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Reefer Madness: The Science of Marijuana with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr. Staci Gruber


Does weed make you faster? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice hash out the effects of cannabis with neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School and director of the MIND Program Dr. Staci Gruber. Is smoking dope really doping?

Will smoking weed make you run faster? We break down if the science supports the decision to not let Sha’carri Richarson compete in the Olympics after having tested positive for marijuana. What are the rules for banned substances? What gets a substance on the banned list? We explore medicinal and recreational uses of marijuana. How has use changed over the years? What does Schedule 1 mean? What’s the difference between THC and CBD?

What are the chemical differences between cannabis and drugs that are allowed? Why can you take an NSAID and not weed? Discover the effects of your mind on drugs. Is your brain really built for weed? What are the downstream effects of cannabis use? Find out how genetics impact your capability to process cannabinoids. We discuss cannabinoid receptors, alcohol dehydrogenase, and whether coffee use should be banned. Does cannabis help in sports where you need stability and precision? Should different drugs be banned for different sports?

Should sports leagues change rules on weed? Should the country? How does research get conducted on a substance that is still illegal at the federal level? What are the rules regarding CBD? Why do they differ? How can legislation help lead science? As opinions change in the U.S., how do we approach rules in other countries in international competition? Is marijuana really a gateway drug? All that, plus, we make plans to replace the G20 Summit with the OG420 Summit. Stay tuned for more!

Thanks to our Patrons Josh Wittlieff, Kumar Vaibhav, Daniel Davis, Tj Monro, Stephen Fosmark, Louis Palen, Kara Young, Tariq طارق Shureih شريح, William Habekott, and Jake Buesgensfor supporting us this week.

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Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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