The subject of medical use of cannabis is a very topical subject these days and is increasingly legal in many states but still not at the Federal level in the US. It is considered a schedule 1 drug that implies it has no medical utility (hmmmm… really… are we serious). It is a bit ridiculous that we have all this investment and businesses in Canada and the US and hardly any of it is going toward scientific research. Currently, it is very difficult for scientists to study schedule 1 drugs. This particular article discusses the significant difficulty that one neuroscientist, Yasmin Hurd, is having studying an ingredient in marijuana for drug overdoses due to this schedule 1 regulation. She is working on putting together a global consortium of scientists to work on this. From a regulatory perspective, a consortium like this could work for other medical studies as well and give the regulators around the world a sensible option to onerous regulation to this widespread problem.
If we are serious about finding cost effective and safe medicines as well as dealing with epidemics like opioid addictions, then we need to take these scientific consortiums seriously and deal with these onerous and outdated regulatory barriers. Marijuana, like other plants has a complex mixture of chemicals that often have synergies when they are mixed together. THC may be problematic on its own but work better when mixed with other compounds. We can leverage billions of years of evolution to do the hard work for us, but not with regulation that makes no sense anymore and blocks the research of scientists around the world.
Recently, there are more discussions at the FDA level to raise more regulatory barriers for other plant compounds that may act like opioids. We need to listen to our scientists and come up with a more sensible approach to dealing with these serious issues than regulatory approaches that block progress and solutions to problems. Fortunately, scientists have many new scientific and technical tools that can accelerate this area of research and work to find solutions that seemed impossible only ten years ago.
Here is a link to the article: