Nationally, the potency of marijuana has more than tripled since the mid-1990s.


  Average potency of marijuana flowers/buds in Colorado is now 17.1% THC while the average potency for concentrates is 62.1%. Potency rates of up to 95% have been recorded.
  After the Dutch observed negative impacts from rising THC potencies, a team of health experts concluded that THC potencies above 15% should be considered a hard drug.
  Colorado ranks 1st in the nation for youth (12+) use of marijuana.
  Research shows marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of adolescents, which may result in psychotic symptoms, schizophrenia, drug addiction and lower IQs.

The rise of high-potency pot has coincided with increases in Colorado hospitalizations and poison center calls.


  More potent pot has been tied to psychotic episodes.
A well-known British study has linked higher potency pot (12%-18%) to 24% increase in new cases of psychosis.
Tolerable doses of marijuana have yet to be determined even though highly potent pot is already being sold on Colorado’s commercial market.

Limit THC potencies until there is scientific evidence to prove highly potent pot does not pose unacceptable risks to public.


Educate the public – especially youth – on dangers of marijuana and well-studied and documented negative impacts to the developing brain of lower-potency pot.
Fund research to better understand the risks associated with such high concentrations of THC.
Limit marijuana commercialization, advertising and marketing, which normalizes and promotes use among youth.
Enforce laws restricting false health and benefit claims.

Unrelenting Vomiting


Paranoia Increased
Heart Rate Dangerous
Hallucinations
Panic Attacks
Extended Psychosis
Difficulty Breathing

Call 911 for any medical emergency


Call 311 to report marijuana complaints and violations in Denver
Concerning reactions, call Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center 1-800-222-1222
To anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens you, your friends, your family or community, call Safe2 Tell 1-877-542-7233 (safe2tell.org)
Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment 
National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
National Institute on Drug Abuse 

Download the #KnowPotency handout.

*Our handout includes all sources for facts mentioned above.


THC Potency in the News

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November Newsletter

Marijuana wins on Election Day. Smart Colorado’s focus remains on protecting kids. Voters across the country and in Colorado this month faced a wave of marijuana ballot issues.  In almost every case, they opted for looser restrictions on pot. Voters in

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PBS Documentary: The State of High

PBS DOCUMENTARY MAKES CASE FOR THC POTENCY LIMITS   The new Rocky Mountain PBS show “Insight with John Ferrugia” highlights two deaths associated with “dabbing,” the smoking of highly concentrated forms of THC – the psychoactive drug in mar

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All marijuana is not the same.

In this CNN forum aired August 3rd 2016, Smart Colorado’s Diane Carlson engages Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson on the difference between low- to no-THC medical treatments and Colorado’s extremely high-potency pot. (starts at 29:50)

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Study Links Suicide with Marijuana Use

A major study found that kids who start using marijuana before the age of 17 ARE 7x MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT SUICIDE than those that don’t.  The study, published in Lancet Psychiatry Journal, also found poor educational outcomes tied to youth marijuana u

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#KnowPot and #KnowPotency

New fact sheets addressing THC potency. With dangerously high levels of THC — marijuana’s psychoactive element — Colorado’s pot has become a fundamentally different, harder drug. Soaring THC concentrations have prompted potency cap