Public Health and Safety

High-Potency THC Products, Is the Bang Worth the Bucks?

The June 10, 2020 edition of the JAMA Psychiatry released emerging research from the University of Colorado (Boulder) into the effects of high and low potency THC with respect for both intoxication and impairment. This study looked at 121 participants who were dosed with raw marijuana flower (THC potency of 16 or 34 percent) or concentrates (THC potency of 70 or 90 percent) and observed the effects to their blood concentration levels of THC, their subjective feeling of intoxication and mood, the performance of cognitive tasks (memory), and standing balance. Overall, short-term use of marijuana did negatively impact the balance and memory recall of the participants. Surprisingly, concentrate users reported a subjective sense of intoxication that was equal to or lower than those that used raw flower with a significantly lower THC level. Additionally, researchers expressed concern about the potential adverse medical effects stemming from the long-term use of the more potent concentrates.

Citation: JAMA Psychiatry, June 10, 2020, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.0927

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