The US government is finally funding cannabis research! For decades, federally-funded medical marijuana research has been significantly lacking– to say the least. The fact that medical marijuana is still federally illegal, makes studying it extremely challenging. Up until now, research has primarily been focused on drug addiction studies. Clinical studies are a fundamental stepping stone to getting a substance verified as a pharmaceutical, which is why this news is so encouraging.
In December of 2018, the federal government, specifically the NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) shared it’s intent to study the potential pain relieving effects of “minor cannabinoids” and terpenes.
The NCCIH is one of twenty-seven institutes that make up the NIH (National Institute of Health). This agency utilizes rigorous, in-depth scientific investigation to examine the effects and safety of different health interventions.
What “Minor Cannabinoids” and Terpenes are being Studied?
We’ve all heard (and probably know quite a bit) about the cannabinoids THC and CBD. There are many others, however, that we know close to nothing about. Some of the “minor cannabinoids” of interest are: CBG (cannabigerol,) CBN (cannabinol,) and CBC (cannabichromene.)
There are several terpenes that are going to be studied as well. These include limonene, myrcene, linalool, terpinene, and more.
As you may also know, all of the different cannabinoids work together to provide different pain relieving results.
Why Pain Relief?
Marijuana has proven itself effective in treating a whole slew of ailments, so why is the NCCIH focusing on pain relief? Chronic pain affects approximately one-third of people in the United States. Treating this pain costs Americans well over $600 billion each year. Furthermore, companies suffer an estimated $300 billion dollars annually in lost productivity.
We know that THC and CBD have effective, pain-treating qualities. We also know that other cannabinoids, and even terpenes, synergistically work together to produce healing effects (especially when it comes to pain relief.)
The cost of current pain treatment and the effectiveness that marijuana seems to have, are two driving factors for why the NCCIH wants to study cannabinoids and terpenes more. Research is a necessary stepping stone to certifying marijuana as a viable treatment option.
This research into alternative pain relief could also help reduce the opioid epidemic. Researchers have determined that cannabinoids and terpenes enhance the pain-relieving effects of opioids, which means opioid users can take lower doses.
The federal government has made developing an alternative pain management strategy a priority. The NIH is especially interested in the pain-relieving, non-intoxicating properties of marijuana. Marijuana has been viewed in a negative light for far too long. The fact that the federal government is finally funding cannabis research is extremely encouraging.
Today, we’re comparing decriminalization versus legalization of marijuana. Contrary to popular belief, the terms are not interchangeable. There are distinct differences between the two. If you’re a marijuana user or looking to become a medical marijuana patient, it’s important for you to know the difference.
In the state of Florida, medical marijuana is now legal. Recreational pot use on the other hand, remains illegal. 21 states and DC, not including Florida have decriminalized marijuana while recreational pot is only legal in 9 states and DC. Marijuana possession and use in general, remains federally illegal in all 50 states.
What is Decriminalization?
Decriminalization is the loosening of criminal penalties pertaining to personal use and possession even though the drug itself remains illegal.
If you hold a valid medical marijuana card, and are only in possession of a personal amount, you will usually be fine if confronted by law enforcement. You must always have your card on you, and your marijuana must be in its original packaging. You can still be charged with a criminal offense if stopped by a federal official. This is due to the fact that marijuana is still federally illegal.
In states where marijuana has been decriminalized, law enforcement will usually overlook small, personal amounts of marijuana. Instead of criminal charges, those caught with small amounts of cannabis will only face civil fines. Production and sale of the drug remain illegal and will usually result in arrest. Remember, you must always purchase your medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary.
What is Legalization?
Legalization of marijuana lifts the laws that have previously banned personal use and possession. In other words, it is perfectly legal for you to be in possession of personal amounts of marijuana. It is worth noting that it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana.
Furthermore, legalization allows the government to regulate and tax sales of medical marijuana. Legalization can also help taxpayers save millions of dollars on judicial fees.
You must be aware of state and federal laws if you plan on using marijuana.
If you believe you may be a good candidate for medical marijuana, call us at (786) 224-4005 or schedule your free consultation ONLINE. There’s no reason to live in pain a minute longer, medical marijuana can change your life. With a medical marijuana card you can find relief while obeying state law.