Outta the gate, I want to give a big thank you to all the cannabis researchers and scientists in the U.S. who have continued to navigate the sorry state of how they need to acquire cannabis to do necessary studies defining the benefits and risk of the plant. Now as we know, it’s been established that cannabis has an excellent safety profile with no known case of lethal overdose. So there is that.
Nonetheless, in order to move forward with hard science, we need specifics. Let’s take what I do for example in relation to cannabis. I’m an emotions therapist, that is I help people to master their emotions so they can release stress, overwhelm, self-doubt, anxiety, anger, depression and so on… and my work is cannabis-assisted. And the vast majority of my students and clients like the addition of the cannabis. They believe it makes the work more efficient and effective. And that’s why I do it!
Well, what they report – that’s called “anecdotal evidence” or empirical evidence, both terms mean that what we do and how we do it is based on observation or experience – where a number of people report “this is what happened to me” which suggests this might be what happens to you, or you, or you.
But in the world of scientific research, “anecdotal evidence” is the bastard child. For research to measure up, it needs to meet what’s considered the scientific gold standard and that is the double-blind, randomized double-blind, placebo controlled study. And if you’re a cannabis researcher in the U.S. it is a frustrating process – because the cannabis you have available to you as a researcher is deeply compromised and of very low quality.
And as long as federal law maintains cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medicinal value, U.S. researchers will continue to be forced to get their cannabis from the Federally sanctioned University of Mississippi, which has a lousy reputation for providing compromised and poor quality, often moldy cannabis for research.
It’s highly processed, for one thing. Described by one scientist as a “powdery mishmash of stems, sticks and leaves.” To compound the issue, the percentage of THC, that cannabinoid that is in large part responsible for effective medicine, comes in at a measly 8% THC. This compared to what most people are buying at dispensaries of 20% or higher. But researchers aren’t allowed to use that.
So you can see that any federally-approved clinical trial looking at THC in the U.S. is flawed because it doesn’t match what people are actually legally purchasing and using in the real world here in the U.S.
Yes, there are on-going struggles among U.S. researchers to find a way around this because until then no one can show – through a sanctioned clinical trial – that the cannabis products on the market are safe or beneficial – because researchers can’t legally study those. And this has been going on since 1968, more than 50-years. So you can imagine how hindered cannabis research has been in the U.S. and continues to be.
So coming back to the example of my cannabis-assisted emotions work. We see successes you know, my students and clients have these emotional break-throughs and healing from trauma. But what’s going on scientifically, right? What is specifically occurring… what’s the neurobiology of the obvious benefits of the combination of cannabis, movement and breathwork, sound and meditation?!
For the most part, we have to depend on that anecdotal evidence. But thank goodness for legitimate cannabis research in other countries, at least we have that going on. This one, Cannabinoids and the Brain by Linda Parker, a good Canadian.
With the new presidential administration, things may be looking up as in overturning this whole revolting backward situation with cannabis research in the U.S. But there’s nothing for sure on the horizon yet.
Do you have some thoughts on this tortured situation? Drop down to the comments section and let me know.
I’m Becca Williams and I want you to lead your most magnificent life and I want to help you do that.