Ask Dr. Mitch: Time Out for Truth

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Dr. Mitch Earleywine, the author of Understanding Marijuana and The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana, dishes on hair tests, CBD potency, OCD and super-terps.

Can straightening your hair help you pass a drug test? — Curly Joe

Hi Curly,
In theory, the temperature used by most hair straighteners would turn THCA into THC, thereby increasing your chances of failing a hair test; but the THC should then turn into CBN, thereby increasing your chances of passing it. So it would depend on how much THC and THCA was in your hair in the first place. The only study to try this got mixed results: 11 of 17 hair samples lost THC with straightening, while the remaining six gained some.

Does CBD make people think their pot is less potent? — Franka Potente

Hello Franka,
Yes! Researchers in the United Kingdom confirmed that potency estimates went up with THC and down with CBD. So when two strains have an equal amount of THC, the one with more CBD will seem less potent.

What’s a good strain to treat compulsive hand-washing? — Ignaz Semmelweis

Hi Ignaz,
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), one of the anxiety disorders, typically includes obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts. Although any anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) strain might help, the plant would not be my first choice for treatment. Exposure with response prevention, in which folks get their hands dirty but refrain from washing them until their fretting dies down, works marvelously well. A dozen uncomfortable sessions and people can enjoy their cannabis—and their lives—a lot more.  Find a therapist who knows this treatment at

What’s linalool?  — Lynn Lool

Hello Lynn,
Linalool is a terpene present in over 100 species of plants, including oranges, lavender and cannabis. Like all terpenes, this one has a distinct smell (I find it a bit like basil), and it’s especially rich in strains like Granddaddy Purp. Animal research confirms that linalool decreases aggression and anxiety while increasing social interaction. It might also fight cancer and inflammation, but only at fairly high concentrations.

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