Society for Neuroscience: Medical Marijuana Research

Society for Neuroscience: Medical Marijuana Research
Society for Neuroscience: Medical Marijuana Research

The Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting was held last month in San Diego. More than 30,000 neuroscientists were in attendance. They featured talks and presentations from scientists across the research spectrum. This is the largest source of contemporary brain research in the world today.

I previously mentioned the obstacles scientist encounter in researching marijuana legally. Among these obstacles is the need to justify the reason for possessing the DEA Schedule I license to research marijuana and its derivatives. Despite the fact their is greater acceptance of medicinal marijuana; its Schedule I classification (by definition), pretty much eliminates its therapeutic potential according to the funding agencies that determine the direction of research (most funding for research of medicinal benefits of marijuana comes from private foundations).

Because of this, most of the researchers focused their THC presentations on public health-related questions such as: how perinatal or adolescent exposure compromised brain development and behavior. I am not surprised when studies discover that manipulating a developing brain with drugs, stress or trauma has negative consequences. It is good if kids do not drink Red Bull, live in abusive homes or play contact sports. Although the negative effects of THC on the developing brain are currently better understood than ever, it is still not clear if strains high in CBD protect against THC’s effects.

Increasing evidence which reveal the benefits of medical marijuana cannot be ignored.

Researchers (with and without Schedule I licenses) are looking to gain a better understanding of the brain’s endogenous cannabinoid system to figure out how marijuana or other drugs work to provide therapeutic benefits. It has been accepted that the CB1 receptor is the main receptor on brain neurons that facilitate the effect of endogenous cannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids.


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Biotechs/Pharma, Cannabis Focus, Cannabis Policy