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

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As a member of the Amendment 64 task force who is deeply troubled by the possible repercussions of legalizing marijuana, as well as a central figure in the national anti-pot organization Project SAM, Dr. Christian Thurstone is controversial in the marijuana community. But he hasn't backed away from warning about the dangers of weed, particularly for adolescent users.

His latest assertion? Users may soon start directly injecting THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, rather than smoking or ingesting marijuana.

"It seems like people are doing more and more to get a deeper high and presenting to us more and more addiction to marijuana," says Thurstone, whose main gig is as medical director of a Denver Health program called Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention (STEP). "I worry that might be a next step toward the injection of THC."

Thurstone shares this concern in "Higher and Higher, the latest blog on his personal website, DrThurstone.com. The offering revolves around elevated levels of THC found in urinalysis tests conducted on his patients, most of whom range in age from thirteen to nineteen.

christian thurstone.jpg
Dr. Christian Thurstone.
The seeds of the study were planted long ago. According to Thurstone, "I started thinking about this in 2004, when Dr. Wilson Compton published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that the prevalence of marijuana use in the U.S. was staying the same, but the prevalence of cannabis use disorders -- marijuana addiction -- was going up significantly."

The phrase "marijuana addiction" is guaranteed to raise the hackles of many cannabis activists, who insist that the substance is not addictive. Thurstone disagrees.

"I don't think in the mainstream scientific world of addiction that there's debate any more that it's addictive," he maintains. "It works on the same part of the brain as all other addictive substances, and there's an animal model of marijuana addiction now. We know that it's not just psychologically addictive but physically addictive, and studies by Dr. Alan Budney at Dartmouth have characterized a physical addiction to marijuana. Marijuana withdrawal is clinically equivalent to tobacco withdrawal -- and anecdotally, in our experience, we see adolescents coming into treatment extremely addicted to marijuana. They're dropping out of life, giving up on school and families to pursue their marijuana addiction."

Moreover, Thurstone says he's seen addictions become more severe over time, and speculated that one reason might be marijuana's increasing potency.

"We know that there's been an increase from about 2 percent THC a couple of decades ago to more like 10 percent now," he continues. "And in Colorado, it's probably even higher than that."

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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