If you’re a cannabis lab, researcher, or scientist, the NIH is interested in hearing your thoughts! Last week, the National Institute of Health (NIH) posted a request for information (RFI)* regarding identifying the barriers to cannabis research.
Through this RFI, the NIH aims to address the problems that researchers face in attempting to study cannabis. Although a lot of scientific research exists on cannabis, most government funded research focuses on misuse and negative effects, rather than on using cannabis and cannabis-derived chemicals as a therapeutic drug.
Today, many states have medical cannabis programs and the Food and Drug Administration has approved some cannabinoid-based drugs for certain conditions. Enabling more study of the cannabis plant may also play a role in convincing other states and the Federal Government to decriminalize or otherwise regulate it. For all of these reasons, this move by the NIH is a step in the right direction.
For starters, we all know that cannabis is still a schedule I controlled substance. This creates a number of problems for researchers attempting to study the plant, notwithstanding the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (We gave our views on that one back in March. See: Not All Cannabis