Study finds marijuana with high levels of THC linked to addiction, psychiatric illness
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Ethan Andrew started smoking weed during his sophomore year of high school in Colorado to help with his anxiety.
Like many teenagers, he said he thought it was “just weed” and saw no harm in smoking the popular drug that contains THC, the active chemical found in cannabis that produces a “high.”
His causal use of marijuana turned into smoking potent cannabis flowers and concentrates, known as dabs, which contain high levels of THC. Andrew said he smoked every day from morning to night.
“I couldn’t think or sleep without it,” the 23-year-old told Fox News. “When you’re a stoner, you think, ‘I’m going to be fine.’ In the future, I’ll clean up.”
However, it was too late. Two years after becoming an avid marijuana user, Ethan was just 18 when he developed cannabis-induced psychosis, a condition that includes severe hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
“I had to quit my job because the voices in my head were so distracting,” Ethan said, adding that the worst symptom was mistaking dreams for reality. “I’d wake up and say to my friends, ‘Yeah, remember when we went out and did that?’ And they wouldn’t have a clue what I’m talking about.”
NIH STUDY FINDS YOUNG AMERICANS USING MORE marihuana, hallucinogenic drugs than ever before.
A recent study review published by Lancet Psychiatry found that high-potency cannabis products are associated with an increased risk of psychosis and addiction called cannabis use disorder (CUD).
“The THC content not too many decades ago was 2% to 3%,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told Fox News, adding that marijuana is considered high in potency if the product contains more than 10% THC.
“Now, the average THC content in the United States is 14 to 16 percent,” he said. “There are [cannabis] varieties that have a content of up to 30% THC”.
Today, manufacturers have found ways to add marijuana to vaporizers, edibles, and waxes that can contain almost 100% pure THC.
“We’re seeing more and more young men with these types of episodes because the cannabis they’re using has higher THC contents that are at greater risk of triggering a psychotic episode and becoming addicted,” Dr. Volkow said. “It’s much more available and a higher percentage of them smoke.”
Currently, 19 states and Washington, DC, have legalized recreational marijuana, while 37 states have approved its medical use. This, Dr. Volkow said, does not mean that cannabis use is harmless, especially in the developing adolescent brain.
MISSOURI VOTERS WILL VOTE FOR RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT
“Marijuana use at a young age modifies the brain in a way that makes it more susceptible later in life to the rewarding and addictive effects of other drugs,” he said. “So if you start messing around smoking weed, you’re going to interfere with that process, which is crucial because ultimately who we are is a reflection of how our brains work.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., recently introduced the Act of Cannabis Administration and Opportunities with the goal of legalizing cannabis in a federal state. level and establish a federal tax on cannabis.
States like Massachusetts, Colorado and California, where cannabis is legal, are already benefiting from billions in state and local taxes, said Beau Whitney, one of the nation’s leading experts on the economics of cannabis, adding that a federal tax only emboldens the illegal and dangerous market.
“Last year, $25 billion worth of cannabis was legally sold alone, while $75 to $80 [billion] was sold on the illegal market,” Whitney said. “Prices play a key role in incentivizing consumers to participate legally. If the price is too high, they will go back to the illicit market.”
After seeing firsthand how marijuana affected her son and husband, Aubree Adams moved her family out of Colorado, one of the first states to legalize it, which she described as “ground zero for the movement expansion of marijuana” – in Texas, where it is still located. illegal to possess any substance containing THC. He created Every Brain Matters, an advocacy group that supports and educates families about the harmful effects of cannabis.
NARCAN VENDING MACHINES ARE THE ULTIMATE WEAPON AGAINST OPIOID OVERDOSES
“In the state of Colorado, the number one drug found in completed suicides for ages 10 to 18 is marijuana,” he said. He added that he believed families like his have been “fed a bag of lies that cannabis is harmless”.
Adams continued, “THC is the perfect drug to hijack our children’s brains and lead them down the path of addiction and mental illness.”
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FOX NEWS APP
It’s been five years since Ethan Andrew made a full recovery from cannabis-induced psychosis.
“I got so paranoid that my brain was damaged that they did an MRI, and they found some damage to my white matter. I’m too traumatized to even smoke weed again.”