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Scientists concerned about lack of knowledge surrounding cannabis

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 7 months ago

In recent weeks, scientists have highlighted the significant gap in our understanding of the effects of cannabis on health, the environment, and society. Despite its long history, research into cannabis only truly began in earnest two decades ago. The field gained momentum in the late 1990s and early 2000s when studies showed that marijuana could alleviate nausea in HIV patients and those undergoing chemotherapy.

However, the amount of published research on cannabis is far less than that of other substances like tobacco and alcohol. While the number of cannabis studies has increased since the early 2000s, with nearly 6,000 published in 2023, there are over 10,000 studies on tobacco and more than 23,000 on alcohol.

One major reason for this disparity is the strict government regulations surrounding cannabis research. Obtaining a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration in the US has been challenging, and researchers were limited to studying cannabis grown at licensed facilities. Even in Canada, where recreational cannabis use has been legal since 2018, federal and provincial restrictions have hindered research efforts.

As a result, the availability and hype around cannabis products have outpaced the actual evidence of their effects. Researchers are concerned about the lack of knowledge regarding appropriate dosages, long-term effects, and even the accuracy of product labeling. The public is consuming cannabis products without a clear understanding of what they contain.

There are still many fundamental aspects of cannabis that researchers have not fully grasped. This includes how the endocannabinoid system influences our health and understanding the production and consumption of cannabis products available to the public. Researchers emphasize the need to acquire the necessary knowledge to approach cannabis use in a thoughtful and intelligent manner.

In conclusion, while research on cannabis has increased in recent years, it remains significantly behind that of other substances like tobacco and alcohol. Government regulations and restrictions have hindered scientific progress in understanding the effects of cannabis on various aspects of society. It is crucial to address these gaps in knowledge to ensure the safe and informed use of cannabis products.

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