Business Insider reports that the lack of cannabis research that has frequently been observed can primarily be attributed to a lack of funding. Researchers are eager to investigate cannabis. Patients are already using it as a medicine – an unusual state of affairs, since medicines are usually researched before reaching patients. This increases the urgency of research into the many uses for which cannabis is currently believed to promise positive results.
Professor of psychiatry Marcel Bonn-Miller is among the researchers who have become so frustrated at the lack of scientific progress in cannabis research that they have founded an institute in order to research cannabinoids on a non-profit basis. The Institute for Research on Cannabinoids (IROC) will act primarily as a fund-raising organization that will strive to make it easier for scientists to embark on Cannabis research.
Despite medical cannabis trend, most research focusses on addiction
The Florida Center for Investigative Journalism fount that National Institute of Health spent $1.4 billion on cannabis research, but only $297 million of that amount was used to investigate medical cannabis applications. Instead, the bulk of the research focused on addiction and the abuse of marijuana as a drug.
Findings that tell us that heavy marijuana use over a period of many years might contribute to gum disease are of limited usefulness, especially when people are using the substance for everything from epilepsy to cancer without having any scientific guidance.
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Particular interest in CBD as subject for cannabis research
Because the CBD cannabinoid seems to lack THC’s ethical problems by having no psychedelic side-effects, researchers are particularly eager to discover the cannabinoid’s properties and potential uses. What Bonn-Miller is most interested in is evidence suggesting that CBD could be a powerful neuroprotectant that may help people to recover from brain injuries. However, this research has only progressed as far as animal trials at time of writing.
Bonn-Miller spoke to NFL physicians, asking them to support research into CBD as a potential aid to recovery after severe concussion. Should the NFL lend its support, this will represent a changed opinion from its current official stance which is against the use of cannabis in any form – psychoactive or not.
Just one potential use among many
The use of CBD to help injured NFL players is currently a hot topic, but it is only one of many possible uses for cannabinoids that requires a closer look. Anecdotal stories about medical cannabis have spread like wildfire, and even many of the uses for medical cannabis currently supported by medical cannabis states have not as yet been fully researched.
The result says Bonn-Miller is a case of “putting the cart before the horse” – using a medication that still lacks fully conclusive research results. The difficulties that researchers face when seeking to provide evidence in favour of or against the use of cannabinoids as a medicine need to be addressed, and IROC hopes that it will be able to do exactly this.