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Marijuana Potency

Revised April 2020

Under contract with NIDA, the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) located at the University of Mississippi (UM), conducts analyses to monitor the potency of cannabis products distributed in the illegal marijuana marketplace in the United States. Samples are submitted for analysis by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and by state and local police agencies. Samples tested in the laboratory are classified into one of three categories: cannabis (plant material), hashish (dried resin), and hash oil (cannabis extract). Each sample is analyzed by gas chromatography for the major psychotropic component, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well various cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD). The data below reflect the percentage of THC and CBD in the cannabis samples seized by the DEA from 1995-2018 and analyzed as of December 22, 2019.  'Year' indicates the year of seizure, not the date of receipt or analysis by NCNPR.

See tableDelta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) Potency of Cannabis Samples Seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Percent Averages from 1995-2018. Source: Potency Monitoring Program, Quarterly Report # 142
Tabular Data
Percentage of THC and CBD in the Cannabis Samples Seized by the DEA from 1995-2018
Year No. of Samples THC % CBD %
1995 3,763 3.96 0.28
1996 1,402 4.51 0.37
1997 1,337 5.01 0.41
1998 1,341 4.91 0.41
1999 1,825 4.6 0.42
2000 1,929 5.34 0.52
2001 1,687 6.11 0.55
2002 1,690 7.2 0.47
2003 1,872 7.15 0.47
2004 1,914 8.14 0.51
2005 2,295 8.02 0.49
2006 2,081 8.76 0.43
2007 2,143 9.58 0.46
2008 2,000 9.93 0.41
2009 2,073 9.75 0.39
2010 2,261 10.36 0.28
2011 2,342 11.13 0.22
2012 2,100 12.27 0.20
2013 1,230 11.98 0.16
2014 971 11.92 0.16
2015 1,001 10.93 0.19
2016 809 11.59 0.19
2017 721 14.45 0.14
2018 660 15.61 0.27

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) Potency of Cannabis Samples Seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Percent Averages from 1995-2018. Source: Potency Monitoring Program, Quarterly Report # 142, NIDA Contract Number: N01DA-15-7793

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This page was last updated April 2020

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    NIDA. (2020, April 1). Marijuana Potency. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana/marijuana-potency

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