Ask Dr. Mitch: Get Behind Cannabis

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Dr. Mitch Earleywine, the author of Understanding Marijuana and The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana, dishes on high-CBD strains, THC topicals and marijuana suppositories. 

Would prohibitionists be happier if we promised that all plants would be high in CBD? — Hashtag Jameson

Hi Hashtag,
Interesting idea! High-CBD strains do lead to smaller changes in memory, less magical thinking and fewer mind-expanding effects, but I think many consumers would miss their THC-dominant experiences. Responsible users are already reporting no negative consequences, so I’d hate to make such a big concession for so little potential gain.

I know the plant can do anything, but my hippie gramps says it’s a hearing aid. — Skepiquah Occam Morgan

Hi Skepiquah,
One experiment revealed brain-wave changes in people listening to music after communing with the plant. Charlie Tart’s groundbreaking data in the early 1970s also suggested that people feel “they understand lyrics better.” I wouldn’t call either of those a hearing aid, but they sound like a lot of fun.

Can THC lotions make you fail a urine test? — Barry Worried

Hi Barry,
Now that topicals have their own award at the High Times Cannabis Cup, everybody’s wondering about them. Most contain 5 milligrams of THC per dose, which would ding you if vaped or eaten, but transdermal absorption can stimulate receptors locally, right on the skin and the muscles below, without raising THC blood levels much. There are no publications about this, so I used a triple dose of a favorite balm of mine for nine days and passed a urine screen at 50 ng/ml (the cutoff for the first round of testing for government workers). Urine screens are cheap now, so you might try it out yourself.

Are marijuana suppositories a joke? — Seymour Sububi

Yo Seymour,
Nope—lots of anti-nausea medications are administered this way. If you don’t want
to smoke and can’t swallow an edible, what other choice do you have? The absorption is slow but steady. I can understand if you’d prefer a tincture or lozenge, but keep an open, um, mind.

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