Under Washington State law, marijuana is defined as cannabis with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent. Anything with less THC is not marijuana under state law; it is simply unregulated cannabis. Thanks to Initiative 502, we no longer prohibit this unregulated cannabis, which includes such commodities as industrial hemp, edible pot sprouts, and seeds.
But THC, the molecule primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects of pot, is just one of at least 85 known cannabinoids in the plant, and it turns out some people aren’t looking for THC. Many dispensaries report that patients often want pot that is high in other medicinal compounds—like cannabidiol (CBD), which is thought to have a greater effect on pain.
One such strain found locally is called M’Otto, and with 0.23 percent THC and nearly 11 percent CBD, it is not technically marijuana under state law. It certainly looks like marijuana, smells like marijuana, and smokes like marijuana. But around here, it is only unregulated cannabis. “Since we’ve had it in for about a year, I would say it’s the fifth or sixth fastest-moving strain we carry,” says Muraco Kyashna-tocha from the Green Buddha Patient Co-op.
The CBD-heavy marijuana is also one of the more promising medical aspects of the near-miraculous plant.
(Photo: Pots of cannabis inside a medical cannabis cultivation facility in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Monday, March 4, 2013. By Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)