Research Suggests That High Potency Products May Lead to Increased Anxiety

June 30, 2020 10:47 am ET
Research Suggests That High Potency Products May Lead to Increased Anxiety

The fact that cannabis can be used for dealing with anxiety effectively is well known. However, a recent study shows that regular consumption of cannabis with high concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could lead to the opposite and then some. 

Reducing anxiety and preventing the increase thereof as it is accommodated by adverse effects and leaves the individuals with an ominous sense of worry, dread, or uneasiness. Anxiety can cause a disturbance in the person’s daily life which is why cannabis inducing anxiety is cause for concern and caution. 

A Recent Study Shows Frequent Consumption Could Be Problematic

A study published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal in May displayed results of increased chances of anxiety as well as having higher chances of developing Cannabis Use Disorder (the cannabis version of addiction) due to frequent consumption of higher-potency cannabis. 

Cannabis containing around 10% or less of THC is considered low-potency while cannabis containing more than 10% is considered to be high-potency products. 

The study published in May also revealed that only 12.8% of the participants in the study were consuming high-potency cannabis on a regular basis while the rest frequently consumed low-potency cannabis. The same study also revealed that men made up the largest part of the group which frequent high-potency cannabis.

Before the study began, the participant’s socioeconomic status and conditions (such as anxiety) were assessed and declared. Thereafter, the patients consumed cannabis with either low- or high-potency. It was found that the participants consuming cannabis with high potency were likely to consume cannabis more often and became more likely to develop a generalized anxiety disorder. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can be defined as persistent and excessive worry or stress over a number of different things at the same time such as money and health. 

The Study Only Proves a Correlation Between High Potency and Anxiety

Although this study may present with evidence suggesting medical cannabis consumers should stick to consuming low-potency cannabis, there are some problems with the study. Firstly, it relied largely on self-reported results. It also made use of a specific age and demographic group which means that it may not be applicable on a larger scale. The researcher also didn’t take mental health data from individuals that do not consume cannabis at all… This could mean that the study only proves a correlation between cannabis and anxiety but not that it causes it. 

High-potency products are gaining popularity and taking over shelving space and stock. As the cannabis in modern years continues to evolve into bigger, denser, higher potency products, it would be wise to limit your intake of them, at least until more concrete evidence and research have been done. THC content has actually increased by 212% since 1995 according to a survey done by Colorado cannabis dispensaries in 2017. 

Just a Word of Caution

The caution is advised to limit and prevent the possibility of coming ‘addicted’ to cannabis through the increased chances of developing Cannabis Use Disorder as well as to ensure the cannabis does reduce your anxiety instead of increasing it. 

If the reason for your consumption of high-potency products is because your usual isn’t working as well anymore (it’s less effective), then it would be in your best interest to rather take a 24-48 hour tolerance break. If you are consuming cannabis daily, you build up a tolerance that may necessitate a higher potency or larger quantity of cannabis in order to get the desired and original results from previous times. Regular tolerance breaks with eliminate the need for higher potency, thus avoiding the risk of adverse effects.  

Cannabis has a long list of research that still needs to be done but by keeping yourself educated and up-to-date, you’ll be able to make use of cannabis to its maximum benefits while minimizing any setbacks or adverse effects. One thing we do know for sure is that cannabis, when used responsibly, is one of the safest and most effective treatments and substances on the market. 

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