Roadblocks to medical marijuana research

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TMedical-Cannabis-MarijuanaMinnesota was the most recent and 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. Medical marijuana has been used to reduce nausea, increase appetite, decrease pain, decrease inflammation and to help control muscle spasms. Unfortunately, unlike other medical drugs on the market, the studies on marijuana have been very limited. For example, there are only two cannabinoids currently being investigated for medical purposes: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD). In reality, marijuana contains more than 100 cannabinoids. (Institute of Drug Abuse)

One reason for this lack of research is that marijuana is classified as a category I drug. This means, among other things, that marijuana has not been deemed beneficial in any medical setting and that no prescriptions may be written for it. (Drug Categories). Because of this categorization, there is much red tape to get through in order to secure funding for, get human subjects for and get clearing for research. Therefore, in reality, we are providing a drug to patients that we have little scientific data on its benefits and risks.

The first thing that needs to be done is have this category changed. Then, resources need to be committed so that large scale, quality research can be done on this particular drug. Only then can medical providers be certain that they are not doing their patients harm.

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