In the 1960’s, smoking weed was very popular. There was something of a cultural revolution going on. Most people who smoked weed back then eventually grew out of it and started families and lived normal lives in American society. Only about 10% of people over the age of 25 ever became addicted, most just quit. Yes, some then tried stronger drugs like LSD, heroin, or tried ingesting LSD, which is why some consider marijuana a “gateway drug.” The 60’s were a crazy time.
Those who stayed in the party scene often switched to cocaine as the recreational drug of choice, which became popular in the US in the mid-’70s and into the ’80s. Then there was the “war on drugs” that rages on to this day (quote 1).
In the 1960’s, younger users, those who started in their mid to late teens, had higher addiction rates of about 15-17%. Today we HHC Destillat know that this is because their adolescent brains were still developing and the continued use of THC from all those afternoons they dropped out of school eventually affected their brain development. Essentially, the THC had rewired their brains, causing them to become addicted.
Today’s marijuana is stronger and more cause for concern
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high. Trust us when we tell you; Today’s hybrid marijuana is far more concentrated than yesterday’s weed. In fact, one of the reasons marijuana is being legalized is because all the people who tried it in the ’60s didn’t find it all that dangerous. Many have grown up and are now politically active, some even policy makers. We now have the President’s admission to smoking it. Needless to say, there is a lot of history when it comes to marijuana (citation: 2).
We often hear proponents of marijuana legalization say; Alcohol is far more addictive and has killed far more people, especially when you factor in all the alcohol-related car deaths. That’s true, of course, and the statistics don’t deny it. Proponents also say we can legalize it and tax it and solve all our problems. Well, not exactly.
This might seem like an overall fair assessment in the minds of those who tried it or smoked it frequently in the ’60s, but things are much different today. If we were just talking about old-school marijuana, it’s relatively benign 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 weed smoked in the ’60s was relatively low in THC, with the strongest of the day containing around 6% compared to some of today’s extreme hybrid marijuana at almost 30%.
THC ( Tetrahydrocannabinol ) is a neurotoxin
Tetrahydrocannabinol is a crystalline compound, a chemical that is the main active ingredient in cannabis. The body naturally makes cannabinoid chemicals , so the brain’s cannabinoid receptors pick up the tetrahydrocannabinol . The cannabinoid receptors are located in regions of our brain involved with coordination, pleasure, memory, time perception, and thinking. That’s why THC gets you high.
Marketers of today’s hybrid marijuana tout the percentage of THC potency as positive because it gets you high faster and for longer. This may be fine with you if your only goal is to get high, but if you value your sanity, it’s a net negative in the long run.
How bad is marijuana use for mental health?
Marijuana use has been linked to serious mental health problems and psychiatric disorders. The research is extensive and fairly conclusive. Some of the problems include depression, anxiety, dependency (addiction), psychosis, schizophrenia, dementia and early-stage Alzheimer’s. Most of these studies are statistical in nature, and mind you, much of the research was done by looking at those who smoked the older stuff; not the new high-potency hybrid marijuana that’s extremely heavy in THC.
For those who smoke the highly concentrated weed on a daily basis, their risk of developing mental health issues is 500% higher. The risk of developing a psychosis or schizophrenia increases by the same amount if you carry certain genes. Already worried? And not to scare anyone, but this is serious business. If you smoke marijuana on a daily basis and use the highly potent stuff, you need to quit before you completely destroy your brain.
What Are the Side Effects of Smoking High Potency Marijuana?
There are many cognitive and brain-related side effects of using high-potency marijuana. Some are temporarily desired by those looking to get high. Some are considered unfortunate side effects by users, but are somehow justified as being worth it just for the pleasure of taking part and experiencing the temporary high. Let’s discuss these adverse side effects, shall we?
You will have short-term memory impairment during use and throughout the duration of the intoxication. You can expect challenges in maintaining attention or making decisions. You’ll have clumsy coordination, increased heart rate, and a little bit of paranoia. After you are no longer intoxicated, and sometimes during intoxication, your ability to learn will be impaired. You will have trouble sleeping and your coordination will not be optimal.
If you continue to use high-potency marijuana on a daily or regular basis, you could become dependent (addicted). Your IQ can drop a few notches, 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 trouble remembering things, perhaps both short and long term memory problems. According to statistical surveys, your risk of becoming dependent on other drugs or alcohol is almost five times higher. You could develop schizophrenia if you have a certain set of genes. If you don’t get the help you need soon, you could find yourself developing bipolar disorder (quote: 4). At some point your brain will no longer be able to coherent thoughts.
If you smoke marijuana long-term, you will have lung problems that progressively get worse. When vaping 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 a few too many times you can literally wreck your lungs and die.
1.) YouTube video – “American Drug War” posted by the Gravitas Ventures channel 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 age 15 and subsequent executive function”, by Maria Alice Fontes , Karen I. Bolla and Paulo Jannuzzi Cunha et . al . Published in British Journal of Psychiatry (2011) 198, 442-447. doi : 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.077479.
4.) “Traditional Marijuana, High Potency Cannabis, and Synthetic Cannabinoids : Increasing 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).