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Seeing Through the Smoke: A Cannabis Specialist Untangles the Truth about Marijuana

Prometheus Books9781633888463

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Depending on which doctor you speak with, or which websites you read, cannabis could be an appealing, low-risk medicine – even an aid to wellness – or an insidiously addictive drug rotting the brains of our youth. This dissonance confuses young people, distressed patients, and paralyzes politicians, all while inviting dubious sources of information and resulting in uninformed choices, enhanced polarization, and a fragmented national policy.

Seeing Through the Smoke is an unflinching examination at the grossly misunderstood drug that uses data-driven medical science and a critical historical perspective to reveal the truth behind cannabis. In this balanced and measured investigation, Cannabis specialist and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School Dr. Peter Grinspoon untangles the reality behind cannabis, revealing how we ended up with radically divergent understandings of the drug and pointing a way toward a middle ground that we can all share.

Moving through an illuminating tour of the social history and the medical science behind cannabis, Grinspoon unpacks the layers of disinformation left by a sordid history of government propaganda, racial suppression, and indifference from the medical community to answer questions like:

  • Is cannabis addictive?
  • What are its best-established medical uses?
  • Can cannabis help cure cancer?
  • How does cannabis affect memory?
  • How dangerous is cannabis for teens?
  • Is cannabis a safer treatment for ADHD and PTSD?
  • What exactly is CBD and how is it different from marijuana?
  • What are the most concerning side effects?

By focusing on the most critical purported harms—driving, pregnancy, addictiveness, memory—and by focusing on the most commonly cited medical benefits—relieving chronic pain, sleep, anxiety, PTSD, autism, and cancer—Seeing Through the Smoke will help patients, parents, doctors, health experts, regulators, and politicians move beyond biased perceptions and arrive at a shared reality towards cannabis.