“Skunk and Weed” Presentation

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“Skunk and Weed” Presentation
High-Strength Weed or Skunk
– What do we know?
NICDTF
OCT 16th 2012
Dr Des Corrigan FPSI
Cannabinoids
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PhytoCannabinoids- only in Cannabis
plants
Endocannabinoids – naturally occurring in
the Human Body
Synthetic Cannabinoids – developed as
pain-killing drugs – found in some
“SPICE”-type smoking mixtures
The Complexity of
Cannabis
500 different Chemicals in Cannabis plants
70 Cannabinoids – affect brain in different &
contradictory ways
Most relevant:
THC – Euphoriant/ Psychotogenic
CBD – Anti-Anxiety/Anti-psychotic
THC/CBD Ratio influences effects of
Cannabis Drugs
THC / CBD RATIO IN CANNABIS PLANTS IS DOWN TO GENETICS
FIBRE/HEMP TYPE
CBD ONLY
TRACE THC
DRUG TYPE
INTERMEDIATE (HASH)
TYPE
THC ONLY
NO CBD
EQUAL AMOUNTS OF
THC & CBD
TYPES OF CANNABIS DRUGS
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Herb (1-2%)
( Grass, Marijuana)
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Resin (10%)
( Hash,Hashish)
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Oil ( Hash Oil)30-60%
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High THC-Content
Cannabis & Headshops
1. Sale of Skunk-type seeds
2. Advice on Sinsemilla Technique
3. Sale of Hydroponics & Intense
Lighting
Afghan No 1
Ed Rosenthal
White Widow
HYDROPONIC CULTIVATION
HYDROPONIC CULTIVATION
SKUNK or WEED
Home-Grown or from Grow Houses
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Huge Increase in level of THC
No CBD to counterbalance THC
Increases Learning & Memory problems
Increases Addiction risks
Increases Mental Health risks
HASH Contains both THC & CBD
Cannabis Potency
expressed as % THC Content
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Ireland
Herb 8% (4-16%*)
UK
Herb* 12-18%
Netherlands
Herb* 16.5%
Hash 3%
Hash 3%
Hash 30%
* Skunk or Weed-type
SHORT TERM EFFECTS OF CANNABIS
DRUGS
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Memory & Learning
All learning disrupted & short term
memory affected.
Reactions & Coordination
Doubles risk of fatal car crash especially
single vehicle crashes
Cannabis Use & Later Life
Outcomes
New Zealand Study from Birth
to Age 25
High levels of use associated
with
Poorer educational outcomes
Lower income
Greater welfare dependence
Greater unemployment
Lower relationship & life
satisfaction
CRITERIA FOR CANNABIS
DEPENDENCE
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Tolerance
Withdrawal symptoms
Loss of control over use
Persistent desire to use
Great deal of time spent obtaining, using and or
recovering from use
Giving up or reducing other important activities
Continued use despite physical or psychological
problems
Complaints by parents/spouse/partner about use
and its effects.
CANNABIS WITHDRAWAL CRITERIA
Common Symptoms
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Anger or aggression
Decreased appetite or weight loss
Irritability
Nervousness/anxiety
Restlessness
Sleep difficulties
Strange dreams
Budney et al
Am. J. Psychiat.2004
Adolescents who use Cannabis
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1 in 6 may develop dependence ( 1 in 10
for adults)
Perform poorly at school
Leave school early
Report psychiatric symptoms & disorders
More likely to use other drugs
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( Wayne Hall, Addiction Summer 2008)
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The Adolescent brain – a work in progress
Giedd et al, 1999, Nature Neuroscience,
2, 861-863
Skunk-Type Cannabis & Psychosis
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Use for 5 years – 2 x risk
Daily use 6 x risk
Compared to Hash (THC & CBD) smoking
controls
Skunk (THC only) use 7 x risk
Daily Skunk use - 12 x risk
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Di Forti et al . Br. J. Psychiatry 2009
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Cannabis & Mental Health
Risk Factors
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Genetic susceptibility (11 x Risk)
Childhood Trauma (21 x Risk)
Age of first use – 15 years -4.5 x Risk
Length of use
Amount used
Type of Cannabis used (Skunk/Weed)
Di Forti et al Neuroscience & Biobehavioural Reviews 2011
Cannabis & Mental Health
“There is now sufficient evidence to
warn young people that using
cannabis could increase their risk of
developing a psychotic illness later
in life”.
Moore etal
The Lancet 2007; 370: 319-28