Dr. Grace M. McGorrian, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 2015
Old-fashioned natural marijuana had low or moderate amounts of THC, along with cannabidiol, a chemical that shields the brain against THC’s effects. Modern marijuana has been genetically modified to be more potent – six to 10 times higher THC. And it has very little cannabidiol, which means there is little protection against intense psychoactivity, including psychotic experiences.
High levels of THC can:
• Distort reality and consciousness.
• Cause poor balance.
• Compromise memory.
• Make it difficult to hold a job.
• If used regularly for any period, increase the odds of developing schizophrenia for those under 18.
Statistically, heavy marijuana smokers struggle more with staying sober than users of any other drug. Peers and family members simply don’t believe that weed can create such dependency, so they often provide little support.
Narcotics Anonymous is a great program, but marijuana users can feel like the odd man out when they share stories with people kicking crack and opiates. It is hard for the dependent pot smoker to be taken seriously - and yet almost half of admissions to rehab in the youngest age groups are for marijuana dependence.
Marijuana is the Rodney Dangerfield of drugs – it don’t get no respect. And that needs to change.