Marijuana use is on the rise. Courtesy the flourishing and legalization of the Cannabis industry. Not long ago, people had access to the plant for medical purpose. It was believed to cure cancer and provide relief from a variety of pains. Well, that is certainly the case as research studies have proven. However, the problem arose when more people started using cannabis for recreational purposes. Manufacturers started raising the so-called “quality” to provide the consumers with a better high. In general, the THC content was increased which according to research is linked with psychoactive activities.
Studies have raised serious concerns. According to one, by increasing the potency of marijuana, manufacturers are putting the users at a risk. This risk comes in the form of a condition which has been classified as “Cannabis Use Disorder.”
What is Cannabis Use Disorder?
Cannabis Use Disorder is simply the over-consumption of cannabis despite feeling considerably distressed due to resulting consequences. In other words, it is a mere addition to the use of marijuana resulting from an increased tolerance of the product. People with CUD, experience a longing impulse to smoke with significant difficulty controlling the urge. In severe cases, a person may also face withdrawal symptoms.
While no as such research is there to confirm the consequences of excessive cannabis use, scientists have made a viable prediction. It is believed that continued use can cause disinhibition and cognitive impairment. Sufferers are likely to be inflicted with slower sensation and judgement. In other cases, it can also increase the chances of anxiety and depression. Collectively, this can have a serious negative effect on a person’s life.
To investigate the issue, a thorough study was conducted by the Department of Psychology at Iowa University. The findings were documented in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal. The study first revealed that manufacturers have been increasing the THC content in marijuana. Over a year span, the amount has increased by 8.8%.
Further to that, using cannabis at an early age is linked with greater chances of Cannabis Use Disorder. Young people are more vulnerable than any other age group to develop symptoms of CUD. That can happen as early as within a year time span. Currently, 2.5% of Americans are diagnosed with the condition. However, the rate is expected to increase in the coming years.
Is potency the problem?
To a great extent, the answer is, yes. A better potency means that cannabis is likely to be manufactured with higher THC content. Since THC provides with a psychoactive experience, people will generally resort towards excessive usage. In the end, they will smoke more marijuana to get better “high” due to the increased level of THC. So in a way, yes, potency is the contributor towards Cannabis Use Disorder.
However, there are a number of limitations to the study conducted. Firstly, the potency examination was carried out on cannabis that was seized by the DEA. Mostly, coming from foreigners who tried taking the dosage back to their home country. In other cases, it was also seized from areas where publicly smoking cannabis is criminalized. This makes the study highly impractical since the results are coming from one certain area and group of people. The findings, thereby, cannot be generalized for the entire US population.