Media Contact: Jeremiah Gardner,, 651-213-4231



Center City, Minn. (April 18, 2017)—New research raises concerns about the ever-increasing potency of marijuana and the new ways it is being used.

That according to the first edition of the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy’s new Emerging Drug Trends report.

“As debates continue over legalizing and regulating marijuana, ever-expanding access and demand may be leading to stronger marijuana, with greater potential for negative health consequences,” said Nick Motu, Vice President of the Institute, which is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

The organization, in collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Public Health, reports that several recent studies point to rising potencies, a new method of consumption called “dabbing,” and the use of synthetic marijuana as areas of concern.

“It’s economics,” said Dr. Joseph Lee, Medical Director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Youth Continuum. “No matter what the consumable substance is, there will always be a demand for bigger, better, faster, and more. This is true for caffeinated beverages and alcohol. It’s also true for marijuana. Potency is one differentiator in a capitalistic marketplace.”

The April 2017 report on marijuana potencies is the first of what will be a monthly Emerging Drug Trends report designed to provide front-line treatment and research perspectives on America’s No. 1 public health problem—addiction.

“Recent research highlighting the dramatic increase in marijuana potency is concerning given what is known about the possible negative effects of cannabis on cognitive functioning and mental health,” said Dr. Amelia Arria, Associate Professor and Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

The report is available here

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy

Our mission is to provide a trusted national voice on all issues related to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery and to facilitate conversation among those in recovery, those still suffering and society at large. We are committed to smashing stigma, shaping public policy and educating people everywhere about the problems of addiction and the promise of recovery. The Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation’s largest nonprofit treatment provider. Learn more at and on Twitter @hbfinstitute.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It is the nation’s leading nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 17 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care for youth and adults. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully-accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children’s program, and is the nation’s leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery. Learn more at and on Twitter @hazldnbettyford.