To date, the use, production and trade of Marijuana remains illegal in most of the countries and territories around the world. This is despite the fact that this herbal plant has become more and more known to have an array of medical uses. Perhaps, most anti-marijuana governments believe that the addictive effect of marijuana is still enough reason to say no to its legalization.
Marijuana and Its Medical Uses
Those that legalize marijuana (scientifically known as cannabis) for medical purposes include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain and some parts of the US. The use of the cannabis plant as an herbal therapy recommended by a physician is termed as “medical marijuana”, which also refers to the application of synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoids. However, a prescription is generally required for medical marijuana and the distribution of medical marijuana products is typically implemented within a framework established and standardized by local laws.
Since the late 1960s, many herbal cannabis growers and breeders have been claiming that the innovations in marijuana breeding and cultivation techniques are responsible for the increase in the effectiveness of marijuana. This is primarily due to the discovery and understanding of THC beginning that time, although “Thai sticks” and other strong seedless cannabis were already available then. The male cannabis plants produce only a small amount of THC themselves. Thus, when THC production decreases as pollination occurs, they are removed before they prevent pollination by discarding pollen.
Advanced Cultivation Techniques
Among the advanced cultivation techniques that have helped increase the production of marijuana are the high-intensity artificial lighting, cloning, the sea of green method and hydroponics. These are often used as a solution to the prohibition enforcement activities that put outdoor cultivation at risk. In the US alone, there was a drastic increase in the average amounts of THC in sold marijuana from the 1970s to 2000.
Selective breeding and hydroponics are some of the advanced cultivation techniques used to grow several potent cannabis named strains, which are collectively known as “skunk”. These cannabis varieties are basically a cross-breed of C. sativa and C. Indica. The potency of skunk cannabis is normally between 6% and 15%, but it rarely reaches 20% as well. In the Netherlands, coffee shops generally have THC levels that average 18% to 19%.
Geographic area and cannabis potency are among the major factors that determine the street value or price of marijuana. In many parts of the US such as New York and California, cannabis is the number one or two value crops with an average pricing of $3,000 per pound. According to the experts, marijuana generated a $36 billion market, approximately.
In the 2008 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it was concluded that typical retail prices of marijuana in the US ranges from $10 to $15 per gram. This report also says that in North America, the street prices of marijuana are somewhere between $40 and $400 per ounce. Meanwhile, it has been reported by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction that typically, retail prices of cannabis in Europe range from €2 to €20 per gram.