Regulating cannabis potency is key to reducing psychosis risk - Sovereign Health Group
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“I’m not anti-marijuana, but smoking skunk robbed me of my sanity,” says Mario (name changed) with a sigh. The 20-year-old youth from San Francisco opines marijuana enthusiasts need to know that it isn’t always harmless and uplifting.

“Just a puff, and it was intense and almost instantaneous,” recollects Mario. He simply couldn’t remember who he was, nor was he able to recognize the faces of his besties around him, whom he had known for years. In the wink of an eye, his heart started beating outrageously fast, while a tidal surge of panic descended mightily upon him. At that point, the paranoia was overwhelming, it made him feel that his soul had been wrenched from his body.

Gripped by fear, Mario thought that he was trapped in a perpetual state of delirium without any escape route. His friends remember, before he lost his consciousness, he was foaming at the mouth and pleading to be carried away from that godforsaken place.

When Mario finally regained his senses, he saw that he was in the emergency room. A mindless tryst with skunk had resulted in a full-blown psychotic episode on that fateful day. Though he had dabbled with drugs in the past, nothing had ever driven him to the depths of maniacal desperation like skunk.

Skunk is a highly potent form of cannabis

Skunk refers to a hybrid variety of cannabis, specifically cultivated to contain a high percentage of cannabinoids. In fact, it is a term which people tend to use interchangeably with cannabis. In reality, skunk contains about thrice the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant. Studies show that skunk users experience similar effects as cannabis, however, the only exception being that they come on almost immediately and in a powerful way. Although, initially the user experiences a momentary relaxation, but it soon assumes the form of extreme nervousness, anxiety and paranoia including alteration of time and perception.

With cannabis laws becoming more liberalized and the growing acceptance of the drug in American society, there is a pressing need to conduct more comprehensive and reliable evidence-based research to explore how cannabis use can be made safer.

While prolonged use of skunk and other potent forms of cannabis can significantly heighten the risk of suffering psychosis, studies show that the likelihood of mental health problems in users of old-style herbal and resin cannabis is comparatively very low.

But experts worldwide fear that in the last 40 years the potency of cannabis on average has doubled. In fact, in some parts of the United States where cannabis use is legal, some extremely potent cannabis products are said to contain up to 75 percent of the neurotoxin THC. As a counter measure, an increase in the cannabidiol (CBD) content in cannabis might help offset the harmful effects of THC, without compromising on the pleasurable effects such as feelings of relaxation.

Journey to recovery

Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of drugs in spite of the negative impact on his or her life. So, Sovereign Health of San Clemente is here to help. Our customized substance use disorder programs are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically.

If you or your loved one is addicted to any form of cannabis, it is time to get professional help and support to kick off a lasting recovery. Whether you are looking for substance abuse treatment centers in California or at a place closer home, call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 or chat online for immediate assistance. Our substance abuse treatment centers in California are among the best in the country.

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