When thinking about the purity of cannabis, we can consider two separate areas: first, the ‘strength’ of the unadulterated product (i.e. how much THC it contains), and second how much it is ‘cut’ or contaminated. As a cannabis user, it may not be possible to tell whether a particular sample of ‘skunk’ or ‘homegrown’ or ‘sinsemilla’ will have a higher potency than an equal amount of traditional herbal cannabis – because the actual potencies of different products overlap substantially. From a health perspective, it is important to understand that the long term impact of smoking these higher potency forms is not yet clear, but might include an increase in the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia or possibly an increased risk of developing dependence.
Nobody yet knows the answer on these points. The potency of herbal cannabis decreases over time in storage and is affected by what parts of the plant have been included in the product. Hence, a user has little guarantee about the ‘intensity of the high’. The intensity of the smell of skunk or its appearance may not act as reliable guide to the actual strength either.
In recent years, herbal cannabis with a gritty texture was found from suppliers who had sprayed glass on the product, possibly to alter its look and weight. Cannabis resin sold as hash, especially the ‘Soap Bar’ variety, is usually cut with other substances to increase the bulk and thus to increase the supplier’s profit. Even hardcore smokers can become anxious, panicky, suspicious or paranoid. Cannabis affects your coordination, which is one of the reasons why drug driving is just as illegal as drink driving. Some people think cannabis is harmless just because it’s a plant – but it isn’t harmless. Cannabis, like tobacco, has lots of chemical ‘nastiest, which can cause lung disease and possibly cancer with long-term or heavy use, especially as it is often mixed with tobacco and smoked without a filter. It can also make asthma worse, and cause wheezing in non-asthma sufferers.
Cannabis itself can affect many different systems in the body, including the heart: It increases the heart rate and can affect blood pressure. If you’ve a history of mental health problems, then taking cannabis is not a good idea: It can cause paranoia in the short term, but in those with a pre-existing psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, it can contribute to relapse. If you use cannabis and have a family background of mental illness, such as schizophrenia, you may be at increased risk of developing a psychotic illness. It is reported that frequent use of cannabis can cut a man’s sperm count, reduce sperm motility, and can suppress ovulation in women and so may affect fertility. If you’re pregnant, smoking cannabis frequently may have some association with the risk of the baby being born smaller than expected.