Bad news for people buying super-potent, high-end weed: it doesn’t actually seem to make you any higher than the cheap stuff.
A team of scientists from the University of Colorado, Boulder — where else — tested how both physical and cognitive impairment varies based on THC blood concentration and found that, well, it doesn’t.
Rather, it seems that once you’re high, you’re high, according to research published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. While study participants who smoked super-potent weed products had a way higher concentration of THC in their blood, they didn’t perform any differently in balance or memory tests compared to those who smoked less-potent concentrates or old fashioned flower.
“Surprisingly, we found that potency did not track with intoxication levels,” lead author and UC Boulder cognitive scientist Cinnamon Bidwell said in a press release. “While we saw striking differences in blood levels between the two groups, they were similarly impaired.”
The finding that intoxication doesn’t scale with dosage suggests that weed hits people different from drugs like alcohol, where more drinks inevitably lead to getting drunker.
If it holds up, the findings could have serious legal ramifications — because if someone is pulled over for driving while high, their blood test results could make it seem like they were more intoxicated than they really were.
The study is reportedly the first to study the weed and THC products people were really using, rather than administering notoriously-weak weed in a laboratory setting. Instead, Bidwell and her colleagues visited participants at their own homes using white vans that, according to the release, they dubbed the “cannavans.”
“We cannot bring legal market cannabis into a university lab, but we can bring the mobile lab to the people,” Bidwell said.