Because of legal restrictions, the cannabis plant has never received the true scientific analysis it deserves. Now that some states have ended marijuana prohibition — at least within their own borders — researchers can finally put their fear of prosecution aside and dig deep into the plant’s DNA.
Colorado is investing heavily in cannabis research, announcing this week that they’ve funded seven separate scientific studies on the plant that are scheduled to take place over the next three years. Colorado’s Department of Public Health and the Environment announced on Tuesday that they would be issuing a total of $2.3 million in grants to fund the seven studies.
“This research will be invaluable in Colorado and across the country,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado DPHE Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer, in a statement. “The findings will inform our public education efforts and give people additional information they need to make decisions about marijuana use.”
The decision of which research studies would receive grants fell partly on the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee, an organization formed after Colorado legalized adult-use cannabis in 2012. The committee was established to oversee the retail industry’s public health impacts.
Of the seven grants issued, much of the funding is going to two studies; one focusing on marijuana-impaired driving and the other on the effects of “dabbing.” The following seven studies were chosen from an initial field of 58 applicants. The field of hopeful research teams was subsequently narrowed down to 16 finalists before the grant selections were made.
- $843,500 for a three-year study with researchers from the University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Public Health on a Comparative Assessment of Driving Impairment on Occasional Versus Heavy Marijuana Users.
- $839,500 for a three-year study by the University of Colorado at Boulder on Acute Effects of Dabbing on Marijuana Intoxication, Driving Impairment, and Cognitive Functioning.
- $186,500 for a two-year study by the University of Colorado on the Duration of Marijuana Concentration in Breast Milk.
- $97,500 for a one-year study by the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs on Older Coloradans and Marijuana: A Public Health Problem or Policy Alternative.
- $97,500 for a one-year study by the University of Colorado on The Adverse Effects of Edible Cannabis Products.
- $186,500 for a two-year study by Colorado State University on Analysis of Data from Before and After Implementation of Recreational Marijuana in Colorado.
- $99,000 for a one-year study by the University of Colorado on the Cardiovascular Effects of Marijuana in At-Risk Patients.