Medical cannabis users whose only treatment strategy is to consume as much THC as possible are often described as ‘chasing THC’. It turns out that falling into the chasing trap is easy if you don’t understand the finer details of THC, CBD, and your own particular medical condition. Unfortunately, the strategy has some hidden dangers that may not be realized until the damage is done.
For the record, this post does not take a position against cannabis. In fact, it takes no position either way. The goal here is to warn medical cannabis users of potential downsides of chasing THC. There is more to using cannabis as a medicine than simply getting high. And unfortunately, THC chasers tend to be the kinds of people who are only looking for a stronger high with every new product.
If you would like to know how avoid the trap of chasing THC, Pure Utah recently published a very good blog post about it. Pure Utah is a medical cannabis dispensary in Payson, UT. In the meantime, note the following dangers of the chasing strategy:
Though a lot of cannabis activists do not like to admit it, the brain does build up tolerance to THC. Tolerance is a physical condition in which the brain gets used to a certain level of THC in the system. When that happens, a patient has to consume more THC to get the same relief. As tolerance increases, a patient’s consumption must also increase.
Whether or not tolerance equals psychological dependence is a matter of debate. But even if you set psychological dependence aside, tolerance is not good for the body. That’s why doctors who recommend medical cannabis for qualifying conditions also recommend that their patients take regular breaks from THC.
Increased Medical Spending
A direct result of tolerance is increased medical spending. In other words, let’s say a patient’s body builds up enough tolerance that they have to use 50% more cannabis to find relief for their condition. That means they will be spending 50% more to obtain their medications.
The patient knows how expensive medical cannabis products are. Can they afford to spend 50% more? What if their tolerance increases to a point of having to spend 75% more? This is one of the very real dangers of chasing THC. The more one chases, the more one risks spending too much money on medication.
No Genuine Relief
Medical cannabis products can contain THC, CBD, or any of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Because they all influence the brain differently, it is safe to say that no single medical product is appropriate for every medical cannabis patient. What does this have to do with chasing THC?
In the quest to find the next great high, a patient could be missing out on a better treatment. The patient could eventually discover they are not really getting genuine relief from THC. Rather, they are just getting high. Missing out on a better treatment leaves them spending a lot of money but not really deriving the benefits of medical cannabis to their fullest extent.
The Temptation to Go Recreational
Finally, chasing THC creates the temptation to go recreational with one’s medical cannabis consumption. A patient who is committed to using cannabis only for medical purposes doesn’t need that temptation. It’s hard enough to handle the medical aspects without having to deal with the repercussions of recreational use.
Chasing THC may be okay for recreational users. It is not a smart move for medical users. If you use medical cannabis, avoid chasing THC at all costs. Treat your medicine like medicine.