Dr. Mitch Earleywine, the author of Understanding Marijuana and The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana, dishes on THCV, cannabinoids, opioids and marijuana music. This month, he answers the question—”Could THCV help seizures the way CBD does?”—plus, more!
Do you have a favorite marijuana tune?
— DJ Trix
I play Cab Calloway’s “Reefer Man” every year in my drug class.
Why are some strains more relaxing than others? Please don’t just give me the usual rant about indica vs. sativa.
— Two Tens
The fine distinctions among strains have not received much attention in the published literature, but terpene research provides a little insight. To oversimplify, indica and sativa strains produce different types and amounts of terpenes, which likely affect the psychoactive properties of each particular strain. Experiments reveal that both limonene and pinene seem to slow heart rates and increase relaxation.
Does heroin use go down in medical-marijuana states?
— Poppy Doyle
Treatment admissions for heroin problems drop by 20 percent in medical-cannabis states in the United States. Data from Canada also emphasize that lots of medical users report that the plant works as a substitute for prescription opioids. When you think about the bummer of opioid withdrawal, these findings seem pretty delightful.
Could THCV help seizures the way CBD does?
— Hugo N. Weaving
THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) has shown compelling anti-seizure properties when tested on rats. It’s not psychoactive, which gives it a lot of potential to be used as medicine. Unfortunately, research in the United States and the United Kingdom is stymied by its Schedule I status, so human trials are for now a long way off.
Is legalization improving the racial disparity in drug arrests?
— Rob Hope
Alas, not really. Arrest data suggest that racial disparities still remain. Sadly, they don’t seem to arise from different rates in drug use, or different rates of committing other crimes, or even living in a neighborhood where police really crack down hard on drug crimes. We’re going to have to work harder to make America safe for everyone. No one is free until all are free.