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Take note, Mississippians. Your home state is participating in a government project. A story in AP News announced this undertaking recently. It’s all about growing a special crop, namely marijuana for research purposes.
This is not the first time the state is engaging in an effort of this kind. But it is, by far, the largest. Five years ago, the University of Mississippi grew marijuana plants in its Ole Miss medical garden. That crop, also used for research, came about through a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The same federal agency is serving as the source for 2019. The order is grow 2,000 kilograms or the equivalent of 4,409 pounds of product. To put that amount in perspective, it’s enough to make 5 million joints. However, the government has different uses in mind for the offtake and specifications for growing it. This time around, the plan is more complex. It will consist of two varieties of plants: equal proportions of high CBD and high THC.
What are high CBD and high THC? Medical News Today explains. Marijuana is made up of a number of cannabinoids – make that many. Cannabidiol, or CBD, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, are two of them. The distinguishing feature between CBD and THC has to do with their psychoactive effects on the human brain. That is, they interact with different receptors in a person’s brain. As a result, CBD typically does not trigger a mind-altering marijuana high whereas THC does. At this time, medical marijuana contains mainly CBD and a person using it generally will not experience a high.
The announcement about this government-sponsored development reports “recent interest (in CBD) as a potential medicine for a number of medical conditions.” NIDA advises that scientists are seeking samples of weed that closely align with the types available for sale in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. It also says that the U.S. “government is the only source of pot for nearly all research in the U.S., while it still considers it illegal and dangerous.”
The piece in Medical News Today outlines potential uses of CBD and THC to treat some medical conditions. They include nausea, appetite loss and eating disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, and pain. The AP News article takes that one step further. It mentions that federal regulators approved a CBD-based drug for two rare seizure disorders and that “researchers are pursuing research on it for other conditions. Others are focused on THC.” That said, it went on to quote a professor at the University of Colorado. That person discussed something of interest to readers on this site. Of note, the team is “investigating marijuana with high THC as an alternative to opioids for chronic back pain.”
Here’s some insight about timing. Researchers should receive material from the new Mississippi crop after the harvest in September.
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Read More from Sherry M. Adler:
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