$3 Million NIH Grant Will Study CBD as an Opioid Alternative.
by Dan Larkin.
The US Government has announced a $3 million NIH (National Institute of Health) grant award to will study CBD and other cannabinoids. The goal is to see if they really relieve pain.
One caveat to the $3 million NIH grant award is that it will not study THC. It seems the government still finds the intoxicating effects of THC to be a barrier to using it as a pain reliever.
“THC may help relieve pain, but its value as an analgesic is limited by its psychoactive effects and abuse potential.”David Shurtleff, deputy director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH),
So, even though many of us know that the “entourage effect” from full-spectrum cannabis is best, the government wants to go in another direction. The good news though, is that CBD and other important cannabinoids and terpenes will be studied, so let’s call this a win.
There are nine institutions that will share the grant award. They’ll have plenty to study. The cannabis plant has at least 110 known cannabinoids and 120 terpenes. That means there’s a lot of potential for positive news from the studies.
Obviously, what we all want to see from these studies, is an alternative to opioids. Let’s be honest. They’re addictive and deadly. Most of us already know that cannabis is a safer, better, and natural alternative. But, since the US government still has it listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic, testing of it has been scarce. So, baby steps here, but at least it’s movement in the right direction.
“The treatment of chronic pain has relied heavily on opioids, despite their potential for addiction and overdose and the fact that they often don’t work well when used on a long-term basis. There’s an urgent need for more effective and safer options.”Helene Langevin, Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH),
What will the $3 million NIH grant actually study?
At least one of the studies will focus on the use of CBD to relieve arthritis pain. Another, at Temple University, will use rats to evaluate the effects of four cannabinoids that could work together to protect against pain. The study will also examine how those cannabinoids interact with morphine.
In other encouraging and related news, a US Senate committee recently criticized our federal drug scheduling program and called for research into CBD and CBG. So, there is movement in the right direction
What does all this mean? Well, let’s see what they find. But let’s also keep talking to our legislators and medical professionals about the need to legalize whole-plant cannabis for adult and medical use. The endocannabinoid system in our body works best when it works with the full spectrum of plant constituents.
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