US: Top federal health official blasts cannabis research barriers

A top federal health official says cannabis research is “fraught with hurdles,” including its continued prohibition under federal law, that need to be addressed in order to unlock studies on areas such as how cannabinoids can serve as “safer tools” than opioids in managing pain.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Director Helene Langevin said in a blog post on Tuesday that much of the federally funded research on cannabis to date has “narrowly focused on the potential harms” of THC.

She argued that it’s important to gain a more holistic scientific understanding of the plant and its components’ potential benefits and harms.

It’s with that objective in mind that NCCIH, which falls under the National Institutes on Health (NIH), recently published a “Request for Information” (RFI), soliciting feedback from the scientific community “about its interest in and barriers to research on the health effects of cannabis and its constituents.”

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