DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Marijuana is not going anywhere, anytime soon. Nearly a dozen states have legalized it for recreational use.
In less than 40 days, it'll apply to Illinois. Cities such as Springfield, Champaign and Danville have opted in to allowing marijuana business.
While the drug is becoming more accessible, health experts said they're concerned about people using highly potent cannabis. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a health advisory on using cannabis. He suggested weed isn't meant for pregnant women and children. One cannabis business, however, said it looks at potent cannabis from a scientific perspective.
"We had hopes that one day Illinois would consider going into adult use," Mark de Souza, the CEO of Revolution, said.
Revolution claims to be the largest producer of medical cannabis in the Illinois. It also provides edibles, oils and other products.
"What you've heard from those consumers of 30 and 40 years ago is absolutely true," de Souza said. "Cannabis is not what it used to be."
Scientists said weed, 40 years ago, had less than 10 percent of THC, the component that gets people high. De Souza described the weed back then as black market. Nowadays, reports show the percentage of THC is up to 25 percent.
"I can tell you that some of our products on the THC side that we've been able to work on to get even higher than the 25 percent and over 30 percent," de Souza added.
WAND News reached out to the Medical Cannabis Community regarding the effects of THC. Kirsten Velasco, the community outreach manager, said the effects are not the same for everybody. She sent an e-mail:
"As it's been said, 'It's all in the dose.' This is extremely true for cannabis. Due to multi-compounds in the flowers (colas) of the cannabis plant, it's content has infinite combinations and effects that depend on each individual's unique constitution, completely independent of their age, height, weight, sex, and perceived vigor. Too many dose mistakes to tally have happened because an individual will think, 'If that little woman can handle that, I can handle double.'
The need for responsible use education is evident from the emergency room visits. It must be emphasized that low doses (2-5 mg THC) will typically cause some relaxation, mild euphoria and probably a lack of focus, concentration or linear thinking. High doses can cause the exact opposite: paranoia (dysphoria), vomiting and something resembling 'temporary psychosis.' Some people have apprehensions about 'concentrates' which are a golden oil extracted from the cannabis flowers.
Ironically, these concentrates (when consumed responsibly at the proper dose) is actually safer because that oil can be inhaled at a much lower temperature, and eliminates the combustion (burning) of the plant material."
De Souza said the high percentage can help find ways to assist customers who are dealing with issues such as pain, anxiety or a disease.
"A consumer in this day and age needs to understand what it is they're consuming," he said.
Compared to buying marijuana off the street, cannabis businesses and advocates said customers are better off buying products that have the Illinois stamp of approval. The CEO of Revolution said when something is grown, harvested and processed, put in a package and labeled, the consumer can track it.
"If they want, [they can track] where it came from and how it came to be in the package," he said.
It should be known, the effects of marijuana are different if a person eats an edible or smokes. Smoking usually results in effects that peak after 15 to 30 minutes. Eating it, on the other hand, results in effects after 30 minutes, which can last for hours.