I have six friends who quit heroin thanks to the plant. Why isn’t there a formal treatment program that uses this approach?-- William Lee
At least two studies support the idea that cannabis has the potential to help people stop using drugs that have serious negative consequences (check out informalhealthcare.com). Nevertheless, treatments that substitute one substance for another are generally frowned upon. For example, methadone maintenance is arguably the most effective treatment for opiate abusers, but it was mired in controversy for decades. Our favorite plant probably wouldn’t help every addict on earth—few treatments do. But we certainly deserve to have the research done in order to find out.
Why are there no stoner flicks that focus on women?-- Darla R.
The politics and economics of the film business are quite complicated. But perhaps you’re dismissing the success of Weeds, a multiseason TV show that focuses on marijuana and has a female protagonist. I think a movie along those lines can’t be far behind, though I doubt it will be the tale of two women on a search for munchies. I hope aspiring screenwriters are hard at work on their female stoner flick right now.
Can marijuana fight hardening of the arteries?-- R. Dahl
In a research study, a small dose of THC did slow the development of cholesterolrelated lesions in the arteries of mice. The effect definitely involved the CB2 receptor, which impacts the way our immune systems handle inflammation. However, I can’t recommend cannabis as a cholesterol fighter. If the health benefits do generalize from mice to humans, they’re probably nowhere near as significant as eating right, exercising regularly and staying rested. But if you’ve got that routine down, a little help from the plant certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Got a question for Dr. Mitch? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org