Highly Potent New Strands Of Marijuana Pose Serious Health Risks

Marijuana’s reputation as a “safe” drug has recently come into question, as medical professionals across the United States report an increasing number of patients seeking emergency treatment for marijuana related issues.  Read on to learn about the root causes of these problems, and what can be done to avoid them.

 

Marijuana’s Mainstream Acceptance May Be Backfiring

Although it has been wildly popular in counter culture circles for nearly a century, mainstream American society has been slow to accept marijuana.  Those attitudes have changed dramatically in recent years, however.  According to a recent study, about 60% of Americans believe that marijuana should be entirely legal for recreational use, while an additional 30% support it for medical use onlyt2 Only 10% of the population believes that it should be banned outright2.

This change in public sentiment has allowed marijuana producers to freely experiment with their production process.  THC is the active ingredient in marijuana – the higher percentage of THC in a plant, the stronger its effects will be.  In 1995, the average THC percentage of a strand of marijuana was about 4%.  Today, that number has skyrocketed by over 300% to 17%1.  This means of course, the marijuana being consumed today is exponentially more potent than what the average person is used to.

 

Harmful Consequences

 Much like alcohol, small amounts of THC can invoke feelings of calmness or euphoria when consumed in small doses.  However, when an individual overindulges, it can have serious negative effects on the mind.  One of the most common reasons people use marijuana is to reduce feelings of anxiety1.  Paradoxically, large amounts of THC can cause feelings of paranoia, and even full blown psychosis.  Doctors are treating high numbers of patients for THC related panic attacks, as well as several other anxiety related conditions.

 

Marijuana’s Affect On Young People

 Additionally, the rise in dispensaries has made it easier than ever for teenagers to access highly potent marijuana.  Studies have shown that THC can have a negative effect on a developing mind, especially when it is consumed in high doses2.  As young people are more prone to reckless behavior, this issue has rightfully caused much concern amongst parents and medical professionals alike.

 

Safe Usage

 Generally speaking, THC should be considered a safe drug.  However, it is of the utmost importance that users monitor their dosage, and always lean towards moderation.  Anyone who is concerned about damaging effects of THC should consult a qualified medical professional for advice.

 

References:

  1. Chatterjee, R. (2019, May 15). Highly potent weed has swept the market, raising concerns about health risks. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/15/723656629/highly-potent-weed-has-swept-the-market-raising-concerns-about-health-risks
  2. Green, T. V. (2021, April 16). Americans overwhelmingly say marijuana should be legal for recreational or medical use. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/04/16/americans-overwhelmingly-say-marijuana-should-be-legal-for-recreational-or-medical-use/

 

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