Video: How scientists test marijuana for potency and safety

Marijuana is in the headlines as more and more states legalize it for medicinal use or decriminalize it entirely. In the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) newest Reactions video, we explain the chemistry behind marijuana’s high, and investigate what scientists are doing to ensure that legalized weed won’t send users on a bad trip.

Subscribe to the series at youtube.com/ACSreactions, and follow ACS on Twitter @ACSreactions.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


5 Responses to Video: How scientists test marijuana for potency and safety

  1. 13053648 April 29, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Cannabis and many other plants have been used for many years by natives of the lands for medical use.Legalizing of cannabis seems to be more of a regularity method in which governments can have a say on the uses and potency of the drug. Like all drugs it affects people differently that is why an increased study on the drug can help scientist alike, to make full use of the plants medical uses. Like the opium poppy which was developed into morphine that has since helped many patients suffering from pain.

  2. Inge Hugo (14022070) April 29, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    Everyone will have a different reaction to certain substances therefore it is not always reliable to look to marijuana to fix a problem. If someone had to take marijuana once for nausea, seizures or for something else , there is a chance of addiction, paranoia and anxiety which leads to depression. THC remains in the body for weeks or longer which could have a bad impact on anyone.
    Years of heavy marijuana use is linked to brain abnormalities. Studies show that the mental functions of people who have smoked a lot of marijuana tend to be diminished. The THC in cannabis disrupts nerve cells in the brain affecting memory.
    Even small amounts of marijuana can cause temporary sterility in men. Marijuana use can upset a woman’s menstrual cycle.
    Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.
    Therefore smoking marijuana can have more cons than pros.

    But doing research on what the appropriate amount of THC will be safe for all is admissible because now the percentage of THC in a joint can vary all the time depending on the weed used and therefore people are blindsided and vulnerable to what they put in their bodies without considering the disadvantages.

  3. Neo Makgabo(14144159) April 28, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Research has shown that associations have also been found between marijuana use and other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts among adolescents, and personality disturbances, including a lack of motivation to engage in typically rewarding activities. More research is still needed to confirm and better understand these linkages.The idea that scientists came about to test for potency and safety its a good one,people will experience less health and mental problems.

  4. O.R. Mogafe (13157737) April 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Had cannabis not been deemed an illegal drug, Scientists and Traditional practitioners might have had the opportunity to collaborate in an effort to fully understand and harness the medicinal properties of the plant. A perfect example being the Hoodia plant that was fashioned into a weight-loss drug after scientists learnt from the Khoi-San people of its hunger-suppressing capabilities.

  5. C.Friend April 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Would it not be a better alternative if possible to extract the THC and turn it into some form of pill or vaccination ? would this not be a healthier, more direct medicinal use ?

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