Cannabis 101: A Q&A with UC San Diego Health’s cannabis experts
It seems like everywhere you turn cannabis or cannabis derivatives can be found. From ingredients in coffee and smoothies to being marketed as medicine, a cannabis craze seems to be sweeping the country. Since 2000, UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research and its affiliated researchers have been studying marijuana and its derivatives, their effects on mind and body and their therapeutic potential.
We asked experts to cut through the hyperbole and haze to answer some burning questions.
Answered by Grant
Looking at adults and cannabis, which has traditionally had low levels of THC, it appears that the health effects are fairly minimal. Some other popular questions we are asked include:
- Does smoking cannabis cause lung cancer? The short answer is no, unless cannabis is used in combination with tobacco, and the culprit for cancer would be tobacco.
- Does cannabis cause birth defects? There's no evidence to support this in humans.
- Does cannabis cause your immune system to somehow malfunction? Again, there is no data to support this.
- Does cannabis cause brain damage? The answer to this is very unlikely.
Q&A: Cannabis and driving study
Interview with Igor Grant, MD, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Thomas Marcotte, PhD, professor of psychiatry.