Doctors for Cannabis Regulation Supports "Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act"

DFCR supports new federal legislation to reduce barriers to cannabis/cannabinoid research.
WASHINGTON - June 18, 2022 - PRLog -- The "Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act" is under consideration in the United States federal legislature. Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) strongly supports this Act, which will:
  • reduce barriers to cannabis/cannabinoid research
  • streamline the development of FDA-approved substances using CBD and other components of cannabis,
  • allow physicians to discuss the potential harms and benefits of cannabis and its components with adult patients, and caregivers of minor patients, and
  • require HHS to report to Congress on (a) potential effects of cannabis, (b) barriers to researching cannabis grown in states that have legalized its use, and (c) provide recommendations on how to overcome these barriers, encouraging the federal government to facilitate more medical research on cannabis.
The summary proposal has been endorsed by mainstream medical organizations like American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and American Society of Addiction Medicine, as well as pro-legalization groups such as Americans for Safe Access and NORML.

Scientists have been significantly hampered in researching the potential health benefits of cannabis since the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act first initiated legal barriers to cannabis importation, cultivation, possession, and distribution; cannabis was subsequently removed from the US Pharmacopeia in the early 1940s. It is now time that we return to engagement with the study and use of the cannabis plant with reasonable policies rooted in evidence and justice.

Formal research is essential for studying any and all potentially therapeutic compounds that will be made publicly available for a wide population, and a strong and growing body of evidence continues to support that cannabis and its components have demonstrated utility in the symptom management of pain, spasticity, insomnia, or subjective stress relief or as a systemic anti-inflammatory, anti-malignancy, and anti-neurodegenerative agent. We also encourage study on the various delivery methods for cannabis and its components, in whole-plant and isolated forms via inhalation (smoking, whole-plant vaporization, oil vaporization), edible, topical, and targeted forms and in varying ratios/concentrations. The United States performs the most biomedical research in the world and it is critically important that our scientists are able to study its potential health benefits in addition to its well-researched harms.

DFCR recommends that the language of the bill be altered such that the plant name is referred to by its scientific genus, Cannabis, rather than the historically pejorative term (based on a xenophobic history) of "marihuana".

The "Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act" is an important and highly welcomed step towards studying the cannabis plant, for which we commend United States federal legislators in creation and consideration for advancement to law.

Arielle Gerard, MD, MS, MPH
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