There has been an ongoing debate for decades about whether or not smoking more potent marijuana is better for you than using less potent products. As the thinking goes, a more powerful joint will give you a stronger high while allowing you to smoke less. And by smoking less, you do less damage to your health by way of the chemicals produced by the combustion process.
It is an argument that makes sense, right? It did, until a recently released Dutch study showed a trade-off that does not make more potent marijuana a better choice. The study was published in the Addiction journal, according to the Mail Online.
Researchers discovered that people using high-powered cannabis do indeed smoke less because they are inhaling more THC with every hit. The greater amount of THC gives them a more powerful high more quickly as well. And once the buzz hits, the smoking tends to subside. In this regard, it would seem that the more potent cannabis would be better for you by exposing you to less smoke. Yet that is only half the story.
The researchers also believe that those who smoke the more potent product are more likely to become addicted to it. Interestingly enough, among the 98 subjects followed in the study, those who were using the stronger cannabis were doing so under the assumption of inhaling less smoke and THC. They accomplished smoke reduction, but a reduction in THC.
In the end, it comes down to which risk is more tolerable. Do you want to risk the known health effects of inhaling smoke, or is it more important to reduce the risk of addiction? From our point of view, neither risk is worth taking. It is far better just to stay away from marijuana altogether.
Long-Term Marijuana Use
The biggest obstacle facing those who are against casual marijuana use is the misconception that there are no negative effects associated with long-term consumption. That misconception persists even though evidence to the contrary is mounting. Prolonged cannabis use has been linked to:
- long and short term memory loss
- impaired mental function
- reduced learning ability
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- certain kinds of mental illness.
There is conflicting evidence regarding long-term marijuana use and eventual psychosis. Some studies suggest using marijuana for years on end could eventually lead to depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. Other studies show just the opposite.
Of course, there are always the negative side effects of inhaling smoke. Whether using standard or high-powered cannabis, the combustion process releases chemicals known to cause lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and more. There is no getting away from the fact that long-term marijuana use is bad for you.
There is also the question of whether or not cannabis is a gateway to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine, and whether cannabis addiction is real. More than one addict has entered rehab with a history of marijuana use slowly and gradually escalating to more serious drugs. It is probably reasonable to assume a number of those addicts were not concerned when they first started using marijuana.
Stop or Don’t Start
The best advice we can give is that you do not start using marijuana under any circumstances. There is no point in even getting into the discussion of whether or not potent marijuana is better for you because you are smoking less. Just don’t do it. If you are already using marijuana, you should seriously consider stopping. If you need help doing so, be sure to talk to your GP, a professional counsellor or an addiction recovery service provider. They are the best qualified to help you bring an end to your marijuana habit.