Toxic Marijuana Syndrome (TMS)

Toxic Marijuana Syndrome (TMS) by Scott Gillet, LCSW, NT

Clinical Director, The Briarcliff Institute for Recovery and Development

And author, True Bud (

Briarcliff, New York

The Briarcliff Institute for Recovery and Development is involved with a study of young people ages 16 to 25 who are marijuana addicts (as indicated by chronic marijuana use for two years prior to admission, despite multiple adverse consequences) and who have experienced frequent relapse while in treatment and failure to recover after release from inpatient treatment centers where brain chemistry is not dealt with. From laboratory testing, case histories, and observation, we have identified a condition in these young people we termed Toxic Marijuana Syndrome (TMS).

Causes of TMS:

1. Metal toxicity from using one-hitters, bongs, and pipes made from glass, plastic and metals, Inhaling fumes that are toxic along with THC. Toxicity enters, but cannot be entirely removed, without proper detoxification.

2. Fumes become highly toxic if copper, lead, aluminum, titanium screening is used.

3. Inhaling toxic residue from pesticide- and fertilizer-laced marijuana that remains in the fat soluble cells in the brain and body, causing shifts in brain chemistry due to the long-acting presence of THC.

4. Ingestion thru inhalation of Butane from highly potent Dabs (80% THC) that have become extremely popular.

5. Major psychological issues due to the unbalanced state of methylation in the body and brain.

6. Possible pre-existing zinc deficiency.

7. Impact on brain and emotions of marijuana laced with K2, Spice, Sonic Boom, or any synthetic form of THC, which are easily available on the internet: Many unknown chemicals remain in the myelin sheath even long after use stops.

8. Use of medical marijuana that has not been grown organically and may contain soil and environmental toxicity, along with illegal, high grade pesticides. Young people may be confident that the marijuana is pure, organic, and safe but are often wrong in their assumptions.

9. The rise of gangs tinkering with marijuana to compete with medical marijuana may contribute to ingestion of known and unknown substances (We have tested kids for THC and they were surprised to find ecstasy, opiates, meth, and PCP in their saliva.)

10. Soil samples taken from both medical marijuana and street marijuana, like Kush have shown high amounts of mold, fungi, and higher levels of zinc not meant for human consumption. Some soils tested revealed toxic levels of copper. Tests done by the Los Angeles city attorney found dangerously high levels of the pesticide bifenthrin. This is 1600 times higher than it should be (and this was medical marijuana). Other studies found high levels of the insecticides diazinon and permethrin, and the plant growth retardant paclobutrazol.

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