I find it insane that in part of the US anyone will be legally able to buy & use cannabis and in other parts dying people go to jail for it.
— Concerned Citizen (@GreenerGA) December 27, 2013
Any researcher attempting to study marijuana must obtain it through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The U.S. research crop, grown at a single facility, is regarded as less potent–and therefore less medicinally interesting–than the marijuana often easily available on the street. Thus, the legal supply is a poor vehicle for studying the approximately 60 cannabinoids that might have medical applications.
This system has unintended, almost comic, consequences. For example, it has created a market for research marijuana, with “buyers” trading journal co-authorships to “sellers” who already have a marijuana stockpile or license. The government may also have a stake in a certain kind of result. One scientist tells of a research grant application to study marijuana’s potential medical benefits. NIDA turned it down. That scientist rewrote the grant to emphasize finding marijuana’s negative effects. The study was funded.
The administration of THC modulates emotional processing in healthy volunteers, according to placebo-controlled crossover trial data published online by the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.
Investigators from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on 11 healthy male subjects. Following the administration of THC or placebo, researchers assessed subjects’ brain activity during their exposure to stimuli with a negative (‘fearful faces’) content or a positive content (‘happy faces’). They hypothesized that THC administration would reduce subjects’ negative bias in emotional processing and shift it towards a positive bias. A bias toward negative stimuli has been linked to diagnoses of certain mental illnesses such as depression.