Why is our knowledge about cannabis so limited?

Why is our knowledge about cannabis so limited?

Although research on cannabis has increased dramatically over the past two decades, our understanding of the drug lags decades behind that of other substances, such as tobacco and alcohol.

There is a significant gap in knowledge about the effects of cannabis on our health, environment, society and much more. So why, given our long history with the plant, are there so many unanswered questions?

20s ago

Cannabis research really began twenty years ago. It gained steam in the late 2000s and early XNUMX decade, starting with studies showing that marijuana could reduce nausea in people with HIV and in people undergoing chemotherapy. Since then, the field has exploded.

However, the number of published studies pales in comparison. cannabis compared to the vast amount of data we have on tobacco and alcohol. “We don’t have the fundamental data on cannabis that we have for other things,” says Ryan Sultan of Columbia University in New York.

A major reason for this is that government regulations have made it extremely difficult to study marijuana. In the United States, for example, researchers must obtain a special license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and can only study cannabis grown in licensed facilities (before 2021 there was only one such facility). Even in Canada, where recreational cannabis use has been legal since 2018, federal and provincial restrictions have hampered research.

Concerns about cannabis use

Many scientists are concerned about all the cannabis products appearing on the market. The availability and hype surrounding these products outweighs the actual evidence. We often do not know what doses are appropriate, what the long-term effects are, and sometimes even what exactly people are consuming. In some products, the labels or labels do not even match the contents. This can lead to dangerous situations.

Sultan: “There are many fundamental questions we have yet to master, from how the endocannabinoid system can affect our health to understanding how these products, which are now readily available to the public, are produced and consumed.”

Source: newscientist.com (EN)

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