There’s growing awareness of the potential health benefits of smoking weed, and the positive impact that smoking weed can have on some people’s lives, but a new study has warned of the dangers of smoking higher strength skunk.
A study, by the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, has shown that high-strength cannabis may damage the nerves that send messages between the two halves of the brain, making it less efficient.
Brain scans were taken from people who regularly smoked strong cannabis, which revealed differences in the ‘white matter’ that connects the left and right sides of the brain. The same changes weren’t seen in those who’d never used high strength weed or only smoked less potent forms of the drug.
Paola Dazzan, a neurobiologist from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said the effects appeared to be linked to the level of, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in cannabis. While traditional forms of cannabis contain two to four per cent THC, but more potent varieties can contain 10 to 14 per cent THC, according to the DrugScope charity.
However the study can’t say for definite that it’s the high levels of THC in cannabis that cause damage to white matter, or what the effects will be on a person.
It is possible that these people already have a different brain and they are more likely to use cannabis. But what we can say is if it’s high potency, and if you smoke frequently, your brain is different from the brain of someone who smokes normal cannabis, and from someone who doesn’t smoke cannabis at all.
Dazzan also said, that we need to rethink the way people use cannabis, and we should start thinking of cannabis in terms of THC and the different contents cannabis can have.