Medical marijuana may have risen in recent years as a wonder drug for many diseases, but using the wrong kind of cannabis strain — and especially in abnormally high dosages — may result to awry health effects.
This was revealed by a team of researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at UK’s King’s College London, as they studied the effects of using the cannabis strain “skunk” on the human body. The research team, led by Dr. Paola Dazzan, scanned the brains of 54 people diagnosed with first-episode psychosis, as well as 43 people with healthy dispositions. The brain scans were conducted using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the results were cross-checked with the study participants’ history on cannabis use.
Results showed that people who used skunk in the past had a higher level of damage in the corpus callosum, a portion of the brain between the left and right hemispheres. The level of damage in these brain regions was evident in skunk-using individuals, regardless of psychotic behavior. “We found that frequent use of high-potency cannabis significantly affects the structure of white matter fibers in the brain, whether you have psychosis or not. This reflects a sliding scale where the more cannabis you smoke and the higher the potency, the worse the damage will be,” Dazzan said in a news release.
A typical skunk cannabis strain contains 14-15 percent THC, much higher than other commonly used marijuana varieties.