If the grass of the neighbor is always greener, the European (psychoactive) herb seems to be more and more powerful. According to a recent study by researchers from the University of Bath and King’s College London in ten years cannabis has changed in Europe.
The content of tetrahydrocannabidiol (Thc) has increased, making the products more powerful and qualitatively better for those who search for its psychoactive effects. However, according to the authors of the research, their consumption could cause more damage in the long term, increasing the ability to dependence and the risk of psychotic diseases.
Published in the journal Addiction, the survey is the first of its kind. The researchers used data collected by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction in the years between 2006 and 2016 in 28 EU Member States, Norway and Turkey. The analysis recorded a clear increase in the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydro cannabidiol (Thc) both in grass (from 5% to 10%) and in cannabis resin (from 8% to 17%), and in general a increase in product prices.
The cannabis that circulates in Europe today, therefore, “is more powerful and of better quality” than it was 10 years ago, said the main author of the study, Tom Freeman. But it could be even more dangerous! Other studies have in fact associated cannabis consumption with high levels of Thc to greater long-term damage, such as the development of addiction and the increased risk of psychotic diseases.The greatest danger could derive from the fact that, in particular for the cannabis resin, against an increase in the concentration of Thc, the cannabidiol content (CBD) remained substantially stable.
The CBD is a substance that has recently been much talked about because of its positive effects in the treatment of pathological conditions such as childhood epilepsy, psychosis and anxiety. But within cannabis products, the CBD also has the ability to compensate for some of the damaging effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory loss.
“The CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects sought by consumers,” said Freeman. “What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in Thc in spite of stable or decreasing CBD levels, which potentially make cannabis more damaging . “