Feds Spend $3M To Study CBD and Pain Management

Last week—right before Washington, DC, turned into a circus—the federal government allocated a total of $3 million in the form of nine research grants, to determine if CBD has effects on pain.

NBC reported that the grants were made through National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. A second round of grants is planned as well.The grants are all for CBD, not THC. The research is sorely needed, and I’m looking forward to what they find.

Despite the administration of President Fuckenstein the Sunsetting Clown’s objections to the contrary, science is good. And CBD is both tremendously valuable and understudied, so all research is a step in the right direction. Right? Well….

Per NBC, the deputy director of the NCCIH, Dr. David Shurtleff, doesn’t think THC’s worth researching, due to its potential for “addiction and abuse.” Emphasis mine:

Other federal agencies have supported marijuana research, but much of the focus has been on potential harms. Shurtleff said the grants answer the call in a 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, which concluded a lack of marijuana research poses a public health risk.

Another driver is the nation’s opioid addiction crisis, with its roots in overuse of prescription painkillers. The crisis has sparked new scientific interest in marijuana’s pain-easing properties.

Counterpoint: Most would agree that opioids have a greater risk of “addiction and abuse” than cannabis, and cannabis by most would be considered “suitable” to treat pain.

Meanwhile, remember that all federal research into cannabis was conducted using the ultraschwag grown at the University of Mississippi. NBC also reported:

Those plants won’t be used in many of the new projects, which instead will use lab-made versions of the chemicals.

Researchers in Illinois hope to create a library of useful compounds found in cannabis plants.

“We make them from scratch and test them one by one,” said David Sarlah of the University of Illinois. Marijuana contains such tiny amounts of the interesting ingredients that it’s too costly and time consuming to isolate enough for research, Sarlah said.

Sarlah, an organic chemist, will make the chemicals. His colleague Aditi Das will run tests to see how they react with mouse immune cells.

That’s right: mouse immune cells. Of the nine studies, only one involves human test subjects. One. Because it’s too dangerous to have people experiment with CBD, as no one is currently using CBD already, and it’s a barren desert for finding CBD products anywhere, right?

Lastly, NBC reports that the brave pioneering souls risking it all for science in this strange, new world will undergo the rigors of researchers “[scanning] the brains of human volunteers with lower back pain to see how CBD extract—mixed with chocolate pudding—affects pain-signaling pathways.

Half the volunteers will get pudding without CBD as a control group.”

The good news is that everyone gets pudding.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies OregonCannabisConcierge.com and CaliforniaCannabisConcierge.com. His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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