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Can You Inject Marijuana?

marijuana in a bowl

“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.

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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.  

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