High-Potency Cannabis and Potential For Developing Dependence

"This study among 98 experienced cannabis smokers is the first naturalistic study to examine whether users of cannabis with high THC concentration titrate the psychoactive effects by using lower doses and/or by reduced inhalation, and whether cannabis smoking behaviour (topography) predicts cannabis dependence severity independently of total THC exposure.
"In contrast to our hypothesis, there was a positive association between cannabis THC concentration and cannabis dose, indicating that users of stronger cannabis generally used larger amounts of cannabis to prepare their regular joint. However, in line with our hypothesis, the negative association between THC concentration of joints and total inhaled smoke volume indicates that users of stronger joints inhaled smaller smoke volumes, thus resulting in partial titration of the total THC exposure. Overall, as exemplified by the comparison of the average user with the user with the maximum THC concentration, users of high-potency cannabis will generally be exposed to higher total doses of THC (at least in this sample). This is in line with Cappell et al.’s observations through a one-way mirror experiment in 1973 where users only partly adapted their intake [14]. Indeed, increased THC concentrations of cannabis have recently been linked to increased internal THC exposure assessed in blood [28]."

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Peggy van der Pol, Nienke Liebregts, Tibor Brunt, Jan van Amsterdam, Ron de Graaf, Dirk J. Korf, Wim van den Brink & Margriet van Laar, "Cross-sectional and prospective relation of cannabis potency, dosing and smoking behaviour with cannabis dependence: an ecological study," Addiction, March 16, 2014, doi:10.1111/add.12508.
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