The Straight Dope

Martin A. Lee Project CBD
By on February 21, 2014

Originally published in the Bohemian.

Tired of the euphoria, anxiety and crash from being stoned? Nonpsychoactive cannabidiol supplies health benefits without the typical effects of THC.

Medical marijuana has gotten a bad rap in Northern California, and perhaps for good reason. In Marin and Sonoma counties, the cannabis dispensaries that haven’t yet been shut down are often located near adult video “shoppes” and liquor stores, and are guarded by surly bouncers who buzz people in from behind bulletproof glass. Dispensary logos typically feature a red cross backlit by a neon pot leaf, with maybe the image of a wheelchair and the word “compassion” squeezed in somewhere; meanwhile, a “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” atmosphere pervades many a dispensary waiting area, filled as they are with a high number of male “patients” between the ages of 18 and 40 who are here to be treated for “back pain” and “insomnia,” their prescriptions written by doctors who advertise in the classifieds and on billboards. It’s not surprising that the boundary between recreational and medicinal cannabis can sometimes seem as hazy as the interior of a reggae dance hall.

That smoky haze is about to clear. New research in medical marijuana is shocking scientists in the industry right out of their white lab coats, and its implications for treating medical conditions that range from cancer to schizophrenia are poised to take the federal government by storm.

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