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A Warning About Marijuana ‘Concentrates’

There is no denying that America’s perception of marijuana has changed drastically over the past decade. Once deemed a dangerous, addictive drug, it is now legal in several states and has gained notoriety for its ability to soothe people in pain. But it is worth noting that cannabis still contains risks, especially when it’s tampered with. In fact, a new article called out some very real dangers associated with “Pot Concentrates.”

With much more availability across the U.S., people are now free to experiment with different dosages and blends of marijuana. A newer technique involves extracting THC (aka the most potent element) from cannabis plants and forming a wax-like honey that can be smoked or ingested.

This “concentrate,” which also goes by the names wax, budder and 710 oil, has become extremely popular with young people, even leading to a warning for parents from WebMD. The site goes on to say that this compound is four times more potent than typical marijuana smoking and could pose serious health risks.

For one thing the intensity levels are greatly amplified, leading to increased paranoia and anxiety. Panic attacks are also a common occurrence, leading an increase in ER visits for teens. The most dangerous effect, though, involves drastic increases of a person’s heart rate and blood pressure levels.

A recent study from Arizona State University showed that more that seven out of 10 teens from that area who have tried marijuana have also tried concentrates. Co-author and ASU professor Madeline Meier spoke out about the major risks involved in this type of behavior, particularly when it comes to forming dependencies.

“It is concerning because we think higher doses of THC might increase a person’s risk for addiction” Meier explained in a local interview. “If these kids are already at high risk for addiction, that combined with their use of very high THC cannabis could increase that risk.”

Other takeaways from the research showed that Arizona teens involved in concentrate usage had decreasing grades and brushes with the law. There was also a correlation between concentrates ingestion and regular vaping among that set.

In that vein, warnings were issued about marijuana edibles as well. Taking any THC strain and intensifying it into a concentrated substance always poses a risk. And though many of these products (like edibles) are now legal and readily available, parents should take serious notice about the true dangers they entail.