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Medical Marijuana Prescription Too Potent? Dangers of Taking Too Much Cannabis & THC

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Medical Marijuana Prescription Too Potent? Dangers of Taking Too Much Cannabis / THC

Many longtime cannabis advocates, particularly those with experience in the pre-government legalization days, will likely share with you a common anecdotal observation: The cannabis now is a heck of a lot stronger than it used to be back in the day. Now, it appears that there is new scientific evidence to support those claims.

Statistics published earlier this year in the journal PLOS ONE by the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina studied the efficacy of different pain medications for patients experiencing symptoms of pain. The study, called Mapping cannabis potency in medical and recreational programs in the United States, concluded that medical cannabis, even more so than opioids such as fentanyl, can be too strong at modern-day cannabinoid percentage levels to effectively treat pain.

“Cannabis related online searches are associated with positive attitudes toward medical cannabis, particularly when information is obtained from dispensaries,” the study authors wrote. “Since pain is the main reason for medicinal cannabis use, information from dispensary websites has the potential to shape the attitude of pain patients towards cannabis.”

A total of 8,505 online cannabis flower listings from 653 licensed dispensaries were studied by analyzing potency data. Dr. Alfonso Edgar Romero-Sandoval and study co-authors used that data to conclude that cannabis is indeed stronger now than it used to be.

Researchers found that most of the cannabis products found in licensed dispensaries typically contain an excess of 10 percent and up to 20 percent THC, the psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis. When it comes to CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabis compound often attributed to numerous medical benefits, researchers wrote that “most products in medical programs contain less than 5% CBD with some containing 15%, while most products in recreational programs contain between 0 to 18% CBD, with some above 20% and a few products above 40%.”

Based on the evidence and conclusions of past studies, Dr. Romero-Sandoval warned against the potential dangers of highly potent cannabis for medical purposes. The Wake Forest School of Medicine collectively called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement more stringent regulations on the potency levels of medical cannabis.

“We know that high-potency products should not have a place in the medical realm because of the high risk of developing cannabis-use disorders, which are related to exposure to high THC-content products,” Dr. Romero-Sandoval said. “Several earlier studies showed that levels of up to 5 percent THC… were sufficient to reduce chronic pain with minimal side effects.”

#cannabis #medicalmarijuana #mmj #trichomes #cannabisnews

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