Decades of cannabis prohibition in America have made scientific research into cannabis virtually impossible. Even as dozens of states have now legalized cannabis for medical use, federal law has proven to be a major challenge to cannabis researchers.
Several studies have shown that the drug does in fact have effective medical applications, but federal prohibition still remains a hindrance to cannabis research.
According to a top federal health official, the nascent marijuana research space is “fraught with hurdles” that have to be addressed in order to facilitate studies into how cannabinoids can be used as safer tools to manage pain in place of opioids. In a recent blog post, Helene Langevin, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), stated that most federally funded cannabis research is only focused on the potential dangers of using delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive agent in cannabis.
Langevin argued that it was crucial to open up cannabis research outside of the narrow focus on its potential harms and look more broadly into the potential benefits and harms of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
As such, the NCCIH recently issued a request for information asking for feedback from the scientific community regarding the factors that act as barriers to research into the health benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabinoids to users. Langevin noted that the chief barrier to cannabis research is the fact that it is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. This means that researchers interested in studying the plant have to go through a long, arduous process to secure a Schedule I license, while other researchers are often held back by the dearth of standardized measures for cannabis doses and modes of administrating the drug.
Langevin also explained that identifying barriers such as these and developing ways to overcome them will allow researchers to “successfully generate more scientific evidence” on the potential risks and benefits of using cannabis as an alternative to opioids. She added that the comments the agency receives in response to the recent request will help inform its efforts to advance cannabis research.
Langevin isn’t the only top federal health official who has recognized the effect prohibition is having on cannabis research. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, revealed in late 2021 that she avoids studying Schedule I drugs such as cannabis because of the bureaucratic challenges involved with obtaining a Schedule I research license.
It is those bureaucratic obstacles that make it burdensome for marijuana companies such as Prime Harvest Inc. to conduct the research necessary to maintain their competitive edge on the market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Prime Harvest Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PRIME
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