Cannabis research has come a long way. As more states in the United States and countries across the world have sought to eliminate prohibition, the number of studies on cannabis has increased dramatically during the past couple of decades.
As the cannabis sector grows, so does interest in its potential therapeutic advantages. The cannabis market has demonstrated strong enthusiasm for funding supporting studies and research that promote public awareness.
There has been recent substantial funding, from both public and private sectors, to investigate the cannabis industry, which has led to a subsequent surge in cannabis research.
Let’s take a look at some interesting cannabis research studies that explore new and exciting opportunities.
1. Cancer research explored
The federal government is funding research to investigate the potential benefits and hazards of cannabis for cancer patients. Although one-quarter of cancer patients have used cannabis products to alleviate their symptoms, there is still a lack of information about the advantages and risks associated with this treatment option.
The primary objective of the study is to discover how cannabis and cannabinoids affect cancer biology, cancer prevention, cancer treatment, cancer resistance, and cancer symptom management.
2. Smiles all around
Prosociality is essential to the health and cohesion of society as a whole. As a result, the effect of cannabis on our relationships with other people is just as important to society's health as its medicinal effects.
According to the study "Cannabis Consumption and Prosociality," researchers found that healthy young adults who had recently consumed cannabis were more prosocial and had a stronger sense of empathy than those who had not recently consumed cannabis.
This is one of the first studies to show that healthy young adults who use cannabis can get non-medical benefits from it. The results suggest that cannabis may change a person's sense of self from being self-centered to being more selfless and aware of their duty to protect others from harm.
3. Energy efficiency on the next level
A group of six senior engineering students at Dartmouth conducted cannabis research with a whole-systems approach to address the needs of plants and growers through the optimization of energy efficiency, cost, and carbon emissions.
The students made the following discoveries:
- When using a displacement ventilation strategy for humidity control, HVAC systems can cut motor energy use by 50% during the light cycle and 90% during the dark cycle.
- Depending on the facility's location, employing free outdoor air cooling might further cut mechanical cooling needs by an additional 40+%.
- When compared to standard LEDs, the best LEDs can save cooling costs by 10%, while high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights can cut them by 30% or more.
Findings from this study will help the cannabis industry improve business operations and cut costs in line with government regulations and grid standards.
4. “Designer strains”
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem claims to have developed a medical strain of cannabis with 17% higher THC and terpenes by as much as 30%. As a result of their innovative genome engineering approaches, the researchers will be able to adjust the ratios of the plant's critical components.
A cannabis plant has at least 200 different active compounds. Having the ability to build them in varied ratios has huge implications for potentially managing cancer, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, PTSD, and other chronic pain-related illnesses.
5. An institutional partnership
Atlas Biotechnologies of Alberta, Canada, has been selected as a founding partner by Harvard University in what is being called one of the greatest international endeavors for cannabis research. The Canadian firm and Harvard Medical School are diving into conclusive measures regarding the relationship between cannabis and pain and neurological problems.
Harvard's collaboration with Atlas includes funding over the next couple of years depending on specific research objectives. That said, it’s thrilling to have one of the world's leading institutes conducting clinical trials and efficacy studies on cannabis compounds.
Harvard believes that confidence will rest on the collective efforts of the industry to advance science and technology.
Federal prohibition has undoubtedly made it more difficult to conduct cannabis research, but the fact that researchers in this new endeavor have been able to discover so many studies casts doubt on a familiar refrain from prohibitionists.
As time has progressed, it appears that public opinion in the United States has shifted in favor of decriminalizing cannabis. These studies have the potential to change minds and pave the way for further research into the plant's potential benefits to humanity.