The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced recently that it was searching for new partners to supply cannabis for research purposes.
To be eligible to take part in the "acquisition and/or production of cannabis and related materials," partnering facilities need to be authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to cultivate marijuana, according to the special notice issued in May.
NIDA, the lead federal agency supporting scientific research on drug use and its consequences, announced plans to support researchers who can develop and maintain a medicinal cannabis use registry with $1.5 million in funding.
The purpose of the registry is to “inform research, policy, and clinical recommendation practices” on medicinal marijuana, as well as related conditions and outcomes, according to the NIDA’s request for applications (RFA) posted on Tuesday.
With this move, NIDA intends to address the issue of heterogeneity of conditions for which patients can request a medical cannabis card, considering that rules vary from state to state.
“Due to the heterogeneity across states for nearly every aspect of their medical cannabis laws, these small pockets of collected information, therefore, may not be comparable, standardized, or useful in understanding broader cannabis use related health outcomes,” per the notice.
In addition, NIDA intends to shed a light on the growing evidence that medical cannabis can be a substitute for prescription medications and other substances.
“As many patients are already using cannabis products for medicinal applications, it is important to identify the evidence that exists and as it evolves, and to harmonize and coordinate this information to maximize the potential benefits to patients while minimizing harmful effects,” NIDA said.
Cannabis Patients Are Choosing Marijuana Over Opioids & Alcohol
A recent study conducted by a team of Canadian and U.S. researchers revealed that nearly half of 2,697 surveyed Canadian patients with access to medical marijuana said they are substituting cannabis for other controlled substances.
According to data published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, half of those who acknowledged they use cannabis in place of prescription drugs said they are doing so to stem opioid usage. The number of those using cannabis to minimize their alcohol intake is also sizable.
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