Ask a Stoner: Why Do Marijuana Products Have Multiple THC Results?

Dear Stoner: Why do some dispensaries state the percentage of THC in flower as a single number, such as 20 percent, and at other times provide a range, such as 18 to 23 percent?

Dear Rebecca: We don’t blame you for being confused. Hell, half the time when we ask budtenders, they don’t even know the answer. And what we’ve found out isn’t exactly filling us with confidence, either.

The reason you’re seeing multiple numbers on the testing label is because dispensaries are allowed to send the same products to multiple labs. Some growers and manufacturers send their cannabis to as many as four different testing labs, and with good reason: Most of these labs are using different testing methods, which they don’t like to share, so their results are often different. Unless a business has a single lab it really trusts (or puts out the results it’s looking for), the company may have its products tested numerous times for more context.
click to enlarge
This label on a quarter-ounce of flower shows multiple results.
Herbert Fuego
Some strains have had THC readings ranging from 9 to 19 percent, and don’t even get us started on concentrates. Cannabis industry owners have been calling for baseline methods and data for lab testing since it was created, and situations such as this only add to their frustration.

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego