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Surprising Science

Unpredictable Cannabis

One problem with making public policy on marijuana is the drug’s unpredictable effects: dosage amount, the person and the state they are in upon consumption vary widely.

“It’s very difficult to generalize about the effects of most drugs. Just look at marijuana: One of the recurring mysteries of the drug is why the same compound can both relax us and make us paranoid; it sometimes causes uncontrollable laughter and sometimes leads to runaway anxiety. This suggests that the context of use—our mental state when smoking a joint, or eating a pot brownie—can profoundly influence the outcome. While it remains mostly unclear how or why this happens, there’s some interesting new research on endocannabinoids in rough-skinned newts…”


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