Dr. Mitch Earleywine, the author of Understanding Marijuana and The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana, dishes on PMS, acne, THC research and skin-deep highs.

What’s the word on marijuana and PMS? — Cherry McGrew

Hi Cherry,
Women report that weed is great for some symptoms but not others. Irritability, depressive moods, anxiety and sleep problems respond well, as you’d guess. Most strains of the plant are less helpful for breast tenderness, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Behavioral interventions such as meditation, extra sleep, daily relaxation and planned positive activities can help a lot. Cognitive interventions that focus on the temporary nature of the symptoms (and how they don’t reflect a personality trait) are also helpful.

Cannabidiol for acne? Really? — Big Pimp “L”

Hello Big,
CBD has worked on human cells in the lab, essentially preventing them from making the fatty, waxy stuff that creates acne, while also decreasing the skin-cell inflammation that accompanies it. This happened even in the presence of acne-inducing testosterone, the dreaded source of many a “big pimp L.” I wouldn’t start crumbling Harlequin strains on my face, but relevant creams are in the making!

Are we going to see more official cannabis science now that more places have legal weed? — Curious Styles

Yo Curious,
Unfortunately, not in the short term. Many universities rely on federal funding for their research. Some investigators fear that, even if they live in a legal state, their work could put that funding at risk: What’s to keep the Feds from withdrawing all of the funds from a school simply because one nutty psychologist wants to see if THC helps depression? Fortunately, the handful of researchers who do have federal licenses to study Schedule I drugs will still do a lot of good work.

Can a balm or lotion really allow THC to penetrate the skin? — E. P. Dermis

Hi E.P.,
If cannabinoids are combined with the appropriate oils, they will penetrate skin reasonably well. They won’t create drastic changes in consciousness, but they can certainly provide medical benefits like relief from pain or psoriasis.

Last month from Dr. Mitch: Proof Pot-Sitive
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