….Weed today is, on average, five or six times as potent as the stuff the hippies smoked back in the ’60s and ’70s. In 1972, the average THC content in most marijuana in the United States was 3% to 4%. Today’s pot commonly has a THC content of 20% or more. Additionally, the percentage of the compound CBD has decreased, which experts say can increase the overall effect of the more potent grass.
Note that I’m not here to bash the positive results many have had from treating chronic issues with medicinal herb but to remind everyone that getting high all the time for no reason is dumb. Don’t be a lotus-eater.
Yesterday, NBC News highlighted a recent study that shows that not only does smoking pot impair numerous mental functions of the user, but these effects can linger for weeks after use has stopped. The Canadian study was one of those meta-reviews that analyzes data from multiple existing scientific studies to discover overarching trends. What it found was that, every time someone gets high, they can be dumber for weeks. Hardest hit was the ability to learn from what one hears and to remember things. So, for example, if you told your drummer to be at your house for rehearsal on Thursday night, not only would he have trouble understanding what that meant, he would probably forget it even if he did. Also particularly affected is the stoner’s ability to focus or pay attention and to process information. Smaller deficits were also recorded for executive functioning, decision-making, inhibitory processes, and flexibility.
“Although acute intoxication can last several hours, research has revealed that THC is a fat-soluble compound that may be stored in body fat and, thus, gradually released into the bloodstream for months,” say the scientists. “Indeed, studies have shown impaired cognition that persists beyond the acute intoxication period in both adult and adolescent cannabis users,” they write. The more heavy the use, the more pronounced the effects, but even someone who only smokes weed once every week or two could still be consistently impaired. Most of us have a hard enough time keeping up; why on earth would anyone choose to jettison an extra couple dozen IQ points?
And not only does pot make people stupid, but it can also make them crazy. This is particularly true among heavy users and younger users whose brains are still forming. Narcanon notes that chronic use of today’s super-jacked weed can induce panic attacks, paranoia, wild mood swings, fragmented thoughts, depersonalization (losing one’s sense of identity), and straight-up psychosis. A 2017 study published in the journal Neuropharmacology ties youthful marijuana use to increased onset of severe mental illnesses:
Prospective epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated that cannabis use is associated with an increased subsequent risk of both psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia-like psychoses. Early onset of use, daily use of high-potency cannabis, and synthetic cannabinoids carry the greatest risk. The risk-increasing effects are not explained by shared genetic predisposition between schizophrenia and cannabis use…..