Good for the liver

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

I’ve heard marijuana use fights the negative effects of alcohol on the liver. How?

You have heard correctly. Weed does indeed help your body counteract the damage that excessive drinking can inflict. How? Because cannabis is a natural and effective anti-inflammatory, that’s how.

What happens is this: Booze causes inflammation and scarring of the liver, which is not good. However, the liver is full of cannabinoid receptors, and if someone were to activate those receptors by smoking weed, the damage and scarring can be reduced and the liver can have a chance to repair itself.

But there’s more: According to a study published in 2018, alcoholics who were also considered “dependent” on cannabis had way better liver function than those who didn’t smoke weed at all, proving once again that weed is great for harm reduction. However, while cannabis may help people avoid severe liver damage, drinking to excess is not the best way to maintain one’s health. As with all things, moderation is the key. Cheers!

What’s the best way to get high at work?

Um, don’t? Would you show up to work drunk? Would you want to work with a drunk person?

I get that being drunk and being stoned are two different things, but being under the influence of drugs while at work is a bit unprofessional, yes? I mean, unless you work in the cannabis industry and your job is to try all the new weed, or write weed reviews or advice columns or something similar, just stay sober until you are off the clock.

“But, I’m a budtender! I work in a cannabis club!” So what? Listen, weed is awesome, but it also makes people forgetful, giggly and inattentive. Just like budtenders hate it when a customer shows up too high to talk or pay attention, no one wants a budtender who can’t give good service or answer questions. Unless you are medicating for pain relief or some serious issue, being stoned at work is not a good idea. If you really, really need to be stoned at your job, I suggest two things: First, look at your drug use and make sure you aren’t ignoring a dependency issue. Weed isn’t addictive in the traditional sense, but people can develop a habit. Second, maybe try an edible, so you don’t stink up the place when you walk in. Be careful though: Get too high at work without smelling like weed, and folks will think you are plain old goofy instead of a goofy stoner.

Can I do anything with the cannabis that I’ve already vaped?

Yes. Use it to make a cannabis-infused oil or butter. Vaped weed still has a usable amount of THC, and making a butter (or a tincture if you are fancy and have the time) is the easiest way to get that THC out of the plant and into your bloodstream.