Hemp smoking high-potency concentrates boosts blood levels
Smoking high-potency weed concentrates boosts blood levels of THC
We found that potency didn't track with intoxication levels, said lead author Cinnamon Bidwell, a professor within the Institute of science. "While we saw striking differences in blood levels between the two groups, they were similarly impaired."
The paper, published June 10 in JAMA Psychiatry, is the primary to assess the acute impact of weed among real-world users of legal market products. It could inform everything from roadside sobriety tests to decisions about personal recreational or medicinal use.
But the study also raises concerns that using concentrates could unnecessarily put people at greater long-term risk of side-effects.
"It raises many questions on how quickly the body builds up a tolerance to weed and whether people is during a very position to understand desired results at lower doses," said Bidwell.
While 33 states have legalized medicinal weed use, and 11 have legalized recreational use, both use remains illegal at the federal level. Researchers are prohibited from handling or administering hemp. Some previous studies have used strains supplied by the govt, but those strains contain far less THC than real-world products.
To review what people really use, Bidwell and her colleagues utilize two white Dodge Sprinter vans, also called the "Canavan's," as mobile laboratories. They drive the vans to the residences of study subjects who use weed they purchase on their own inside their homes so walkout for tests.
He said that they can't bring legal market weed into a university lab, but we are ready to bring the mobile lab to the people," she said.
For this study, the team assessed 121 regular hemp users. Half typically used concentrates (oils and waxes that include the active ingredients without the leaves and stems). the selection half typically used flower from the plant. Flower users purchased a product containing either 16% or 24% [tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)], the foremost psychoactive ingredient in weed. Concentrate users were assigned to a product containing either 70% or 90% THC.
On test day, researchers drew the subjects' blood, measured their mood and intoxication level, and assessed their cognitive function and balance at three-time points: before, directly after and one hour after they used.
Those who used concentrates had many levels in any respect three points, with levels spiking to 1,016 micrograms per millilitre within the jiffy after use, while flower users spiked at 455 micrograms per millilitre. (Previous studies have shown that THC levels hover around 160 to 380 micrograms per millilitre after hemp use).
Regardless of what type or potency of hemp participants used, their self-reports of intoxication, or feeling high, were similar, as were their measures of balance and impairment.
People within the high concentration group were much less compromised than we thought they were visiting be, said co-author Kent Hutchison, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder who also studies alcoholism. "If we gave folks that prime an amount of alcohol it'd are a special story."
The study also found that, among all users, the balance was about 11% worse after using hemp, and memory was compromised. But within about an hour, that impairment faded.
"This is often accustomed to develop a roadside test, or perhaps to help people make personal decisions," said Bidwell.
The researchers aren't sure how the concentrate group could have such high THC levels without greater intoxication, but they think some things are at play: Regular users of concentrates likely develop a tolerance over time. there's also genetic or biological differences that make some people metabolize THC more quickly. And it's visiting be that when compounds in weed, called cannabinoids, fill receptors within the brain that spark intoxication, additional cannabinoids have little impact.
"Hemp receptors may become saturated with THC at higher levels, beyond which there is a diminishing effect of additional THC," they write.
The authors caution that the study examined regular users who have learned to meter their use supported the required effect, and doesn't apply to inexperienced users. Those users should still be extremely cautious with concentrates, said Hutchison.
Ultimately, the researchers hope to be told what, if any, long-term health risks concentrates truly pose.
"Does long-term, concentrated exposure mess alongside your cannabinoid receptors during an awfully way which may have long-term repercussions? Does it make it harder to quit after you'd like to?" said Hutchison. "We just don't know yet."