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U.S. Scientists Finally Get Access To More Cannabis For Testing

By Danyal Swan July 6, 2022

It’s been a long time coming, but the next step in cannabis reform is finally here. After decades of being hamstrung by the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) monopoly on legal cannabis, U.S. scientists will now have access to a wider variety of the plant for research purposes.

This is a huge development for cannabis lovers and society as a whole, as NIDA’s monopoly has long been a significant obstacle to progress in cannabis research. With this new access, researchers can finally study the plant more comprehensively, providing valuable insights into its potential medical applications that further justify its widespread use.

The development is also a major win for those pushing for cannabis reform, as it represents yet another crack in the federal government’s long-standing opposition to the plant. As more and more states move to legalize cannabis, both for medical and recreational purposes, the federal government has been forced to reconsider its stance on the drug.

This is particularly important for edibles, as there is still a great deal of confusion and misinformation about their safety and efficacy. With more research, it will be easier to dispel these myths and provide people with the information they need to make informed decisions about using edibles.

Of course, this is just the beginning of the road to full cannabis legalization. A great deal of questions need to be answered, and we still have a way to go before cannabis is treated with the same respect as other medications. Nonetheless, this is a significant step in the right direction, and it’s clear that things are evolving quickly now that researchers finally have the access they need to do critical work. We can only hope that this new access will lead to discoveries that can help countless people find relief from a wide variety of conditions that are currently plaguing our society.

What Is The National Institute On Drug Abuse?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a research institute within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It is dedicated to researching drug abuse and addiction and developing evidence-based treatment interventions. NIDA also played a major role in developing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders.

NIDA has a long history of opposition to cannabis. For example, it has claimed that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive substance with no medical value. However, this stance has been increasingly challenged in recent years, as more and more research emerges indicating that the plant does indeed have medicinal value. In 2016, NIDA released a report acknowledging that cannabis could be used to treat certain medical conditions, though it still maintains that cannabis is not a cure-all.

As can be expected, NIDA’s monopoly on the cannabis supply for research has been a significant obstacle to progress, as it has been the only legal source of the plant for scientific study. Thankfully, this has changed with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. This, coupled with the recent removal of research obstacles from the federal government, means that U.S. scientists will now have access to a wider variety of cannabis for research purposes as well as higher quality material. In turn, this should lead to more comprehensive studies into the plant’s potential medical applications.

What Possibilities Does This New Access To Cannabis Bring?

Now that scientists have access to a wider variety of cannabis for research purposes, there are a great deal of possibilities regarding what this could mean for the future of the plant. Here are just a few of the avenues that could be explored with this new access.

Efficacy Of Cannabis For Different Medical Conditions

With a wider variety of cannabis to choose from, researchers will be able to study the plant’s potential medical applications more thoroughly. For example, individuals who suffer from anxiety disorder may respond better to one cannabis strain than another. By studying different strains, medical professionals will be able to prescribe cannabis more accurately to treat various conditions, rather than assuming that all strains are created equal. By extension, dispensaries can recommend strains with particular properties for specific conditions. This promotes a future of more personalized medicine, which is on trend with health care advances across the nation.

Effects Of Cannabis On The Body

Cannabis has a wide range of effects on the body, from promoting relaxation to increasing appetite - more on that later. With more access to different varieties of cannabis, researchers can study these effects in greater detail and understand how they can be harnessed for various purposes. For example, some strains of cannabis may be more effective than others at reducing inflammation. This knowledge could develop new and improved treatments for conditions like arthritis and more.

Cannabis As An Alternative To Other Medications

With more research, it may be possible to find a place for cannabis as an alternative to other medications. For example, individuals who suffer from chronic pain could potentially replace traditional analgesics with cannabis. This could have an enormous impact on the healthcare industry and on patients as well, especially if cannabis is sold at a lower price than its prescription medicine rivals.

The Potential For Cannabis As A Tool For Addiction Recovery

One of the most promising potential applications of cannabis is its potential to help people overcome addiction, particularly opioid addiction. With more access to cannabis for research, we may learn more about how the plant can be used as a tool for addiction recovery. This would have a major impact on public health, as addiction is a significant problem in our society.

Overall, this new access to research cannabis is a big step in the right direction for the cannabis industry. With more research, cannabis experts can dispel many of the myths that currently surround this plant. Additionally, we may be able to develop new and improved treatments for various medical conditions. This is an exciting time for the cannabis industry, and we can only hope that this new access will lead to even more progress in the years to come.

Edibles: Current And Future Possibilities

As cannabis legalization continues to spread and research opportunities expand, cannabis edibles are one area that is ripe for exploration. Currently, the edibles market is relatively limited compared to other cannabis products, such as flowers and concentrates, but this is changing rapidly.

Edibles are becoming more and more popular as both consumers and producers become more knowledgeable about the potential of this product category. With the aforementioned research potential made available by newly increased access to diverse cannabis strains, edibles promise to grow in availability, diversity, and applications.

What Are Edibles?

For those who are unfamiliar, edibles are food products that contain cannabis. They can be anything from brownies and cookies to chocolates, gummy products, soft chews, and lozenges. Edibles are an easily accessible way to consume cannabis because they offer a discreet and convenient way to get your dose of THC.

What Is The Current Sentiment On Edibles?

Right now, edibles are still very much in their infancy, and there is a lot of room for growth and innovation. We can expect to see more variety in terms of flavor, potency, and dosage and new products that cater to specific needs and preferences.

Edibles are favored by many, often for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Discreetness (no smoke, no smell)
  • Long-lasting effects
  • Accurate dosing (no guessing how much you need)
  • Ease of use (an excellent alternative for someone who does not enjoy inhaling smoke)

There are some great edible options on the market already if you are looking for an alternative to smoking cannabis. For example, Encore Cannabis Soft Chews are a discreet and easy-to-use option that comes in a variety of delicious flavors, including:

  • Pineapple Raspberry, hybrid featuring tropical sweet and tart flavors, with 10 mg THC per piece and 100 mg per package
  • Mixed Berry, indica featuring the refreshing taste of berries, with 10 mg THC per piece and 100 mg per package
  • Pomegranate Punch 1:2 (CBN:THC), indica featuring 5 mg of CBN and 10 mg THC for deeply sedating effects, with a rich and tart pomegranate flavor, with 50 mg CBN and 100 mg THC per package
  • Mango, a sativa formulation with tangy, juicy mango flavor and uplifting effects, and 10 mg THC per piece, 10 mg per package
  • Concord Grape, an indica formulation with all-natural, juicy, sweet grape flavor and deeply sedating effects, and 10 mg THC per piece, 10 mg per package

These delicious and potent edibles are gluten-free and rich in terpenes. Terpenes are compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for its unique flavor and smell. They also have therapeutic benefits, which work synergistically with the cannabinoids in cannabis. Additionally, Wana Soft Chews have a melt-proof formulation, ensuring that they won’t melt even on the hottest day in Florida.

What Health Benefits Have Already Been Found With Cannabis Studies?

There are various health benefits that have already been associated with using cannabis. For example, studies show cannabis can be helpful for:

Reducing Chronic Pain

From migraines to arthritis, cannabis in multiple forms has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain. While not quite as well-documented as the benefits of smoking cannabis, the long-lasting effects of edibles make them especially well-suited for treating chronic pain, as they can provide relief for hours at a time.

Reducing Anxiety And Depression

The struggles of anxiety and depression are very real. Cannabis has been shown to relax the anxious mind, improve mood, and generally promote a positive state of mental health. This is especially beneficial for those who do not want to take traditional pharmaceutical medications because of side effects.

Fighting Cancer

Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells and halt their growth. It is also effective in reducing the side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting. This makes easily-accessible edibles a valuable tool in the fight against cancer—since we still haven’t identified a cure for cancer, this fight needs all the help we can provide.

Stimulating Appetite

Cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for loss of appetite. Edibles appear to be a one-two punch when it comes to increasing appetite, even if you don’t have an underlying health condition.

Improving Sleep

One of the most common uses for cannabis—particularly CBD products—is as a sleep aid. The relaxation that it provides can help treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Anyone who struggles to get a good night’s sleep may find that cannabis edibles can help.

Reducing Inflammation In IBS And MS Patients

Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases can be excruciating and debilitating. Cannabis edibles may be an effective treatment for reducing inflammation in the gut and reducing pain associated with these diseases. Cannabis has also been shown to reduce inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, thereby improving mobility .

There are various other health benefits associated with consuming cannabis, but these are just some of the most cited. It’s exciting to consider the current relationship between cannabis and health and what the future may hold for this ever-evolving field. As more and more research is conducted on cannabis, we will learn even more about its therapeutic potential and change the way we think about medicine forever.

What Will The Future Of Cannabis Hold?

It’s hard to say precisely what the future of cannabis will hold, especially as the potential for new research continues to expand. Still, we can make some educated guesses based on the current state of the industry and the anticipated discoveries now possible.

First, we can expect to see increased acceptance of edibles as a legitimate form of medication in the future. As mentioned previously, the ability to research cannabis in more detail will lead to a better understanding of its potential medical applications. Scientists will be able to share what conditions are best treated with edibles, what dosages are appropriate, and how to properly administer them.

This increased understanding will then lead to a more widespread acceptance of edibles as a form of medication. We hope to see cannabis edibles covered by insurance companies in the future. This would be a significant step forward for the cannabis industry, and it would help legitimize edibles as a treatment option for many conditions.

Undoubtedly, the future of edibles is looking bright, and we can expect to see many new and exciting products hitting the market in the years to come. As a result, consumers have a much better chance at finding an edible product that meets their needs, preferences, and dose requirements.

With more research and a better understanding of the plant, edibles are poised to become a major player in the world of cannabis. Between the current benefits they provide and the potential medical applications that are now possible through research, there is no doubt that edibles are here to stay.

Moving Forward With Cannabis

As we move forward into this new era of cannabis research, we now know that our current medical use cases for edibles and other forms of cannabis are just the tip of the iceberg. The societal push toward legalization and additional research is providing scientists with the opportunity to finally study this plant in-depth, and we can expect to see many new and exciting discoveries in the years to come. With them will come better treatment opportunities for patients experiencing a range of conditions.

With more diverse strains, new delivery methods, and a better understanding of the plant’s potential medical applications, the future of cannabis and treating chronic conditions is looking bright.

*This post was updated December 1, 2022 to include Encore Soft Chews.


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Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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