Back in the 60s smoking weed was quite popular. There was something of a cultural revolution going on. Most of the folks that smoked pot back then eventually grew out of it and went on to have families and enjoy a normal life in American society. Only about 10% of those over the age of 25 ever became addicted, most just stopped. Yes, some went on to try more potent drugs like LSD, Heroin, or tried dropping acid, which is why some consider marijuana a ‘gateway’ drug. The 60s were a crazy time.
Those who stayed in the party scene often graduated to cocaine as their recreational drug of choice, which was starting to get popular in the US in the mid-70s and into the 80s. Then there was the “war on drugs” which is raging on today (cite 1).
Back in the 60s the younger users, those who started in their mid to late teens had higher rates of addiction about 15-17%. Today, we realize it is because their adolescent brain was still synapse xt forming, and the continued use of THC from all those afternoons ‘ditching school’ eventually affected their brain development. In essence, the THC had re-wired their brain, thus, they became dependent.
Today’s Marijuana is More Potent and More Cause for Alarm
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high. Trust us when we tell you; today’s hybrid marijuana is far more concentrated than yester year’s pot. In fact, one of the reasons marijuana is being legalized is because all the folks that tried it back in the 60s didn’t find it all that dangerous. Many have grown up and are now politically active, some even policymakers. We’ve now had President’s admit to smoking it. Needless to say, there is a lot of history when it comes to marijuana (cite: 2).
We often hear proponents of marijuana legalization say; alcohol is far more addicting and it’s killed far more people, especially when you factor in all the alcohol-related auto deaths. This is true of course, can’t argue with the statistics. Proponents also say we can legalize it and tax it, and solve all our problems. Well, not exactly.
This may appear to be an overall fair assessment in the minds of those who tried it or smoked it frequently in the 60s, but things are much different now. If we were just talking about the old marijuana, it’s relatively harmless compared to some of the new stuff available in states which have legalized its use.
This new marijuana has extremely high levels of THC. For instance, most of the pot that was smoked in the 60s was relatively low in THC, with the most potent of the day around 6% compared to some of today’s extreme hybrid marijuana clocking in at nearly 30%.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a Neurotoxin
Tetrahydrocannabinol is a crystalline compound, a chemical that is the main active ingredient of cannabis. The body naturally makes cannabinoid chemicals, so the brain’s cannabinoid receptors uptake the tetrahydrocannabinol. The cannabinoid receptors are found in regions of our brains that have to do with coordination, pleasure, memory, time perception, and thinking. This is why the THC gets you high.
Marketers of today’s hybrid marijuana advertise the percentage of THC potency as a positive, because it gets you higher faster, and for longer. That might be okay with you if your only goal is to get high, but if you value your mind, it’s a long-term net negative.
How Bad Is Marijuana Use on Mental Health?
Marijuana use has been linked to severe mental health issues and psychiatric disorders. The research is comprehensive and pretty conclusive. Among some of the problems include depression, anxiety, dependency (addiction), psychosis, schizophrenia, dementia, and early-onset Alzheimer’s. Most of these studies are statistical in nature, and mind you, much of the research was done by studying those who were smoking the older stuff; not the new high-concentrated hybrid marijuana which is extremely heavy-handed in THC.