DR. WALLACE: I used to smoke marijuana, but my father really got on my case a lot about that because he could smell the smoke. I’m 19 and live at home with my parents, but I have a decent job, so I’m no slacker.

I don’t smoke any cannabis at all anymore because I’m able to get a steady supply of edibles, so I can get my relaxation and my father does not ride my case. When he asks me if I’ve smoked any pot lately, I can honestly tell him that I have not.

This presently gives me the best of both worlds: My father remains calm with me and I have no risks with my edibles at all! There will be no lung cancer in my future due to smoking and since the edibles are organic, I’m fully safe eating as many as I’d like. Isn’t progress great? Today’s cannabis is not yesterday’s cannabis! — I’m Fully Safe and Sound, via email

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I’M FULLY SAFE AND SOUND: Well, I’m not so sure about your claims that all edibles are fully safe and sound 100% of the time. I’m glad that you have stopped smoking marijuana as your lungs are no doubt benefiting from your smoking abstinence.

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But to claim that all edibles are perfectly safe and that you can consume as many as you wish may not be true.

Our friends at the Mayo Clinic have performed various studies and read and reviewed major studies presently available on these products.

Their use also carries at least some risks. Edibles can cause side effects including diarrhea, dry mouth and even moderate to severe fatigue in some individuals. Further study is needed to answer to ascertain if edibles are safe over the long run, but existing reports of the side effects of medical marijuana edibles have also included:

— Increased heart rate

— Dizziness

— Impaired concentration and memory

— Slower reaction times

— Negative drug-to-drug interactions

— Increased risk of heart attack and stroke

— Increased appetite

— Potential for addiction

— Hallucinations or mental illness

— Withdrawal symptoms

For these reasons, it would be wise to not assume that “I’m fully safe eating as many as I’d like.” The slower reaction time and impaired concentration can impair an individual’s ability to drive a vehicle or operate intricate machinery at a workplace, just to provide a few examples. Overindulging in any substance, particularly one that may deliver the listed side effects, is never a good idea in my opinion.


DR. WALLACE: I’m really melancholy over my recent breakup with my boyfriend. We dated for eight months, and now I miss him terribly. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m depressed, but I am absolutely melancholy.

I’m quiet in class now at high school, and I just want to come home and hang out in my room every day when school ends. My good friends are trying to get me to go out on a blind date or two, but I don’t have any appetite for that. They also want me to hang out with them at our local mall, but I really don’t want to be where a lot of my classmates will be, since a lot of them who know me will inevitably ask me what happened in my relationship. I don’t really want to get into that as I’m still raw over it.

What can I do with my free time? I’ve cleaned and organized every inch of my room and I’ve already listened to every sad breakup some I know over a dozen times each. — Really Bummed Out, via email

REALLY BUMMED OUT: It is indeed tough for most teenagers to exit a long-term relationship, and at your age, eight months is long-term.

I can appreciate that you wish to remain “underground” for a while when it comes to your classmates. The good news is that over time you will gradually heal, and at some point you will wish to socialize again. But until that time comes, you’re not going to feel like having to explain your past romance to anyone.

Therefore, I suggest you go somewhere that you’ll get a lot of smiles and will make you feel good, like you’re making a difference for someone else. This place is a local senior center or retirement home in your area. Many seniors there are lonely, have a lot of free time and especially love to talk to young people. One of the very best ways to feel better about yourself and to chase away the blues is to do something to help others, and taking the time to read to seniors or to discuss current events makes them — and you — feel happy and valued.

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