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The Need for Evidence-Based Cannabis Research

In the cannabis industry, the need for evidence-based research is undeniable. This research would help provide clarity for researchers, regulators, prescribers, and consumers. Not only does this science help to determine the true efficacy of cannabis, it also allows for guidance on how to properly use the product, based on scientific and peer-reviewed research. Moreover, it permits regulators to develop succinct rules surrounding aspects of cannabis use. Evidence-based research satisfies the need for attaining sufficient evidence while addressing the abundant claims that cannabis can treat various conditions.


In the United States, cannabis utilized for research purposes is provided exclusively through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Drug Supply Program. NIDA’s primary goal is to address concerns surrounding concepts such as addiction and drug abuse. What this means is that they focus their efforts on the negative side effects of cannabis rather than supporting research to look into cannabis’ potential benefits. In fact, during the 2017 fiscal year, only one-fourth of cannabinoid research funded by NIDA was for exploring the potential medicinal properties of cannabinoids. 


Furthermore, the cannabis that is supplied for these studies comes from a single source: the University of Mississippi. Researchers have found this product to be of lower potency, sometimes containing unwanted substances such as mold. Although cannabis is still federally illegal, the rise in legalized medical cannabis in dozens of states has only increased the quality of cannabis. Therefore, cannabis used in the research should reflect this, otherwise, it is an inaccurate representation.


Researchers and medical professionals would both benefit significantly from evidence-based cannabis research. With clear research, these professionals would be able to gain a straightforward understanding of the plant as a whole. It would allow them to fully grasp what the potential side effects of cannabis are, and it would also permit them to hone in on important medical pieces such as potential drug interactions. 


Furthermore, evidence-based research would provide clarity surrounding the coveted understanding surrounding potential therapeutic benefits. Gaining a clear understanding of what these benefits are would grant providers the ability to make effective recommendations and equip them with the knowledge to better help patients and consumers alike. 


Overall, evidence-based research delivers actionable outcomes. Therefore, applicable solutions can be applied as a direct result of the research that’s been done. This ensures top-quality safety of cannabis products. For example, researchers would be able to come up with proper dose recommendations for cannabis products so that they may be taken safely. Further, this allows researchers to understand how varying doses can help with treatment.


Evidence-based cannabis research ensures absolute transparency. On top of benefiting researchers and medical professionals, it provides consumers with guidance on cannabis use and its potential ability to treat their diverse conditions. It also equips consumers with informed data to look upon rather than going by anecdotal evidence or word-of-mouth information without scientific backing. Furthermore, it provides retail businesses with proper information to give adequate suggestions to interested customers.

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Patrick Libonate AUTHOR
*The views and opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not reflect the position of Jushi Holdings Inc. or its subsidiaries.