March 19, 2014
Confirming A Myth: Higher Strength Pot Does Have More Addictive THC
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
For the past few years, there has been a floating theory that higher strength cannabis leads to higher doses of THC and poses a greater risk to unwanted effects like marijuana addiction. This theory has been labeled the “potent pot myth,” and the latest study shows that those worried about the “myth” who take in a little less are still getting more.
“We investigated whether consumers of stronger cannabis use less cannabis per joint or inhale less smoke than those using less potent cannabis and whether these factors predict cannabis dependence severity,” said researchers, publishing a paper in the journal Addiction.
The team from The Netherlands studied 98 participants who rolled a joint and smoked their own cannabis for the study. The team analyzed the content of the joint, its association with smoking behavior and the cross-sectional and prospective relations between smoking behavior and cannabis dependence severity.
The Dutch researchers observed that those who made strong joints inhaled smaller volumes of smoke, most likely because they were compensating for higher-potent pot. However, they discovered that these efforts to titrate the amount of THC into the body were only partially successful.
“THC concentrations in the marijuana was correlated positively with cannabis dose per joint, but the resulting THC concentration per joint was associated negatively with inhalation volume,” the authors wrote.
The team said that smoking behavior measures predicted follow-up dependence severity, independently of baseline dependence and severity and monthly THC dose.
“Cannabis users titrate their delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol intake by inhaling lower volumes of smoke when smoking strong joints, but this does not fully compensate for the higher cannabis doses per joint when using strong cannabis,” the researchers wrote in the journal. “Thus, users of more potent cannabis are generally exposed to more delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Smoking behavior appears to be a stronger predictor for cannabis dependence severity than monthly delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol dose.”
Essentially, the researchers say that although smokers of strong cannabis alter their smoking behavior, it is not enough to compensate for the higher dose of THC, adding weight to the “potent pot myth.”