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Danger of double strength drug.

HIGHLY potent skunk cannabis available on Merseyside's streets has doubled in strength in the past 10 years and may be more damaging to health than previously thought, it was revealed yesterday.

Two scientific studies have found higher levels of the psychoactive agent - THC - in more than 500 samples of skunk confiscated by police across England and Wales in 2005.

Druglink magazine said analysis had shown average content of the active ingredient had risen from 7% in 1995 to 14% in the most recent tests.

The research also found that an anti-psychotic chemical found in cannabis - known as cannabidiol or CBD - only existed in very small quantities in herbal cannabis such as skunk.

Smoking herbal types could, therefore, be more damaging than previously thought, said the magazine, published by charity, DrugScope.

Druglink said both studies offered "conclusive evidence" that the drug's strength had rocketed in the past 10 years.

The strongest skunk analysed was 24%, but only 4% of the samples examined had a THC level above 20%.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2007
Words:167
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