NIDA Changes Marijuana Policy for Researchers
Since researchers have cited weak marijuana provided by the government and a lack of cannabidiol varieties, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has realized that researchers need access to the varieties of marijuana that are available to the public.
The US supply of marijuana, grown at the University of Mississippi, increased production in 2014 from forty pounds to over 1300 pounds (Lavitt, 2015). Additionally, NIDA increased its spending on marijuana research by 50 percent. However, the THC content of the federally-grown marijuana is only 12 percent, whereas the majority of the marijuana taken in by the DEA is 20 percent (Lavitt, 2015). This is problematic for researchers because they can’t evaluate the kinds of marijuana that are most available to the public.
In addition, it is costly and time-consuming for researchers to access marijuana for their studies. Scientists are charged much more in the US than in other areas conducting research such as Canada and Israel, and the application process is arduous.
The University of Mississippi has since begun growing two new strains of marijuana; one of which has high levels of cannabidiol, which researchers say “appears to have therapeutic effects” (Lavitt, 2015). The new strains should be ready to ship to researchers soon.
Lavitt, J. (2015). NIDA expands federal growth of marijuana for researchers. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/nida-expands-federal-growth-marijuana-researchers