Crosstalk: February 16, 2021

The topic on the use of marijuana continues as a major debate item.  A number of states have already or are seeking the approval of the medicinal use of marijuana. Others are advancing its recreational use while others are pushing for decriminalization.  What exactly is marijuana, what is its physical impact and does the Bible condone its usage?

Appearing on Crosstalk to discuss this issue was Dr. James Avery.  Dr. Avery is the National Medical Director For Diversicare Healthcare, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine.  He’s a Fellow in the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  He was named ‘One of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives’ by Modern Physician magazine and was also nominated as ‘One of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare’ by Modern Healthcare Magazine.  He’s the author of Marijuana: An Honest Look at the World’s Most Misunderstood Weed.

You can’t get into the specifics on this issue without first defining certain terms.  Those would include hemp, cannabis and marijuana.  

When people use the term, marijuana, they can be referring either to the plant or to one of its chemicals, THC or to CBD.

Hemp has a very defined definition.  It’s a plant that has to have less than 0.5% THC content.  

Cannabis is the scientific name for the entire genus.  So if someone mentions cannabis, they could be referring to hemp or marijuana.

With that basis established, Dr. Avery went on to discuss THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical for which marijuana is grown.  THC is one of the cannabinoids (chemicals) within the marijuana plant.  It’s one of the most common cannabinoids along with CBD.

As this program moved along, Jim had Dr. Avery answer the following questions:        

  • How can THC be taken into the body and what is the impact on the body, the blood and the brain?
  • How does marijuana affect those under age 18.
  • What exactly is CBD, its connection to THC, and just how safe is it?
  • Is marijuana legitimate medicine?
  • Does the obtainable tax revenue from marijuana justify the social costs?

These and other questions were answered as this broadcast looked at this important subject.  Crosstalk listeners from around the nation added their input as well.

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