Article by Growth Op
Following research published in the peer-reviewed journal Addiction last month that suggested contemporary cannabis may be up to 25 per cent stronger than cannabis from the ’70s, some experts are sounding the alarm about possible harms associated with high-potency cannabis.
The research examined THC and CBD concentrations in cannabis from studies spanning nearly 50 years and multiple countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Tom Freeman, told the Guardian that cannabis today “differs enormously from the type of drug used by people 50 years ago.”
Deni Carise, a clinical psychologist and chief scientific officer of Recovery Centers of America, as well as an adjunct assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania, would agree with that characterization. “This is not your dad’s cannabis,” she told Healthline. “The other piece is, depending upon where you get your [cannabis], you will not know how much THC is in it, particularly if you buy it on the street,” she added.
Margaret Haney, PhD, a neurobiology professor in psychiatry at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, told Healthline that there’s a need for more open conversations about the benefits and potential harms of cannabis consumption.
“Anybody in the field knows that cannabis’ potency has been increasing over time. Consumers should be aware of the risks and know what their behavior could lead to,” Haney told Healthline,citing potential memory effects and the risk of developing cannabis use disorder, where cannabis “takes on a larger role in your life than you might have wanted from the beginning.”
“I honestly find that most Americans do not think that cannabis can produce dependence, and so I think that’s the first step, knowing that there’s that potential,” Haney said. “I think getting that message out is really important.”
Freeman, the study author, said consumers need more information to help them monitor their intake of cannabis products.