FOX’s crime procedural drama “Bones” features a federal forensic investigator solving various murders. In the latest episode, “The High in the Low,” the program took a look at medical marijuana use in a thoughtful and informative manner not often seen on network TV. However, the prevailing message in the show, as voiced by the character Bones, is that “CBDs account for the medicinal effects of marijuana,” playing into the growing meme that somehow THC is just for getting high, so it’s not medical.
In the story, a young woman named Abby suffers from lupus and uses medical marijuana as a treatment. She recovers and begins working in a medical marijuana dispensary. Soon, she begins experimenting with breeding cannabis plants high in cannabidiol. Abby is then murdered and we eventually find out the culprit is a college pot dealer she cut off at the dispensary when she figured out his medical card wasn’t legit. So he follows her one day to her CBD-only grow in the woods, kills her and steals half her crop.
As Bones’ husband, an FBI Special Agent, is interrogating the college dealer, he explains, “We talked to some of your classmates. They said four months ago you sold pot to some of your customers and it didn’t get them high.” Bones adds, “Because her plants were truly medicinal.”
Meanwhile, the show featured a subplot involving a character named Wendell, one of Bones’ forensic scientists. He’s undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer. He’s suffering the typical side effects of pain, nausea, and loss of appetite, so he turned to medical marijuana. Since this is a federal workplace, and since they are working on criminal cases, he has to be fired. But Bones comes up with a solution to the problem by hiring him on as a contract consultant. As long as he doesn’t touch any of the crime evidence, he can continue working for Bones.
Has anyone told Bones that those “truly medical” CBD-only plants wouldn’t do much to help Wendell’s pain, nausea, and loss of appetite? Or that CBD’s “medicinal effects” seem primarily relegated to relief of spasticity and seizures? Or that the medical marijuana Wendell is using is going to get him high?
In the context of these conservative states passing CBD-only medical marijuana bills, this episode serves as a warning that the frame of “CBD is medical, THC is recreational” is taking root in America.