California’s Drought May Result In Stronger Marijuana

There is not much good news to report for the California drought. However, this could be filed under that category. According to researchers, California’s drought could actually lead to more potent marijuana due to stress brought on by a lack of water.

Along with California’s drought, climate change is also thought to be responsible for the added potency to marijuana grown in California. It is said that the added CO2 levels in the environment have helped raise the stress levels in these plants, which in turn increases their medicinal qualities.

“If you go back to the times plants evolved on land, the average CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels were 1,000 parts per million; today it’s about 400,” said Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

“About 4 percent of plant species have adapted to lower CO2 levels, most of them subtropical grasses such as sorghum, corn and millet. However, most plants — including marijuana — still feel deprived of the optimal CO2 levels they were born into.”

Even before the California’s drought, marijuana today is thought to be more potent than it has ever been. It is reported that experimentation of cross breeding strains has led to higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

A report recently published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife claims that marijuana cultivation has exacerbated California’s drought. The report quantified the impact of marijuana cultivation in the Humboldt county in California. The report noted that growers occasionally divert more than what three or four streams could manage.

The scientists observed that “All the streams we monitored in watersheds with large scale marijuana cultivation went dry” however, the inverse was seen with the only stream that did not go dry had no evidence of marijuana cultivation.

The study concluded that “due to climate change, water scarcity and habitat degradation in northern California is likely to worsen in the future.”

California Farmers' Water Rights Taken Over 2015 Drought Restrictions

California’s drought is said to be brought on by rising temperature due to climate change which had fueled record breaking temperatures. The past winter was officially recorded as the warmest in the history of the state, and the drought is now the worst to hit the state in 1,200 years.

[Photo by David McNew / Getty Images]

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