The National Institutes of Health has awarded $3
million in grants to study cannabinoids for pain relief, though the research
won’t cover THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.
Stat reported that the nine newly funded studies will
investigate the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol
(CBD) and terpenes, the array of aromatic plant compounds found in cannabis
that may also play a role in its medicinal effects.
The goal is to provide evidence-based support for
CBD treatments and determine if CBD alone can provide pain-relieving effects
NIH’s impetus for the funding came from a 2017
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report warning that
the scarcity of research on marijuana posed a public health risk. The opioid
crisis has also pushed researchers to study safer alternatives to prescription
Stat also reported that the National Institute on Drug Abuse said it would grow 2,000 kilograms
of marijuana this year at the University of Mississippi for research purposes.