Since its inception, America’s cannabis industry has been in a precarious position. Although 37 states have legalized medical marijuana, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. This has essentially shackled the state-legal cannabis industry and has been especially detrimental to cannabis research.
While cannabis is said to be effective against a wide range of medical issues, there isn’t a lot of scientific data backing up these claims. Since cannabis companies aren’t allowed to test their products on people before releasing them to the market, they essentially rely on customer feedback to tweak and improve products. According to Rick Scarpello, CEO of Medically Correct LLC, a pioneer in the Colorado cannabis space, the only way the business could test its products without running afoul of federal law during its first years was to put them on the market and then go buy them.
Despite being limited by federal law, Scarpello believes that cannabis heals and that his company provides help to sick people who need it. Still, he acknowledges that the cannabis industry is in dire need of scientific research. As such, he cannot, for instance, declare that cannabis can reduce pain as there have been few, if any, clinical studies and double-blind trials to definitively prove that the substance has pain-relieving capabilities.
Some scientists have found ways to collect the data they need without breaking federal law. Instead of bringing cannabis to the lab, which is outlawed, researchers from the University of Boulder’s Center for Health, Neuroscience, Genes, and Environment (CUChange) used specialized vans to go to participants’ homes and collect data before and after they consumed cannabis. Flush with $16 million in funding from the state of Colorado, the National Health Institute and NIDA, among others, CUChange is one of the few institutions to look at the pros and cons of using cannabis on cancer, migraines and anxiety.
Cinnamon Bidwell, an assistant professor of cognitive science at the University of Colorado Boulder, has already published nine papers this year. Those papers look at the effect of cannabis on sleep quality as well as observational studies on short-term motor control and impairment caused by high-potency marijuana. The research team achieved this despite not being able to touch any of the cannabis products the participants used, instead relying on a rigorous survey that used photos of the cannabis products and their packaging.
Hopefully, researchers will soon be able to study cannabis without any constraints. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden recently introduced a draft version of a federal cannabis bill that would deschedule cannabis. The three Democrats will use the feedback they collect on the discussion draft to tweak the bill and improve it before formally introducing the final version.
The ingenuity that researchers are deploying to study marijuana in spite of the federal regulatory hurdles also shows itself in the revolutionary digital health products and technologies that companies such as RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) have brought to market to address several needs, such as the need to measure exactly how much medical cannabis a patient is smoking.
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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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