Cannabis psychosis? It’s not the weed, it’s greed!
Over 93% of UK marijuana now contains virtually zero CBD
Ever smoked some weed and felt paranoid?
One minute you feel ok, then full-blown paranoia, out of nowhere, accompanied by a disturbing feeling that you have lost your mind.
It’s not pleasant.
And what makes it even worse is that you were hoping to feel happy or high.
But now you’re in the middle of a waking nightmare, seconds seem like minutes and minutes seem like hours.
And you want it to stop, but it doesn’t.
Paranoia, panic, and anxiety.
So you splash some cold water on your face, go outside and get some fresh air, but you still feel the same. And then, there it is in your head, a little voice, ”drink some orange juice that will fix it”. You know that it won’t, but now you’re desperate, so you try it anyway.
It doesn’t help.
Then you’re in your bed, head under the covers rocking yourself backward and forwards hoping it might help you to get your mind back.
But it doesn’t.
The whole experience lasts approx 30 min and then your back to normal.
Welcome to the new weed, you just discovered it’s not the same as the old weed.
So what happened to good old-fashioned “normal” cannabis?
Not everyone experiences such negative effects from modern weed, but a large number do. Some even end up in A&E departments with full-blown panic attacks.
Some heavy users of high potency cannabis only experience negative effects when they attempt to stop.
But UK cannabis wasn’t always high THC, supercharged rocket fuel for your brain. Back in the day, cannabis smokers enjoyed the mellow moments and the relaxation effects brought about by traditional herbal cannabis and resins.
In fact, several sources report average UK cannabis THC levels of approx 1% in the early 1970’s.
The relatively lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD during the 1970s and 89s were probably due to most cannabis plants being grown naturally. Plants that are grown in this way benefit from natural nutrients and normal daylight cycles.
So what happened? Why has the potency of cannabis skyrocketed?
People got greedy, that’s what happened!
Imagine walking into an off-license and saying “give me your strongest alcohol”
To which the shop owner responds “what type of alcohol”
And you reply ”I don’t care, just give me the strongest”.
Sounds crazy, right?
It is crazy, but that’s exactly why cannabis growers have been cross-breeding cannabis strains for years to produce super-strong ultra high THC strains.
To satisfy demand.
Because stronger is better, isn’t it?
It’s now gone beyond crazy in the UK, a recent research study found that over 93% of street cannabis is high strength “Skunk” type cannabis with THC concentrations up to 24%. Even more shocking was the discovery that over 93% of all cannabis in the UK now contains almost zero cannabidiol (CBD).
“In all but 1 case, the 400 sinsemilla samples were devoid of CBD”
So why does it matter if CBD is missing from modern cannabis?
In 2006 the United Nations office on drugs and crime produced a world drug report which highlighted the dose-dependent association between cannabis use and the increased risk of developing psychotic disorders. In addition to this, the European monitoring center on drugs and drug addiction reported the number of first-time treatments for cannabis problems increased from 45000 in 2006 to 69000 in 2014. Although the cause of the increase is unclear they speculate that it may be linked to changes in the potency of cannabis and an increase in the availability of the harmful and higher potency products.
In the summary of their 2015 World Drug Report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated:
“There is growing evidence that it is time to change the widespread perception of cannabis as an illicit drug without serious health consequences. The current cannabis market is far more complex and sophisticated than in the past and there is a far larger variety of cannabis products on the market than ever before, some of which appear to be more harmful than their predecessors. Highly potent strains of herbal cannabis, such as sinsemilla, which have high THC content (the main psychoactive ingredient) coupled with low CBD content (a cannabinoid with antipsychotic properties), are becoming increasingly popular in some markets. Given that there is growing evidence of links between cannabis use and some forms of mental illness, these developments may lead to even greater morbidity; an issue worthy of close monitoring.”
A large number of experts seem to agree on two things:
Cannabis high in THC can contribute to mental health issues and psychotic episodes.
CBD is an antipsychotic and as well as balancing the effects of THC, is able to offer neuroprotection.
“Higher potency cannabis contains less cannabidiol (CBD), which is believed to offer some protection from developing problems such as psychosis, but higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can trigger psychosis”
It may be true that due to our greed for higher highs we’ve created a monster in our midst. A monster that is damaging the minds and mental health of tens of thousands in the UK and many more around the world. The war on drugs succeeded in drastically reducing the imports of natural cannabis from countries such as Morocco, Columbia, and Pakistan. Naturally grown weed with significant levels of CBD became scarce.
So we began to grow our own.
And right now in attics, bedrooms, garages, and sheds across the UK there are hundreds of thousands of cannabis plants at various stages of maturity. And according to the latest available research, over 93% of the plants contain high levels of THC and virtually zero CBD.
The future of cannabis in the UK
Imagine this scenario:
Education in schools and colleges to inform young people about the benefits and dangers associated with cannabis.
Freely available information on the various strains and the effects of the main constituents.
Funded research into the potential benefits of medical cannabis.
Public awareness campaigns to educate and inform all those who are currently using cannabinoids in any form.
Production of cannabis using natural cycles and nutrients to ensure that plants contain balanced levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.
Wishful thinking I know.
But cannabis is becoming more popular by the day.
Everyone seems to be talking about it.
And the UK government estimates that over two million people use cannabis every year, including approx 1 million 16 to 24-year-olds.
But there is something missing from modern weed.
Something very important that balances the negative effects of THC.