Nine researchers embarked on research on CBD, an ingredient that is widely used in cosmetics and food today, and hundreds of other, less known compounds. THC research was discarded.
The federal government of the United States still considers cannabis an illicit drug. However, more than 30 countries have allowed it to be used to combat a large number of health problems.
Science is most worth the treatment of chronic pain. This is the most common reason why people resort to the use of therapeutic cannabis. For this reason, we know very little about what parts of cannabis are helpful and whether the narcotic effects of THC can be avoided.
“Science lags a little behind the public interest. We are trying to catch up and go with the times, ”said Dr. David Shurtleff, Deputy Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), who sponsors these projects. NCCIHs are National Institutes of Health that are involved in the scientific research of wide-ranging health care systems, practices and products that are not considered to be part of general health care.
Shurtleff said THC has been extensively researched. However, it is a potential addict and causes a great chance of abuse, making it an unsuitable compound for the treatment of pain.
Other federal authorities support research on cannabis, but the greatest attention is paid to potential risks. The National Academy of Sciences of the United States published a report mentioning that the lack of cannabis research could endanger public health. Another drive to carry out all the tests and experiments is the opioid crisis, which is linked to the overuse of prescription painkillers.
"It's exciting to have a better understanding of the pain and find more cause to treat it."
The body can produce molecules that are similar to the ingredients that are found in cannabis. Dr Hellman's research focuses on these molecules. Together with Dr. Mark Schumacher, they focus on human immune cells. They are first tested in laboratories, then in experimental mice.
Human testing will only be performed on one of the many projects. Scientist Deborah Yurgelun-Todd of the University of Utah will scan the brains of volunteers suffering from back pain to see how CBD extract (mixed with chocolate pudding) responds to pain-inducing signals. In order to see the difference, half of the volunteers will receive custard without CBD.
NCCIH announced that two more human tests could be sponsored in the future.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse announced in July that it will grow 2,000 kilograms of marijuana this year at the University of Mississippi, which is licensed to produce cannabis for scientific purposes. However, these plants will not be used in many new projects, which will instead use laboratory-generated chemicals.
Illinois researchers hope to create a set of useful compounds that can be found in cannabis. “Cannabis contains very small amounts of interesting ingredients that are too expensive. In addition, isolating enough for research would take a lot of time, ”said David Sarlah of the University of Illinois.
Mr. Sarlah, who is an organic chemist, will work on these chemicals. His associate Aditi Das will conduct tests on their response to mouse immune cells.
“Patients report many beneficial effects. We need to know how everything works, ”Das said.
Author of the article: The Associated Press
Article source: leafly.com
Photo Source: pixabay.com (by Darwin Laganzon, Chris Jay)