Cannabis is bad for you, cannabis is good for you – confused?
That’s not surprising. Complicated and controversial, cannabis is revealed by recent science to have a dual personality, with a dark side and a more positive one. Radio 4’s PM programme is this week running a whole series on cannabis, and the debate surrounding it.
Key to understanding this strange plant are two of the ingredients that make it up, known by their initials as THC and CBD.
I asked Prof Val Curran of University College London to describe how they work and she came up with a memorable answer:
“In a way, THC and CBD are a bit like yin and yang. The THC makes you stoned, but it can also make you anxious. It can also make you feel a bit psychotic, and it will seriously impair your memory.