A decision made by NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, awarded a grant for research in the field of marijuana and HIV to a scientific team engaged in cannabis research. The grant totaled $3.2 million and was awarded to the team in order to determine what effects marijuana may have on alleviating the symptoms of HIV. The grant comes in spite of the Schedule 1 status of marijuana that deems cannabis to have no valid medicinal applications.
The recipient of the grant was the University of Florida, in Gainesville. The program is guided by director Dr. Robert Cook, who also oversees the college’s Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium. According to Cook, past research on marijuana and HIV have been largely inconclusive. The project is designed to help “guide clinical and safety recommendations for marijuana use” as opposed to find negative effects of the plant on humans. The research program is expected to last for five years.
Cook and his team have been working on marijuana-related HIV research for more than a year. They have submitted a dozen scientifically pier reviewed papers on the interaction of cannabinoids in the body as it relates to HIV. The new study commissioned has a specific goal, to discover the “effects on the body, including chronic inflammation and viral suppression.” The program involves tracking over 400 patients and identifying patterns of consumption that may correlate with relief in the areas of pain, sleep disorders, stress, and more. The team hope’s to identify patterns that can be further studied at a later time.
Marijuana has demonstrated to the world, just how fractured the US government is on legalization. Organizations like the DEA and the Justice Department are run by individuals whose job depends on prohibition. On the other hand there are doctors and professionals in the government as well who recognize the distinct benefits of marijuana. The result is a prohibitionist government that simultaneously admits marijuana may have clear benefits for patients across the country.
Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she put down her budtender hat and dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the cannabis plant fuel the passion in her posts.