Where's Weed

Top Six Biggest Cannabis Research Studies of 2021

Where's Weed

Published on Dec 31, 2021

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There is more cannabis research being conducted now than ever before. With legalization continuing to expand across the United States and the DEA permitting more growers for federally-approved research and increasing funding for the projects. Because of these federal initiatives and incredibly positive public opinions on cannabis use, the future of cannabis research shows real promise. We can't wait to see what happens over the next few years in cannabis research, but we're also super excited about the research going on right now in 2021. 

Cannabis Research News in 2021

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Because of the 50-year War on Drugs started in the 1970s with Nixon, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and the creation of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), marijuana research has been incredibly limited in America. Cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I substance and is federally illegal, meaning the federal government deems it highly addictive and without any medical properties. However, for the last several decades, the DEA has been approving small, highly controlled amounts of research to be conducted by select organizations, including the University of Mississippi. In 2021, the DEA announced the most substantive increase in cannabis and hallucinogen research ever and stated that they are using new research in hopes of finding medicinal properties for the creation of new FDA-approved drugs. Hopefully, this new research approval will open the door for a better understanding of marijuana and allow the United States to get on the map of cannabis research moving forward. Additionally, if research highlights enough positives about cannabis use and its medicinal benefits, we may see a resurgence of research on a federally legal substance sooner than later. The future of cannabis research in the United States is, finally, starting to look very promising. 

Six Cannabis Studies Published in 2021

Antibiotic Potential in CBD

The University of Queensland and Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited collaborated to determine the efficacy of CBD as an antibacterial alternative. Published on January 19, 2021, in Communications Biology, their study found that CBD, the primary non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, kills the bacteria often responsible for conditions such as gonorrhea, legionnaires disease, and meningitis. These findings could result in the first class of new antibiotics in 60 years for resistant bacteria if further validated.   

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Cancer & Non-Cancer Pain Reduction

Funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health, this study was published in the BMJ on September 9, 2021. The study's objective was to determine the potentials of medical cannabis for chronic pain and found several very positive results. Over 5,100 adult patients were included in 32 trials. It was found that non-inhaled medical cannabis and/or cannabinoids produce small improvements in pain relief, physical functioning, and sleep quality among individuals dealing with chronic pain and adverse side effects. 

Reduction in Withdrawal Symptoms

Published in Psychopharmacology on April 28, 2021, by the University of California, San Diego, this study aimed to test the preclinical efficacy of chronic CBD treatment to reduce nicotine dependency by measuring withdrawal symptoms. Their results were very positive. The rats used in the study were prevented from exhibiting somatic signs of withdraw during abstinence. They concluded that their preclinical study suggests beneficial outcomes for individuals addicted to nicotine by alleviating withdrawal symptoms. 

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Cannabis Increases Entrepreneurial Passion in Motivated Peoples

Entrepreneurial capacities while using cannabis were put to the test in this study by researchers at Washington State University. Published in the Journal of Business Venturing in March 2021, this study highlighted that while cannabis users generated less feasible ideas, they produced more ideas with higher levels of originality. They also found that, while feasibility was reduced among individuals with less experience, entrepreneurial experience mitigates the increased originality and decreased idea feasibility. So, experience and passion along with cannabis use may result in more original, usable entrepreneurial ideas. 

Cannabis Reduces Essential Tremors

The University of Copenhagen produced an interesting study on March 19, 2021, in Nature Neuroscience, about the use of medical cannabis to reduce essential tremors. Their study, conducted on mice, found that the specific cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 reduces involuntary shaking when injected into the spinal cord of subjects suffering from essential tremors. The results indicate that cannabinoids act on spinal astrocytes to produce this positive result. 

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CBD Helps Athletic Recovery

Published in Sports Medicine on September 13, 2021, this study from researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada looks at the efficacy of THC and CBD as athletic performance and recovery enhancers. The findings of these cannabinoid studies show two primary things amongst increased reports of cannabis use for athletic competition. First, they found insufficient empirical evidence to claim temporary or long-term effects of cannabis use and athletic performance. Second, it found that CBD may help increase recovery in athletes by improving sleep quality, pain management and reducing the impact of mild traumatic brain injury. 

Are there any marijuana studies that come to mind that we don't cover on this list? Let us know what's got you excited about the future of marijuana research and share the links in the comments below!


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