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The availability of highly potent strains is always good news. These days, every cannabis dispensary has products containing 20% THC content. And there was a time when it was quite difficult to find cannabis strains or products with THC content over 20 percent. Also, it is safe to say that highly potent cannabis products are the new normal. With millions of users taking advice from a medical cannabis doctor. But, the main concern is whether these ultra-potent products are safe for medical use or not.
As much fun you get while getting high, there are certain risks associated with consuming high amounts of cannabis. Those risks include paranoia, loss of memory, and increased anxiety. There is also evidence regarding frightening experiences in novice users. Similar evidence was shown in a study published in March 2020. The study went on to say that medical marijuana is far more potent than what recreational and medical users need. The reason why it is vital to monitor the regular dose of cannabis especially when California accounts for one million cannabis users.
In this write- up, we will discuss the findings of the study and help you understand how much THC is enough for your body. Let’s begin and discuss how marijuana has gained potential strength over the past few years.
The study titled “Mapping Cannabis Potency in Recreational and Medical Users” was conducted by researchers at the Wake Forest Baptists Medical Center. Its major finding was that 90 percent of the medical cannabis products are highly potent. Particularly the ones found on the top shelves of medical marijuana dispensaries. The study also went on to say that modern cannabis products have way too much potency. The same is unnecessary to treat medical conditions such as pain and anxiety.
The process of analysis was quite simple. The researchers took samples of cannabis products from dispensaries and analyzed the THC: CBD ratio. The concentration of each component was then studied keeping in mind the variety of products. Also, the samples collected from nine legal states including California and Colorado showed significant changes. This large scale study encompassed 8,500 products from around 650 dispensaries.
The authors of the study, through the findings, revealed that most cannabis products from the medical dispensaries continued over 15% THC. And products with low rate CBD had a high content of THC in them. Clearly indicating that the CBD rate was too low to counteract the intoxicating effects of THC.
In addition, the authors of the study also explained how phytocannabinoids interact with the natural receptors in the human body for us to understand the dangers of highly potent products. Ideally, when the cannabinoids react with CB1 and CB2 receptors, the endocannabinoid system automatically starts regulating functions such as anxiety, moods, sleep, and appetite. So, when a patient takes cannabis the phytocannabinoids also interact with the receptors and produce an intoxicating high.
If we look at CBD, it is the non-psychoactive element of the cannabis plant. It nullifies or reduces the intoxicating effects of THC. And the good news is, it also works well with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. When you take cannabis products with higher CBD and lower THC concentrations, the intoxicating effect disappears. This way you receive the therapeutic benefits from the entourage effect.
However, high levels of THC cause the body to stress and form false safety behaviors. This also means that THC alone cannot prove beneficial for the human body. The entourage effects, which means the addition of CBD could help improve the apparent anti-inflammatory and anti analgesic properties of the plant. All in all, the study successfully established that high levels of THC with low CBD, potentially lead to medical abnormalities. Not only this, but these doses are medically unnecessary and can cause permanent damage.
Given the facts stated in the study mentioned above, most products contained 15% and more THC content. Sadly, none of the products contained significant amounts of CBD. And according to scientists and researchers, 10 percent or less THC amount is enough for the treatment of pain. That said, let us take a look at another study to gain a fresh perspective.
The study conducted in 2010 and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that less than 10% of THC can help patients recover from pain. The pain was largely associated with nerve injury or chronic pain after surgery. Not only this, but the study also relieved that three puffs of cannabis with high THC content were enough to get a sound sleep.
Ideally, the studies are based on lab experiments, but this was a clinical trial. The trial included 21 volunteers with an average age of 45. In the clinical trial, varying doses of marijuana were compared with the help of a placebo. Interestingly, each trial consisted of varying degrees of THC concentration. For instance, the first round of treatment had 2.5%, the second 6%, and the third 9.4%. Although the higher concentration of THC was most effective in the treatment of pain, yet most dispensaries sell cannabis products with much higher concentration.
So far, we have talked about how controlled amounts of THC and CBD can help provide therapeutic benefits. In order to understand better, let us take a look at this study. It was published in the Journal of Pain. The study included 260 cancer patients getting opioid treatment. The study showed that cancer patients received three doses for strength and a placebo. The dose of combined CBD and THC ranged from 21mg to 52mg and 83mg per day.
After a thorough evaluation, the authors noticed that patients consuming low doses reported improvement in pain. In contrast, patients who used a high dose did not show the same improvements, but experienced side effects such as nausea and vomiting. The bottom line is that a low dose of THC combined with CBD worked effectively than a higher dose with potential risks of causing side effects.
If you seek medical cannabis care for chronic pain, anxiety, or any other medical condition then start by talking to your family and closed one. Ensure that you consult a medical marijuana doctor. This way you can stay under medical supervision while your dose receives medical attention. Also, make sure you read the label printed on the packaging of the product. The packaging will tell you how much THC your product contains. A controlled dose, according to the studies mentioned above, falls between the range of 9-10% THC. Novice users can start small and always remember to get a medical opinion before using medical marijuana.