Cannabis May Qualify for Study Grants as ‘Natural Product’ | Marijuana

Cannabis May Qualify for Study Grants as ‘Natural Product’

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Federally funded research into marijuana seems to be escalating, with one government agency recently posting a roundup of current “cannabinoid-related funding opportunities” for studies investigating the plant’s therapeutic potential.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) on Dec. 8, 2018, shared a list of four research grant opportunities for studies on “natural products” such as cannabis. One would examine how cannabinoids other than THC affect pain and three others call for more broad clinical trials of natural products involving human participants.

The list appears to have been prepared as part of an NCCIH-hosted workshop in early December 2018 that explored “how to conduct research within the current regulatory framework” — an event that was explicitly not about “challenging or changing current federal laws, policies or regulations.”

NCCIH “supports rigorous scientific investigation of natural products such as the cannabis plant and its components (e.g., cannabinoids and terpenes),” the agency wrote.

The goals of the proposed research projects range from identifying the “biological signature” of natural products, which means discovering a replicable biological effect, to determining the best dose and optimal formulation of these products. Researchers interested in taking on the investigations have to submit applications with comprehensive plans for the trials and also obtain clearance from federal agencies charged with regulating controlled substances such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Interestingly, three out of four of the studies highlighted by NCCIH don’t explicitly mention marijuana or cannabinoids; rather, they more broadly cover natural products, which seems to suggest that the agency aims to increase cannabis research through pre-existing funding channels.

While the federal government has historically funded limited studies into marijuana and its components, researchers have struggled to overcome barriers to research that exist for federally banned substances. As more states have legalized cannabis, though, agencies like the NCCIH have started ramping up their calls for research.

At the same time, the DEA has said that it’s streamlining applications for federally sanctioned marijuana cultivators in order to meet the growing demand for research-grade cannabis products. It authorized 5,400 pounds of cannabis to be grown in 2019 — more than five times the amount authorized for 2018. The reason for the scaling up is “based solely on increased usage projections for federally approved research projects,” the agency clarified in a Federal Register notice Dec. 10, 2018.

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content syndication agreement. Read the original article here.

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  1. Interesting that in 1974 the fed gov even funded a study to determine the effect of Cannabis smoke on lungs. The smoke was force pumped into the lungs of monkeys. It was anticipated, of course, that some damage to the lungs of the monkeys would occur. What a surprise that the force pumped Cannabis smoke even improved the lungs of the monkeys who got it. The funding for the study then dried up right away and the early results of the study were downplayed and the idea was to keep it on the down low.
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    A good choice is to increase defensive military capabilities of our armed forces for American and allied security. Leading by example. When we fix our own troubles first and free America, we definitely inspire people Everywhere.
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