Ask Sarah Diesel Blog Post Number Six

sarah diesel

Ask Sarah Diesel

Dear Sarah Diesel,

I have been smoking every day for a while; let’s say three years. I am fit and surf daily. Does smoking weed everyday cause cancer?

~ Smoking Surfer

Dear Smoking Surfer,

To be perfectly honesty, it is unknown because causation is really hard to prove, although an extensive 2006 study published by Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA found that cannabis can not only slow the growth of tumors, it can selectively kill cancer cells. Surprisingly, multiple long-term studies conducted with cannabis smokers that did not use tobacco seemed to indicate there is no increase in lung, neck or head cancer compared to people who didn’t smoke at all.

We also know that chemicals in cannabis smoke are carcinogenic so I definitely recommend you try safer alternative ways to smoking cannabis. By implementing vaporizing into your daily regimen, your will rapidly reduce the amount of carcinogens you are ingesting.

If you choose to smoke your cannabis, here are some harm reduction strategies from cannabis connoisseur Michael Backes with Cornerstone Research. He suggests that you never hold your breath when inhaling. Also, you should select the most potent strains for your tolerance to reduce the amount of tar you consume.

Taking a cannabis holiday can help too. This means take a day or two or three or even a week off from smoking cannabis. When you smoke again your tolerance will have decreased and you will be pleasantly surprised how little you really need to ingest to feel relief.

Dear Sarah Diesel,

I’ve been in a long-term relationship with this guy and I think I’m in love. How do you know when you’re really “in love”?

~ Am I in Love?

Dear Am I in Love?,

To me “Love” is something that makes you dizzy and you don’t know what happened and you don’t care.

A Diesel Acronym:




Endless Euphoria

In 1945 Bing Crosby sang, “Like Someone in Love” and again in 1993 my favorite singer Björk sang it so perfectly. These words really describe what love means to me:


I find myself out gazing at stars

hearing guitars

like someone in love

Sometimes the things I do astound me

mostly whenever you’re around me


I seem to walk as though I have wings

bump into things

like someone in love

Each time I look at you, I’m limp as a glove

and feeling like someone in love

They say love is patient, love is kind. It has no envy, nor it boasts itself and it is never proud. It rejoices over the evil and is the truth seeker. Love protects; preserves and hopes for the positive aspect of life. Always stand steadfast in love, not fall into it. It is like the dream of your matter of affection coming true.

Be together, share your joy and sorrow, understand each other, provide space to each other, but always be there for each other’s needs. It is imperative that you communicate and trust each other as well. And surely love will blossom to strengthen your relationship with your matter of affection. Ultimately, always remember that nobody is perfect.

Dear Sarah Diesel,

At my local collective the patient consultant (bud-tender) talks about Indica, Sativa and Hybrids. I’m too embarrassed to ask what these mean. Can you help me?

~ An OC Culture Reader

Dear OC Reader,

These are common terms used to describe the cannabis strain identifications and effects.

Cannabis Sativa – Cerebral/Affects the brain and the central nervous system

Cannabis Indica – Physical/Affects the body, muscular and central nervous system

Hybrid – Sativas and Indicas bred together (Indica or Sativa Dominant):

Sativa Dominant Hybrid – Mostly Sativa

Indica Dominant Hybrid – Mostly Indica

** Examples: S/I (70%/30%) = Sativa Dominant Hybrid

I/S (60%/40%) = Indica Dominant Hybrid

Sativa is best for: activating, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, chronic pain, focus, creativity.

Indica is best for: sedating, relaxing, muscle relaxant, treats acute pain, decreases nausea, increases appetite.

Steep Hill Lab in Oakland has been testing cannabis for years. They can test it for the levels of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)and CBDs (cannabinoids). THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that gets you “high” or “medicated” (as I like to say), while cannabinoids are best for pain, sleep and even as an anti-inflammatory. Not only can Steep Hill test the potency of cannabis, but they can also test for mold, fungus and bacteria.
As we move forward in the cannabis movement we will never stop learning something new. After all, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the scientific study of this amazing plant.

Dear Sarah Diesel,

I have been on many different styles of dieting from liquid diets to starving myself. I live in L.A. and it’s just so hard not to eat fast food, it’s cheap and convenient. What do you do to stay healthy in L.A.?

~ Healthy in L.A.

Dear Healthy in L.A.,

I completely understand how L.A. life can be busy, making it hard to make healthier choices. I haven’t had fast food for over 10 years! Being a vegan, I would LOVE to see a vegan fast food drive-through! But until that day comes, I have to be disciplined.

Staying active is very important. I walk and take the subway/metro when I can. Taking a stroll on Hollywood Boulevard is a great way to stay in shape plus it’s pretty entertaining. Venice Beach and Runyan Canyon Park are great for hiking.

Something I recommend is to stop drinking alcohol, beer and soda. I know, your probably saying, “WTF?!” It’s been over seven years since I had any of these! Honestly though, it has helped me to keep the weight off! Water, water, water! Even fruit juices have lots of sugar, that’s why I squeeze my own orange juice and lemonade.

Eating 5-7 “colors” a day is a good rule of thumb. No that doesn’t mean “red” equals red meat! Fruits and veggies are perfect for this! Making fruit smoothies and veggie juices can be fun and an easy way to stick to this rule.

There are some places that I love to go to when I don’t have time to cook or it’s 10 p.m. and I’m starving from a long day at work. Locali in Hollywood on Franklin serves non-vegan and vegan sandwiches that are to live for! I’m in LOVE with the vegan BLT! The Veggie Grill on Sunset and Crescent Heights is all-vegan. Believe me, if you didn’t know it was you would be very surprised! This place even has onion rings! So, that may not sound too healthy but moderation is the key!

Class and Cannabis,

Sarah Diesel

Got a burning question about love, life and/or the pursuit of medicine? Ask Sarah Diesel, medical-marijuana advocate and L.A.’s Countess of Class and Cannabis. Just keep your questions short, straightforward and obscenity-free, and email them to

Editor’s Note: “The Four Agreements” referred to in Sarah’s column from our July issue refer to 5,000-year-old ancient Olmec teachings that author Don Miguel Ruiz wrote about in a book by the same name.