Can you "inject marijuanas," as the satirical memes suggest? Yes, but it’s a really, really stupid thing to do, according to a new study. You should not inject marijuana, and it can lead to vomiting, muscle pains, severe heart conditions, and psychosis. Cannabis is widely used recreationally and for symptomatic relief in a number of ailments. However, cannabis has been implicated as a risk factor for the development of psychotic illness. For forty years researchers have utilised intravenous preparations of Δ(9)-THC, as well as several other phytoca …
Can You Inject CBD Oil
Can you “inject marijuanas,” as the satirical memes suggest? Yes, but it’s a really, really stupid thing to do, according to a new study.
A new study found that injecting pure THC triggered schizophrenia-like behaviors in subjects. But, uh, does anyone actually consume weed this way?
The study, conducted by schizophrenia researchers at the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Connecticut, and recently published in Neuropsychopharmacology, involved shooting up 22 healthy individuals with 2.5mg THC, 5mg THC, or a placebo (0mg THC). The subjects had previously been “exposed” to cannabis, but none had been diagnosed with cannabis use disorder.
After three separate days of mainlining pure THC, the subjects reported experiencing schizophrenia-like symptoms, increased anxiety, altered perceptions, euphoria, and a host of memory and speech issues. Their blood also showed increased levels of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Not surprisingly, the researchers concluded that THC produces psychotic behaviors, and more studies are needed to see how cannabinoid receptors may contribute to psychotic disorders.
Usually when we see anything about injecting THC or “marijuanas,” it comes from satirical social media accounts that claim shooting up weed can cause everything from suddenly turning someone gay to spontaneous death (again, these are memes). But intravenous administration of THC is a standard (though not terribly common) practice in cannabis studies, since it gives researchers precise control over dosing. The only problem with this study and others like it is that no one actually injects pure THC. There’s a reason why most consumers prefer to smoke or vape cannabis, after all.
When someone smokes, let’s say, a one-gram joint rolled with weed containing 25 percent THC, that joint contains, roughly, 250mg of THCA, the form of THC that doesn’t get anyone high. Heat converts some THCA into THC — the stuff that gets people lit — but only some THCA turns into the psychoactive form. The average time that heat is applied to the joint isn’t long enough to convert all of the THCA to THC. Furthermore, a bunch of converted THC gets lost in the smoke that wafts from the joint, and even more THC gets stuck in the ash.
So, by the end of it, even if just one person smoked that entire 1-gram joint to the face, they’re only getting a small fraction of that potential 250mg THC, not to mention a cornucopia of other compounds such as other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and polyphenols — which all may interact with our brain’s cannabinoid receptors, dulling the negative effects of THC.
In other words, shooting someone up with 2.5mg or 5mg pure THC is kind of a lot, especially for non-stoners, which this study focused on.
In addition to there being next-to-no people who shoot up THC distillate or diamonds on a regular basis, no one shoots up actual weed, either. Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, some idiots tried that, and they developed what’s called “intravenously injected marijuana disorder.” Basically, folks would boil weed buds into a “broth,” pull that filtered broth up into a syringe, then inject it. Rather than getting lit, they got sick AF instead, which included bouts of vomiting, intense muscle pains, and serious heart problems.
Here’s the thing about IV marijuana disorder, too: There are practically no new case studies on it after 1986, suggesting that only a handful of people did it back in the day. Why? Obviously, it sucks, and it’s potentially life-threatening. Which is why, today and in the past, folks have stuck to puffing their pot.
Does this mean that everything about the VA study is bogus? Not entirely. We know that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in some mental disorders, and cannabis use can aggravate some psychotic symptoms in people particularly prone to them. However, many cannabis patients consume weed to alleviate symptoms of their personality or mood disorders, too, so the issue isn’t black-and-white, nor is it clear-cut.
Oh, and in case if you’re wondering if you can snort weed, yeah, technically, that’s possible. But you’ll end up blowing pot-snot all day and never catching a buzz.
Can You Inject Marijuana?
“Injecting weed” is a long-running inside joke poking fun at people unfamiliar with the methods of consuming cannabis. There are many ways to use cannabis, but intravenous injection is not only unpopular but also dangerous. So, no, you cannot (and should not) inject marijuana.
While some cannabis oil products come pre-packaged in syringes, these are meant to be consumed by placing the oil under your tongue, added to edibles, or added to your vaporizer. Read on to learn why people believe they can inject marijuana, the history of the misconception, and why it’s so dangerous.
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The History of Injecting Marijuana
The idea of injecting marijuana is a meme for those who joke about cannabis as a gateway drug to more dangerous substances. It’s intended to make fun of those who have no idea how to use cannabis. But its history as a bad idea stretches back almost 50 years.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, a few individuals tried to boil cannabis flower into a broth, filter the broth into a syringe, and inject it directly into their bloodstream. Instead of getting high, they became severely sick, inducing bouts of muscle pains, vomiting, and severe heart concerns — a condition named “ intravenous marijuana syndrome.” Word got around, and cannabis users quit trying to inject the substance.
When we see anything today about injecting THC, it usually comes from a satirical blog or social media post claiming the ridiculous dangers of “shooting up weed,” such as spontaneous death. Interestingly, IV administration of THC is a standard, though uncommon, practice in cannabis studies that require precise control over dosing during their evaluations.
However, these studies fail to address the real-world administration of cannabis, as no one actually injects pure THC when they use medical marijuana.
Potential Risks and Dangers of Injecting Marijuana
One study published in Neuropsychopharmacology examined the effects of injecting THC in 22 healthy individuals who had previously been exposed to cannabis. After three days of continuous use, they found that direct injection of THC resulted in schizophrenia-like symptoms, including altered perceptions, decreased cognitive function, and increased cortisol levels.
Again, no one in the real world injects THC, and this study contributed somewhat to the popularly cited “scary stories” of weed causing schizophrenia in users. Ultimately, more research is needed to understand how pure THC contributes to psychotic behaviors or disorders.
Are Cannabis Syringes Safe?
Cannabis syringes sold in dispensaries are meant to be taken orally by placing the oil under your tongue or adding it to recipes, drinks, or even into your dab rig. These are lab tested and safe to consume if you use them the way they’re supposed to be used.
The Bottom Line
Do not inject cannabis directly into your body, as it can lead to sickness, vomiting, muscle pain, and even psychotic episodes. Ask your medical marijuana doctor or budtender for more advice on how to use cannabis syringes the right way, or opt for smoking, vaping, or edible cannabis if you want another consumption method.
And if you’re interested in learning more about medical cannabis and signing up for a medical marijuana card, Leafwell can connect you with a licensed medical marijuana doctor today.
Cannabis in the arm: what can we learn from intravenous cannabinoid studies?
Cannabis is widely used recreationally and for symptomatic relief in a number of ailments. However, cannabis has been implicated as a risk factor for the development of psychotic illness. For forty years researchers have utilised intravenous preparations of Δ(9)-THC, as well as several other phytocannabinoids, in a laboratory setting. The intravenous route has the most reliable pharmacokinetics, reducing inter-individual variation in bioavailability and is well suited for the delivery of synthetic compounds containing a sole pharmacological moiety. Given the association between cannabinoids and psychotic illness, there has been a resurgence of interest in experimental studies of cannabinoids in humans, and the intravenous route has been employed. Here in a critical review, we appraise the major findings from recent intravenous cannabinoid studies in humans and trace the historical roots of this work back to the 1970’s.
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