The Blunt Truth About Weed


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Starting now welcome welcome to science rules. I'm your host bill nye. This is the show where science rules. It's a call in show if you wanna be on the show and i hope you do. Leave us a voicemail. Two zero one. Four seven two zero seven eight five or go to www ask bill. Nye dot com. You can also check me out on all the social media that the young people used to find out about our upcoming guests. I'm joined once again. My friends by science writer editor and dear friend for reals corey pal. Greetings corey greetings bill. I'm so glad you haven't gotten tired of made yet Say that. I'll say that you know a a good point. I i'll be more careful in what. I am the assertions that i make in the future but look i i. Love doing this podcast. I love the sense of normalcy here. If i may use the word we try to keep some normality going out in the world and the world is starting to feel a little more normal again and one of the ways. I know the world is getting a little more normal is when i walk outside and my brooklyn neighborhood. It smells like marijuana everywhere again. There's that period with people were staying indoors and they're all masked in and the smell went away but it got to the point where you just smell that all the time and that smells like oh the world is coming back marijuana's everywhere again and made me wonder why is marijuana everywhere. Now and the stores are selling cd oils. There's a whole movement to spread the legalization of marijuana. It feels like the attitudes are really changing. There's seems to be a lot more research going on but like to like to understand like the know what's going on behind all this Delightful normal smell going on in my neighborhood. According you you've once again hit the nail head wise. Yes our guest. Today is dr margaret hannah. She is professor of neurobiology at the columbia university medical center and the director of the cannabis research laboratory. Your crm dr margaret hannie. Welcome to science roles. May i call you make. Yes placed fabulous. Okay fundamentally first question. I think anybody would ask what goes on the old cannabis research laboratory. What are we there. We we wanted to get a picture of it. Yeah now. I really have the best job on the planet I have one of the very air laboratories. It's called the residential laboratory where i can bring in non treatment seeking daily marijuana smokers. They live in the lab with me. They smoke marijuana in the lab with me. And i measure their behavior around the clock twenty four hours a day. Sleep food intake some Cognitive performance heart rate and blood pressure. So i really can get a very nuanced time dependent sense of what marijuana's doing behaviorally and on the behavioral pharmacologists by training. So i gave euro pharmacologist. Help us out there. So it's really a a careful analysis of the effects of drugs on behavior so you know early on the. My first studies with with cannabis in this laboratory was to really document if there a withdrawal syndrome from cannabis and again. I had the perfect place to do that. Because i have people smoke repeatedly throughout the day. Then i switch their active cannabis with placebo cannabis. How do we get placebo cannabis. I'll kind of studies conducted by federally funded researchers. This is provided by the government. So there's a farm in mississippi that grows cannabis and provides it to people studying You know who have federal funds to study it. It's the only cannabis i can study. Agricultural professionals have found a type of marijuana that does not get you high. Well know what they do there for the placebo extract. The thc so it is cannabis and they take out delta ninety eight which is the active really the active component. How did you get out out. it's alcohol extraction. I don't do it. Good old alcoholics direction. Coronavirus person smoking cannot tell the difference. That's a really good question What they experience is good expectancy effect. So what i tell. Participants who move into the lab is. I'm going to be giving you cannabis the strength going to change at any time. You'll tell me what you're feeling but I'm not gonna tell you what i'm giving you. And so when. I switch out active for placebo. I get a very nice little time dependent increase. In ratings of i feel high i could drug effect. They think it's week cannabis does hey similar. It's not quite as tasty. I gather but they think it's week which is important part of me. Maintaining might my blind so doing the study we were able to really track across all these behavioral measures withdrawal symptoms. How long they take to peak and then go away so you. This is where you got smoke. The tail of the dog. That bit you or something like that you know with all drugs you know those withdrawal symptoms. Go away when you get a little bit of that. Drug again like a hangover. Not that i would know. I've heard How long do they stay in the lab. These are people who have self selected who can leave what. I would consider a job for a number of days. Or what have you to like. Get high okay. So these are self selected people. But absolutely yeah. There's a by long. Do they stay with you. Well it depends on the study. And i've done. I've been doing this for over twenty years. you know. i've had people stay as long as three weeks. It's law they don't go outside. They don't have their cell phone. They don't talk to their family. Because i want to control for all those han found you know they get in a fight with girlfriend. They'll be in a bad mood and say you know win a bet. They'll be in a good mood. So so it's a very controlled environment. I bring four of the minute at time and of course consequences of being in that controlled environment. But i can control most of our studies there about a week when you were first describing it. You said that you in your job you get to smoke with the with these people. You mean that you're observing them. Smoke you yourself are not participating no no no no please. let's clear. I am not partaking. Now they are you know. They're on cameras. And their staffers and microphones in the lab. And we actually were so controlling. We control how they smoke. So i know exactly how much of each cigarette that they're getting time there. Inhales lifetime their explanation south. I come from preclinical training. I really worked with rats and mice and non human primates beforehand. So i approach. Approach my my work in this very controlled by okay. So who funds this research. The national institute of drug abuse. It's a it's a a branch of the national institute of health they most research and they fund our research. So what's the what's the big finding that you found. Well honestly you know my original documentation of this time dependent pharmacologically specific withdrawal syndrome. Was you know a start to my whole career Because there hasn't really been that that sort of research. There had been suggestions that something happened but to be able to show the time course of each symptom and to show that it's pharmacologically specific that if i can give very low dose of all those withdrawal symptoms go away so it's not just people being grouchy about being in the lab it's it's literally a withdrawal from the active ingredient to kind of so that was that started off a whole career from there is really documenting. A carefully controlled way this withdrawal syndrome. Which isn't well known. You know to be honest. Most people aren't terribly aware that that happens in seattle in washington state which is one of the first states to legalize marijuana and the question. Everybody had which seems to me tied to this withdrawal. How long it stays in your system. Would everybody wondered about when this whole thing started was. Is there a test a sobriety test for the effects of marijuana and is there a way a cop pulls a guy over could tell whether or not he's high now and it's actually a real problem. It's a real problem and it has to do with the complexity of the the pharmacokinetics of thc you know so so unlike alcohol or cocaine or heroin you know. Those are all water soluble and you know. They're absorption is very clear the level of alcohol in your blood predicts behavior pretty well which is why we can have a breathalyzer. That's pretty good for say for for measuring impairment. Right you know we can see this amount of alcohol in your blood. Predicts this amount of impairment and say society that if it's above this we're not gonna save. You should drive. You're in trouble if you drive. I don't see how we're ever gonna get there with t. Hcf lips billick. It gets absorbed into all the tissues the levels of thc in your blood. Don't predict very well. What your behavior in let's breakdown. That word lipa philip. It sticks to to fat in your body that what that means. Yeah where alcohol is water. Soluble right dissolves. Right into water. Thc does not that. The canal all the component plant life fat they get into your fat cells and they get distributed very very quickly and the plasma levels. It's it's so remarkable. Don't predict behavior well so you could be very impaired. If you have an edible for example he could be very very impaired. Your plasma levels could be very very low. It just gets absorbed out of the bloodstream into the body so fast. The blood doesn't predict it. So i don't know the answer in it. I think it's a really significant question is how we do field sobriety because right now. I don't think any of them pass. There's some behavioral tests. But unless you have a baseline what people were doing before they started. That's not going to be. I don't think that hold up in court so it's almost intractable problem with. Thc you were saying that the thc gets into your fat cells you know the gets kind of embedded in the body. Does that mean it stays with you a really longtime do we know how long it does you know. And it's it does kind of seek out over time like you could be in. It depends really how how heavily smoking so i don't know if it's known very very well. But i know that there's evidence that heavy smokers stop and that teach see is slowly leaching out of their cells for quite a while and whether it stays high enough for you to fail a blood test i mean or a urine test job for example you know it varies a lot by your fat content. Your sex these sorts of things a lot of things. We don't entirely have worked out. But you know we've done studies comparing people. Smoking and people taking cannabis early you know and be level of intoxication will be the same we can get them. Both really pretty intoxicated but the blood levels of thc will be so hundred. Fold higher when they smoke it. Just it just goes from the lungs blood to the brain and it's much much higher so the other people are just as intoxicated but their levels are so low to the point that they probably pass even a field sobriety test if they took me. Meanwhile they're intoxicated beyond belief. So how do you know they're intoxicated. Is it self reporting. It is it is and you know. That's it's pretty lawful drug users. You know they're very good about reporting the way that they're feeling and you could see changes over time and you could see changes with the amount that you give them so so. The bulk of abuse liability for drug drug studies is self report. There's not a lot of other ways to get at. Do people like the effect that they're feeling but does through their pupils dilate or do their hand. I motor skills deteriorate. The best kind of the most predictable is increased heart rate. That one is your objective outcome. Measure that you could see. Somebody has smoked or use cannabis is there an in. That will follow the time. Course of i feel high. So i knew a guy who i guess suffered from marijuana withdrawal strongly and he ended up dying in dying heart attack and everybody around the people. I knew who knew him felt. It was from Just too much dope. He just couldn't stop. Is it possible that his heart attack was brought on by years of getting high. That research is really just starting to kick off. It's not a profound effect like with cocaine for example but You know there is a very reliable as i said. Increased by about ten to fifteen beats per minute when people smoke and there is some indication there's some epidemiological studies suggesting that people who have maybe a vulnerability in cardiovascular or that there could it could increase the risk for cardio vascular event still sounds iffy. Well it's not as if again it's it's not crack cocaine. You know it's not. It's not as this enormous robust cardiovascular event but it is it definitely has an increased heart rate so you refer continually to cannabis to the drug the chemical that makes you high to this nebot there several chemicals involved in. We have a voicemail. That i think is going to ask a former this question. That might be clearer than i'm able to ask. Let's roll that digital recording. I don i My question is what is the difference between delta eight t h z and delta nine. Thc thank you wow. That's that's advanced class. Let's start with sir. Thc and then get to the differences. So there's a reason people are starting to get very curious about delta and i can tell you involves money but the plan itself has hundreds of over one hundred forty anyway different chemical components canaveral as we call them. They're unique to the cannabis plant and many of them are called minor. Cannabinoid delta aid is a minor cannabinoid and that means it's typically present in very low levels in. Thc one that everyone makes money on and loves is delta ninety two so that's what most plants are bred to have high levels of nine and that's just continuing to rise because that's that's the one that really gets you the the kind of effect you know about. Cbd we'll we'll talk about as well that's the other primary adenoid. We've been studying a lot. There's many many others. Though that are minor can happen with as i said president very low level so delta a is again berry president low levels but now with the legalization of hemp with the farm bill there are people now spraying delta eight on hemp and selling it delta eight is not well understood but it is thought to be sim like a less potent version of delta. Deny i've never been able to study at no. Nobody i know has done careful study with it but there has been a few open label studies leaving by open label which opened. So it's it's where you tell the patients what they're getting and the doctors know what they're giving and so they're typically not viewed by people like me. you know. Put a lot of weight behind it because there's a lot of problems when you do studies that way but but anyway delta eight. We don't know a lot about. But i think there's a lot of curiosity better because it appears to be on sale in certain states right now because people are again billions of dollars being made with this whole cannabis story and we're very limited in what's legal because again by federal standards. The whole plant is is illegal. It's a schedule one. Drug like heroin. The plant is schedule one. But how are they selling it in washington state so it's So states are of course you know. Each state has its own hodgepodge of legal medical recreational. Cbd only each state has its own hodgepodge of the federal government's kind of just Closer ties in years around. This fact that it's schedule one drug so most states are doing what they're doing. No one's really clamping down on that as an aside as federal researcher. I still have to go by that schedule. One standing so when i get cannabis it's in a six hundred pound safe behind a door get into with my fingerprint and i'd have to save all the butts because they are considered like heroin. What you're saying is it's it's very difficult to study. what are the. What are the obstacles like. Was it difficult to get funding. Was it difficult to establish this. This lab what did you have to go through to do what you do. The obstacles are enormous to study schedule. One truck you know again what we need as a society desperately is really well controlled studies for the for the medical use of. That's the other thing. Here's been very very very little good medical study of because it schedule so people are using it everywhere all day long for paying for all sorts of things. Nobody's done the research been just a tiny tiny bit and it's because it's scheduled one very very hard to study so if you were in charge what would you do make it some very least than what you know is to allow researchers to treat it like a schedule to or an anti drug we can do the studies then right now for. I can't even get the compounds i want. I can't even study. Cpt there's no source of cbd in this country that the fda would approve me to say so that is scheduled to me. What's what's an example of a scheduled to drug schedule. One drugs are are lsd heroin and cannabis and they're considered drugs with high abuse liability and no medical benefit schedule to is still considered with abuse liability but they have medical benefit and they include drugs like vicodin and methadone cocaine Feno and for example. So so they do have some abuse liability considerable abuse liability but they also have medical benefit. Unlike purportedly cannabis against s society is is just getting broader and looser and using cannabis for everything right now. nc a my world has gotten actually harder. So it's it's it's it's my source of drug. I have one place. I can get it. And so that limits me. Once i do get it and i have the funding to do it the fda and the da to approve the research that i'm doing the f. The you know these appropriately very cautious about what they let scientists give to people and so they wanna make sure it doesn't have mold fungus. You know pesticide. So so that's why we can only get from this month. Sources because this government farm has done all the all the work and can show the fda this is from seed to plant. This is what happened to this thing. So it's safe though we know it's safe as opposed to if i go to a dispensary. I don't know if that really contains what they're saying it contains. I don't know what how was grown. And you know all details so so there's just a lot a lot to do the funding again. The national drug abuse recognizes cannabis is Is a drug of abuse so that they're willing to fund those studies another portion of my research that was also its potential therapeutic use so the studies are hard to do. But i'm also. I wanna do placebo control. That's kind of my religion. And that's that's something that's so hard to do. But i do have the setup to do it so so. I've been dipping my toes into as many medical questions. I tend to just some of those stick around for more science rules after this kiko create super cool accessible hands on projects designed to expose kids of all ages two concepts in steam science technology engineering art and math corey yes. Kiwi co believes in the power of kids and that small lesson today can mean big world changing ideas tomorrow. Crates are designed by experts tested by kids and they teach new steam concepts. 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They were fast and efficient and the md was caring said over my prescription for my illness. While on the phone with me this service is actually amazing. And i only wish would have utilized it sooner. Download the app today or visit tele doc dot com slash science rules to register today. So you're ready when you need a doctor's care or schedule doctor visit today at teluk dot com. That's t. l. a. d. o. C. dot com slash science roles. Rules is back. This is a big deal. I mean in my neighborhood. It seems like there's a store on pretty much every block selling oil with some medical claims attached to it. You're telling me nobody is studying that. There's no science behind that. Not only that very few contain the amount of cbd's they say they contain if they say what happened in all they can contain active medical ingredients. Sometimes they have. Thc sometimes they have many other things. They put other ingredients in. Because no one's really minding the store. The fda on occasion clamp down hard and say stop saying cbd does go after a company. And say you can't say cures cancer. But the their fight it's whack-a-mole it's constant. It's everyone's claiming dvd's so people come to me often and say where could i get cbd to to study it. I there's no source that i trust right now know something i'm very interested in. I'm doing studies on it. But at this moment i can't tell you. It does anything except decrease seizures in gravely ill children. Who have the seizure disorder that that's where the studies have been done well conducted in. And so we know that's one thing. Cbd does we can feel certain about but the rest of it. You don't know if it has cbd if you rub it on your arm versus smoke versus swallow it. That's all going to give you. Okay we have some great listener questions. Listen we have some listener question. Try this one. We have one about Cbd and relieving pain. Can we roll. That voicemail is my question is about. Cbd i see so many claims about its ability to relieve pain. But i'm not sure whether any of that is real or hype. Is there any research any evidence to show that c b. cb does have pain relieving capability The short answer now again we have free clinical studies suggesting it has anti inflammatory effects. I think that there is going to be something shown but what type of pain. What and how what route of administration rubbing it on your elbow hurts versus smoking. It very very different so we are doing a study. We just completed a study. I'm really excited about the use of see beatty for a certain type of neuropathy pain. Chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain. So people who are treated for breast cancer they take these medications that that destroy you know or harm their nerve south and they're the majority. Have this terrible pain in their hands and typically and in animals. There's good evidence that cbd with a little bit of thc really effective for that type of pain so talking work for every type of pain if it works at all and we have to know the dose and we have to know how to take it. So there's a million questions we have to still ask but for me to do the study. I had imported from canada. I had to get importers lice. Ta schedule when importers license in get it from canada because there was no source of of cd that the fda trusted in the united states. So what you're buying at the farmer's market or the store you have no idea what you're getting and cbd contra percent inert you know so again at certain doses it can It has liberal consequences. It can change the way you metabolize other medication. So you can't just gobble it up by you know the fistful and not think it's going to have. Some muster must be genetic component that is to say the hand you're dealt by nature. Can we roll the voicemail from shiloh. Which may help focus this question. High barron corey. This is shallow montana. I was wondering what the scientific answer to. What a badge on. Cd is i understand that everyone kind of has different experiences but is it just like an over-stimulation of nerve abed trip. We got a lot of very slow questions. This time around really. She was as she was as one of the things. You test reels anecdotally. At the speed of people speech they really do sound slow. Is that one of the things you test for. I can tell you that. Twenty five years of working with cannabis. Smokers has been delight totally group of people. But i have not measured. Bring them into the waiting room. Their friends their friends within fifteen minutes. It's a it's been a there. Great group to work with kerley. Unfamiliar to me. Her shallows question was a bad trip on cd. Is there such a thing you know. My i think the most parsimonious answer she there was probably something else in there. But there is something that know i've given very high doses of abd orally in pill form. And i don't see anything people don't report. It can't tell it from placebo but there is interesting. Work out of johns hopkins showing that when you smoke. Cb or vape it that it has some effect and it's pure cd that no one can define. It's not like a typical marijuana. Hi it's another kind of the important thing to now Cbd really has a completely different mechanism of action than thc. So nobody understands entirely how it works it seems to bind to a lot of different receptors. So the answer is either something else was in there she smoked. It might have been. There is some kind of effect that happens a little bit of an intoxication. But the funny thing is nobody can describe it. Can we roll this this voicemail from our. Hey bill all right My name's alan. I'm calling from new jersey. They legalized marijuana yesterday. And that's awesome. It's so cool. It's legal now My question is how come like when my friends. And i smoke it legally. Of course we call it a lot. How come does that affect. Our lungs are as black as those advertisements for like to stop smoking cigarettes. That's my question. Thank you i've wondered about. That too is marijuana. Smoke is dangerous cigarette smoke now. It's really interesting question and you know. Of course we. The short answer is. There is a risk from smoking. Smoking anything is harmful and so there's increased likelihood of cronkite and other respiratory ills from smoking. Marijuana there's a scientist donald tashkin out in california who is an analogy expert and he has done study after study to see about increased cancer risk with people who smoke marijuana. it's tricky because most maryland smokers many also smoke tobacco cigarettes. But there hasn't been any good link between cannabis smoking and cancer. Which is it's been a fascinating. There is some anti tumor effects of thc that there's evidence of that but there's evidence of anti tumor. Yes there is some really really intriguing tickly for brain cancer so that was one of the main things. You're studying leo. Blessed doma there's a assiting an exciting Early early research about cbd and thc for dom westover terrible terrible of brain cancer. And that's what. Joe biden sunday up. And it's it's die or you get the diagnosis and and you know the fatality. Within within a year and a half this is like ninety five percent so too terrible terrible form of cancer and there's three clinical studies in in vitro studies showing that cbd again and thc have anti tumor effects for that type of cancer again. Early early stages. I'm not recommending. Anybody go out and and smoke so we did a study with one patient. And then there's been a recent publications showing that improves survival rate and they. The fda gave it a special waiver to do the study because the data are really interesting. There's a lot more to be done but dvd thc for that type of cancer very intriguing so back to the lung. All i can say is. There's no clear link between cannabis use and lung cancer but certainly smoking has respiratory effects again. It increase the bronchitis and other sorts of respiratory illness. It's just hasn't been linked to cancer so vaping. The plant i believe doesn't have necessarily quite have the same lung consequences of smoking of inhaling burning plant versus heating up enough to get the volatile gases from the plant. But i do want to quickly say don't ever vape the thc oils that. There's been horrible horrible horrible consequences of what's what's horrible consequence of vaping. The muster guests disease. I mean people have died. Young people are in the hospital last summer. This there was a whole series because street. Chemists were putting. Thc in vitamin e. oil thinking vitamin healthy. But it's healthy to rub on your skin not to inhale into your lungs of when you inhale to exceed with vitamin a. It has horribly popcorn. Lungs it does terrible things to the lung so i try to tell all my participants in vaping. The plant is one thing but vaping those oil to you have to be super super careful with So when you say bought on the street is this as opposed to buying in a dispensary. Is there some quality control that we don't purportedly. I don't trust a lot of the You know making the plant one thing vaping oil just really know your source. Hi bill i was just wondering if you could explore Pregnant women and if x of using cannabis when you're pregnant or during postpartum thank you so much. I'm a huge fan. And i'm a teacher. So thank you. I so i have a very strong opinion about this because know one thing we haven't talked about is the role of cannabis cabinet in brain development. So you know we've been talking about the plant which is called fighter can happen but there is also in our brain endo can happen is so we have a an enormous number of chemicals that resemble. Thc that they're called endo can happen and we have a number of receptors of cabinet receptors. And they play a vital role. In almost all development but cannabinoid receptors one of the most common cheap protein coupled receptors in the brain so anyway very very important and they play a role in brain develops so exposing developing rain to these chemicals is really really not wise. There are two times of brain development. That where the brain is developing this enormous pace. It's in utero and it is an adolescence adolescence. Of course many people. Start smoking cannabis. Ben i have two sons. They're in their twenties now. But i really just tried very hard to make sure. It wasn't a ton of candidates use happening at critical times of brain development is one thing if you're thirty five smoking every day. It's another thing if you're fourteen smoking every day so but really think very long and hard and you know dispensaries. Unfortunately you call and say you're pregnant. Woman who has is nauseated. They recommend you come in and get kind of us. And that is i think that's criminal. I think you know i. I know well beg. Rain development is happening and a biological plausibility. that's going to have a very strong impact biological plausibility. So along that line. Can we roll the voicemail from payton. Pay bail and corey my questions about cbd and create the use. I'm a high school student. And i got a lot of questions from some of my other friends mother usage. I think i'm the smart one About how it affects the brain and like why doesn't anybody know the science behind it especially younger crowd during high school and college. So i was wondering if you could tell me the answer to that. I could tell them to make me look smart. You know unfortunately those particularly for men it takes quite a while for that last part of the brain to really develop that prefrontal cortex so i look forward to and myself so. It's just everything that you know the poison the dose so again. If you're going to be smoking cannabis just try not to make it daily or an all day phenomenon. it's one it's just all in the dose all day phenomenom which again not hard to find. These are my participants. These are my research participants. So they're not. They're not hard to find. So you know. My recommendation really does not have good defects. We don't think that they're permanent. But you certainly know that of cognition affected when you're when you're when you're intoxicated so you know your memory. Short term memory is affected. So it's not gonna help your causing college so you just try to try to be reasonable. Can we. roll this voicemail about the endo cannabinoid system. I know you touched on it. But at this i hope will help me understand it can. Let's roll that digital recording bail. I'm a really big fan of your podcasts. And my question is about the endo canals annoys them. What exactly is it. Is everyone system or all kind of the same also. Why don't they teach this system in school say medical school. Pa school nursing school. You know simple stuff like that. I often. I cannot wait to hear the answer by. It's a system and you know what she touched. Upon his is relative to many other systems. This is a fairly new one. We didn't really find the avenue receptors until the eighties and really the chemicals in the brain until the ninety. So this is new for us. That's why it's really exciting. Science the study. it's poorly taught. You know i think it's terrible for physicians. everyone says. Ask your doctor about cannabis and can avoid. They know because there's no so in terms of the endo cannabinoid system. There has been an enormous growth in that area You know again. We know that they play a role in in brain development. We know they play a role stress and anxiety food intake a whole range of physiologic systems. Because it's really all throughout the brain and there are genetic and individual differences. I'm sure you know people who smoke. And they get instantly all their anxiety goes away single one of my participants who smoke very very heavily. The reason they smoke is it takes stress away but many others get anxious so you know many people who don't go onto smoke heavily get anxious and in fact people are smoking this really high potency often end up in the er with panic attack not for anything other than an apathy so people's response to the plant and their anxiety is it seems to be genetic when starting to work that out but people really vary that and that's because of their endo cabinet syse so how does it work is it like dopamine receptors like. They're in a specific place in the brain. Yeah the cb one receptors are really everywhere in all the areas you think about. What kind of toxication so that. They're in areas associated with pain or in areas associated with you know pleasure. What's the evolutionary reason or that these things came to be there all over your brain. They're all over your bracy and know that they're they're important and they they've been around for a while you know stress you know the migdal that area of the brain that mediates stress the endo can play a critical role in modulating that in and that's a critical evolutionary Characteristic the ability to respond to stress into respond. No one to be frank afraid and know when not to be afraid. And there's a stoddard woman who happens to have this. Genetic sniff will has very very high levels of one of the candidates and the reason why they figured it out is. She has almost no pain. She had surgery with very very little on anesthesia and she has very little anxiety she has. It's of course it's an nf one and it's but it's just a fascinating kind of link into that somebody with these high levels have been Traits it seems dangerous. Like you cut yourself not know it ends. Yeah yeah. I think it is dangerous but you know her. Her lack of anxiety is also really intriguing. 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Because i guess you guys are talking about cannabis news and i was just wondering if maybe you could talk about the neurological effects. i know most people smoke it for like executive to deal with that and how it comes down or makes them more relaxed. And i'm just wondering if you could cover that as a veteran i use it as well for the same reasons just seems to just you know maller meow and i kinda wanna know. What's the reason for that. You know my my guess. Is that as i was mentioning the endo cabanillas play this critical role in stress. Response in the big fella and you know a too much i think. Look send you one way into little. We'll send you the other way. So you know i think for for many individuals. The combination of ringing in avenue in having your own set of supplies can be a nice a nice mix. Many people though can't find a dose that where they feel comfortable they just get anxious uncomfortable or paranoid and so these are people that don't end up using our on 'cause it doesn't give them the effect that they like they don't come down in fact it's the opposite and my guess is this is happening at the level of the magdala. And it's an interaction with your own dodging Supply but in terms of how we know this role of anxiety. There's just really good free clinical models of anxiety and you could play with the exact amount of endo can avance in the amiga and looked at behavior and see genyk zang's the olympic types of behavior. And you can raise the end of nap. North in that one grains site in animals and see a reduction in sight. So that's how you get at the methodist. What about in your research. You're studying human primates your actual actual marijuana smokers. Are you able to map the correlation between how much they smoke. They smoke and their anxiety levels. Is that something you can study. We measuring zaidi. You know all throughout the day in the lab. I don't try to map it with what they're smoking outside. But you know one of the major areas. I see anxiety is when they're in withdrawal are so again like symptoms of metrology really Anxiety irritability restlessness uncomfortable and really disrupted sleep. Sleep is very sensitive to cannabis affects. Many people smoke to help them sleep but then boy when they quit sleep is messed up. And the other market thing we see in the lab is food intake drops. Nothing had people. I had to beg them to eat something. Because sometimes they're cooler take drops to almost nothing for the first day or two and then that kind of recovers but the mood symptoms scrape up little later. so it's irritability anxiety restlessness last. They'll take around three to five days withdrawal again. Cigarettes withdraw kicks in very quickly. Because it's this you know it's it's water soluble. It comes on quick. Goes away quick. So withdrawal is very quick with canopus again. That liquid felicity. It's slower easily. Takes at least twenty four hours for withdrawal to kick in lippo felicity loving of fence. Yeah wow so. Three days later is when the withdraw affected the strongest love and mood staff. I mean that's sleep is and that's destruct. That's terrible for people that have disrupted sleep and there's an interesting phenomenon. No one's really to sort out. But the other thing is people have nightmares. Their dreams become much more vivid so kind of a sickening suppresses ram sleep and so when people come off you get that overshoot but that one lasts a long time so people report disrupt light dreaming and nightmares particularly for weeks. Everything else goes away everything else recovers but the one thing That seems to last this nightmares. That can last for a long time. So we're talking about a lot of different ideas about about marijuana about cbd about thc not just advertising things that you see in the in the store on the corner but impopular news articles there all these different claims in hunches about what they do. Where do those things come from if we're if we can't really study if we don't really have good science where do these kind of half formed ideas come from. Sometimes there's a there's a kernel of truth or a hint of something and that that then they just make a mountain of it so for example there is some kind of evidence that a single dose of cbd has a small decrease in anxiety when you have give people a public speaking task which makes them anxious that a little blip in that but it was one dose and a small change so this study and it was published but then it became mop. Cbd helped with anxiety done and done so so so again sometimes can start with a kernel of truth and a lot is made from to italy. If it affects the way you feel so strongly it would not be surprising but it has some effect on pain or or any any emotion. It's just intuitively. I can see where you but he doesn't really do that if people again you can. Hound them with copd. And they can't sell. They took it versus versus placebo. It's it doesn't have a lot of effects like trump effects. Thc certainly does vote but it does have an effect on their endo cabinet. We don't know a lot about what. Cd does to the endo cannabinoid. So it's just a fad intuitive fad. So we know it's doing a few things you know it's it's involved with these certain receptors that seemed to be involved with information and paint so it's not a nurse and i again. I think we will tease out what it does. But it's just the public has jumped so far ahead of the science. And you know it's not doing anyone any good until we really started out but the other thing. We don't talk a lot about my. Religion is placebo controlled studies. The expectancy effect and we know with pain in particular. Pain is so sensitive to a placebo effect. So is i eighty. Two primary reasons. People are using medical cannabis pain anxiety. If you believe that that lotion is helping your about it will. It literally shuts down that pain. Pathway all the way from the brain down to the down to the elbow so placebos do physiologically work and so yes you might feel better with that seed even though it doesn't even have. Cd's doesn't get absorbed because of this enormous placebo effect but it seems like nobody cares or the marketers have taken over. It's just we want to know what it works for. What it doesn't work for so much culture so much jerusalem's not to be cynical but right now it's a billion dollar industry. They're starting to use the same tactics as tobacco companies. It's with tremendous medical. Potential by believe will find reasons for it. But it's not gonna work for everything and that's how it's being sold in. Cbd's a giant unknown still that being said the placebo effect is so real that. I'm sure there are a lot of people feeling better with whatever oecd conditioner. They're putting on their hair. So you know that's good for that individual but it just can't be our medical policy. Well i think you hit it. Just know that there's so much interest in so many different stories chasing so little information that even these these little research findings get blown out of proportion is that is that right. yeah. I agree with that completely. Yeah corey bill. I hear something. Yeah well it's loud. It's really loud demand. It sounds like lightning lightning round. Where we're going to ask kind of quick questions. Corey powell thespian performing the marijuana enjoying co host experiencing thunder bringing us to the lightning round. What's the most misunderstood part of your research. you know. This is more of a practical than anything else is that every buddy thinks because marijuana's now so available that my life is a dream and easy where in fact. The regulatory has gotten harder so again. Just because marijuana's everywhere. Everyone thinks a good. You're you're getting the candy store. You can study. Whatever you want. Has no bearing on what i could do. In fact it's harder than ever. So why is it harder than ever. Because the regulatory requirements not only haven't loosened if anything they've gotten stricter over twenty five years i've been doing this and It's a much harder life. So that's why we don't know as much science as we showed about this widely used drug. What's for you drinking alcohol or smoking weed. If i were designing society the last perhaps the last thing i would legalize with alcohol it. It's really at doses. High enough doses. It most neuro toxic. It's has the most behavioral toxicity if the only drug associated with real increased violence. And you can see this in mice rats monkeys and everything else. I use this study aggression alcohol on many levels as a terrible terrible drug that i happen to like very much. Smelt those retried prohibiting it but it did didn't work out so that's out of the bar tobacco's out of the barn too. We can do it. We can't and those two around the barn. I have some ambivalence about the benefit of adding another legal drug out of the barn. But it's out of the barn to cannabis is out of the bars so speaking of benefit speaking of benefit. What's the biggest benefit of marijuana use. Well i think we will be able to harness that plant For pain there is some indication for pain. And i think this one type of pain neuropathy gain is not treated well by opioids At all We clearly need deaker opioid use. And i think we'll be able to find ways cannabis to help alleviate pain in some ways. That's one one obvious thing but again there's a lot of science. We need to do that. That the things. I mentioned squeal bus oma in europe know. Chemotherapy induced panic. There's so many questions to ask still. But what's what's the biggest risk or danger of using marijuana is there any risk or danger does just sure there is absolutely you know again. I mentioned the brain development issues at certain times the life in particular. I think that it would be wise. Not to be using the hosting seventy. It has an cognitive effect. Certainly you know there is if you have a cardiovascular predisposition at promptly isn't a great idea and you know. Motivation has never been able to be demonstrated sufficiently in my mind but You know we many of us know anecdotally people who have trouble doing as much as they perhaps could have so people seek treatment for cannabis and one of the primary reasons is they feel like it's impeded their ability to achieve what they could have achieved so they might be still await or even other a college graduate they haven't it hasn't helped them achieve their goals. A know that so so. That's one of the reasons. Do people do seek treatment for it is it. Does you know there's a little bit of you know. Sit on the couch as opposed to get up and do something. Should we legalize marijuana nationwide. Megan your opinion. So you had to think about two different aspects of legalization. Recreational medical use recreational. I think is within the realm of a society determine for itself. Do we want this drug of abuse. Let's talk about the pros and cons. There's racial equities and how it's prosecuted. There's a lot of reasons to one could argue for legalization but to have people vote on medical. What is a medicine. What is not is wrong. It's not ethical typically appropriate. And it's the reason. Why new york what. It's a medicine for is completely different than what it is for new jersey. And that's not based on data so each state is voting on whether something's medicine we don't do that for nfl. We don't do that for chemotherapy agents. We don't vote. We we look at data and make a decision so right now. I think that that is it's bad for patients in. It's bad for everyone to do that. And see the now. It's another example of that. So i think we have to take the legalization of medical use. Let's get the data and say what it's a medicine for. Not so if you if you are queen of the forest if you were running the show what would you do. I would open up the floodgates of research and test everything in placebo controlled way and then we could say the patients. This will help this type of paint. It won't have that type of pain. How this type of cancer. Maybe not that type so along that line do we do. We need to make marijuana at least or at most schedule two. That would help. That would help allowed your queen of the forest. Would what would you do. I would open to researchers. Maybe schedule it. I think researchers are gonna do and careful job. they're not dispensing to to everybody so i would completely Frieda free up for scientific research. There is a little help. Their congress actually moving the. Da won't fudge this even under obama. They decided well. We take it off and what they say. It's we can't take off because it has demonstrated medical potential but we can't demonstrate past medical potential. Until we you're in a loop is yes yes. They're not taking enough so so we have to free up science if you did free up scientists in you're acquainted forest and you can get access to all the marijuana varieties you wanted h form that you'd want delta eight delta nine. Thc is there an amount if you get all these things. How long do you think it would take you to reach significant usable medical conclusions. Some studies you could not hear you. Could you could do placebo controlled studies to get your approval would be whole other level and there's lots of lots of concern with that but you know just in my little lab. I can move through two years five years twenty years. Oh i think five years for sure so when you're queen of the forest we're going to do research in five years. We're going to know answers to these very important medical questions and we will make the world better for everyone. Thank you so much for taking the time. Our guest today has been dr margaret haney professor of neurobiology and director of columbia university's cannabis research laboratory. Remember when it comes to seeing the smoke around cannabis rolls and if you like science ruled please take a moment to rate and review at apple. Podcast on stitcher helps us out. Helps other people learn about the show. So thank you be sure to look at all my socials for more information about her upcoming guests. I'm at bill nye on everything. And meanwhile if you'd like to leave his voice mail give us a call two zero one four seven two zero seven eight five or submit a question at goodall ask bill. Nye dot com science roles is produced by harry huggins and the very same glorious power dude. Frank olson mixed this episode. Casey offered composed our original theme josephine executive producer and stitcher. Everyone i it's rules stitcher.

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