Funding on the Federal Level

For a long while, research surrounding the benefits of cannabis on a federal level has been quite limited. However, with the capitol hill trend moving towards the support of cannabis, the government recently issued its intent to study the effects of lesser-known cannabinoids and terpenes regarding their potential effectiveness in treating pain.

We all know the effects of our psychoactive friend THC. The CBD craze really got awareness spread about this past year, too. With drinks like this hitting mainstream markets and the government passing the 2018 Farm Bill, which included a rescheduling of industrial hemp--to each of our personalized experiences with pot such as understanding of the paired ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes--it's no surprise that the cannabis conversation is growing.

However, there is so much more we need to know about such an amazing plant! And now an “intent to fund” notice has been issued by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) as a precursor to the official Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) expected to be released in January 2019.

According to Leafly, "For this study, NCCIH is casting a wide net, inviting state agencies, nonprofits, small businesses, for-profit organizations and many others to apply. Federal entities cannot apply due to cannabis’ current status as a DEA Schedule I drug. The FOA will fund basic research, but will not support clinical trials that examine efficacy of cannabinoids or terpenes on changes in pain outcomes such as pain severity, pain interference, or functional outcomes. The institute is encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations from multiple fields—chemistry, neuroscience, pharmacology, immunology, and more."

The main focus of the NCCIH, or rather, the mission put in place is to find alternative healing modalities for chronic pain. Chronic pain affects about one-third of all Americans--placing pain treatment costs up to $635 billion annually, which amounts to roughly $2,000 per American.

Leafly states, "Numerous studies have established that both THC and CBD are effective on various types of pain, and there is even evidence that other cannabinoids and terpenes synergistically work with THC and CBD to boost effectiveness—a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. NCCIH is encouraged by the supposed mechanism that terpenes can influence the signaling, and thus the activity of, cannabinoid receptors, but states that research is needed to draw conclusive evidence."

Our hope is the momentum keeps going into 2019 for cannabis science and research!

Author Credits: Mike loves the beach and seeks out large crashing waves. His favorite things to write about are cannabis and how it relates to mental health. His favorite group to donate time and money to is the Alzheimers Association.

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