In the last five years, the US government is producing the largest research cannabis crop, to meet the demand of marijuana containing high levels of CBD and THC compounds.
While the U.S government still considers marijuana as illegal and dangerous, but it is the sole producer of cannabis for almost all the researches done in the country.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse told the Associated Press in an email on Thursday that scientists request cannabis that nearly matches what is sold in the states which have lifted the ban on weed for medical and recreational purposes.
This year, the federal agency intends to cultivate 4,409 pounds (2000 Kgs) of cannabis at the University of Mississippi, which is the only institute that holds the federal contract of producing cannabis. That is enough for 5,000,000 joints, although marijuana is produced in different forms by the government.
NIDA said that cannabis crop would be categorized into two-high CBD varieties and high THC varieties-with CBD as a significant thing since it is a potential medicine for some health conditions. Unlike THC, CBD does not get users high.
The federal regulators approved drugs last year, which are CBD-based for two seizures disorders that are rare. Besides, the researchers are still putting in effort to see how it can be used on other conditions. Others have their focus on THC.
Emily Lindley, the Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado who is researching the use of marijuana with high THC content for severe back pain as a substitute for opioids says that they wanted to conduct a study on what their patients were consuming.
Emily, together with other researchers, want institutions other than the University of Mississippi to be approved to cultivate research marijuana. An application process for marijuana growers was formed by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the U.S. However, the DEA has not acted on over 2 dozen applications. The court of appeals in the U.S was requested by the Arizona Scottsdale Research Institute for the DEA to be given orders by the District of Colombia to process the application.
Thursday, Katherine Pfaff, the DEA spokeswoman said in an email that the process was still being worked on and those applications are still under assessment. She refused to say anything concerning the litigation.
To answer the questions asked by the AP, NIDA said that in recent years there hasn’t been a prime increase in cannabis demand by the researchers. Government cannabis was shipped to 20 researchers last year. The larger fraction of it was cannabis grown in 2014 and preserved by freezing. Moreover, the number of cannabis researchers getting shipments since the year 2010 has gone up from eight to 21.
According to NIDA, after getting done with harvest and analysis, researchers should get their materials from the new crop.