Marijuana products can have THC levels of up to 100%. This is a relatively new development, with marijuana growers and handlers learning how to cultivate stronger products in recent years.
According to The New York Times, these high levels of THC are affecting teens, increasing their odds of dependency and even resulting in conditions like cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
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The article interviews several experts, teens and their parents and paints a picture of some of the marijuana products that are in circulation today, claiming that these are stronger than in years past and that they can affect consumers in adverse ways.
Elysse, one of the teenagers interviewed, shared that marijuana made her feel euphoric and happy. The oils and waxes she purchased had THC levels of up to 90%, which she consumed several times a day. After a few months of regular use, her positive highs morphed into sad and anxiety-inducing experiences, including one instance where she vomited more than 20 times within the span of two hours. She was diagnosed with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a rare side effect of cannabis.
While there’s a lot we don’t know about marijuana, it’s clear that the drug has great medicinal capabilities. In terms of its side effects, they’re not wholly understood but cannabis has been linked with conditions like cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, cannabis addiction, mental health conditions, and more. These issues are more concerning in the case of teens, with the overuse of the drug affecting their brains in ways that may impact them for the rest of their lives.
More and more states are legalizing cannabis, but since the drug remains illegal on a federal level every state moves at its own pace. Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in 19 states, Washington DC and Guam. Only Vermont and Connecticut have caps on THC concentrations.
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Still, banning the amount of THC in cannabis products may not be the answer. Marijuana supporters are interested in keeping the drug away from teens and claim the best way to do this is to implement legal marijuana markets, replacing the black market for an industry that is regularly tested and operates under certain rules and regulations.