in:

(a) most cannabis; and

(b) skunk cannabis; and

What proportion used in the United Kingdom they believe to be skunk cannabis.

Photo of Baroness Scotland of Asthal Baroness Scotland of Asthal Minister of State, Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Criminal Justice and Offender Management)

The THC content of different cannabis products has varied and continues to vary widely. The Forensic Science Service (FSS) regularly analyses drug seizures and indicates that new growing techniques since the 1990s have led to some new products, such as skunk, coming onto the market with average THC levels two or three times greater than for other cannabis products.

There is no accurate estimate available for the proportion of skunk available as a proportion of all cannabis used in the U.K. The FSS has little recorded information on the type of herbal cannabis encountered. However, anecdotal information from FSS scientists suggests that there has been an increase in "skunk" type cannabis in both police and customs seizures.

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