Tobacco leaves are natural and have been dried, crumbled and smoked for thousands of years. It wasn’t until the 1950s that modern medicine established the truth about tobacco – it can cause diseases like lung cancer and it is highly addictive.
NATURAL DOESN'T ALWAYS MEAN SAFE
Most drugs today, legal and otherwise, are created in laboratories. But many medical and recreational drugs originally began in the wild; they come from plants that grow naturally in forests, fields, and deserts. Marijuana, even though it is natural, has both health and safety risks.
The amount of THC (the psychoactive chemical that makes people high) can be very different between marijuana plants – sometimes even in marijuana harvested from the same plant. In recent decades, marijuana growers have been genetically altering their plants to increase the percentage of THC: This means that an average ‘dose’ of marijuana is now much stronger than it used to be.
The average potency of tested marijuana from Federal seizures more than doubled from 1998 to 2008. Before 1980, levels of THC in marijuana were typically well below 10%, but today the average THC level is 18.7% – and some has been found to contain 30% or
After describing increases in potency, the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated: “So what does this actually mean? For a new user, it may mean exposure to higher concentrations of THC, with a greater chance of an adverse or unpredictable reaction. In fact, increases in potency may account for the rise in emergency department visits involving marijuana use. For experienced users, it may mean a greater risk of addiction if they are exposing themselves to high doses on a regular basis.”
Marijuana smoke contains about 60 cannabinoid chemicals- and it also contains many of the same cancer causing chemicals as tobacco smoke, including ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde.
The potency of marijuana is on the rise. There's more science behind the increased efficacy of marijuana today. Click here to look at THC levels over the years, how the levels of this and other cannabinoids affect users, how to manipulate concentrations and how rates of marijuana use have changed.
If you suspect someone close to you may be showing signs of marijuana abuse or dependence, seek help.
Behavioral Health Services
Catholic Family Services
Child & Family Psychological Services
Desert Streams Pine Rest
Elizabeth Upjohn Community Health Center (addiction)
Family & Children Services Family Health Center
Bethany Christian Services (at risk behavior) Kalamazoo Psychology Psychological Consultants of Michigan Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health
The Kalamazoo County Substance Abuse Task Force is a dedicated group of youth and adult community members that develop strategies, programs, and practices to address alcohol and substance abuse issues in our community.
To learn more or to get involved with the Task Force and its events, contact: