U.S. to spend $3 million to study CBD U.S. to spend $3 million to study CBD

23 Oct , 2019

The U.S. government will spend $3 million to find out if marijuana can relieve pain, but none of the money will be used to study the component of the plant that actually gets people high, THC.

Nine research grants were announced last Thursday that will be used to work on CBD, the trendy ingredient showing up in various cosmetics and foods, and hundreds of less familiar chemicals. THC research was strictly excluded from this research as federally, marijuana is still considered an illicit drug.

The study is concentrated for chronic pain, the most common reason people give when they enroll in state-approved medical remedies. 

"The science is lagging behind the public use and interest. We're doing our best to catch up here," said Dr. David Shurtleff, deputy director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, which is funding the projects.

THC has been investigated extensively, Shurtleff said, and its potential for addiction and abuse make it unsuitable for treating pain.

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.

"There are so many beneficial effects that patients report. We need to know the science behind it," Das said.

The U.S. government will spend $3 million to find out if marijuana can relieve pain, but none of the money will be used to study the component of the plant that actually gets people high, THC.

Nine research grants were announced last Thursday that will be used to work on CBD, the trendy ingredient showing up in various cosmetics and foods, and hundreds of less familiar chemicals. THC research was strictly excluded from this research as federally, marijuana is still considered an illicit drug.

The study is concentrated for chronic pain, the most common reason people give when they enroll in state-approved medical remedies. 

"The science is lagging behind the public use and interest. We're doing our best to catch up here," said Dr. David Shurtleff, deputy director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, which is funding the projects.

THC has been investigated extensively, Shurtleff said, and its potential for addiction and abuse make it unsuitable for treating pain.

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.

"There are so many beneficial effects that patients report. We need to know the science behind it," Das said.

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