High THC Marijuana Use Can Lead to Long Term Chronic Mental Health Issues

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In the 1960s, smoking marijuana was quite popular. A kind of cultural revolution was taking place. Most of the people who smoked marijuana back then eventually gave up smoking and had families and enjoyed normal lives in American society. Only about 10% of those over the age of 25 ever became addicted, most simply quit. Yes, some kept trying stronger drugs like LSD, heroin, or tried dropping acid, which is why some consider marijuana a “front door” drug. The 60s were a crazy time.

Those who stayed behind the party scene often graduated to cocaine as their recreational drug of choice, which was starting to catch on in the United States in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. Then there was the “war on the drugs “that is being fought today (quote 1).

In the 1960s, the youngest users, those who started in their mid to late teens, had higher rates of addiction around 15-17%. Today, we find out it’s because her teenage brain was still forming, and the continued use of THC from all those ‘school dropout’ afternoons eventually affected her brain development. In essence, the THC had reconfigured their brain, so they became dependent.

Today’s marijuana is more potent and more cause for alarm

THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high. Trust us when we tell you; Today’s hybrid marijuana is much more concentrated than last year’s marijuana. In fact, one of the reasons marijuana is legalized is because everyone who tried it in the 1960s didn’t find it so dangerous. Many have grown up and are now politically active, some even politicians. Now we’ve had the president admit that he smokes it. Needless to say, there is a lot of history when it comes to marijuana (quote: 2).

We often hear advocates of marijuana legalization say; alcohol is far more addictive and has killed far more people, especially when all alcohol-related car deaths are taken into account. This is true, of course, I cannot argue with the statistics. Advocates also say that we can legalize and tax it, and solve all our problems. Well not exactly.

This may seem like a fair assessment overall in the minds of those who tried or smoked it frequently in the 60s, but things are very different now. If we were just talking about old marijuana, it’s relatively harmless compared to some of the new stuff available in states that have legalized its use.

This new marijuana has extremely high levels of THC. For example, most of the marijuana smoked in the 1960s was relatively low in THC, with the strongest of the day around 6% compared to some of today’s extreme hybrid marijuana with almost the 30%.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a neurotoxin

Tetrahydrocannabinol is a crystalline compound, a chemical that is the main active ingredient in cannabis. The body naturally produces cannabinoid chemicals, which is why the brain’s cannabinoid receptors absorb tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabinoid receptors are found in regions of our brain that have to do with coordination, pleasure, memory, perception of time, and thinking. That’s why THC gets you high.

Today’s hybrid marijuana marketers tout the THC potency percentage as a good thing, because it ramps up faster and longer. That might be fine for you if your only goal is to get high, but if you value your mind, it’s a net long-term negative result.

How bad is marijuana use for mental health?

Marijuana use has been linked to serious mental health problems and psychiatric disorders. The investigation is complete and quite conclusive. Some of the problems include depression, anxiety, dependence (addiction), psychosis, schizophrenia, dementia, and early-onset Alzheimer’s. Most of these studies are statistical in nature and, mind you, much of the research was done by studying those who smoked the oldest stuff; not the new high-concentration hybrid marijuana that is extremely clumsy on THC.

For those who smoke high-strength marijuana on a daily basis, their risks are 500% greater of developing mental health problems. The risks of developing psychosis or schizophrenia increase again in the same proportion if you are a carrier of certain genes. Still worried? And not to scare anyone, but this is serious stuff. If you smoke marijuana on a daily basis and use high potency products, you must stop before destroying your brain completely.

What are the side effects of smoking high potency marijuana?

There are many brain-related and cognitive side effects of high potency marijuana use. Some are temporarily desired by those looking to get high. Some are considered unfortunate side effects by users, but are somehow justified in being worth it, simply for the pleasure of participating and experiencing the temporary high. Let’s discuss these adverse side effects, shall we?

During use and for the duration of intoxication, you will experience short-term memory impairment. You can expect challenges in maintaining attention or making decisions. You will have awkward coordination, increased heart rate, and a bit of paranoia. Once you are no longer intoxicated, and sometimes during intoxication, your ability to learn will suffer. You will experience problems with your sleep and your coordination will be less than optimal.

If you continue daily or regular use of high-potency marijuana, you may become dependent (addicted). You can drop a few notches in IQ, especially if you started in your mid-teens or early 20s (quote: 3), and you could have a permanent learning disability. You will most likely have difficulty remembering things, perhaps problems with both short-term and long-term memory. Your risk of becoming addicted to other drugs or alcohol increases almost five times according to statistical surveys. You could develop schizophrenia if you have a certain set of genes. If you don’t get the help you need soon, you could develop bipolar disorder (cite: 4). Eventually, your brain will not be able to think coherent thoughts.

If you smoke long-term marijuana you will have lung problems, which will get progressively worse. If you vape your THC, there are certain additives and chemicals that may not mix properly, and not all vaping cartridge solutions are created equal; If you get the wrong ones and use them too many times, you could literally destroy your lungs and die.

References:

1.) YouTube video: “War on drugs in the United States”, published by the channel Gravitas Ventures on August 8, 2012.

2.) YouTube Video: “The Best Marijuana Documentary Ever”, posted by ‘That Guy Over There’ on January 15, 2019.

3.) “Cannabis use before the age of 15 and subsequent executive functioning”, by Maria Alice Fontes, Karen I. Bolla and Paulo Jannuzzi Cunha et. Alabama. Published in The British Journal of Psychiatry (2011) 198, 442-447. doi: 10.1192 / bjp.bp.110.077479.

4.) “Traditional marijuana, high potency cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids: increased risk of psychosis”, by Robin Murray, Harriet Quigley, Diego Quattrone, Amir Englund and Marta Di Forti. Published in Journal of World Psychiatry 2016; 15: 195-204).

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