Although many people consider cannabis to be a versatile alternative medicine, the reality is that there is barely any scientific research on its potential risks and benefits. Thanks to federal prohibition laws that consider cannabis a class I drug with no medical application, research into the plant has been outlawed for decades. However, there has been an increasing push for more cannabis research as more states legalize the plant for medical and recreational use.
One of the country’s top federal agencies has thrown its weight behind this growing movement. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (“NIDA”) has increased its effort to promote much-needed research into the effects of cannabis. This comes at a time when lawmakers are considering legalizing cannabis at the federal level, and Americans in more than 30 states have access to medical marijuana.
NIDA recently published a notice of interest outlining the types of study proposals it is looking to fund and instructing interested researchers on how they can apply. According to the federal agency, recommendations from a workgroup that was set up in 2018 to explore cannabis research were used to craft the guidance.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse put out a similar notice to solicit cannabis studies back in 2019, but it expired in January.
The recent notice acknowledged that cannabis policies across the country continue to evolve at a fast pace. So fast, in fact, that they are outpacing the scientific knowledge needed to determine how cannabis could impact public health. By providing funding for cannabis research, NIDA hopes to get much-needed research about cannabis in the relevant hands.
Potential studies would include investigating the reasons that push people to consume cannabis, physical and mental qualities that predispose one to cannabis use, and developing standard methods for measuring cannabis and the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids within the substance.
NIDA also said that it would fund research into different models of cannabis retail distribution to identify the components or combinations with public health risks. Researchers would be limited to 5 milligrams of THC for their studies, the agency said.
But despite NIDA’s interest in furthering cannabis research, the federal agency acknowledges that it will be a difficult endeavor while cannabis is still federally prohibited. NIDA director Nora Volkow has even mentioned in past interviews that she is reluctant to run studies on schedule I drugs such as marijuana because scientists have to deal with a multitude of “cumbersome” rules.
Last October, the agency submitted a report to Congress detailing how federal prohibition is holding back crucial research into the potential risks and benefits of drugs such as cannabis. Once the restrictions on cannabis research are eased, it will be a lot easier for sector players such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) to undertake research aimed at developing products that can meet the needs of different customer segments.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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