Some marijuana strains used by medical-marijuana patients are not what they purport to be in name, chemical content and genetics, says the Seattle Times. This is particularly concerning for patients seeking pot low in intoxicants and high in pain-relief or other therapeutic qualities. One widely known strain is called Harlequin. When a pot-testing lab analyzed 22 samples of Harlequin from various growers and dispensaries, five of them were high in a psychedelic ingredient called THC, which means people trying to take medicine were just getting high instead.
Misnaming and inconsistent chemical profiles are extremely common, said Dr. Michelle Sexton, founder of PhytaLAB. One irony: Recreational-pot users will soon have greater assurances about the safety and chemical content of the pot they buy at retail stores in the state's new legal pot system than the best-educated patients have in the largely unregulated medical system, where testing and accurate labeling are not mandated for dispensaries. “It's completely backwards from what it should be,” said Randy Oliver, chief scientist at the lab Analytical 360.