One of the largest issues in the legal cannabis industry today, due mostly to legality issues, is the lack of information about cannabis and its many compounds. There is a massive gap in R&D in the cannabis industry which contributes to the overall misinformation – and lack of information – that both cannabis consumers and retailers are exposed to and share. NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recently shared some news that may be a harbinger of change on the horizon…
NIDAs Announcement Clear cache
The announcement made by NIDA was that they are on the lookout for supply partners to aid with cannabis research! The supply of quality cannabis is of the utmost importance when it comes to cannabis research and the development of cannabis products, so this is a huge success for the industry as a whole.
According to the notice issued in May, collaborating facilities must be allowed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to cultivate marijuana to participate in the “acquisition and/or production of cannabis and related products.”
With $1.5 million in funding, NIDA, the major government body supporting scientific study on drug use as well as its consequences, announced plans to help researchers who can build and maintain a medicinal cannabis use registry.
According to NIDA, the main objective of the registry is to inform and expand cannabis research, legislation, and clinical recommended practices, as well as linked illnesses and outcomes.
NIDAs intention with the registry is to begin to diversify the variety of medical conditions for which patients can apply for a medical cannabis card. Currently, the rules for this vary greatly from state to state, and NIDA hopes that expanding research will allow cannabis research to become more standardized.
“Due to the heterogeneity across states for nearly every aspect of their medical cannabis laws,” the notice stated, continuing that, “these small pockets of collected information, therefore, may not be comparable, standardized, or useful in understanding broader cannabis use related health outcomes.”
NIDA also wants to bring attention to the growing body of data suggesting medical cannabis can be used as a replacement for prescription drugs and other substances.
Many patients are already using medical marijuana products for medical purposes, according to NIDA. They believe that it is critical to identify the evidence that exists and continues to evolve, as well as to harmonize and coordinate information found to maximize the potential benefits to patients while also minimizing adverse effects.
Cannabis The Favored Choice
One thing is becoming clear and it is that cannabis patients are consistently choosing marijuana over alternatives like opioids and alcohol. This is not surprising considering the many adverse effects and gateways to addiction that surround these other substances. While cannabis does not come without its negative effects, when given the choice between cannabis and opioids or alcohol, many patients still choose cannabis.
Nearly half of 2,697 questioned Canadian patients with access to medical cannabis stated they are swapping other controlled medications and substances for cannabis, according to a recent study done by a team of Canadian and American academics.
Additionally, according to research published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, half of the people who admit to using cannabis instead of prescription medicines do so to reduce opiate consumption, which is not exactly a strange or outlandish move considering the impacts of opiates – never mind their habit-forming nature. The amount of people who use cannabis to cut down on their alcohol consumption is also significant.
Regardless of consumer reasons, it is evident that cannabis is a fast-growing favorite for those struggling with a variety of medical conditions. This recently introduced registry from the National Institute on Drug Abuse is intended to bridge the gap between cannabis knowledge and safe, quality medical cannabis products that will ultimately be excellent for continuing to expand cannabis research, and to discover new uses for cannabis and its derivatives.
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