High THC Weed: A New Form Of Reefer Madness Or Worth The Panic?

By Terry Hacienda, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

Many within the industry have claimed that proof backing the widespread risks of high THC levels are scant and more research needs to be done.

This article originally appeared on and has been reposted with permission.

With the legislation on cannabis at the federal level set to be brought forward in the Senate, marijuana legalized states are now undergoing new research on the risks linked with high-potency cannabis products. Among the questions being asked is the possible link between these high-potency cannabis products and psychosis.

These latest high-potency cannabis products circulating the market are commonly called shatter or wax and are known to have THC levels as high as 85%-90%. Researchers, via comparison, affirmed that the THC levels in a usual joint two decades ago were approximately 5%. Considering this high level of THC, Colorado and Washington are now looking to include potency caps in their legislation.

During a forum held in January, Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of NIDA expressed her concerns that young adults are increasingly consuming high-potency cannabis. Volkow affirmed that she is worried about the negative effects of high THC concentration on mental health. She noted that the higher the THC levels, the higher the chances of psychosis. While the research is still ongoing, Volkow affirmed that another question waiting to be answered is if such psychosis can cause permanent schizophrenia.

Bethany Moore, during an interview with NBC News, asserted that the best way forward is to tackle these concerns through adequate labeling and testing. Apart from that, she believes states should only sell cannabis via licensed dispensaries to fully informed and legal adults. By selling cannabis only via legal dispensaries, Bethany claimed the activities of the illicit cannabis market will gradually fade.


According to several public experts, proponents of the cannabis industry are responsible for the problem of high-potency cannabis products now flooding the market. This is because most industry backers were only focused on legalizing cannabis without considering a market boom in cannabis concentrates.

In fact, a research scientist, Dr.Beatriz Carlini affirmed that they were not fully informed in 2012 before voting on the bill. She believes a lot of people who voted in support voted for the cannabis plant and nothing else. In 2020, Carlini led a research team I’m the state of Washington to study high-potency cannabis. Upon research, the team concluded that high-potency cannabis can have a prolonged negative impact on mental health.

Carlini claimed that while there’s a better understanding of cannabis and its medical benefits, high-potency cannabis is just a different ball game. She compared the situation to strawberry icing marketing. She argued that while strawberries are healthy fruits, strawberry icing is not healthy.

Presently, the high-potency cannabis circulating on the market is legal for purchase for adults above the age of 21 years. However, teens have been able to easily get access to the products. Efforts of State Legislative The bill for cannabis legislation at the federal level has been introduced to the house. But while the politics play out, many now look forward to the promise of Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader he had earlier promised on the 22nd of April that he would introduce another version to the senate come April.


swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus