Why we know so little about cannabis – and why scientists are worried

Spread the love

Research into cannabis really only started in earnest two decades ago

Analysis into hashish actually solely began in earnest twenty years in the past

As we now have reported on the science of hashish in latest weeks, practically each researcher we spoke to lamented the yawning hole in our understanding of the drug’s results on our well being, the setting, society and rather more. So why, given our lengthy historical past with the drug, are there so many unanswered questions?

Analysis into hashish actually solely began in earnest twenty years in the past. It picked up steam within the late Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, starting with research exhibiting that marijuana may cut back nausea in individuals with HIV and in these present process chemotherapy. Since then, the sphere has exploded.

But the variety of revealed research about hashish pales compared to the trove of information we now have on medicine like tobacco and alcohol.

“We don’t have foundational knowledge on hashish that we now have for different stuff,” says Ryan Sultan at Columbia College in New York.

The amount of published research on cannabis has skyrocketed since the early 2000s, from around 600 studies published in 2000 to nearly 6000 in 2023
While the amount of research on cannabis has increased dramatically in the last two decades, it pales in comparison to the amount of published research on other drugs like tobacco and alcohol. In 2023, there were around 6000 studies on cannabis, but more than 10,000 on tobacco and more than 23,000 on alcohol.

A giant purpose for that is that authorities laws have made it exceedingly tough to review the drug. Within the US, for example, researchers should acquire a particular licence from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and so they can solely examine hashish grown at licensed amenities – previous to 2021, there was simply certainly one of these. Even in Canada, the place leisure hashish use has been authorized since 2018, federal and provincial restrictions have encumbered analysis.

Whereas issues are beginning to change, we now have reached a spot the place the supply of and hype round hashish merchandise has outpaced precise proof of their results. That has individuals like Sultan fearful. “The entire therapy and medicinal factor I discover very aggravating,” he says. We don’t know what doses are acceptable, what their long-term results are and even what individuals are consuming, he says. “The truth is, we all know the issues they’re getting are usually not what the label says they’re. So how may you even do dosing suggestions if you don’t even have correct methods of deciphering [what’s in it]?”

There are numerous fundamentals we now have not but obtained to grips with, from the best way that the endocannabinoid system can affect our well being to understanding how the hashish merchandise which are available to the general public at this time are each produced and consumed, which might look very completely different to the managed settings of a lot of the research we at the moment depend on for insights. “Let’s discover out what we have to discover out in order that we will do that in a considerate, clever approach versus what I really feel like we’re doing, which is simply working a pure experiment,” says Sultan.

New Scientist Default Image

The science of hashish

As the usage of marijuana and its compounds rises around the globe, New Scientist explores the most recent analysis on the medical potential of hashish, how it’s grown and its environmental influence, the best way hashish impacts our our bodies and minds and what the marijuana of the long run will appear like.


Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top