As we learn more about the cannabis plant, the science community becomes more excited as to all the health benefits that weed may provide. Researchers have discovered more than 100 different cannabinoids, when they once thought that there were only two.
One of the most important issues they want to address is the over reliance on highly addictive opioids to manage pain, especially chronic pain. As opioid addiction has become a public health crisis, finding alternative methods of pain management is crucial.
It’s not only THC and CBD that scientists want to study; also CBG, CBN, CBC, THCO, and Delta 8, as preliminary research indicates that cannabinoids are hugely helpful in managing pain.
Scientists are frustrated, however, that federal law has not kept up with the science. Current federal regulations prevent scientists from studying the plant as freely as they would like, so the research faces roadblocks. The federal government still considers cannabis to be a Schedule 1 drug. That makes it illegal to produce or have in one’s possession, at least at the federal level.
As it currently stands, the FDA has approved just a handful of cannabis based treatments for medical use, and there is only one government approved cannabis research farm in Mississippi.
Scientists hope to develop FDA-approved, non-addictive, cannabis-derived pharmaceutical products for pain management. In addition to the cannabinoids, the plant also contains hundreds of additional naturally occurring chemicals. Experts believe these also have medicinal value.
Until the DEA and other governing entities help to push legislation forward that will allow for more research, progress will continue to be slow. Additionally, product regulation will lag as well, perpetuating the wild west culture that still exists throughout much of the cannabis industry.
When the laws change, we can look forward to seeing more breakthroughs when it comes to the plant and pain management.