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Stronger Pot = "Medical Emergencies?"

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by MDhasbeen, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. MDhasbeen

    MDhasbeen shrinkie dink 7+ Year Member

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    What the hey?

    I have seen a huge number of patients seemingly hooked on pot, but what exactly are the "medical emergencies" we're supposedly seeing more of because there's been a 1% increase in THC?
     
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  3. Dartos Vader

    Dartos Vader Illegal in 47 states 7+ Year Member

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    When I did an elective month down in Indiana we had two patients come in who had been smoking "wet". I hadn't heard of it previously, but apparently it is a joint laced with formaldehyde. Both patients presented (in handcuffs) acutely psychotic, agitated and violent. Not a side effect of increased MJ potency, but interesting all the same.
     
  4. MDhasbeen

    MDhasbeen shrinkie dink 7+ Year Member

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    Indeed, when I was in Philly I saw tons of patients in the psych ED who'd been smoking wet, though theirs was the lovely combo of pot and PCP. Very scary business, but 99% so because of the PCP. Hmmm...
     
  5. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Physician Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Read it again. THC content has increased from 7% to 8.5%, which is a 21% increase over the unstated time period. (I presume this is by weight--but the quantitation is not well described by CNN).
    This is up from content of 3.5% in 1988--so THC content has doubled in your "average" joint. This is not your father's Mary Jane!
    More potent pot-->more drug induced psychosis.
     
  6. MDhasbeen

    MDhasbeen shrinkie dink 7+ Year Member

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    OPD, I just perused one of the recent threads here re: marijuana/drug screens. I've also noticed quite a number of new psychotic break patients with heavy MJ use. Can't help but wonder about the causality of it, though. I mean, a lot of them seem to try to convey that they were self-medicating with pot when their psych meds etc failed. How do you figure the chicken from the egg?
     
  7. Encephalopathy

    Encephalopathy 5+ Year Member

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    Apr 11, 2007
    The counterpoint is that smokers self-titrate, and will stop smoking after reaching a certain level of "highness" (blood THC concentration). Twice the potency means half the quantity, with decreased respiratory irritation.
     
  8. Adam_K

    Adam_K Indentured 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 28, 2004
    Off to the plantation
    Potheads "self-titrating"? That's a new one.
     
  9. Does that also mean that they'll be eating less cheetos?
     
  10. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Physician Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    I've never heard this (self-titration) to be the case with cannabis (as it certainly is true for nicotine). The longer effective half life of THC also means that it is much harder for the user to "determine" their level. A secondary point is that "THC cigarettes" are far less standardized in their preparation, burn rates, THC content, etc than your pack of Newports, which is carefully engineered for maximum effectiveness in this regard. I think it is really difficult to judge.
     
  11. strangeglove

    strangeglove 7+ Year Member

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    I would venture to say that, rather than THC's discriminative effects as a basis for titration, the more important variable is cost. As THC content has increased, the price per weight has also gone up. Dealers are not dumb; they know the value of high THC content. Unlike tobacco, demand for THC is elastic (people will buy smaller quantities of a more expensive good). Therefore, people smoke less at a given sitting to achieve the same level of high. This will not necessarily change the number of sittings, however.
     
  12. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Physician Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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