The Long Road To Researching Cannabis

This article by Matt Grimshaw was originally published on Cannabis & Tech Today, and appears here with permission.

Is cannabis safe for pregnant women to use?

Is there a danger to secondhand cannabis smoke?

Does cannabis use clash with other medications?

All of these are fairly straightforward questions which should be straightforward to study, but not in the nascent grey industry that is legal cannabis.

Scientifically speaking, we know more about the effects of cow flatulence on the atmosphere than the effects of cannabis on the human body.

If the cannabis industry is to ever be taken seriously on the international stage, there’s a desperate need for research from respected scientists and doctors and less anecdotal input from Jeff the Budtender.

The science remains unknown because there’s been a significant lack of clinical research in demonstrating the therapeutic effects of cannabis.

Government research has largely focused on its potential harms.

In late 2016, a former Navy SEAL named George Hodgin was in the final months of completing a graduate degree from Stanford Business School and was trying to work out what to do upon its completion.

Like many veterans of the US armed services, Hodgin knew plenty of fellow vets suffering from the effects of service-related PTSD.

One fellow vet who’d already gone through the usual cocktail of prescribed solutions heard that medical cannabis was showing great promise for symptoms like his.

Still, upon asking for advice from the local Department of Veteran Affairs (a.k.a. the VA), he hit a brick wall of silence.

Hodgin notes: “They wouldn’t tell him anything; they were not permitted to give him any guidance at all. Later I discovered that their silence was not only because they’d been ordered not to discuss cannabis, it was also because science doesn’t really know all that much about it — it’s nearly impossible to get hold of any for research.”

George Hodgin

Hodgin did some research of his own and discovered that because cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, alongside substances like heroin and …

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