You will soon not be able to purchase cannabis with more than 15% THC in Vermont if state officials give in to demands made by the Vermont Medical Society. Colorado and Washington state officials are considering similar measures.
The Vermont Medical Society represents the interests of about 2,400 physicians and physician assistants. Other than the THC limit, society all wants the state lawmakers to require that all cannabis products have health warnings on the possible long-term effects of TCH consumption.
The board of the Vermont Medical Society recently adopted a resolution to push the Cannabis Control Board to place a ban on cannabis products that exceed 15% THC.
Is High Potency THC Harmful?
The long-term effects of THC have been a controversial subject with misconceptions spurred by a dearth of scientific evidence. The medical society’s resolution was guided by findings from a 2019 study that linked high potency THC to an increased risk for respiratory distress and other “serious medical outcomes.” This includes cases of acute psychosis, THC addiction, and impaired driving.
Earlier this year, a pediatric doctor in Colorado called on legislators to “spend a day in the ER” to witness firsthand the full impact of making high THC marijuana accessible to children.
“We cannot put more drugs into the community and then expect that no harm will occur.”
A paper that was published by an MD in the Journal of the Missouri Medical Association highlighted similar concerns. The cannabis of the ’60s contained as little as 2% THC. In the ’90s this increased to about 4%. Now, we have strains such as Girl Scout Cookies that may have THC amounts exceeding 25% which is over a 212% increase.
There has also been an increase in concentrated THC products such as shatter and wax that may contain as much as 95% THC. There is no scientific evidence indicating that such high amounts of THC offer a therapeutic advantage over lower THC cannabis. On the other hand, it appears that higher concentrations of THC are linked to serious adverse effects. There is a need to weigh the pros and cons of high cannabis products, even as the push for cannabis legalization at the federal level gears towards a tipping point.