Ask Dr. Mitch: Healthy Heads

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Dr. Mitch Earleywine, the author of Understanding Marijuana and The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana, dishes on anxiety, crime, better meditation and CBD vs. THC.

Can cannabidiol really help with anxiety? — Jess Stress

Hi Jess,
For starters, anxiety responds well to psychological treatments, so don’t hesitate to go to to find a good therapist. (A few sessions can work wonders!) Nevertheless, CBD has shown consistent anxiolytic effects in the lab. We first saw CBD taking the edge off THC-induced anxiety more than 30 years ago, so I’m sure it could help folks out in the real world if psychotherapy isn’t their thing.

Is it true that getting rid of prohibition gives law enforcement more time to fight other crimes, so the overall crime rate drops? — Bruce Wayne

Yo Bruce,
Have you noticed how cannabis and cannabis-law reform are expected to do more and more each year? Truth is, the states with decrim, recreational or medical marijuana report fewer property or violent crimes, but the differences haven’t reached statistical significance yet. Ending pot prohibition is the right thing to do because it’s immoral to penalize citizens for owning a plant. Let’s not expect it to fix every other problem in the world, too.

Doesn’t cannabidiol turn into THC in the stomach? — Buck Leadbelly

Hey Buck,
Nope. A study that used simulated stomach acid kind of found the result you mention, but giving real CBD to real people doesn’t lead to a detectable amount of THC in real bodies. In one experiment, researchers gave people a total of 600 mg of CBD, and the subjects never showed meaningful levels of THC in their blood.

I notice that friends of the plant are more likely to experience meaningful meditations. Any research on this idea? — Ma Hash Reeshi

Hey Ma,
Not exactly, but research does show that the personal trait “absorption” seems to be higher among cannabis users. People who score high on absorption are more likely to report vibrant memories, vivid imaginations and getting into altered states. So it wouldn’t surprise me if they had meaningful meditations, but no one seems to have looked into that directly.

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