Stoner flu

It’s cold and flu season, and I still want to smoke big with my friends, but I don’t want any icky germs. What to do?

—Johnny Germaphobe

Yeah, passing joints and pipes and bongs and whatnot is an incredibly easy way to pick up all kinds of influenza. I recommend using a one-hitter pipe and not sharing. If that’s impossible, hit the blunt “chillum” style: Place the jay between your fingers, make a fist and use your hand as a sort of pipe stem, so you don’t actually put your mouth on that germ-encrusted doobie. Your hands will reek of weed, but you should be a little safer that way.

I have just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and I heard that cannabis oil is a good treatment, such as for eliminating tumors and just stopping the spread of cancer cells. I was wondering what info or opinion you have.

—Tony in Woodland

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. There are plenty of studies showing that cannabis does have cancer-fighting properties. Tommy Chong, “weedlebrity” and marijuana activist, was on CNN last year discussing his use of cannabis oil to help with his own case of prostate cancer.

While there are plenty of people claiming that cannabis is a cure for cancer, there are still skeptics in the cannabis community. I called Clint Werner, author of Marijuana Gateway to Health, to get his take:

“Cannabis has amazing, amazing anti-tumor and protectant effects, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that cannabis can be an effective treatment,” he began. “But it makes me a little crazy when people start making claims that weed is a cure.”

He has a point. A recent study from the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that CBD (cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds found in marijuana) does stop tumors from spreading. However, the two scientists behind the study caution that just smoking weed won’t do it.

Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists (Sean D. McAllister is the other one), said that he’s used injections in animals, and they are also testing pills. “But you could never get enough cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking,” he explained.

Which leads us to cannabis oil: There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that cannabis oil (sometimes called “phoenix tears”) is an effective anti-cancer medicine. It’s what Chong is using. The thing is, the recommended dose is 1 gram of cannabis oil, and ingesting 1 gram of cannabis oil will knock you on your ass. Chong takes his before going to bed, but he is used to weed and its effects, so it may not bother him as much as it would someone new to ingesting cannabis.

Werner tells me that the makers of Xternal muscle rub cannabis spray have come out with a new elixir called Nternal that has a high CBD percentage and may not get you as “high” as a THC-heavy product might. You can find more at Good luck.