November 11, 2016
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Even The Government Wants In On These Trailblazing Marijuana Research Programs

By Tosten Burks

Scientific momentum is so strong in the cannabis industry that even our straight-arrow federal government wants in. While the Drug Enforcement Administration still clings to the claim that the plant has no medical value, the National Institutes of Health funded 49 projects examining the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids last year. The NIH is also ramping up production at the University of Mississippi’s only federally funded marijuana farm, the exclusive supplier for Federal Drug Administration-approved studies. Here are some of the trailblazers to watch:

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

The California-based nonprofit made history when it announced plans to study cannabis as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in U.S. veterans. Its clinical trial investigating “smoked botanical marijuana” was the first to receive both FDA and DEA approval.

GW Pharmaceuticals

The British company’s natural cannabis-derived mouth spray, Nabiximols, was approved in the United Kingdom in 2010 to treat multiple sclerosis and is offered in 20 countries, excluding the United States. The company is now in late-stage clinical trials for a new cannabidiol-based drug to treat newborns with epilepsy.

University of Minnesota

The NIH gave the university its largest therapeutic cannabinoid-related grant last year—$1.8 million. The study will look at how compounds might prevent pain caused by sickle cell disease.

Neuroscientists at Scripps received $1.3 million from the NIH to investigate cannabidiol’s potential for treating alcoholism and drug addiction.

Arena Pharmaceuticals

The California company is testing a cannabidiol-based drug, APD371, as a general analgesic. Early trials have showed success in treating osteoarthritic and neuropathic pain.

- Originally appeared at

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