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Ask Dr. Mitch: Smoking Out the Facts

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Dr. Mitch Earleywine, the author of Understanding Marijuana and The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana, dishes on PMS, bipolar disorder, art and crime.

Can cannabis really help PMS? — Grumpy Sometimes

Hello Grumpy,
Cannabis looks like it’s fine for treating mood swings, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and joint or muscle pain, but I’ve yet to learn of a strain that’s good for vaginal dryness or food cravings.

I have three studies in front of me showing that cannabis is bad for bipolar patients. Then I get bipolar patients coming in who swear it that keeps their moods steady. Does it help or not?

I have three studies in front of me showing that cannabis is bad for bipolar patients. Then I get biopolar patients coming in who swear that it keeps their moods steady. Does it help or not? — Dr. Manny LC

Hello Dr. Manny,
Folks with bipolar disorder often have a rougher time if they’re using the plant. But they may be self-medicating when they first notice symptoms, rather than creating a cannabis-induced manic episode. Those who say it helps them are very attentive to their sleep: They use sedating strains, get to bed early and keep their sleep cycles reasonable. Any other approach seems to make tough times more likely.

Are there any famous painters who did their work while using the plant? — Art Connor

Hi Art,
In terms of the Old Masters, that’s hard to say, but Rembrandt painted on hemp canvases.

Please help me explain that medical cannabis laws don’t affect crime. — Sheriff Sharif

Howdy Sheriff,
Medical marijuana laws actually lower crime. My friend Ted Shepard at Le Moyne College showed that passing medical marijuana laws in the West led to significant decreases (about six percent) in violent crimes like homicide and assault, with no significant increases in any other crimes. Nobody’s exactly sure why, but you might want to get the underground market out of town, sheriff!

Once marijuana is legal everywhere, are you legalizers going to go save the whales or something? — Seven Kabet

Hi Seven,
Much as I love whales, I’m afraid we’ll still have plenty of work to do in consumer advocacy. We’ll want to ensure that product testing and labeling, employee rights and business practices all stay on the up-and-up. So don’t worry, we’ll still be here!

Last Month from Dr. Mitch: Opiate Addiction, Seizures, Cannabidivarian and Booze

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