Potent THC 'dabs' pose problems for some users

Washington state’s pioneering move to legalize recreational cannabis has resulted not only in widely available leaf versions of the drug, but also high-potency “dabs” and vapes whose levels of THC, the psychoactive part of cannabis, are well above that of a rolled joint.

“Since legalization, we’re getting plants (with) between 10 and 20% THC. With legalization also came this drive of the industry to develop new products, and these products have way, way, way higher THC concentration,” says Beatriz Carlini, an acting associate professor at the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine.

She is lead author of a paper submitted recently to state legislators about options to regulate the sale of the high-potency products with 60% to 90% THC, which have led inexperienced users to end up in hospital emergency rooms with paranoia and panic attacks, she says. Continued use of these products can lead to the development of a permanent psychotic disorder, she added.

Carlini explores the emerging issue in our blog post.

Download video soundbites of Carlini discussing high-potency THC products.

UW Medicine