Marijuana users searching for bigger highs may start injecting THC, doctor fears


For Thurstone's patients at Denver Health, 95 percent of whom are referred for issues concerning marijuana, "we felt the urinalysis ratio had been increasing, too. So we looked at our data as far back as we could -- 2007 -- and analyzed it over time. And we noticed a significant increase in the urinalysis ratios when we analyzed that data pre- and post-2009 and 2010, which is when we had the big commercialization of marijuana."

This period involved the growth of the medical marijuana industry, and while only a handful of patients under the age of eighteen have received red cards allowing them to legally use the substance, Thurstone maintains that plenty of them have been doing so anyhow. "That's right about when our kids started using medical marijuana," he says. "And that's when we saw a big jump in the THC ratio" -- from an average of 358 nanograms per milliliter of urine to 536 nanograms.

Here's a graphic depicting the difference.

thc.levels.urine.graphic.jpg
"You could make the argument that increased marijuana potency is a good thing," Thurstone acknowledges, "because that would mean people were smoking less of it -- exposing themselves to the same amount of THC, but exposing themselves to it via less smoke. But the data were analyzing for publication is showing no, our young patients are actually exposing themselves to more THC."

Because of what he says is "widespread diversion of medical marijuana to teens," the patients coming to him "have more severe marijuana dependence and more symptoms than teens not using medical marijuana. And it's also consistent with the whole idea that kids are using higher potency marijuana that's probably more addictive. Anecdotally, we're hearing about patients who start with cheap, low-grade marijuana before moving on to more potent marijuana, and then other ways of consuming it: waxing marijuana, dabbing marijuana and chasing a bigger and bigger high."

Such actions echo the behavior of those using other drugs, Thurstone allows. "People who start with pills may graduate to snorting or smoking heroin -- and then to heroin injection. It's just a way to get a more intense high, because anything that's injected tends to reach the brain pretty quickly."

That's why Thurstone concludes his "Higher and Higher" article with the following line: "It is reasonable now to question how much longer it will be before we see injection use of THC -- especially as marijuana is legalized."

Thus far, however, Thurstone admits that none of his patients have taken this step.

Continue for more of our interview with Dr. Christian Thurstone about more potent marijuana and the prospect of injecting THC.

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346 comments
Victor110
Victor110

This is so bogus! I'm 63, been using cannabis all my life. This dumbass has been writing himself too many prescriptions. 

Get job security another way ya friggin pig!

armyoftheforest
armyoftheforest

Don't worry bath salts aka Spice were created by Pfizer in the 1970's and now they try to lump them in with cannabis, ha. 

Nothing to see here, but we can allow Purdue Pharmacies a patent on purifying TCH for pain relief, I bet the doc wouldn't even bat an eye, knowing that the makers of OxyContin have it all under control.

armyoftheforest
armyoftheforest

Unfortunately, I can tell you withdrawal is nothing like cigarettes. Hell, most the medical world has stated on record that is more addicting than heroin and physical addiction [based on chemistry and stuff] of marijuana resides between sugar and chocolate and has never had a practical LD50 issued because they couldn't get a dosage to be harmful enough. LOL. 

Doctors and dentist, not all, but damn, for all the education they supposedly receive, I have know many and have to question intelligence tests for some of these practiticioners. 


Jonathan A. Sanchez
Jonathan A. Sanchez

This is the most ASSININE thing ever, how "High" does one need to be really?

theburningquestionbl
theburningquestionbl

What happens when these people start injecting THC directly into their brain? What then?  Won't somebody think of the children?

Kae A Done
Kae A Done

Dontcha think that if they could do that, they would? Honestly....

Johnny Genova
Johnny Genova

Was the needle rusty and laying in a pool of blood? Cause that weed shit would make you jones enough to go to those extremes.

Gary Hogg
Gary Hogg

Fritz. ... What the hell are you talking about?! "I injected 6 marijuanas" pfft, you f'n turd. The only "Fact" is that you just made yourself look like an asshole. Also, wondering how one shoots up marijuanas? Please, make yourself look more ignorant.

Jeff McClain
Jeff McClain

Wow! I thought I had seen it all. These fear mongering articles are getting more dumb by the moment.

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

There are going to be people, no matter what substance, who are going to try to take it a step further. All the more reason to quit trying to outguess Nature by changing and manipulating things we really have no clue about...

Val Weitz
Val Weitz

Please someone. Teach a journalism seminar at WW headquarters on how ask a logical question. #blowminds

Terry Richardson
Terry Richardson

Who wastes the money to fund your lackluster news reporting?

Noah Reed
Noah Reed

this is about the dumbest shit of all time, it disappoints me that this idea is even being talked about. Goes to show how out of touch with reality our policy makers are.

Val Weitz
Val Weitz

The only reason this post generated so many views was due to the unexpected level of utter moronity being presented as an actual news story. A journalistic car crash. No unlike the way I was slightly interested with the search for Bat Boy. Please WW stick to band interviews, restaurant reviews, massage parlor advertisements and the general what's happenings that you are qualified to present. I feel dirty knowing that your low brow sensationalism has elicited a response from me.

Fritz Cat
Fritz Cat

could? i injected 6 marijuanas today and eager with the syringe for the seventh. FACT.

Michael Beck
Michael Beck

Hah seriously? We have some funny guys right here.

Kathi Sheffield Williams
Kathi Sheffield Williams

Complete and total scaremongering to the fullest. This is total BULLSHIT, they need to stop this crap and worry about real world problems. Like WAR and poverty... What a joke.

Jon Masterson
Jon Masterson

jesus christ, if anybody did any fucking research these days it would take them half a google to realize that thc is not water soluble, therefore not effective when snorted or injected. and take your "sniffed lines of kief" stories and promptly go fuck yourself, its science

John Catdog
John Catdog

umm doctor im afraid of needles so if i wanna be higher than i've ever been i'll just dab THATS RIGHT I DAB BRO COME AT ME!!!

Jayson Garcia
Jayson Garcia

Total scare tactics. If this was going to happen then it already would have.

Steve Holmberg
Steve Holmberg

What a hack! I would be frightened to have a physician this stupid!

Luke Bochmann
Luke Bochmann

can you please stop posting this stupid nonsense , i mean cmon

Johnny Genova
Johnny Genova

The stupidest thing I have ever heard. These idiots should worry about a real threat like the thousands of real needle users shooting speed and dope. Fucking stupid. And really Westword, move on already. You've played this ridiculous story out.

Chris Panourgias
Chris Panourgias

Were are they geting this no way never just bake it its safer have you ever heard the term smoking yourself straight how is that going 2 work w needles no way

Chris Lupo
Chris Lupo

For a doctor the guy sure is an idiot. It is just a scare tactic and a lame one at that

Sally Reames
Sally Reames

Hey I like jazz.... But needles are you kidding, junkies use needles, there are other ways of ingestion marijuana besides smoking or injecting you know. Alice B Toklas, queen Victoria and a few others figured that out

Chris Ricciardi
Chris Ricciardi

No way. Never. We like to relax, have a good time, and smoke. Not stab ourselves. Just sayin.

Wouldpkr Tee
Wouldpkr Tee

we all know weed is utterly harmless and has the best chance of Anything we know of at curing cancer, but I heard once you start injecting it you find yourself attracted to black men and jazz music!

Steve At Work
Steve At Work

Westword, Please find another topic. You've regurgitated this irrelevant nonsense story enough already.

Wouldpkr Tee
Wouldpkr Tee

I just sit in a vat of everclear for a few minuets. maybe ill make a weed wick and shove it up my ass before i sit down next time.

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