by Cody Gardner
Marijuana use is the topic of much debate. Marijuana is often regarded as a safe alternative to harder drugs. But is this based on facts? The truth is that there is concern about how safe it truly is, especially for the developing brain. There are outdated ideas about cannabis—the actual name for marijuana—and it’s good to know the myths. In addition, because of how socially acceptable cannabis is now, it’s important to be educated. In the book by Ben Cort, Weed, Inc., the cannabis industry is exposed. Along with this research, I see firsthand the impact the drug has. I work with adolescents and adults in treatment who struggle with marijuana use disorder. And it’s a difficult road for many. Furthermore, there are facts about the dangers of marijuana that everyone should know.
The Facts About Marijuana Use
Myth: Marijuana is natural, straight from the earth, and therefore organic
Truth: Commercial growing operations often use pesticides. Ben Cort researches the marijuana industry for a living. He tells a story in one of his Ted talks about an employee who left his job at a growing operation because the staff wore hazmat suits working with the plants. In fact, Cort says, “Pesticide levels six times the maximum allowed by the federal government have been found on plants quarantined at marijuana grow houses in Denver.”
Myth: Marijuana has the same level of THC today as it always has
Truth: Today, marijuana is often modified to increase the potency of THC. In 1996, the average level of THC in marijuana measured 5% or less. Today, 30% of THC is the norm in Colorado. Furthermore, there are now powerful concentrates with THC levels as high as 98%. There is not as much research on what higher THC levels do to the human brain. There’s a significant difference between marijuana as a plant and the THC in distillates, also known as “dabs”. Dabs contain more THC because they are highly refined from hash oil. In addition, dabs yield levels of THC up to 97%. These levels can subject the brain to damage. Also, they can be more harmful to the lungs. Along with this, it increases the risk of dependency.
Myth: Marijuana doesn’t cause psychosis or schizophrenia
Truth: Documented research concludes that “Cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.” Hospitals have an influx of teens with drug-induced psychosis. In addition, this is correlated with High THC drugs such as dabs, and edibles.
Marijuana Use – Risks and Concerns
Current cannabis practices leave plenty of room for concern. Along with the toxic chemicals used in production, we need to be aware of the elevated levels of narcotics. In addition, due to the dubious strains and forms of the drug, you may not know what you’re really getting. Also, the developing brain is at potential risk. Therefore, if you choose to consume THC, know the medical and psychological risks. Furthermore, the marijuana industry downplays the risks of use. Similar to the 50s and 60s with the rise of Big Tobacco, credible information about THC and marijuana is harder to source. At Redpoint, we are committed to evidence-based information. Hence, it is our mission to empower our community to make educated decisions about substance use.
If you are in need of more information on this topic or others, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you and your loved ones. You are not alone.