Irrational fear of high THC cannabis
Irrational fear of high THC cannabis

Irrational Fear of High THC Cannabis Dispelled by New German Medical Study - MMJ Patients are Tolerant of High THC Strains

Medical marijuana patients are very tolerant of higher THC cannabis than previously thought.

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Wednesday May 15, 2024

irrational thc fears

Medical Marijuana Patients Tolerant Of High THC, Says German Study


High THC Flower Isn’t As Scary As Fear Mongers Want You To Believe


Cannabis flower with high THC has been getting a bad rap the past few years.


Fear mongers and prohibitionists point the blame of psychosis and mental health problems to potent marijuana strains, which have been all the rage recently. It is true that the weed these days is quite potent: it’s not uncommon for cannabis strains to average around 18 to 25% when you visit a legal cannabis dispensary.  But when you take a closer look, high THC cannabis also has many benefits especially for medical marijuana patients.


Of course, high THC flower isn’t for everyone. But for seasoned consumers and for medical marijuana patients, it can be a godsend.


Now, a recent study out of Germany shows that medical marijuana patients who consumed high THC flower reported little side effects. For the study, researchers polled over 1,000 patients in the country who were legally authorized to consume medical marijuana. The participants consumed laboratory tested cannabis flower sourced from pharmacies around Germany, with the most common chemovar testing at 22% potency.


A staggering majority of patients said that medical marijuana was effective in treating their medical symptoms. Additionally, the patients were unable to distinguish differences between the different chemovars, since a majority of them were high THC and low in CBD. They did report an increase in appetite, dry mouth, and somnolence – which are minor yet common effects that are associated with cannabis use. None of these effects are deadly or dangerous at all.

“Patients self-reported very good efficacy and tolerability to medical cannabis,” said the study’s authors. It’s common for pharmaceutical cannabis sold in Europe as well as other nations to contain 20% or more THC.


A similar study in the UK showed the benefits medical marijuana patients get from hight THC cannabis flower and products.

The Role Tolerance Plays


Mindful cannabis consumption always says that one must start slow and go slow. In other words, build your doses up gradually. An individual who takes high doses of THC whether for fun or for medical reasons must gradually build up their tolerance over time; it’s never advisable to start smoking 25% THC flower or taking potent edibles with no prior experience with cannabis.


That’s why tolerance also plays an important role. 

Frequent cannabis users, whether recreational or medical, do develop a tolerance to THC over time. This means that frequent cannabis consumers don’t exhibit as many or as intense performance changes compared to those who consume it infrequently, says a study in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

For the study, researchers at the University of Colorado together with investigators at the University of Iowa analyzed performance changes among two groups of cannabis consumers: daily consumers and occasional consumers. They were asked to inhale potent flower containing anywhere from 15 to 30% THC as needed. The baseline performance of the subjects was analyzed an hour after ingestion.


According to the authors, occasional cannabis users had slower performance times and scored less accurately in memory tasks. “In the gap acceptance task, the daily use group took longer to complete the task after smoking cannabis, while at the same time increasing their success ratio,” they said.

“Taken together, the findings are consistent with acquired tolerance to certain acute drug effects. The increase in time that the daily use group required to complete the gap acceptance task may nonetheless indicate an acute effect of cannabis among those in the daily use group, who prioritized accuracy over response time. Psychomotor and cognitive assessment batteries, such as the one used in this study, hold promise for providing an objective measure of cannabis impairment,” they said.


These types of observations have also been made with other drugs. Which is why we shouldn’t and mustn’t generalize blanket statements saying that high-potency THC is bad.


Interestingly, there are also studies that suggest, just because you smoke high THC weed doesn’t mean that you automatically get much higher. “Surprisingly, we found that potency did not track with intoxication levels,” explains Cinnamon Bidwell, a lead researcher in a study, which is the first to analyze the acute impact of marijuana based on real world consumers. “While we saw striking differences in blood levels between the two groups, they were similarly impaired,” added the assistant professor in the Institute of Cognitive Science.



Are There Benefits To Taking High THC Cannabis?

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: the truth is that you can feel extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable when you smoke high THC cannabis, or ingest potent edibles – and you aren’t used to it. The symptoms can vary from nausea to dizziness, extremely dry mouth, fatigue, anxiety, and paranoia, to name a few. It won’t kill you, but yes, it’s an experience you won’t want to have.


That said, potent THC cannabis flower or other cannabis products can also have benefits when done right. Medical marijuana patients find it much more economical to consume potent THC products, because a small amount will go a long way. As a result, you save money when you consume less of a high THC product. There are also individuals who are capable of metabolizing THC so much faster than others, and thus need more. For example, people who suffer from chronic pain and pain-related conditions need to frequently have THC in their system to feel better.


As with all things, consuming THC mindfully and responsibly is key. You can minimize the risk of unwanted side effects associated with THC when you start low and go slow, as well as keep some CBD around just in case.



High THC cannabis is not at all a bad thing. What makes the experience of taking high THC bad is consuming too much too soon, especially for individuals who have very little experience. THC on its own is a powerful therapeutic agent that can help you feel better and find relief from a multitude of conditions, provided that you know which dose works best for you. When all else fails, always make sure to have some CBD to help you come down.





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