Releaf Magazine

DEA Loosens Restrictions On Scientists Studying Marijuana

By Dan Nosowitz on January 12, 2016

Martijn, Flickr

Legalization of cannabis is generally moving quite a bit faster than research on how cannabis actually affects the body; scientists who have been hamstrung by the law from studying the plant are still, despite its increasing legality, subject to the same laws.

That scientists are playing catch-up is basically unavoidable; all it takes to overturn a law is a vote, but adequate research can take years or decades. This is an important ongoing story; news regularly comes that we don’t really have any idea what’s in cannabis products, let alone how the body metabolizes it all. In place of decades of research (which other substances, like alcohol, have), cannabis has hearsay and guesswork.

A significant step forward was announced last month by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to address a problem regularly felt by scientists studying cannabidiol, a cannabis extract. Cannabidiol researchers are subject to all kinds of regulations because marijuana and all its derivatives remain listed as a Schedule I drug by the Controlled Substances Act, written way back in 1970. That means that the DEA has control over any scientists wishing to study any of those substances, and the DEA maintains an awfully tight grip on them.

Until now, any researchers wishing to study cannabidiol would have to be certified by both the FDA (because cannabidiol research falls under the heading of new drug research) and the DEA. The latter decides who is fit to study cannabidiol and exactly how much they’re allowed to possess.

This is a problem because if a researcher changes the scope of his or her investigation, or simply runs out of cannabidiol, they’re required to apply via a written application to the DEA for more material. This process can take weeks or months, delaying or even outright disabling the study. It’s one of those little red tape things that can actively harm our understanding of a substance used by a huge percentage of the population.

The DEA’s announcement changes all that, stating that any researcher who is previously approved to study cannabidiol can do away with that extra application process: If you’re approved to study it, you can have as much as you need, when you need it. And with any luck, this will free up researchers to learn more about marijuana and its extracts as laws banning them are steadily lifted throughout the country.


VIA Modern Farmer

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Marijuana Backed By More Studies Than Most FDA Approved Pharma Drugs

Marijuana and its use has been studied over the course of the last few decades more so than even many leading FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs, with researchers categorizing the effects of marijuana to a much greater degree than many of the pharmaceutical drugs you or your family may currently be taking.

In a revelation that really demonstrates our scientific focus in the United States, where marijuana is still considered by federal law to be a dangerous and illegal substance placed in the same class as hard drugs like heroin, even mainstream media publications have begun calling out the strange doctrine of the medical community that pushes pharma drugs on the public at warp speed. This, all while scoffing at the use of ‘no high’ marijuana alternatives like the juicing of cannabis oil.

A quick search within the PubMed National Library of Medicine database for ‘marijuana’ turns up a host of studies, highlighting every aspect imaginable regarding the plant in its many forms. Some advocacy websites have even compiled hundreds of studies in an easy-to-read format surrounding marijuana, which has led numerous journalists to ask the obvious question: “why are we spending so much time researching an illegal drug for its numerous benefits while stamping side-effect-riddled drugs with the FDA stamp of approval with far less research?”

An analysis of 200 FDA-backed pharmaceutical drugs even found that almost 33% of approved drugs were granted the approval over a single piece of clinical study.

- Read the entire article at Global Research.


VIA Cannabis Culture

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